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Remove TotalRecipeSearch toolbar virus in Chrome/Firefox/IE/Safari

3 min read
Another browser hijack campaign is underway, involving a harmful app called TotalRecipeSearch that redirects one’s web browser to myway.com search service.
  1. What is the TotalRecipeSearch virus?
  2. Automated removal of TotalRecipeSearch virus
  3. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

What is the TotalRecipeSearch virus?

If you ask the average Internet user about the top features of a web browser, customization is definitely going to be on that list. Indeed, being able to set shortcuts, such as the default homepage, favorite search engine and new tab, makes life easier and renders the online experience seamless. What do cybercrooks think about it? Well, the ones behind the TotalRecipeSearch virus are evidently not fans of such a state of things. Their misbehaving application reorganizes a victim’s web preferences in such a way that the browser forwards them to a peculiar variant of myway.com web resource. The worst part is that the user is never really asked for permission to put this change into effect. On the face of it, though, the app in question seems to be an awesome find for those fond of cooking. It adds a toolbar to a user’s browser that supposedly brings a recipe lookup feature to their fingertips. However, this is the first impression that doesn’t align with the reality.

Landing page promoted by TotalRecipeSearch toolbar virus
Landing page promoted by TotalRecipeSearch toolbar virus

Unfortunately, the food theme in this case appears to be just a red herring. While actually providing some walkthroughs on how to prepare a delicious meal, the TotalRecipeSearch toolbar does a few nasty things behind the victim’s back. First off, as mentioned above, it modifies the custom set-up of the plagued user’s default browser. Not even a hint at a permission request is generated prior to these tweaks, which obviously contradicts the logic of legit software activity. The unwanted add-on supports all the most popular web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari. It determines which one is set as default on the host and instantly gives its settings an overhaul. The goal is to make sure that the victim will be visiting a custom landing page for TotalRecipeSearch within the myway.com domain (see snapshot above). Although the resulting spot does contain some food-related materials, such as a menu planner, healthy means, daily recipes, etc., its objective is definitely not about playing into users’ hands. When clicked, some options trigger annoying popups, while others reroute to external pages that open up in a new tab.

To top it off, the most ominous facet of the compromise isn’t visible to the naked eye. The toolbar harvests the visitors’ Internet data behind the scenes. In particular, it zeroes in on browsing history, bookmarks, ads being clicked, personal accounts being accessed, and tons of other potentially sensitive information. The subsequent flow of the raid is to hand these details over to advertisers and suchlike interested third parties, possibly even to criminals who will abuse them to orchestrate persuasive spear-phishing scams or try to hack the computer. All of these facts make TotalRecipeSearch an unwanted app that interferes with too many settings to be endured. In order to avoid it, be sure to treat freeware installs with caution as they might conceal bundled items under the hood. To remove the virus, resort to the steps below that will additionally advise on fixing the furtively altered browser configuration.

Automated removal of TotalRecipeSearch virus

Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:

1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button

Download TotalRecipeSearch virus remover

2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.

Use Control Panel to get rid of the TotalRecipeSearch virus

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and select Uninstall a program
Access program uninstall screen on Windows
• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Find TotalRecipeSearch or another unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal doneUninstall unwanted program

Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

In the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for the web browsers most targeted by the TotalRecipeSearch toolbar virus.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings
Go to Settings in Chrome
• Scroll down the settings screen and click Advanced down at the bottom
Advanced settings in Chrome
• Move on to the Reset and clean up sub-section and select the option that says Restore settings to their original defaults
Restore Chrome settings to their original default
• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset settings on the warning message
Reset Chrome settings
• Restart Chrome.

Reset Mozilla Firefox

• Open Firefox, type about:support in the URL area and press Enter. Alternatively, you can click on the Open menu icon in the top right-hand part of the browser window, then select the Help option and proceed to Troubleshooting Information
Access Troubleshooting Information page in Firefox
• On the Troubleshooting Information screen, spot the Refresh Firefox button and click on it
Refresh Firefox button
• Follow subsequent directions to reset Firefox to its original settings
Complete refreshing Firefox
• Restart the browser.

Reset Internet Explorer

• Select Internet options under IE’s Tools (Alt+X)
Open up Internet options in Internet Explorer
• Proceed by clicking on Advanced tab, then select Reset
Locate and click the Reset button in IE
• To confirm the intended changes, click Reset on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings screen after ascertaining that the Delete personal settings checkbox is enabled
IE reset confirmation
• Reboot the machine to fully implement the fix.

Reset Safari

• Go to the Safari menu and select Preferences
Go to Safari Preferences
• When on the Preferences screen, select the Privacy tab and hit the Remove All Website Data button if you are up to erasing all website data stored on your Mac. Otherwise, you can use a site-specific removal option described below
Remove All Website Data button
• A dialog will appear, asking you to validate your choice. Click the Remove Now button if you are sure. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc.
Confirm website data removal
• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, click the Details button under Privacy tab
Details button under Privacy tab
• Select the websites for which you would like to erase data and click the Remove button
Removing data for selected sites in Safari
• Click the Done button to confirm and exit. You can also select the Remove All option to remove all data stored by the listed websites.

Revise your security status

Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.

Download TotalRecipeSearch toolbar virus removal tool

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