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Danger level 3
Type: Potentially Unwanted Application
Common infection symptoms:
  • Hijacks homepage
  • Installs itself without permissions

Combo Search

Combo Search is a Google Chrome browser extension that you may have installed knowingly but it is also possible that you are surprised to find it in your browser. As a matter of fact, we have categorized this application as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) because it may not be as useful and reliable as it seems at first sight. Since it is also possible that it appears on your system in questionable ways, there is a chance that you will find other, more serious malware threats on board as well right now. This could mean multiple system security threats, which could cause a lot of headaches before long and also make your online experience a proper nightmare. You may find it handy that you can change your default search engine in one single click -- well, ok, two, in fact -- but you should know that there is a possibility that this tool indirectly exposes you to potentially unreliable third-party content. It is up to you whether you still trust this extension or not. Nevertheless, we advise you to remove Combo Search if you want the best for your computer and you want to protect your virtual world. Please read on for the details to find out why we decided that your PC is safer without this PUP.

In all fairness, we must mention that this questionable browser extension can be installed directly on its official webpage, install.combo-search.com/?pid=11111. This is a rather simple webpage with very limited information about this tool. We suggest that you pay close attention whenever you install such extensions directly since there is always a pop-up window that reminds you of the permissions you are about to give to your targeted extension by pressing the "Add extension" button. This application wants to "Read and change all your data on the websites you visit" and "Change your search settings to: feed.combo-search.com." But what this pop-up does not reveal is that this PUP might also modify your new tab page settings and set a questionable search engine, splintersearch.com. It is possible that this only happens when your version comes from an unreliable source. Another official source to mention is the Chrome web store, chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/combo-search/cfnpfjaodlkgbpijbkkjlahbehlddlml. Here you can see that already over 15 thousand users have installed this tool; yet, there is not one single review. This is a bit suspicious, but let us see how else this PUP might show up on your computer.

Unfortunately, it is also possible that you install this extension by clicking on unreliable third-party advertisements. If this happens, you either drop this PUP alone or download it bundled with malicious software installers. The latter is obviously the more unfortunate case since you can infect your system with a number of adware programs, browser hijackers, fake alerts, Trojans, and other PUPs in one go. If you are presented with an annoying number of third-party banner and pop-up ads while you are surfing the web, chances are your system is infected with adware programs or you keep visiting suspicious websites, such as torrent, freeware, gaming, and porn-related pages. Hopefully, this will help you in the future to become more cautious around third-party ads. We need to mention that not all ads look like commercials. You can find rather tricky and misleading solutions on suspicious websites. For example, an ad can pretend to be a download button or a system notification. However, the result is the same when you click on such an ad: You can directly install this PUP or download a whole bundle of malware threats. This is why we suggest that you delete Combo Search and scan your system with a reliable malware scanner to find all other possible threat sources as well.

This Chrome browser extension offers you a button in the top-right corner of your browser that displays a list of the three most popular search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You can set any of these search engines as your default by clicking on the "Set" button. The currently active default search engine is indicated by an "Active" label. After setting your default search engine, you can start typing your search keywords in the address bar. If you hit the Enter key, you will see the results of the chosen search engine. However, since your queries go through feed.combo-search.com and then get redirected to the currently set search engine, it is possible that this PUP modifies the search results and places third-party ads and sponsored links among the normal search results. Since there could be versions out there on the web that also set splintersearch.com as your new tab page, there is a higher chance that you may be introduced to questionable third-party content. It is always risky to click on any content that could be unreliable. You might end up on malicious websites and get scammed or you could also drop dangerous infections onto your system. All in all, we consider this PUP as a potential threat even if this could be indirect. This is why we recommend that you delete Combo Search from your browser.

The good news is that you do not need to have a PhD in IT to be able to remove this questionable extension from your Google Chrome browser; it is very simple indeed. All you need to do is open the menu and navigate to the Extensions submenu where, from the list, you can identify this tool and simply remove it. This should clean your browser of this potential threat. Please use our instructions below if you have never done this before. Since there is a chance that your computer could be still infected with other questionable applications, we suggest that you install a trustworthy anti-malware program, such as SpyHunter to also defend your PC from possible future malware attacks.

How to remove Combo Search from your browser

Google Chrome

  1. Open your browser and press Alt+F.
  2. Choose More Tools from the menu.
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. Locate Combo Search extension and click on the trash can icon.
  5. Press Remove in the pop-up.
  6. Restart your browser.
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