What is Magnifier Search?
Magnifier Search is rogue software classified as a browser hijacker. These programs typically operate by making modifications to browser settings to promote fake search engines, however, this is not the case with Magnifier Search – it does not necessarily make alterations to browsers when promoting the magnifier-app.xyz search engine.
Additionally, this browser hijacker has data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users’ browsing activity. Due to the dubious tactics used to distribute Magnifier Search, it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Browser hijackers assign the addresses of bogus search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. Therefore, with this type of software installed, each search query typed into the URL bar and new browser tab/window opened redirects to the promoted address.
As mentioned, Magnifier Search sometimes makes these modifications to browsers, but not always. Fake search engines are rarely able to provide search results, and so they tend to redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to legitimate sites – magnifier-app.xyz is no exception, and simply redirects to the Bing search engine.
Additionally, browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to the browser settings and/or undo any permitted changes made. Therefore, recovering an affected browser is impossible without removing the browser hijacker. Furthermore, Magnifier Search has data tracking capabilities.
It monitors browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collects sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The data usually contains personally identifiable information, which is monetized by sharing with and/or selling to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
In summary, the presence of unwanted software on devices can result in serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
Threat Summary: Name Magnifier Search Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab. Detection Names (magnifier-app.xyz) Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal). Browser Extension(s) Magnifier Search Promoted URL magnifier-app.xyz Serving IP Address (magnifier-app.xyz) 184.108.40.206 Affected Browser Settings Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine. Symptoms Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker’s website and search the Internet using their search engines. Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers. Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites. Malware Removal (Windows)
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PDFSearchHD, Search-Streamly and Bolobi Web are some examples of other browser hijackers. This software may seem legitimate and harmless, and users are enticed into download/installation with offers of various “useful” functionality, however, the advertised features are seldom operational.
This applies to most PUAs. The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs can run intrusive advertisement campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects and gather private data.
How did Magnifier Search install on my computer?
PUAs are often downloaded/installed together with other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called “bundling”.
By rushing through download/installation of software (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using “Quick/Express” settings, etc.) many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well.
When clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without users’ permission. Some PUAs (including Magnifier Search) have “official” download web pages from which they can be downloaded.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all software before download/installation. Use only official and verified download channels. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule), and other third party downloaders commonly offer harmful and bundled content, and are therefore untrusted and should be avoided.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all possible options, use the “Custom/Advanced” settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious and malicious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others).
If you encounter ads or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately. If your computer is already infected with Magnifier Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Magnifier Search browser hijacker asking permission to track data:
Website promoting Magnifier Search browser hijacker:
- What is Magnifier Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Magnifier Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Magnifier Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove magnifier-app.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove magnifier-app.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove magnifier-app.xyz redirect from Internet Explorer.
Magnifier Search browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, “Magnifier Search“), select these entries and click “Uninstall” or “Remove“.
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the magnifier-app.xyz website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Magnifier Search browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select “More tools” and click “Extensions”. Locate “Magnifier Search” and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select “Settings”. In the “On startup” section, disable “Magnifier Search“, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.magnifier-app.xyz) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select “Settings”, in the “Search engine” section, click “Manage search engines…”, in the opened list look for “magnifier-app.xyz“, when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select “Remove from list”.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the magnifier-app.xyz redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select “Add-ons”. Click on “Extensions” and remove “Magnifier Search“, as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select “Options”, in the opened window disable “Magnifier Search“, remove hxxp://magnifier-app.xyz and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.Click “I’ll be careful, I promise!”.In the search filter at the top, type: “extensionControlled“Set both results to “false” by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with magnifier-app.xyz redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences…
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker – change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data…
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select “Privacy and services“, scroll to bottom of the page and select “Address bar“. In the “Search engines used in address bar” section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the “Disable” button near it. Alternatively you can click on “Manage search engines“, in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select “Disable“.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the magnifier-app.xyz redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Change your homepage:
Click the “gear” icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select “Internet Options”, in the opened window remove hxxp://magnifier-app.xyz and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the “gear” icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select “Manage Add-ons”. In the opened window, select “Search Providers”, set “Google”, “Bing”, or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove “Magnifier Search“.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the magnifier-app.xyz redirect, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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