A Hijacker is any software that resets your browser's settings to point to other sites. Hijacks may reroute your info and address requests through an unseen site, capturing that info. In such hijacks, your browser may behave normally, but be slower. Search Hijackers change your search settings. Homepage Hijackers will change your home page to some other site. Error Hijackers will display a new error page when a requested URL is not found. Hijacking has become very common, as these guide illustrate. This guide explains how to clear such hijacks of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) manually and how to prevent it by disabling scripting.
If your Search capability has been hijacked, your use of IE's Search Button (see below) will lead to unexpected (and usually unwanted) results.
What the hijacker has done is to change four registry keys:
1. In the Root key HKEY_CURRENT_USER, the key Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main has a value "Search Page" that has likely been reset to something like "http://www.secret-crush.com/search/search.php"
2. The value "Search Bar" in this key has also likely been reset to something.
3. In the Root key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, the key Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search has a value "SearchAssistant" that has likely been reset to something
4. The value "CustomizeSearch" in this key has also likely been reset to something.
Fixing this is simple. From IE's top menu bar, select the Tools menu. On this menu, choose "Internet Options". It will display a popup dialog box. Click on the Programs tab, to see a display like that on the right.
Find the button near the bottom labeled "Reset Web Settings". Give it a click, and these four registry settings will be corrected.