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Remove Search.playnsearch.net (Simple Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.playnsearch.net – a browser hijacker which secretly sneaks into the system and affects web browsers

Search.playnsearch.net PUP

Search.playnsearch.net is a potentially unwanted program which belongs to the browser hijacker[1] type of programs. This PUP will modify your browser settings and set the homepage, search provider, and new tab URL to http://search.playnsearch.net. 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 
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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

To continue, Search.playnsearch.net virus installs automatically without 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], Search.playnsearch.net has an ability not only 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 the 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 because, after collecting the needed amount of data, they set numerous ads which are 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. It will guide you through the Search.playnsearch.net removal process.

If you have overcome this potentially unwanted program, strongly consider getting rid of it. To remove Search.playnsearch.net from every browser, you need not only to reset each of them. You should also uninstall browser helper objects and similar components. 

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

Certain PUPs such as browser hijackers rely on their specific distribution methods

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 if any infections are found. If there are some – the antivirus will eliminate every harmful program safely.

Anti-malware – the best cure for infected computer systems

To remove Search.playnsearch.net 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 Search.playnsearch.net 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 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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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 Search.playnsearch.net, follow these steps:

Erase Search.playnsearch.net from Windows systems

  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 Search.playnsearch.net and related programs
    Here, look for Search.playnsearch.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 Search.playnsearch.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.

Delete Search.playnsearch.net from Mac OS X system

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

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

Remove Search.playnsearch.net from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Search.playnsearch.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

To eliminate the potentially unwanted program from your browser, look through the steps below:

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 Search.playnsearch.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 Search.playnsearch.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Search.playnsearch.net 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 Search.playnsearch.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

Remove Search.playnsearch.net 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 Search.playnsearch.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 Search.playnsearch.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Search.playnsearch.net from Google Chrome

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

  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 Search.playnsearch.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 Search.playnsearch.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase Search.playnsearch.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 Search.playnsearch.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 Search.playnsearch.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 Search.playnsearch.net 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
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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