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Getting rid of "search mobile online" browser hijack in Android

Update: The following was written for Android 2.x and is not in-line with Android 4.x and above. In latest Android, you have to look for "Application manager" in Settings (location differs from phone to phone), and clear cache/data for all your browsers (Internet, Chrome, Firefox, etc). Again be sure to backup your stuff or use some form of sync (like Google sign-in on Chrome or Firefox Sync) to save them.

Original post:

If your android browser has been hijacked and you find your home page and default home page have been changed to www.searchmobileonline.com, follow the procedure to get rid of it.

Warning: Backup your browser bookmarks using a good app before you do this! All bookmarks will be lost from the Internet browser, including those that came pre-installed on your phone.

1. Remove any suspicious "Search" shortcut on your home screen panels.
2. Open Settings > Applications > Manage applications > All (tab on top).
3. Look for "Internet" in the list and open it.
4. Tap "Clear cache" (if enabled) and "Clear data".
5. Tap OK to any prompts that appear.

That's it, now you can exit out of Settings and open Internet. Check the settings if the default home page now points to either Google or your phone manufacturer. Set the various internet settings according to your preferences and restore the bookmarks you backed up.

Comments

  1. Thank you. Worked like a charm.
    Do you have any clue how this gets on ones Android device?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No clue, but suspected that installing adware apps or rogue software can have this happen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh thanks =)
    You´re my hero!

    X.O.X.O.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What is the best back up app? For bookmarks

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I go to applications, I have no option for "Internet". I've cleared EVERYTING and reset my homepage and it still comes up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doesn't work for me personally -- Both the "clear data" and "clear cache" are grayed out and unclickable...

    ReplyDelete
  7. This tip was written for Android 2.x. I'm not sure how much of it is still applicable for Android 4.x. If 'clear data' and 'clear cache' are grayed out, it means there's nothing to clear. Also you need to ensure you're looking at the correct browser. If the malware affected Chrome, you gotta clear in Chrome. If it affected Opera, you gotta clear in Opera. And so on.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Worked perfectly, it had been doing my head in. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Worked perfectly, it had been doing my head in. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Worked like a charm! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you very much. It works!

    ReplyDelete
  12. First uninstall any suspucious apps and delete any possible downloads that may have "planted" this hijacker into your Samsung Galaxy S3. This is done by going to Apps (the icon with all the little squares), then Settings, Application Manager. Then click on an app you suspect and click Uninstall (see bottom of the "searchmobileonline" page for the app culprit). To finally rid this hijacker from your browser, open your browser first, go to Settings, then General. At the top of the General page you will see "Set Home Page." Erase the lengthly, bogus "searchmobileonline" address and type in: http://www.google.com or whatever home page address you want. That should do it !

    ReplyDelete
  13. Worked for me like a charm on 4.0.3.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  14. this success for my samsung galxy tab2 7
    1. click icon internet, to open it.
    2. click menu, on rigth top corner
    3. click setting --> general : change, set homepage --> from "www.mobilesearchonline.com...." to "www.google.com"
    4. just it
    good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I got it from downloading, "Duck hunt."

    ReplyDelete
  16. This tip is great! Thank you soooo much!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's good, but on mine it was Settings -> Apps -> Chrome

    ReplyDelete
  18. I did the same thing but it comes up again...Do you any idea which app might be causing it??

    ReplyDelete
  19. worked perfect for me. android 4xx. thanks

    ReplyDelete

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