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Remove virus (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - Free Guide

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Reasons to avoid search engine is a suspicious search engine which is another variant of Search Privacy virus. This potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] spreads as a browser extension and might replace browser’s default homepage or/and search engine. Nevertheless, this search engine claims to protect users’ privacy while they are searching for the information; the Privacy Policy reveals that this tool is interested in getting know its users. So-called virus might collect IP address, search terms, clicked ads, user agent information and search preferences. Aggregated information might be used for marketing purposes or improving their services, for instance, delivering more accurate search results. However, there’s not the main concern related to data collection. Developers reveal that they might share, sell or rent information about users to third parties. Thus, if you are concerned about your online privacy, you should not get tricked by this application.[2] If it already hijacked your browser, remove with the help of Reimage or another reputable anti-malware program.

The image of virus

Search Privacy is presented as a search engine that allows browsing the web and avoiding online tracking. The main page of this browser extension promises that this tool does not collect information about users, and do not build a profile based on user’s behavior online.[3] However, as we already revealed, it’s not quite true. For this reason, it’s important to read Privacy Policy in order to be sure that you can actually trust the program you are installing. However, this browser extension might infiltrate the system unnoticed. Thus, if surprised you by showing up on your browser suddenly, you should take care of your computer’s state. This browser extension might infiltrate the computer with the help of bundling. Thus, if you have installed some program from the Internet under Quick settings, this browser add-on might have sneaked as well. Thus, now you should focus on removal.

There’s no doubt that the main purpose of the search engine is to provide relevant search results and help people to find necessary information. However, this search tool may not complete this task smoothly. Lots of website owners and webmasters who want to increase traffic to their sites or promote particular products and services might take advantage of advertising possibilities offered by virus. This PUP might include sponsored links into search results and display ads on each website you visit. Thus, you might be flooded with irrelevant commercial content, and face difficulties when looking for useful information quickly. However, you should be more concerned about redirect tendencies. One click on ad[4] or link might cost you a lot. Some of the sponsored content might lead to potentially dangerous sites, where you can be involved in an online scam[5] or suffer from ransomware attack.

Questions about virus

The illustration of virus is a suspicious search engine that claims to protect online privacy.

Distribution of the suspicious browser extension

Nevertheless, users can install Search Privacy browser extension; it’s not the only way how it is distributed. We have already mentioned that this PUP spreads bundled with other software. Thus, you might find this search engine offered to download when installing various freeware or shareware. However, hijack might be unexpected if you still rely on Quick/Recommended setup. We want to remind that these settings do not disclose about additional third-party apps that are offered to download as well. However, if you use this setup, you give indirect permission to install all additional applications. If you want to avoid potentially unwanted programs, you need to get used to installing software under Advanced/Custom settings and check each step. If you rush, you may overlook the pre-selected list of optional programs and unintentionally install browser hijacker or other PUPs. Thus, be careful and opt out all additional programs.

Quick solutions for removal

The fastest method to remove from the device is to rely on the security program. All you need to do is to run a full system scan with a professional anti-malware/anti-spyware. It will find all hijacker-related entries and deletes them within several minutes. Then, you just need to reset your web browsers and set your preferred search engine as default one. Additionally, you can investigate the system on your own. Our prepared removal instructions will help you to get rid of the virus manually. However, we want to point out that attentiveness and patience are necessary for this task. If you leave some of the hijacker-related components, this suspicious search engine remains on the browser.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall from Windows systems

Follow the instructions below to remove virus from the device entirely. Please, attentively perform each of the step and uninstall all suspicious programs that might have been installed on your device.

  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.

Remove from Mac OS X system

Follow the steps below to get rid of the browser hijacker entirely.

  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 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'

Delete from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 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 removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase virus from Microsoft Edge

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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Eliminate from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Go to the list of Mozilla’s extension. Look through it and delete all suspicious browser extensions. One of them is definetely Search Privacy; however, there might be other PUPs too. Thus, remove them all and reset tehe browser to delete all hijacker-related components.

  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

Get rid of from Google Chrome

Open the list of Google Chrome extensions. There look for Search Privacy and delete it. Moreover, you should look up for other unknown extensions, plugins or add-ons, and delete them as well. Laslty, reset Chrome as shown below. It helps to remove all hijacker-related entries.

  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

Uninstall 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

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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  1. Oliver says:
    April 28th, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Ive installed it unintentionally with video player. Thanks for letting me know how to get rid of it!

  2. Nikodem says:
    April 28th, 2017 at 5:42 am

    I hope I will never have to deal with browser hijacker again.

  3. Karen says:
    April 28th, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Thanks for the removal instructions! I deleted the virus in 15 minutes.

  4. Ines says:
    April 28th, 2017 at 5:43 am

    It was quite a challenge to remove privacy search manually, but I did it!

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