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Remove Search Privacy virus (Free Instructions)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Why should you not believe in Search Privacy’s promises to protect your privacy?

Search Privacy virus is an untrustworthy piece of software that pretends to be a really reliable and beneficial search enhancer. It suggests a tool that “redirects any search which you accidently perform on unsecure search engines to searchprivacy so you can always remain private.” This shady tool is currently available only for Chrome users, but reportedly versions for Firefox and IE users will be launched soon. Although it seems that Search Privacy redirect tool wants to protect your privacy and enhance your browsing experience, however, it just wants you to use its search engine because it allows serving third-party advertisements to users. Sponsored links are placed above regular search results, but you might encounter them in between regular results as well. We believe that this program falsely claims that it does not track user’s behavior on the Internet and doesn’t build user’s profile. The Privacy Policy document provided on that site reveals the real intentions of this tool. It appears that its main target is to deliver third-party advertisements to the user. According to that document, this tool collects data at an aggregate level, but not at a user level. Below, you can see a list of types of information this shady browser hijacker collects:

  • User search preferences;
  • User Agent;
  • Ad clicks, Organic/Web results clicked, as well as Search Engine Overriden;
  • Your search terms;
  • Your IP address.

Questions about Search Privacy virus

We believe that you do not want to reveal such information just to receive “relevant web and ad results” based on your location and your recent search queries. These advertisements can link you to insecure websites, which can contaminate your computer system or try to coax you to provide personal information. Be very careful, because Search Privacy redirect virus is infamous not without reason. Once installed, it might add one of these browser hijackers to your system:,, or To remove Search Privacy hijacker in unison with computer pests related to it, use a powerful anti-spyware or anti-malware software, for example, Reimage. You can also try to carry out Search Privacy removal with the help of a guide that is provided under the article.

Screenshot of Search Privacy virus

Who allowed this hijacker to enter your computer system?

Browser hijack is an unpleasant occurrence, and in case you were unlucky enough to encounter Search Privacy hijack, please read this paragraph to learn how to avoid such occurrences in the future. It is extremely important to choose the right settings when installing software on your computer. Even if you are trying to install a well-known and popular program that seems to be entirely spyware and malware-free, choose Custom or Advanced settings for its installation to reveal additional programs bundled with it. Almost every free program promotes third-party software to earn money, so make sure you deselect all extra programs added to your download if you do not want to end up with a bunch of programs instead of one. Also, stay away from websites that suggest adding this browser hijacker to your browser!

How to remove Search Privacy from the system?

Computer users can easily remove Search Privacy virus using virus-fighting tools, which can quickly detect and eliminate files and programs related to programs that belong to spyware or malware category. Of course, Search Privacy removal can be carried out manually, but only by experienced computer users. If you have never tried to remove a potentially unwanted program by yourself, better follow these removal instructions. We suggest you read them carefully first. Do not forget to run a free scan with one of the anti-malware tools that we recommend after deleting this browser hijacker to check if your computer system is entirely virus-free.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search Privacy virus, follow these steps:

Eliminate Search Privacy from Windows systems

Open Control Panel, go to Add/Remove Programs and remove everything related to Search Privacy virus. You might encounter programs named similarly – remove them as well.

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for Search Privacy 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 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 '' 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.

Get rid of Search Privacy from Mac OS X system

  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 Privacy 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'

Uninstall Search Privacy from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 Privacy 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 Privacy removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete Search Privacy virus 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 Privacy should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase Search Privacy 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 Privacy 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 removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Search Privacy from Google Chrome

Remove, and Search Privacy extensions from your browser.

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

Eliminate Search Privacy 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 Privacy 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  1. Lauren says:
    November 21st, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Discovered in my browser yesterday. I have no idea where did it come from, but its so annoying!

  2. Daniel says:
    November 21st, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Search Privacy doesnt protect your privacy at all! I have just checked its Privacy Policy and it contains suspicious statements, to say at least!

  3. Penelope_91 says:
    November 21st, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Really good tutorial. found the virus and uninstalled it, also found some other suspicious programs that i believe were sending ads to me. Thanks for the help!

  4. darling says:
    November 21st, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I feel insecure! How can I find out whether this virus hasnt touched my private information or not?!..

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