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Remove Privacysearch.link (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - Simple Removal Guide

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Privacysearch.link – a browser hijacker that you should not use to increase your privacy

Privacysearch.link redirect virus

Privacysearch.link (alternatively known as Search Privacy) is a fake search engine which promises you to “protect your privacy while you search the web by providing quality search results.” However, Search Privacy virus is considered to be a browser hijacker which sets your homepage and search engine to http://www.privacysearch.link/spsearch/?q= automatically.

This browser hijacker might seem like a useful application which can help you browse the web anonymously, without any information collected by third parties. According to its download page, Privacysearch.link promises the following:

  • Fast, secure and encrypted;
  • No search filtering;
  • No search leakage.

However, everything becomes clear once you start reading Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Data which is collected by Privacysearch.link virus include victim's IP addresses, search terms, ads/web results clicked, search preferences, etc. As you can see, this search engine has nothing in common with privacy, and you should waste no time to uninstall it from your computer.

Such non-personally identifiable information[1] is usually collected to gain revenue by conducting research on users' browsing habits and selling this information to third-parties. This behavior is extremely deceptive as there is no guarantee that the following data won't be given to cyber criminals and similar dishonest people. The only way to stop it is to remove Privacysearch.link from the system.

You might not notice that your computer was hijacked right after turning on your computer as this is typically initiated behind user's back. Nevertheless, you will see it as soon as you launch your Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, MS Edge, Mozilla Firefox or another browser. 

Don't wait until its potentially dangerous redirects show up on your computer and get rid of this virus. However, sometimes it might be a more complicated task than it seems. To make it easier, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to help you with Privacysearch.link removal. Additionally, you can check our manual removal tutorial below.

Privacysearch.link virusPrivacysearch.link virus promises to help users increase their privacy.

Dubious applications are mostly spread with bundling

Despite the fact that this application has an official homepage and is offered in Chrome store, the most common distribution method used to spread it is quite ambiguous. More often, potentially unwanted programs are installed on the system by bundling. This deceptive marketing campaign is considered to be legal, no matter how crooked and unfair it might seem.

Everyone is trying to save time and internet surfers are not an exception. However, we can assure you that investing time in proper software installation is beneficial. Therefore, when installing the free software you obtained online, please never:

  • Click “Next” button several times without looking at statements you agree with;
  • Use Recommended/Quick settings to get the program you need faster;
  • Rush through installation steps.

Instead, make sure you opt for Custom or Advanced installation mode and uncheck all pre-checked check marks that allow installation of suspicious add-ons, extensions, keygens,[2] search engines and similar components.

Removal of PUPs can save you from Privacysearch.link redirects

Privacysearch.link removal is your only option if you want to keep your computer redirect-free. We can assure you that this app will not improve your privacy on the Internet, so it would be better to get rid of it without wasting time. You have two methods to do that: manual and automatic.

If you would like to remove Privacysearch.link virus from your computer manually, you should follow our step-by-step guide below. In the beginning, this tutorial might seem quite complicated, as there are many steps to go through. However, just be patient and follow every step attentively and you will fix your computer.

If you decide to go with automatic elimination, you have to download and install one of the anti-malware tools that are given in the following list. If you decided to choose something from the Internet, be aware that there is a countless number of fake applications and anti-virus programs offered online. Instead of deleting malware, these programs might infect your PC with other viruses, so make sure you select genuine software.

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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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 Privacysearch.link, follow these steps:

Delete Privacysearch.link from Windows systems

To uninstall Privacysearch.link, use Control Panel. You should get rid of every suspicious app and eliminate programs that you can't remember installing on your computer.

  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 Privacysearch.link and related programs
    Here, look for Privacysearch.link 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 Privacysearch.link 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.

Remove Privacysearch.link from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Privacysearch.link from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Privacysearch.link from Internet Explorer (IE)

To fix IE after hijack, you need to find all add-ons that could be related to Privacy Search virus.

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 Privacysearch.link 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 Privacysearch.link removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Privacysearch.link 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 Privacysearch.link-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

Eliminate Privacysearch.link from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

Erase Privacysearch.link from 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 Privacysearch.link 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 Privacysearch.link removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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