Search.playnsearch.net (Improved Instructions) - Updated

Search.playnsearch.net Removal Guide

What is Search.playnsearch.net?

Search.playnsearch.net – a potentially unwanted program that can sneak on your device without noticing

Search.playnsearch.net PUPThe browser hijacker sets the homepage to its own.

Search.playnsearch.net is a browser hijacker[1] that you should not install or use. This PUP will modify your browser settings and set the homepage, search provider, and new tab URL to the one of its choice. These changes are irreversible until you delete the browser hijacker from your computer.

Additionally, you will have to reset your browsers to their previous state, meaning that some of your important data might be lost because of the infiltration of this hijacker. If you have a chance, make sure you stay away from this questionable search provider as far as you can.

Name Search.playnsearch.net
Type Browser hijacker, PUP
Danger level Medium. Affects only web browsers, other computer system settings typically remain safe
Distribution Hidden within the regular software, can be downloaded from various websites as a useful search provider
The main purpose To gain profit from various ads, personal users' data
Deleting process You can proceed with the browser hijacker elimination by using reliable anti-malware software
System fix Download and perform a full system scan with the ReimageIntego diagnostics software to repair virus damage

To continue, Search.playnsearch.net virus installs automatically without the victim's notice. It sneaks into the system with regular programs[2] as an optional component. However, even though this potentially unwanted program installs secretly, it is often the user who is to blame that his/her computer got affected by a browser hijacker.

If people would be more cautious while surfing the Internet, and if they would pay more attention while downloading software from third-party sites, they could avoid such troubles as browser hijackers. According to experts[3], this PUP has the ability not only to affect web browser settings.

It can also collect various information related to your browsing activity. You can read in their privacy policy that data is collected to ensure the user’s safety and will not be shared with third parties. Well, that can be a lie as there are hundreds of cases when browsing-related data is corrupted for a bad purpose.

Gaining revenue is the main reason for these information gatherings. Developers of such programs are the only ones who benefit from this kind of activity. After collecting the needed amount of data, they set numerous ads related to user's interests.

That's why you mostly get misleading search results. To prevent this from happening, we recommend downloading an anti-malware tool such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. It will guide you through the browser hijacker's removal process and guarantee that's it's done properly.

Although not recommended, you could try to remove Search.playnsearch.net manually. If you decide so, use our free illustrated instructions posted at the bottom of the article. Once the threat is removed, use the ReimageIntego PC repair tool to scan your device and fix all damages caused by the infection.

Search.playnsearch.net fake browser extensionSearch.playnsearch.net can provide misleading search query results.

PUPs are mainly spread through software bundles

The main way how browser hijackers are distributed is by downloading programs from third-party sources or using third-party installers. These kinds of programs can be illegal and come with various dubious content.
Furthermore, malicious software distributes through regular programs which are downloaded and installed on the PC. Usually, it happens because users skip downloading/installing steps and not notice dubious content incoming.
You have to know a few things before entering your web browser if you want to protect your computer from browser hijacker infections:

  • Unwanted programs often hide in the “Custom” or “Advanced” settings section. So, click on that section, and if you see any dubious software ready to install – eliminate it immediately;
  • If you act carelessly while surfing the Internet, you can put your browsers in danger of various infections. Always concentrate on what you are doing on the Internet and what kind of sites you are visiting;
  • Official downloading sources are the only ones you can trust – use only them. As mentioned before, third-party sites may provide harmful programs;
  • The best help for keeping your computer safe – installing an antivirus. If you update it regularly, it will scan your PC system and alert you if any infections are found. If there are some – the antivirus will eliminate every harmful program safely.

Simple guidelines to remove Search.playnsearch.net from your device and browsers

To remove Search.playnsearch.net virus you need to eliminate all browser extensions and unwanted applications. This will help you get rid of all harmful content installed together with the browser hijacker from browsers such as:

  • Google Chrome;
  • Mozilla Firefox;
  • Internet Explorer;
  • Microsoft Edge;
  • Safari;
  • Opera.

If you want to perform the removal on your computer more quickly – consider downloading and installing an anti-malware program. These tools will help you eliminate the virus by displaying instructions. When your browsers are clean, refresh them to ensure that no unwanted components are left.

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 Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of Search.playnsearch.net. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

If you have found any other harmful programs that might have came together with the browser hijacker, please follow these guidelines:

Remove items from Applications folder:

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

Remove 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

If you are looking for a quick way to delete the browser hijacker, here is some guidance that should help you:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Search.playnsearch.net registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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