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Search.playnsearch.net. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

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 browser hijacker which sets the homepage to its own.

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

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. 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. 

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 can remove Search.playnsearch.net automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Search.playnsearch.net you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with OS X
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Search.playnsearch.net. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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To remove Search.playnsearch.net, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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:

  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 Search.playnsearch.net 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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

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

  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 Search.playnsearch.net 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 Search.playnsearch.net removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search.playnsearch.net 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, Search.playnsearch.net should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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