How to Remove Link Default Search

What Is Link Default Search?

delete Link Default Search virus that is “installed by administrator” (ID: fifpkjagafdckhnomdnofihggfddgddd)

If your browser’s default search engine has changed to find.linkdefault.com (which redirects all searches to Yahoo), and you are told that “Link Default Search is controlling this setting”, that is a result of Link Default Search browser hijacker getting installed on your PC. A browser hijacker is a piece of software that is able to alter browsers’ start page, new tab page and default search engine against users’ wishes. Link Default Search browser hijacker misuses a feature of Windows intended for administrators of corporate networks that allows them to force install software on computers on the network. As a result, the affected browser becomes “managed by your organization”, while Link Default Search extension becomes “installed by administrator” and unremovable.

Link Default Search may get installed on your computer after you install a program downloaded from an untrustworthy website. You may follow instructions below to uninstall Link Default Search and remove find.linkdefault.com from your browsers.

How to Remove Link Default Search:

  1. Remove Link Default Search Automatically
  2. Delete Rogue Policies From Registry Editor
  3. Delete Link Default Search Folder
  4. Remove Link Default Search From Browsers
  5. How to Protect Your PC From Link Default Search and Other Browser Hijackers

Remove Link Default Search Automatically

You may remove Link Default Search automatically or use the manual instructions provided below.
However it is still recommended that you scan your system with a good antivirus or anti-malware tool, to find and remove other possible malware and PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) that may have been installed along with Link Default Search.

Norton is a powerful antivirus that protects you against malware, spyware, ransomware and other types of Internet threats. Norton is available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices.

Download Norton

Other anti-malware software that may be able to get rid of Link Default Search:
Wipersoft (Windows)
Spyhunter (Windows & macOS)

You may also try to remove CometSearch by hand using the following instructions.

Delete Rogue Policies From Registry Editor:

Note: Be very careful when changing or deleting things in Registry Editor, as the wrong changes might corrupt your operating system.

  1. Press and hold Windows logo button on your keyboard and tap R button to open Run window.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter.
  3. On the left part of Registry Editor select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome folder (click on little triangles to access nested folders).
  4. If you see Extensions inside Chrome folder, delete Extensions.

Delete Link Default Search Folder:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Copy and paste the following string into the address bar of File Explorer:
    %LocalAppData%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions
  3. Press Enter.
  4. The ID of Link Default Search extension is fifpkjagafdckhnomdnofihggfddgddd. Find a folder with that name and delete it.

Remove Link Default Search From Browsers:

To get rid of Link Default Search, either reset browser settings or remove Link Default Search and any other suspicious extensions from browsers and set new tab page and default search provider. After the previous steps the “Link Default Search is controlling this setting” and “Your browser is managed by your organization” notes should have disappeared from browser settings.

Reset Google Chrome Settings:

Note: This will disable your extensions and themes, clear cookies and site data, as well as change content settings, start page, new tab page and search engine to default.

  1. Open a new tab.
  2. Copy and paste into the address bar: chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings
  3. Press Enter.
  4. In the dialog box click Reset.
Alternative Way to Get Rid of Link Default Search in Google Chrome:
  1. Click on three dots menu button three dots menu at the top right corner of the window.
  2. Select More toolsExtensions.
  3. Click REMOVE to uninstall an extension.
  4. Click Remove in the dialog box.
  5. Right-click the address bar and select Edit search engines….
  6. Click on three dots button three dots menu next to the search provider you want and select Make default.
  7. Click on three dots button three dots menu next to hijacker search engine and select Remove from list.
  8. Click on back arrow at the top of the page (near Manage search engines).
  9. Under On startup section select Open the New Tab page.
  10. Scroll to the top. Under Appearance section enable Show Home button setting.
  11. Clear the textfield of the existing address. Put the one you want or select New Tab page.
  12. Close Settings tab.
  13. Note: If you cannot access the Extensions page, click on the top left corner of Chrome window and open Task Manager. End processes for any unfamiliar extensions that are running. Then go to the Extensions page and delete these extensions.
    Alternatively, go to %LocalAppData%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions (just copy that path and paste into the address bar of Windows Explorer/File Explorer). Delete all folders within (that will remove all your installed extensions) or search the Internet for the folders’ names to figure out which extension compares to which folder and delete suspicious ones.

Reset Mozilla Firefox Settings:

Note: Your extensions and themes, among other things, will get deleted.

  1. Click on menu button Menu button.
  2. Click on help button Help button and select Troubleshooting Information.
  3. Click Refresh Firefox… in the top-right corner.
  4. In the dialog box click Refresh Firefox.
Alternative Way of Link Default Search Virus Removal in Mozilla Firefox:
  1. Click on menu button Menu button and select Add-ons.
  2. Go to Extensions tab.
  3. To uninstall an add-on, click on Remove button next to it.
  4. Note: If the extension is impossible to delete, click on Menu button => Help button => Restart with Add-ons Disabled…. In dialog boxes click Restart => Start in Safe Mode. Repeat steps 1-3. Restart Firefox in normal mode after you are finished.

  5. Click on the search icon in the search bar and click Change Search Settings.
  6. Select search engine you want from the drop-down menu.
  7. Highlight the hijacker search engine in the table below and click Remove.
  8. Go to General tab.
  9. Under Startup section click Restore to Default button.

Reset Internet Explorer Settings:

Note: This will remove most of your saved browser data, including extensions, passwords and the majority of browser settings.

  1. Click Tools button Tools button in the top-right corner.
  2. Select Internet options.
  3. Go to Advanced tab.
  4. Click Reset… button.
  5. Put checkmark in Delete personal settings checkbox.
  6. Click Reset.
Alternative Way of Link Default Search Removal From Internet Explorer:
  1. Click Tools button Tools button in the top-right corner.
  2. Select Manage add-ons.
  3. In the drop-down menu under Show: select All add-ons.
  4. To delete an add-on, double-click it; in the new window click Remove.
  5. Go to Search Providers tab.
  6. Right-click the search engine you want and click Set as default.
  7. Right-click the hijacker search engine and click Remove.
  8. Click Close.
  9. Click Tools button Tools button.
  10. Select Internet options.
  11. Under Home page section click Use new tab or enter the URL you want.
  12. Click OK.

Reset Opera Settings:

Note: This will delete all saved data including bookmarks and passwords and return the browser to freshly installed state.

  1. Exit Opera browser.
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. Go to C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Opera\Opera, where username is the name of your Windows account.
  4. Find and delete Operapref.ini file.
Alternative Way to Get Rid of Link Default Search in Opera:
  1. Press Ctrl +Shift + E keys to open extensions manager.
  2. To remove an add-on, click on the x button next to it.
  3. Click OK when asked to confirm.
  4. Click on the top-left corner, select Settings.
  5. In the Search section select one of the search engines from the list.
  6. In the On startup section select Open the start page.
  7. Click OK.

Remove CometSearch from Safari:

  1. On the top menu select Safari => Preferences.
  2. Select Extensions tab.
  3. Select an extension you want to delete and click Uninstall button next to it.
  4. Go to General tab.
  5. Select what you want Safari to open on start-up, new windows, new tabs and homepage.
  6. Go to Search tab.
  7. Select the search engine you want.

How to Protect Your PC From Link Default Search and Other Browser Hijackers:

  • Get a powerful anti-malware software, capable of detecting and eliminating PUPs. Having several on-demand scanners would be a good idea too.
  • Keep Windows firewall enabled or get a third-party one.
  • Keep your OS, browsers and security utilities updated. Malware creators find new browser and OS vulnerabilities to exploit all the time. Software writers, in turn, release patches and updates to get rid of the known vulnerabilities and lesser the chance of malware penetration. Antivirus program’s signature databases get updated every day and even more often to include new virus signatures.
  • Download and use uBlock Origin, Adblock, Adblock Plus or one of the similar trustworthy extensions for blocking third-party advertisements on web-sites.
  • Don’t just click on any link you see while browsing the web. That applies particularly to links in comments, on forums, or in instant messengers. Pretty often these are spam links. Sometimes they are used for increasing the traffic to websites, but often enough they will land you on pages that will try to execute a malicious code and infect your computer..
  • Don’t download software from unverified web-sites. You can easily download a trojan (malware that pretends to be a useful application); or some unwanted programs could get installed along with the app.
  • When installing freeware or shareware, be sensible and don’t rush through the process. Choose Custom or Advanced installation mode, look for checkboxes that ask for your permission to install third-party apps and uncheck them, read End User License Agreement to make sure nothing else is going to get installed. You can make exceptions for the apps you know and trust, of course. If declining from installing unwanted programs is not possible, we advise you to cancel the installation completely.

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