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Remove (Tutorial) - updated Jan 2019

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

DefendSearch virus – a browser hijacking program which can make browsing the web unbearable activity is a browser-hijacking application which infiltrates the system via bundled software or third-party websites.

DefendSearch is a browser hijacker which replaces your default homepage and search engine[1] to It seems to attack Google Chrome; however, some other versions of the virus can affect other browsers as well. This shady search engine spreads as Secure Chrome Pro browser extension. Sometimes, users call this program DefendSearch virus due to its sneaky distribution technique through other software and the ability to perform a big variety of intruding activities. Once installed, the browser-hijacking application might bring even damaging consequences to your computer as you might accidentally land on a malicious website during the redirecting activity the potentially unwanted program might cause.

Name DefendSearch
Category Browser hijacker
Search engine
Extension Secure Chrome Pro
Problems caused Changed browser settings, Windows Registry modification, injection of rogue components, dubious redirecting, delivered adverts
Affected OS Mac or Windows
Distribution Bundles, third-party pages
Detection Detect rogue software with ReimageIntego

The add-on promises to protect from cyber threats by delivering notifications if the website you entered is secure or not. However, after the installation or infiltration DefendSearch causes more problems than benefits users, such as:

  • alteration to browser’s settings;
  • modification to Windows Registry;[2]
  • installation of unknown browser add-ons;
  • redirects to third-party websites;[3]
  • delivery of annoying ads.

The PUP might enter the system unnoticed. However, the first symptom of the DefendSearch hijack is clear – replaced homepage and default search engine to the new domain. If you do not get rid of these unwanted changes, you will be forced to use the new search engine which might show misleading search query results. Additionally, it can install browser helper objects that protect the hijacker and prevents from elimination.

However, removal is needed due to the shady activities. This search engine is highly suspicious. According to the research, the hijacker might trigger redirects to the questionable websites that might be harmful or misleading. These redirecting problems might occur when users click on a search result link or out of nowhere. The main issue is that users cannot control this activity and avoid visiting potentially dangerous websites. Thus, their computers and privacy can be easily compromised. browser hijacker

Additionally, so-called DefendSearch virus can display intrusive and misleading ads. Usually, they are based on user’s search queries, visited websites and similar browsing-related information. Unfortunately, the hijacker might be capable of tracking information and using it for advertising purposes. It goes without saying that you should not click them too. Such adverts often bring revenue from the cost-per-click technique.

Users are advised to protect their browsers and browsing activity[4] by uninstalling Secure Chrome Pro and other questionable components. The best way to remove virus is to scan the system with a reputable anti-malware program, such as ReimageIntego. However, you can feel free to use any other reliable computer security software.

Additionally, you can also get rid of together with related components manually. Our team has prepared detailed instructions at the end of the article. Please follow them carefully in order to succeed and get back to secure browsing. Clean all infected web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Internet Explorer. is a questionable search engine that spreads as Secure Chrome Pro browser extension.

Hijackers do not ask for your permission to enter the system

When downloading freeware or shareware, you have to be careful in order not to install unwanted programs like browser-hijacking applications or similar PUPs. These entries are added as optional components and can enter the system unnoticed if a user relies on Quick/Recommended settings.

However, a security team from[5] tell that the majority of users still rely on these settings and agree to install PUPs without realizing it. Thus, if you are used to these settings too, you should get rid of your bad habit and remember these tips:

  • Always download freeware from the official download websites;
  • Read EULA, Terms of Use, Privacy policy;
  • Opt for Advanced/Custom installation settings;
  • Unmark all pre-selected entries from additional third-party downloads.

For further protection, you should purchase reliable computer security software[6] which has a lot of protective features and functions. Make sure you keep the antivirus program always up-to-date and it will take care of your computer system properly. When you are browsing the web, you will feel safer as this program will block various threats from invading the PC. unwanted is a potentially unwanted program which can affect Windows or Mac operating systems.

Remove virus from the infected system entirely removal requires investigating the system and eliminating all cyber threats that might be related to them. The instructions below will show you where to look up for virus-related entries, and how to eliminate it entirely.However, if they seem complicated or time-consuming, there’s another solution.

You can remove virus automatically with an updated anti-malware software. However, browser reset is still needed in order to get rid of tracking cookies and similar components. Open the web browsers that you often use and find all rogue components in their settings. 

Make sure you get rid of each PUP-related object, otherwise, the hijack might renew all rogue activities. Bringing browsers back to their previous states is a necessary thing to do if you want to browse the web fastly and effectively again. Moreover, keep in mind all browser hijacker avoiding tips which might be helpful in the future.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove, follow these steps:

Eliminate from Windows systems

If you are willing to remove browser hijacker from the system manually, these guidelines will help you to remove it correctly:

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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.

Get rid of from Mac OS X system

In order to delete from Chrome, you should follow these steps and remove hijacker-related entries from Mac OS X:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove all browser-hijacker added content from the Internet Explorer web browser. If help is required, look at these steps:

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example,
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete from Microsoft Edge

Clean your Microsoft Edge web browser from all unwanted objects. Perform all steps exactly as shown in the instructing method:

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Uninstall from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Use this guide to clean Mozilla Firefox and eliminate all questionable-looking browser extension:

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase from Google Chrome

Uninstall Secure Chrome Pro extension and look up for other questionable entries. Then reset Google Chrome as explained below.

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate from Safari

If Safari got hijacked in some way, reverse all changes by performing these instructions:

  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 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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