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Remove Ext.privacyassistant.net virus (Removal Guide) - updated Aug 2017

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Privacyassistant.net virus has two identical versions: Ext.privacyassistant.net and Search.privacyassistant.net

The example of privacyassistant.net search engines

Ext.privacyassistant.net is a questionable search engine that belongs to Privacyassistant.net browser hijacker's[1] family. This bogus search tool spreads in software packages as SearchAssist extension for Google Chrome. After the direct or indirect installation, it alters browsers settings and controls user’s behavior.

However, the developer promotes Privacyassistant.net as a useful tool that enhances browsing experiences and offers to design your homepage as you prefer by changing background picture or placing favorite links. Sadly, it can infiltrate the system secretly and cause unwanted changes.

The Privacyassistant.net hijack occurs as soon as users download software package with this PUP[2] inside. Since then user’s homepage and default search engine might be set to Ext.privacyassistant.net or Search.privacyassistant.net. Despite different domains, these search tools are identical.

When users find hijacked web browser, the first instinct often encourages to go to the Settings and replace these modifications. However, Privacyassistant.net virus is developed in the way that users cannot simply delete this domain and type their preferred. The hijacker rejects all users’ attempts to set their preferred homepage or search engine because the developers are interested in forcing people to use it as long as possible.

The hijacker tries aggressively remain on the browser because it works as a marketing tool. It promotes third-party content or boosts traffic to the promotional websites. The problem with this sponsored content is that some of the links or ads may redirect to the potentially dangerous sites where you can get infected with ransomware, tricked by tech support scam or become a victim of other cyber crime[3].

Apart from Privacyassistant.net redirect problems, this search engine does not perform its primary function properly. Search engines are supposed to deliver accurate and objective search results; however, this one has nothing in common with objectivity.

Some of the organic search[4] results may be eliminated from the results page. Instead of them, you may receive some sponsored third-party links. Besides, in the Privacy Policy developers reveal about the partnership with Trovi Search which is a quite popular browser hijacker.

Therefore, if you do not want to browse through potentially dangerous commercial content, you have to hurry up and remove Privacyassistant.net from the computer as soon as you notice it. Powerful anti-malware tools, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, can eliminate it within several minutes.

Hesitation is not recommended because the hijacker might collect non-personally identifiable information[5] about the users. Based on this knowledge, developers can display even more tricky targeted ads. Thus, do not delay this important task and start Privacyassistant.net removal right now!

Questions about Ext.privacyassistant.net virus

The image of ext.privacyassistant.net virusExt.privacyassistant.net search engine delivers some of the results from Trovi Search.

Versions of the Privacyassistant.net virus

Ext.privacyassistant.net. This version of the browser hijacker is identical to the original version of the search engine. It has the same designed, features and infiltration method. After the hijack, it sets its domain as default search engine or/and homepage. It might also modify new tab URL address and disturb browsing sessions by displaying intrusive online ads.

Ext.privacyassistant.net removal is crucial in order to get take back control over the browser. However, it might be complicated because the PUP might alter browser’s settings and install various third-party components to strengthen its presence.

Search.privacyassistant.net. This search tool differs from ext.privacyassistant.net and privacyassistant.net only by its domain. The hijacker also spread via SearchAssist extension and might alter browser’s settings. After the hijack, users cannot access any reliable search provider from the browser’s startup page; they are forced to use search.privacyassistant.net.

However, just like the original version, this search tool might also display paid links at the top of the results page and in this way trick users into visiting potentially dangerous websites. Therefore, hijacker’s removal is crucial.

Shifty distribution method of shady search engines

Ext.privacyassistant.net, Search.privacyassistant.net, and Privacyassistant.net search engines spread in software bundles, or in other words, along with freeware and shareware. Every program downloaded from the Internet may include optional applications attached to it. However, you may not be informed about them if you choose wrong installation setup.

The most popular and widely used Quick/Recommended settings are not reliable. Instead of disclosing extra applications, they install them by default. Therefore, the hijack may be a surprise for many inattentive computer users. In order to avoid unwanted and unexpected presents, you have to get used to installing new software under Advanced/Custom setup. Then, you can see all additional programs that are offered to and reject their installation.

These search tools become default search engines when users install SearchAssist browser extension. Thus, to avoid undesired changes and browsing-related problems, you should stay away from this program.

Remove Ext.privacyassistant.net, Search.privacyassistant.net, and Privacyassistant.net from Google Chrome

You can remove all these hijackers in the same way. Therefore, it doesn’t matter which domain you see on Chrome, you should follow the same removal instructions. Besides, if some version of the hijacker managed to attack Firefox, Explorer or Safari, you can find removal guidelines below too.

For Privacyassistant.net removal you have two options – manual and automatic methods. The first method requires investigating computer’s system and deleting hijacker-related components. Below you will find illustrated instructions that will guide you through this quite challenging task. The second method allows simplifying this procedure.

In order to remove Privacyassistant.net automatically, you have to install anti-malware/anti-spyware program and run a full system scan. However, don’t forget to update your chosen software first. Scanning device with an outdated program may not be effective, and some of the virus elements may be left.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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 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 Ext.privacyassistant.net virus, follow these steps:

Delete Ext.privacyassistant.net from Windows systems

Follow the instructions to remove ext.privacyassistant.net browser hijacker from the computer along with all its additional components. Then, check all web browsers installed on your PC and fix them.

  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 Ext.privacyassistant.net and related programs
    Here, look for Ext.privacyassistant.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 Ext.privacyassistant.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.

Eliminate Ext.privacyassistant.net from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Ext.privacyassistant.net from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Ext.privacyassistant.net-related 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 Ext.privacyassistant.net, 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 Ext.privacyassistant.net and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Ext.privacyassistant.net-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall Ext.privacyassistant.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

This step-by-step guide will help you to fix Internet Explorer after the hijack.

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 Ext.privacyassistant.net 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, Google.com).
  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 Ext.privacyassistant.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of Ext.privacyassistant.net virus from Microsoft Edge

To fix Microsoft Edge after ext.privacyassistant.net hijack, follow the instructions:

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 Ext.privacyassistant.net-related 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

Erase Ext.privacyassistant.net from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

In the list of extensions look for SearchAssist, SearchAssist.me or other suspicious plugins and uninstall them. Then, reset browser's settings as shown below.

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

Remove Ext.privacyassistant.net from Google Chrome

Look for SearchAssist or SearchAssist.me and other suspicious extensions and uninstall them. Then follow the instructions to reset Google Chrome.

  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 Ext.privacyassistant.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 Ext.privacyassistant.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Ext.privacyassistant.net 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 Ext.privacyassistant.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 Ext.privacyassistant.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 Ext.privacyassistant.net 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
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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Contact Alice Woods
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References

  1. Mormis says:
    January 31st, 2017 at 5:10 am

    Your instructions saved my life!!!

  2. Naal says:
    January 31st, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Oh, this hijcker is so annoying!

  3. 1993 says:
    January 31st, 2017 at 5:12 am

    i will try to remove it manually first. i hope i will succeed

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