Thanks to Yahoo’s unique revenue-sharing model, it’s lucrative for browser hijackers to redirect random users to its search engine. If you notice something similar happening on your own browser, you should immediately take action to close it.
Not only is it irritating to constantly switch between search engines, but it also generates revenue for viruses and malicious websites. Here are the best ways to fix this problem and get your favorite search engine working again.
Fix 1: Uninstall malicious browser extensions
The only way for a virus to infect a web browser is through an extension. This is why many users have extensions disabled. If you’ve recently added unverified browser extensions, it’s a good idea to uninstall them.
That’s not to say that browser extensions are inherently bad. There are many useful add-ons on reputable websites and services. The problem comes from lesser-known extensions which are actually viruses in disguise.
But how do you determine which browser extension is malicious? A blanket approach is to remove all extensions and then gradually add them back one at a time, checking to see if the issue reoccurs.
- The process of displaying installed browser extensions is pretty much the same in all web browsers.
- In Google Chrome, open Settings from the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner, then select Extensions.
- In Mozilla Firefox, open the hamburger menu, click Add-ons and Themesand select Extensions.
- In Apple Safari, open the menu, select Preferencesand go to Extensions tongue. Mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad directly provide you with a Manage extensions option in the menu.
- You can see all active browser extensions in this window. Go through this list and uninstall any add-ons you don’t use (or don’t remember installing). This usually removes the offending extensions, as they are usually installed through popups.
Fix 2: Change Your Default Search Engine
When you install sketchy apps from the web, they often set the default Yahoo search engine during the installation process. In these cases, all you have to do is change it again manually.
Of course, if you are actually redirected by a bogus browser extension, changing the default search engine will do nothing. That’s why cleaning unnecessary add-ons is the first step to fixing the problem.
Changing the default search engine, again, has similar steps in all major web browsers. Open your browser’s drop-down menu, go to Settings (Where Preferences in Safari), and select Look for (Search engine in Chrome settings). You can now set the search engine of your choice as default.
If you’re one of the few using the Microsoft Edge browser, the process is a bit different. Open Settings from the three-dot menu, then select Privacy, Research and Services. Scroll down to find the Address bar and search option. By clicking on it, you have the option to change the search engine (Bing is the default option).
Fix 3: Scan your PC for malware
While the usual culprit of your browser’s constantly changing search engine is an extension, unwanted programs you installed by mistake can also be responsible. You can fix this problem by scanning your PC.
These viruses are low on the dangerous malware totem and are easily detected by almost any antivirus application. Scanning your computer with the built-in Windows Defender is sufficient.
- To run an antivirus scan with Windows Defender, open the Windows Security application. You can find the app by searching for security in the start menu.
- Go to Protection against viruses and threats sign.
- For simple malware like this, a Quick scan is all you need. But if you want you can click Scan options to reveal more choices and select Full scan In place. Either way, Windows Defender will scan your PC and remove any viruses found.
Fix 4: Reset Your Browser
A factory reset is always the last option in any kind of browser problem, whether it is from a hacking extension or an incorrect setting. This restores the browser to its original state, erasing all user settings and data.
You can reset all web browsers except Safari, where you have to do everything manually, from clearing cookies to restoring your preferences to the original defaults. It’s better to just disable browser extensions on a Mac.
Resetting your browser might seem like a drastic option, but you won’t lose much. Things like bookmarks are already linked to your Google account, so you can bounce back immediately after a browser reset.
What is the best way to fix a problem changing browser search engine to Yahoo?
If your browser’s search engine keeps changing to search.yahoo.com, you are likely targeted by a browser hijacker. The best way to work around this problem is to remove unnecessary browser extensions and change your browser’s default search engine.
If that doesn’t fix the problem, scan your PC with an antivirus tool to remove Yahoo search redirect virus and reset your browser to clean invasive cookies.
The steps are virtually the same in all web browsers, differing only in the names used. You can even use these fixes to remove Yahoo search from Android and iOS devices and restore Google search as the default search engine.