What is 8-search.co? And how does it work?
8-search.co is a dubious browser extension that works as a search engine. It is hosted by an unsecured domain. On a first glance, it may look like a typical search engine but don’t let its looks fool you for it is actually classified as a browser hijacker that could hijack the settings of your browser without your permission once installed.
If you install this shady search engine, you will notice sudden changes in your browser which isn’t surprising as 8-search.co is a browser hijacker. These changes affect your default home page and search provider, both of which will be changed into 8-search.co. And if you think that 8-search.co will actually give you decent search results, you’re mistaken as the search results it generates are modified. When you try typing keywords or query, instead of seeing relevant results at the top, you will see sponsored content from the affiliated sites of this browser hijacker. Aside from giving you modified results, it is also capable of doing the following:
- Read and change all your information on the websites you visit
- Replace the new tab page
- Change search settings to 8-search.co
Moreover, you also have to beware of the fact that each search that you do use this shady search engine, is sent to its servers. To simply put it, it monitors your browsing activities so it can obtain information like search queries, browsing history, websites you often visit and other data.
How is 8-search.co distributed online?
8-search.co is distributed using the most common distribution method for browser hijackers and unwanted programs – software bundles. This means that when you install any freeware or shareware you risk the chance of unknowingly installing 8-search.co into your computer. That’s why when you install this kind of software package you must always opt for the Custom or Advanced setup as it lets you get rid of any add-ons included in the package.
You can get rid of 8-search.co from your computer by following the instructions provided below.
Step 1: Start the removal process by closing all the browsers infected with 8-search.co. If you’re having a hard time closing them, you can close them using the Task Manager just tap on Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Step 2: After you open the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the infected browser’s process and end it.
Step 3: Then close the Task Manager and open Control Panel – to do so, tap the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 4: After pulling up Control Panel, from the list of installed programs, look for 8-search.co or any suspicious program you don’t remember installing and then Uninstall it.
Step 5: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the host’s file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain 8-search.co.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Reset all your browsers to default to their default state.
- Launch Google Chrome, press Alt + F, move to More tools, and click Extensions.
- Look for 8-search.co or any other unwanted add-ons, click the Recycle Bin button, and choose Remove.
- Restart Google Chrome, then tap Alt + F, and select Settings.
- Navigate to the On Startup section at the bottom.
- Select “Open a specific page or set of pages”.
- Click the More actions button next to the hijacker and click Remove.
- Open the browser and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Tap Alt + T and select Internet options.
- Click the General tab and then overwrite the URL under the homepage section.
- Click OK to save the changes.
Step 7: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated with the browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Close the File Explorer.
Step 10: Empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of 8-search.co as well as all the file residues it left behind.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.