Expert - Top Contributor (Alumni)

Google Redirects Me to Some Other Search Engine - Help!

It seems that so many people are having problems understanding how these strange redirects work and what causes them that a quick write up was was needed. I hope this explains things....

Q) I am getting redirected after doing a search, it happens almost every time I do a search. What's up with Google?
A) It is not Google, if you are getting redirected on almost every search, regardless of the type of website you intended to visit then your machine has most likely been infected with Malware (malicious software).

Q) That cannot be true, I only get redirected on Google's search engine, all others such as Yahoo! are fine. So it must be Google's fault?
A) Nope, criminals often create software that remains dormant until you visit a certain site (such as Google) and then it activates when you perform a certain task, such as clicking on a link. It is their way of trying to confuse you and this allowing their malicious software to remain on your computer for longer.

Q) What is the purpose of this software that has been put on my computer?
A) If you are getting redirected to another search engine that you have never heard of before then the criminal may getting a reward/payment if you purchase any goods from the website/search engine. The website you are being directing to may also be trying to download more nasties onto your computer for other more sinister motives.

Q) So all redirects are bad news?
A) No, not at all, moving a web page from one place to another and setting up a redirect so visitors can still find it is perfectly normal, you will come across redirects every now and again as you traverse the web, but you shouldn't see them on all or almost all sites you visit. If you see an excessive amount of strange redirects and/or you are being taken to the same site regardless of the type of site you originally intended to visit, then its a sign you have malware.

Q) Okay I have malware, how do I get rid of it?
A) There are hundreds if not thousands of different types of "redirect viruses" each one will be slightly different, some will be detected by your usual Anti-Virus such as Norton or Mcafee but others will slip through the net. Don't expect one single Internet Security product to give you 100% protection.

Google has created a help article that contains further info and a list of suggested scans, as well as info on how to create a HiJackThis log and post it on another forum, so some pros can take a look and see if any of your computer settings have been changed without your permission http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?answer=8091  (please do not run the Hijackthis program and delete the results as you cause problems with your computer, use it under guidance from a professional)

There are dozens of other people who have had problems with strange redirects here http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Web+Search/thread?tid=6df7e15519290612&hl=en  feel free to join in the chat, many people have suggested that a product called "Hitman Pro" works, but of course every virus is different and it may or may not work for you. (BTW I have never used Hitman Pro)

Q) So I just need to find as many scanners as possible until I find one that works?
A) Be careful, criminals also create fake scanners that do more harm than good, never download anything unless you trust the author, so do some research first or get a second opinion. Plenty of forums on the web where people discuss products.

Q) Can Google offer 1-1 support?
A) I am not aware of any such service.

Q) I have tried every reputable AV scanner and I still can't get rid of these pesky redirects, what now?
A) Unfortunatley this is the Google web search forum and not a malware forum but you may want to have a read of some posts in these forums and maybe make contact with someone who deals with such issues - http://www.google.com/search?q=malware+forums
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Expert - Top Contributor (Alumni)
Feel free to discuss your issue with other folks here please remember that this is a web search forum and not a malware forum.

The regulars here cannot offer 1-1 support for virus/malware removal.
Thomas P. - Top Contributor
Thomas P. - Top Contributor
In general: If you see suspicious pop-ups, unwanted toolbars, redirects, strange Google search results
then see also: http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/topic.py?topic=13930
Try Hitman Pro 3.5.6. It is currently the only AV that is capable of detecting all variants of the Rootkit responsible for causing unexplainable redirects: http://www.surfright.nl/downloads/

Google user
Google user
If you guess the number I'm thinking and post it backwards in a foreign language I will not offer 1 on 1 support either
I'm using Firefox 3.6.6, and I've tried just about every malware removal tool / antivirus app, and I'm still getting the google web search redirect thing.

For me, it's different every time I click.

Sometimes redirects to mysearchcorp.com, then to web-search-api.com, then to some shopping search engine, asklots.com.

Sometimes it redirects to computing.net (link ex. http://www.computing.net/answers/security/google-search-result-redirect-virus/20156.html)

The last time, after a mysterious series of redirects, I ended up here: http://mx2.34161.blueseek.com/jump2/?affiliate=mx2&subid=34161&terms=google%20seach%20redirects.

I think I'm done with both Firefox and Google...at least for now. Geez, back to Chrome.

Expert - Google Employee
AJ, Community Manager
Because this thread is a bit outdated, I'm sharing a more recent post for new users to see.

If you are experiencing malware on Google Search (e.g. unwanted ad injectors in search results or redirecting search homepage):
  1. Try the Chrome Cleanup Tool: www.google.com/chrome/cleanup-tool
  2. Reset Google Chrome Settings: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/3296214
  3. Search for malware or unwanted plugins, and recover the browser settings: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2765944
If you are still experiencing the issue after using the Chrome Cleanup Tool or were unable to use it, please post a New Question in the Search forum with your details. (Screenshots are helpful!) Thanks!

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