Search.safensearch.com virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser hijacker
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Overview of Search.safensearch.com and why this search engine is not worth your time

Search.safensearch.com virus is a new questionable creation that comes from a company called Pinwid ltd. This Israel-based software publisher has released a number of applications, including SavePass Smartbar, BeeCoupons Smartbar, and Muvic Smartbar Engine, neither of which have received positive feedback from the users or experts [1]. Safensearch is not an exception. The experts have already labeled it a potentially unwanted program and have further classified it as a browser hijacker [2] due to its shady behavior on the web browsers. One of the first features that stand out and urge us to question this application is the stealthy system infiltration. Users complain that they randomly find Search.safensearch.com set as their homepage and default search provider without having installed it in the first place. The truth is, Search.safensearch.com hijack may occur without the user’s knowledge, but it will most definitely won’t happen without cover or covert permission. The program is not malicious enough to use Trojans or exploit kits to infect computers thus, it utilizes various deceptive marketing strategies [3] instead. This means that the malicious software developers depend on the users to download these programs on their computers themselves. More on that later, as for now, we urge you to remove Search.safensearch.com from your computer, in case you did not install this program yourself and would rather have your old search engine back. Anti-malware software like Reimage should detect this program and remove it from the computer without much difficulty.

Image of the browser hijacker Search.safensearch.com

Other than calling it a browser hijacker, you may also refer to this program as Search.safensearch.com redirect virus since another prominent feature of this malware is the redirection [4]. To make sure this new website stays on the homepage, the virus alters browser settings so that the users would constantly be rerouted to this site whenever they launch their browser, open a new tab or try to access other search services. It would not be as problematic if the search results that Safensearch provides would be legitimate and relevant. Unfortunately, the site creators are more focused on stuffing them with sponsored links and ads, so that they could collect more advertising revenue [5]. In other words, the users of this websites do not benefit from it a single bit and are only burdened by the constant redirects, ads and slow browsing speed. We think these are sufficient-enough reasons not to delay Search.safensearch.com removal any longer and get started immediately.

How exactly does the hijacker infiltration work?

In the previous section we have already talked a bit about how search.safensearch.com is distributed, but you may be wondering how the actual infiltration is made possible. Essentially, the agreement to install Search.safensearch.com extension or set this website as the default search engine gets embedded within the advanced mode of the software installation, hoping that less tech-savvy users will choose some quick installation option and simply won’t notice the additional component in the software package. Once such software package is installed, the virus continues the invasion automatically. You should always be aware of the possibility that malware might be hiding inside your downloaded software package and choose advanced installation options to prevent them from gaining access to your PC.

What do experts recommend for the Search.safensearch.com removal:

Since for the less experienced users, it might be rather difficult to remove Search.safensearch.com virus, the experts recommend employing automatic tools such as reputable anti-malware or antivirus scanners to carry out the elimination. There are a lot of benefits to the automatic virus extermination, one of the primary ones being the fact that the anti-malware programs do not clean up one selected malware in isolation, but scan the entire system and make sure it is completely virus-free. If for some reason, automatic Search.safensearch.com removal does not suit you, there are always manual removal instructions waiting for you at the end of the article.

You can remove Search.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.safensearch.com from Windows systems

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

Manual Search.safensearch.com elimination instructions are presented below. Nevertheless, we highly suggest scanning your computer with some automatic malware detection tool when you have the opportunity.

  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.safensearch.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com 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.

  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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

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

  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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com virus from Microsoft Edge

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

After you eliminate the virus from your computer, you will have to reset your browser. Instructions how to do that are given below, but before you reset your browser, clean it up from additional software, toolbars or browser extensions that seem unfamiliar.

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.safensearch.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.safensearch.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

  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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.safensearch.com from Google Chrome

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

To make sure Search.safensearch.com virus will not bounce back to your browser due to some accidentally overlooked hijacker component, please make sure you delete all the unfamiliar from the extensions list and then finish the browser clean up by resetting your browser.

  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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.safensearch.com from Safari

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

  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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com, 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.safensearch.com 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.safensearch.com 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

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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