How To Change Default Search in Firefox After Browser Is Hijacked

There comes a time when one finds worthy software that is available for free. Just when you think that this is too good to be true, you realize that it is! Such software are often packed with a half-baked code and Adware (not entirely illegal to use), which ends up hijacking your browser. This means that your default browser search (usually Google) is taken over by an unknown and annoying piece of garbage with a funny name. In this post I will show you how to regain control of your Firefox browser after it gets hijacked by an Adware.

It is worth mentioning here that if you have landed on this page then it is likely that you have already used the usual uninstallation process of the hijacking Adware application and have tried to remove it through Add/Remove programs. Nonetheless, if you haven’t done so already it is advised that you should start off by removing the hijacking application from “Programs and Features”.

Step 1: Remove the hijacking application by going to Programs and Features (Windows Vista/7/8) or Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP). To do this you can either look for the aforementioned option in Control Panel or simply hit Windows+R and enter “appwiz.cpl” (minus quotes).

Note: some hijacking programs come with a toolbar, search bar and other associated features, make sure that you remove them all.

Windows Programs And Features

Step 2: Once done, open your Mozilla Firefox browser and type “about:config” (minus quotes). This will display a message such as the one shown in the below screenshot click “I’ll Be Careful” to proceed further.

aboutconfig - Mozilla Firefox

Step 3: Now, type the following within the filter search box:

Step 4: Double click the entry or choose Modify after right-clicking on it.


Step 5: Type in the name of your desired default search engine (e.g. Yahoo or Google) and click OK. The selected search engine should be the one that is already installed and spelled correctly. Once done, your default search engine will be changed to the specified search engine.

Step 6: Restart your Firefox browser for the changes to take effect.

Change Search


As you might have noticed from the above image the “Sweetim” browser is listed as my default browser. I used the same procedure to get rid of this hijacking Adware and made Google as my default search provider. The same method can also be used to switch your default search engine in Firefox (minus step 1).

[Via FireFox Facts]