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Remove Search.playzonenow.com (Simple Removal Guide) - Tutorial

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Playzonenow – browser hijacker which links its users to dubious websites

PlayZoneNow virus hijacks popular web browsers

Playzonenow is yet another fake search engine created by eAnswers – a developer of numerous similar applications. Just like any other PUP which was set to hijack browsers, this potentially dangerous website sneaks into users’ machines without their permission. As a result, it starts redirecting them to hxxp://search.playzonenow.com/search/?category=web&s=26ds&vert=movies&q= and similar domains against their will.

Search.playzonenow.com can affect most favorite browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, MS Edge, Mozilla Firefox or Safari,[1] and appear every time you are trying to search the web. Search results generated this way are redirected to Yahoo, but it doesn't mean that they are trustworthy. Beware that they can be filled with sponsored links as the main aim of this site is to redirect users to third-party websites.

PlayZoneNow virus affects your browser almost immediately after it manages to infiltrate the system. Additionally, the victim notices the following symptoms:

  • Changes in default search engine, homepage, and new tab page;
  • System changes, such as new bookmarks, unseen shortcuts and similar content on your desktop;
  • Additional browser helper objects installed;
  • Intrusive ads and banners, offering services or products you are not interested in.

Despite symptoms mentioned above, the highest risk is that this browser hijacker can try to redirect you to unsafe websites. According to eAnswers and their privacy policy, they cannot be held liable for any third-party content they might link you to. Therefore, you should not expose yourself to such threats as ransomware[2] and remove Playzonenow using a reputablesecurity software like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Search.playzonenow.com hijackSearch.playzonenow.com virus uses tricky GUI to convince its victims that it is a reliable search engine

Another undesirable feature of PlayZoneNow add-on is data tracking. Beware that its developers might record non-personally identifiable information, such as your IP address, Internet service provider (ISP), browser's type, cookie information, websites visited by the user, and similar data.

As the developer states:

eAnswers.com collects non-personally identifiable information for general purposes, including but not limited to analyzing trends, administering the site, tracking user movements, conducting research, and providing anonymous reporting to internal and external clients.

It is evident that the browser hijacker cannot bring any advantages to a typical user and should be avoided at all costs. If you got infected, you should take care of Search.playzonenow.com removal immediately.

Free software you download from the Internet might hide an intruder

If you are wondering how the unwanted program got into your machine, you should think about free programs you recently downloaded and installed on the system. Typically, many users do not pay attention to the installation process of the freeware and try to rush the whole process by clicking “Next” button continuously.

The most prominent mistake made is the use of Recommended/Quick settings while installing free programs. Despite the fact that developers advise using Quick mode, users should not trust this tip as the primary goal of freeware makers is to make users install additional software without their consent. 

Therefore, you should be more aware while installing free software. Do not rush the procedure and always untick all additional components in Advanced mode.

Delete Search.playzonenow.com and its components with only one click

If your computer got infected with an unwanted program, don't worry because such programs cannot take your files hostage or lead you to other problems. During the worst care scenario, you can be tricked into using the unwanted search engine which provides fake search results and redirects you to malicious websites. Thus, you should remove Playzonenow and other components (add-ons, browser helper objects, etc) from your computer instead of using this hijacker.

For that, you can either use a reliable anti-malware program or follow our detailed removal guide. The first method is fast and straightforward, so you should opt for it if you don't have to worry about malicious components and similar problems that appear while trying to get rid of viruses manually.

For those who are more experienced with the computer, manual Playzonenow removal might be a good option too. To proceed with the elimination, please check our guide below. To make sure the process is executed correctly, follow each step attentively.

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 Search.playzonenow.com, follow these steps:

Delete Search.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com 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 Search.playzonenow.com from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Search.playzonenow.com from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate Search.playzonenow.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

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.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Search.playzonenow.com from Microsoft Edge

You can get rid of Search.playzonenow.com by removing all add-ons and extensions that seem suspicious. If you can't find anything, make sure you reset your web browser to its previous state.

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.playzonenow.com-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

Uninstall Search.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of Search.playzonenow.com from Google Chrome

To uninstall the virus from Chrome, you need to reset it with the help of the following steps. Don't worry about your bookmarks and similar content, you can import them right after a reset.[3]

  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.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Search.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com 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.playzonenow.com, 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.playzonenow.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

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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