Search.privacy-search.net virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker
12

Seeing Search.privacy-search.net on the browser is a sign of cyber infection

Search.privacy-search.net virus is a browser hijacker[1] developed by plasko interactive Ltd. This potentially unwanted program (PUP)[2] is a search engine that hijacks web browsers after incorrect installation of the freeware. On the affected computer it might modify shortcuts, install helper objects or make Registry entries in order to protect itself from the removal. This search engine replaces current homepage address or/and search engine. Then it starts tracking non-personally identifiable information[3] about the user and based on this knowledge deliver search results and ads. The simply design search engine may look innocent and reliable; however, it might alter search results and trick you into visiting questionable or irrelevant sites. Indeed, this activity is shady and unfair; however, developers generate revenue from driving traffic to sponsored sites. Sadly, this business is based not on bringing benefits to users but pleasing developers financial needs. So, you can expect to have problems with finding relevant information and noticing annoying pop-ups when browsing your favorite websites. To take back control over your browser and avoiding tracking, you need to remove Search.privacy-search.net with the help of Reimage or another anti-malware program you can rely on.

It seems that the only useful feature of this search tool is quick access to email services, popular social networks, and other websites. However, you should be tricked by these buttons on the main page. Before entering the desired site, you might be redirected to the unfamiliar third-party website first. The purpose of these annoying redirects is to drive traffic and get paid for it. Besides, developers of this tool also generate revenue if you click on sponsored link or ad. However, you should not do it no matter how interesting this content may look because of potentially harmful Search.privacy-search.net redirect issues. After one click you might end up on a website that has been created for spreading malware[4] or other illegal activities. In the Terms of Service is noted that company does not take liability and responsibility for the possible damage you can experience on the third-party sites. Detecting which ad or link is safe is not easy, so you should perform Search.privacy-search.net removal if you want to surf the web safely.

Distribution methods of the PUP

Search.privacy-search.net virus infiltrates computers with the help of freeware and shareware. Potentially unwanted programs cannot enter the system themselves, so they take assistance from free programs that you can download from various online sources. This search engine is attached as an optional component. If you choose “right” installation method, you can reject its installation.[5] If not, this search tool hijacks the browser, and you find search.privacy-search.net set as your homepage. The “right” installation settings are known as Advanced or Custom. Sadly, lots of computer users claim they do not have time to use this setup because they are in a hurry to use a necessary program. However, dealing with PUPs and their negative features take more time than correct installation. Using Advanced/Custom installation wizard, you need to follow each step carefully and if you encounter the list of pre-selected programs, untick them all. That’s how you stop PUPs from infiltration. Meanwhile, if you rely on Quick or Recommended settings, you can experience not only Search.privacy-search.net hijack but also unintentionally install questionable or even potentially dangerous apps. Make sure you will never use this installation wizard again!

Ways to delete Search.privacy-search.net browser hijacker from the system

You can carry out a manual and automatic Search.privacy-search.net removal. The manual option is harder than the second one because you need to locate and delete hijacker-related entries yourself. However, our team has prepared illustrated guidelines that help you to complete this task. If the hijacker still keeps bothering you, opt for the second method and remove Search.privacy-search.net automatically. Of course, you can rely on security software at first and avoid wasting your time. The automatic elimination requires employing anti-malware program and scanning the system with the help of it.

You can remove Search.privacy-search.net automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Search.privacy-search.net virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Search.privacy-search.net virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Search.privacy-search.net virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Windows systems

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Search.privacy-search.net removal starts in Control Panel, Add/Remove programs directory. By following the instructions below, find and delete all questionable programs from the device. Then, uninstall all questionable add-ons from the web browsers.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Search.privacy-search.net and related programs
    Here, look for Search.privacy-search.net or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Mac OS X system

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Mac OS X are rarely hijacked; however, sometimes bad things happens for Apple users as well. In this case, you need to follow our prepared instructions and delete suspicious applications and browser extensions.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Search.privacy-search.net or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

After Search.privacy-search.net hijack, you may find unknown entries installed on Internet Explorer. Uninstall them and reset browser as shown below.

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search.privacy-search.net and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search.privacy-search.net removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.privacy-search.net virus from Microsoft Edge

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Nevertheless, Microsoft Edge is a new browser; such cyber infections might attack it as well. Follow the steps to fix it.

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Search.privacy-search.net should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Mozilla Firefox reset is necessary in order to get rid of tracking cookies and other hijacker-related entries. But don’t forget to remove suspicious extensions first!

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Search.privacy-search.net and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Search.privacy-search.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Google Chrome

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Open the list of Extensions and delete all apps that have been installed without your knowledge. In order to delete Search.privacy-search.net virus entirely, you should also reset browser’s settings.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Search.privacy-search.net and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Search.privacy-search.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Safari

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Follow the instructions to delete hijacker from the Safari entirely:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Search.privacy-search.net or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Search.privacy-search.net, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Search.privacy-search.net removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Search.privacy-search.net registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References


  • Kore

    I think Search.privacy-search.net came with media player… Well, at least it wasnt hard to remove!

  • Tessa

    this search engine was bothering me for weeks! i tried to uninstall it several times, but it still came back… Well, I decided to use antivirus program, and finally its gone. Browsing came back to normal again!

  • Hunter

    I found this search engine on my girlfriends computer. I have no idea why she used it, but I delete this hijacker within several minutes.

  • Laila

    Thanks for the tips how to remove this search engine. It seems I installed it accidentally, and it looked so suspicious!

  • Bess

    Thank God I am not the only one who suffered from this hijacker. I feel so silly!