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Firefox 36: How can I KEEP my default search engine choice and avoid Yahoo Search?

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  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu maxglitz

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Firefox 36 now insists I use Yahoo search by constantly changing my default search engine choice. No matter now many times I set it for Google, I'll search for something and it's Yahoo again. I've unchecked Yahoo in the search preferences, hoping it won't show up again. Have restarted Firefox several times. No luck.

Is my last resort to REMOVE Yahoo search from my list of search engines to keep this from happening? I MIGHT want to use it sometime later, but not every day.

ALSO. If this matters, When I populated this question with "installed plugins" information about my Mac and Firefox, a blank one appeared, so I went to tools > add-ons. That screen appeared for a second and instantly blipped away to another screen: DNS Yahoo Error Handler that had "developer garmin communicator plugin icon" filled in in the search request area. My web experience is being taken over by Yahoo now?

Okulungisiwe ngu maxglitz

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

Hmm, it does sound like you have some kind of hijacker in your Firefox. Try this:

Disable ALL nonessential or unrecognized extensions on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Command+Shift+a
  • Tools menu > Add-ons

In the left column, click Extensions. Then, if in doubt, disable. (Or if it's obviously badware, remove.)

If Firefox gets redirected at this point, see the next section.

Usually a link will appear above at least one disabled extension to restart Firefox. You can complete your work on the tab and click one of the links as the last step.

Does that help?


If Firefox cannot use the Add-ons page, you may need to block extensions by using Firefox's Safe Mode. That's a standard diagnostic tool to deactivate extensions and some advanced features of Firefox. More info: Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode.

You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Restart with Add-ons Disabled
  • Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

(Not all add-ons are disabled: Flash and other plugins still run)

After Firefox shuts down, a small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Reset).

Can you remove it?

Funda le mpendulo ngokuhambisana nalesi sihloko 👍 0

All Replies (2)

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

Hmm, it does sound like you have some kind of hijacker in your Firefox. Try this:

Disable ALL nonessential or unrecognized extensions on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Command+Shift+a
  • Tools menu > Add-ons

In the left column, click Extensions. Then, if in doubt, disable. (Or if it's obviously badware, remove.)

If Firefox gets redirected at this point, see the next section.

Usually a link will appear above at least one disabled extension to restart Firefox. You can complete your work on the tab and click one of the links as the last step.

Does that help?


If Firefox cannot use the Add-ons page, you may need to block extensions by using Firefox's Safe Mode. That's a standard diagnostic tool to deactivate extensions and some advanced features of Firefox. More info: Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode.

You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Restart with Add-ons Disabled
  • Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

(Not all add-ons are disabled: Flash and other plugins still run)

After Firefox shuts down, a small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Reset).

Can you remove it?

Okulungisiwe ngu jscher2000

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Thanks, jscher2000.

With your suggestion for how to restart with Add-ons disabled, I may have solved the problem. Several items in there including “Search me” which I never added and at least two more. I dumped anything that I didn’t add. The rest were older and posed no problems.

IMPORTANT: This clued me as to what to remove: Before I restarted with add-ons off, I couldn’t access my Tools page because it would instantly redirect to another page. Several times, Ghostery (love it) prevented a redirect to "api.mybrowserbar.com to cj.dotomi.com,which is part of Dotomi." I searched for it and found that it IS a hijacker. Symptoms include funky browser home page problems (that I also discovered when it wouldn’t load, or took me to Yahoo Search), redirects to its own search, etc. With that in mind, I removed “Search me” from my add-ons and a couple that appeared to be trackers. They likely came together with a new video download software that I un-installed yesterday because it didn’t work. None of the new extensions/plug-ins share a name with that mybrowserbar.com, but seemed to indicate they were related.

Thanks again for the help. Wonder what the best way to warn people would be. Though I don’t know yet for SURE how I got it. Macs have seemed so safe before.