New subscriber Ken Herrick wrote with a strange problem:
Greetings from a new subscriber-
Under Win 8.1 and with either Firefox or Duckduckgo as the default browser, and apparently due to a now-uninstalled malware, I found that all desktop-icon Web-links went not to their targets (e.g. NYT website, etc.) but rather just to a new launch of the default page e.g. Firefox or Duckduckgo. The seeming-culprit was default-search.net, which I subsequently uninstalled using Revo uninstaller’s most-complete unininstall feature.
When I copy|pasted the target from a desktop icon into a Firefox/Duckduckgo tab, the proper target page came up OK so I thought that the browser had become corrupted rather than all the icons. I used Firefox 32.0 (which Duckduckgo seemed also to use; I’m unclear about that) and it appeared that I was on the “beta channel”.
I have now completely uninstalled that Firefox and newly-installed v. 31.0, saving and importing my bookmarks (with the help of your Web advice, thank you…) and have rebooted. But I find that STILL, the desktop links go to merely a new launch of Firefox (and, I suspect, would similarly go using Duckduckgo) rather than going to their respective targets in a new tab of the already-launched Firefox.
How can I correct this? And as I recall, it happened once before, I’ve forgotten what I did, so how can I keep it from repeating some day?
Thanks in advance,
Before I saw his first email, Ken wrote me again to say that he had solved the problem!
Well… As I should have thought of beforehand, I’ve just run Malwarebytes, finding a large number of items to quarantine, and have quarantined them.
After rebooting, the problem I describe below has gone away. I also note that Revo got rid of an astonishing quantity of old Firefox files; now the computer seems a lot speedier. Duh!…
I wrote back to Ken to congratulate him on solving the problem. The solution was easy, but, as is all too often, it’s just one of the many things we try to solve a problem.
I also wanted to clarify something. Ken referred to Firefox and Duckduckgo as both being web browsers. Firefox is a web browser (as are Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari and Google Chrome). Duckduckgo is a search engine web site — like Google — that you can visit using any web browser.
Malwarebytes Antimalware solved the day for Ken. I’ve used the free version, which scans on request, for many years before finally switching to the paid version that both scans on request as well as has "always running" protection.