Isearch.fantastigames.com/### is a browser hijacker that is currently making the rounds. It cannot be detected or removed by popular malware scanners such as MalwareBytes or the free virus scanner Avast. Part of the problem is that the hijacker shows up in many forms under many different file names making it difficult for scanners to detect. To compound the problem, Google Chrome’s browser sync option will actually propagate this browser hijack to all your other computers that run Chrome under your Google login.
The sure sign you have this hijacker is your browser opening a new tab with the url Isearch.fantastigames.com/### where ### is a number like 440, 465, 439 or some other number.
The removal of this hijacker is very difficult and must be done manually. There are dozens of varying methods so this article will cover the most obvious. To undo the changes this hijacker has inserted into your browser, you must manually check your browser settings.
- First make sure you have closed Chrome on any computer where you have logged in under Google if you have Chrome browser sync turned on.
- Open Chrome, click the three horizontal bars on the top right. Go to Settings.
- Click Manage Search Engines and delete anything your down recognize. Your default will usually be Bing or Google. Check below under Other search engines and remove all unwanted entries there as well, especially anything that resembles isearch.fantastigames.
- In Section 2 under On Startup, look under the section
- Click Set Pages and remove all unwanted entries.
- Now close this and open all the Chrome browsers where you have Google Chrome sync turned on. It should inherit the new settings. If you have a problem with this re-emerging, try turning off Google Chrome sync, updating the settings for each browser on each computer and then turning Chrome sync back on. If Chrome sync is not acting as you expect, check to make sure you have Settings checked under the advance sync settings section.
If you won’t mind losing all your Firefox settings and add-on, the simplest method to remove this hijack from Firefox is a Firefox browser factory reset.
The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information. Note: This will cause you to lose any Extensions, Open websites, and some Preferences.
To Reset Firefox do the following:
- Go to Firefox > Help > Troubleshooting Information.
- Click the “Reset Firefox” button.
- Firefox will close and reset. After Firefox is done, it will show a window with the information that is imported. Click Finish.
- Firefox will open with all factory defaults applied.
Internet Explorer 9
- Launch Internet Explorer 9.
- On top menu, please navigate to Tools > Internet Options.
- On General tab, proceed to Change search defaults and click the Settings button.
- You will see a list of search providers. Select your desired search provider and click the button Set as default to replace isearch.fantastigames.com.
- You may now remove isearch.fantastigames.com from the list.
Now that you have reclaimed your browser, take the following steps to try to eradicate this hijacker from your system. It’s not a comprehensive list since there are so many variants of this hijacker but it’s a start. First create a restore point so you can roll back any unintended changes to your Windows computer.
- Uninstall any unknown programs.
- Press Control-Alt-Del, start task manager, look under Process and end isearch if you see it there.
- If you’re comfortable with editing your registry, you can look up and and apply some of the many suggestion on the web but proceed carefully since you can be removing something you really need. Use Ctrl F and search your registry. Any entries matching isearch.fantastigames.com can safely be deleted. Make sure Chrome is closed before modifying the registry.
Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to suggest them in the comments. BTW, buy a Mac is not a helpful suggestion.