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Remove (Free Instructions) - Virus Removal Guide

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser Hijackers – a privacy-offering engine that can easily be replaced by a legitimate search provider such as Google - a potentially unwanted program that can redirect the user to an affiliate source is marked as a browser hijacker[1] that offers to browse the web in a safer way. Even though the app claims to encrypt search results and delete browsing history after 30-minute sessions, you can also successfully employ a legitimate web browser such as Google and search privately via the Incognito mode. However, some users quickly get attracted to the offered features and install Encrypted Search extension on their web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. is available on the official Google Chrome web store,[2] however, this does not add a better reputation as the product is still mostly bundled with other packages of software from secondary downloading pages such as,, and When the PUP ends up on the targeted web browser, it starts modifying the default search provider, homepage, and new tab URL to its own. Afterward, users are forced to use Encrypted Search services unless they get rid of the browser hijacker as soon as they spot that their search engine has turned to

Type Browser hijacker/potentially unwanted program
Danger level Low. Does not act as dangerous malware but still can cause indirect damage by rerouting the user to a potentially malicious website or swindling some money/personal information through ads that include various questionable offers
Feature The developers of this browser hijacker claim to offer a completely private search engine by encrypting search query results and deleting web browsing experience after 30 minutes of online activity. However, this type of feature is provided as a way to attract a bigger number of users
Target(s) You can receive the Encrypted Search extension and experience search engine, homepage, and new tab URL changes on any type of web browser app such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge
Activities The suspicious app will perform unwanted changes on your web browser's search engine, homepage, and new tab URL. Additionally, you can start receiving intrusive redirects to affiliate domains and start experiencing intense advertising during browser sessions, get your browsing-related information collected, receive other potentially unwanted programs on your PC
Spreading This questionable product can be downloaded from the Google Chrome web store, however, it is the most possible that you will receive such an app through bundled products that come from secondary websites such as,, and
Elimination If you have been dealing with this browser hijacker lately, you should get rid of it from your computer system and web browsers. For proper elimination, we recommend employing reliable antimalware software or using the manual step-by-step guidelines that have been added to the end of this article
Fix software If you have discovered any compromisation in the computer system after the browser hijacker attack, you can try recovering all of the affected areas with the help of a tool such as ReimageIntego virus claims that it does not collect any personally-identifiable information about the user, including the IP address. However, the browser hijacker can still spy on data such as search queries made, hyperlinks and adverts accessed, the most popular offers searched, and so on. The developers might not admit this fact but they can end up sharing the gathered data with other parties. However, the Privacy Policy claims that some information regarding the Encrypted Search extension is stored by the app:

When using a browser extension built by Encrypted Search, we collect the extension version, browser user agent, url referrer, extension platform identifier, and a setting for if remote searches should be encrypted. As part of encryption within the extension, the encryption version date, encryption key, and an expiring encryption search token are stored locally can engage in advertising activities also. The app can start loading various sales offers and deals straight on your search page in order to catch your eye. You might also be provided with suggestions to subscribe to some types of monthly services, win non-existing prizes, and participate in surveys. Whatever you do, do not provide complete strangers with your financial information or personal details, including contacts as you can get yourself in big trouble.

If some hackers decide to abuse and its functionality, your personally-identifiable information can fall in the hands of complete criminals. This way you can get money swindled straight from your bank account, experience identity theft, etc. If you reveal your email address, mobile phone number, or other contact information, you might start receiving unwanted offers and deals straight in your email box or find rogue numbers dialing you constantly. browser is a potentially unwanted program that modifies the default search engine and can start providing misleading search query results

Furthermore, Encrypted Search can initiate redirecting activities to affiliate domains. The browser hijacker can start rerouting you to developer-sponsored places that are filled with more annoying ads. However, here comes a big risk of catching a dangerous malware infection if you land on a potentially malicious website. Your computer system can easily get infected with a ransomware virus, Trojan horse, spyware and suffer from severe unrepairable machine damage.

Even though is not a dangerous malware form such as ransomware or a Trojan virus, it still can bring indirect damage to the computer system and its components and redirecting is only one way how the browser hijacker does it. Furthermore, some cybercriminals can find PUPs as handy intermediaries when wanting to install a piece of malware to a computer system. This way you can receive a malicious infection completely unexpectedly.

However, browser hijackers can even bring other potentially unwanted programs to the computer system, so you might see more than one suspicious process running in the Windows Task Manager section. If you have been bothered by a lot of intrusive activities lately, you have to remove together with all of the questionable components that have been causing misunderstandings lately. For compromisation cleaning, try using ReimageIntego.

If you want to speed up the removal and make sure that every suspicious product has been successfully terminated from your computer system, you should get rid of the browser hijacker with the help of antimalware software. However, if you do not mind spending some time reviewing instructions and cleaning both your OS and web browser, you can check out the manual step-by-step guidelines that have been added to the end of this article. virus

Browser hijackers get delivered by bundled software

Even though a lot of third-party products have their own downloading sources or can even be received from official e-shopping platforms such as Google Chrome web store, AppStore, and similar places, PUPs are most likely to appear on the user's computer system by employing deceptive techniques and taking advantage of the software bundling technique that includes bringing the suspicious product into the computer system as an additional component.

Most of the time, you can download bundled software[3] from third-party downloading websites such as,, or The browser hijacker or another type of PUP usually settles on computer systems that have the Recommended or Quick installation settings opted as default. If you also have the same configuration, you have to change it to the Custom or Advanced option that allows deselecting all the unwanted objects to prevent them from downloading on the computer.

However, browser hijackers are capable of distributing by employing other methods also. For example, the potentially unwanted program can come injected into an unsecured hyperlink or advertisement, pretend to be a fake software update, etc. According to specialists,[4] if the user clicks on such content while browsing the Internet, there is a big chance that he will execute the downloading process of the browser-hijacking application. 

If you want to keep yourself protected from such cyber threats, you should avoid entering websites that are marked as deceptive or unsafe to proceed with. Furthermore, if you have been provided with a prompt to update your Flash Player or another program, do not upgrade your software before checking the official update releases. Also, you should purchase a strong antimalware product that includes the safe browsing function.

Accomplish removal within a few steps

There are two ways in which you can remove from your Windows or Mac computer system. First of all, you have to measure your own skills and capabilities to know if you are able to remove on your own. If you find yourself an advanced user, you can definitely continue with the manual elimination option that we have provided at the end of this article and is displayed to help you to clean both your operating system and web browser apps.

However, if you think that you will be struggling with the removal process, you should employ reliable antimalware software that will help you to get rid of the cyber threat within a few clicks. Download such type of product and save some time by letting it accomplish the task for you. However, do not forget to refresh your web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Safari, and Edge as they are likely filled with rogue components too.

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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Reimage Happiness
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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:

Get rid of from Windows systems

To terminate the browser hijacker from your Windows operating system and get rid of all the additional components that were added by the PUP, apply the following guiding steps

  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.

Erase from Mac OS X system

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

Delete from Internet Explorer (IE)

To refresh your Internet Explorer web browser and bring it back to its previous state, you should try the below-provided guidelines

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

Eliminate from Microsoft Edge

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

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To diminish all of the suspicious changes that were added to Mozilla Firefox and terminate the browser hijacker itself, try using the below-provided instructions

  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

Uninstall from Google Chrome

To bring Google Chrome back to its previous state and eliminate the potentially unwanted program, you should apply the following instructing steps

  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

Get rid of from Safari

  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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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