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Remove Search.privacy-search.net virus (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - Free Guide

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Seeing Search.privacy-search.net on the browser is a sign of cyber infection

Search.privacy-search.net virus is a browser hijacker[1] developed by plasko interactive Ltd. This potentially unwanted program (PUP)[2] is a search engine that hijacks web browsers after incorrect installation of the freeware. On the affected computer it might modify shortcuts, install helper objects or make Registry entries in order to protect itself from the removal. This search engine replaces current homepage address or/and search engine. Then it starts tracking non-personally identifiable information[3] about the user and based on this knowledge deliver search results and ads. The simply design search engine may look innocent and reliable; however, it might alter search results and trick you into visiting questionable or irrelevant sites. Indeed, this activity is shady and unfair; however, developers generate revenue from driving traffic to sponsored sites. Sadly, this business is based not on bringing benefits to users but pleasing developers financial needs. So, you can expect to have problems with finding relevant information and noticing annoying pop-ups when browsing your favorite websites. To take back control over your browser and avoiding tracking, you need to remove Search.privacy-search.net with the help of ReimageIntego or another anti-malware program you can rely on.

The image of Search.privacy-search.net virusSearch.privacy-search.net is a suspicious search engine that might hijack your browser and display lots of commercial content.

Questions about Search.privacy-search.net virus

It seems that the only useful feature of this search tool is quick access to email services, popular social networks, and other websites. However, you should be tricked by these buttons on the main page. Before entering the desired site, you might be redirected to the unfamiliar third-party website first. The purpose of these annoying redirects is to drive traffic and get paid for it. Besides, developers of this tool also generate revenue if you click on sponsored link or ad. However, you should not do it no matter how interesting this content may look because of potentially harmful Search.privacy-search.net redirect issues. After one click you might end up on a website that has been created for spreading malware[4] or other illegal activities. In the Terms of Service is noted that company does not take liability and responsibility for the possible damage you can experience on the third-party sites. Detecting which ad or link is safe is not easy, so you should perform Search.privacy-search.net removal if you want to surf the web safely.

Distribution methods of the PUP

Search.privacy-search.net virus infiltrates computers with the help of freeware and shareware. Potentially unwanted programs cannot enter the system themselves, so they take assistance from free programs that you can download from various online sources. This search engine is attached as an optional component. If you choose “right” installation method, you can reject its installation.[5] If not, this search tool hijacks the browser, and you find search.privacy-search.net set as your homepage. The “right” installation settings are known as Advanced or Custom. Sadly, lots of computer users claim they do not have time to use this setup because they are in a hurry to use a necessary program. However, dealing with PUPs and their negative features take more time than correct installation. Using Advanced/Custom installation wizard, you need to follow each step carefully and if you encounter the list of pre-selected programs, untick them all. That’s how you stop PUPs from infiltration. Meanwhile, if you rely on Quick or Recommended settings, you can experience not only Search.privacy-search.net hijack but also unintentionally install questionable or even potentially dangerous apps. Make sure you will never use this installation wizard again!

Ways to delete Search.privacy-search.net browser hijacker from the system

You can carry out a manual and automatic Search.privacy-search.net removal. The manual option is harder than the second one because you need to locate and delete hijacker-related entries yourself. However, our team has prepared illustrated guidelines that help you to complete this task. If the hijacker still keeps bothering you, opt for the second method and remove Search.privacy-search.net automatically. Of course, you can rely on security software at first and avoid wasting your time. The automatic elimination requires employing anti-malware program and scanning the system with the help of it.

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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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.privacy-search.net virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search.privacy-search.net from Windows systems

Search.privacy-search.net removal starts in Control Panel, Add/Remove programs directory. By following the instructions below, find and delete all questionable programs from the device. Then, uninstall all questionable add-ons from the web browsers.

  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.privacy-search.net and related programs
    Here, look for Search.privacy-search.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.privacy-search.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.

Erase Search.privacy-search.net from Mac OS X system

Mac OS X are rarely hijacked; however, sometimes bad things happens for Apple users as well. In this case, you need to follow our prepared instructions and delete suspicious applications and browser extensions.

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

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Search.privacy-search.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

After Search.privacy-search.net hijack, you may find unknown entries installed on Internet Explorer. Uninstall them and reset browser as shown 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.privacy-search.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.privacy-search.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Search.privacy-search.net virus from Microsoft Edge

Nevertheless, Microsoft Edge is a new browser; such cyber infections might attack it as well. Follow the steps to fix it.

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.privacy-search.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

Eliminate Search.privacy-search.net from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Mozilla Firefox reset is necessary in order to get rid of tracking cookies and other hijacker-related entries. But don’t forget to remove suspicious extensions first!

  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.privacy-search.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.privacy-search.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Search.privacy-search.net from Google Chrome

Open the list of Extensions and delete all apps that have been installed without your knowledge. In order to delete Search.privacy-search.net virus entirely, you should also reset browser’s settings.

  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.privacy-search.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.privacy-search.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Search.privacy-search.net from Safari

Follow the instructions to delete hijacker from the Safari entirely:

  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.privacy-search.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.privacy-search.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.privacy-search.net removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References

  1. Kore says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 8:46 am

    I think Search.privacy-search.net came with media player… Well, at least it wasnt hard to remove!

  2. Tessa says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 8:47 am

    this search engine was bothering me for weeks! i tried to uninstall it several times, but it still came back… Well, I decided to use antivirus program, and finally its gone. Browsing came back to normal again!

  3. Hunter says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I found this search engine on my girlfriends computer. I have no idea why she used it, but I delete this hijacker within several minutes.

  4. Laila says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for the tips how to remove this search engine. It seems I installed it accidentally, and it looked so suspicious!

  5. Bess says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Thank God I am not the only one who suffered from this hijacker. I feel so silly!

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