Severity scale:  
  (9/100)

Search.searchfefc.com. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.searchfefc.com is a dubious search engine that functions as a browser hijacker

Search.searchfefc.com search engine

Search.searchfefc.com is a search engine that is created by Polarity Technologies. Nevertheless, it has advanced functionality and allows converting files to PDF or DOC formats from the homepage; it is a browser hijacker[1] that can get into the system unnoticed and replace settings of all major web browsers.

Summary
Name Search.searchfefc.com
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium. Does not damage the system. Takes control over an affected web browser
Developers Polarity Technologies, Ltd.
Symptoms Altered browser's homepage, search engine, and new tab URL address, an increased amount of ads and redirects to third-party sites
Distribution methods Software bundling
To uninstall Search.searchfefc.com, install Reimage and run a full system scan

Search.searchfefc.com virus spreads bundled with free programs that users can download from various sources. Users who attentively install freeware might find Easy File Converter application offered to download together with the primary program. However, installation of this browser extension might lead to:

  • homepage, default search engine, and new tab URL address set to hxxp://search.searchfefc.com/ or hxxp://query.searchfefc.com;
  • installation of unknown browser extensions;
  • an increased amount of ads, banners, pop-ups and other commercial content displayed while browsing the web;
  • redirects to third-party websites that might be malicious.

Seeing all these changes in Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or another browser usually leads to attempts to remove Search.searchfefc.com and replace it with previous search provider and startup page. However, such task cannot be completed easily. The PUP is designed to alter system and browser’s settings and might install additional components that protect from elimination.

Search.searchfefc.com removal requires finding all of the hijacker-related components and deleting them from the system as well as affected web browsers. However, the quicker option to get rid of this cyber threat is to use anti-malware software like Reimage and reset the browser.

We want to suggest not to delay elimination of the browser hijacker. Despite the fact it is not a hazardous cyber threat, its appearance might lead to infiltration of malware or spyware[2] due to suspicious Search.searchfefc.com redirect tendencies.

This search engine redirects to Yahoo search results page which is absolutely legit. However, you access these links via the hijacked web browser. It means that once you click on the search result, the hijacker might redirect you to the third-party website that needs to increase traffic or lure victims into a scam.

Finally, Search.searchfefc.com is capable of tracking non-personally identifiable information and using it for advertising purposes. Based on your location, search queries, visited websites and similar data, the hijacker displays targeted ads that might be misleading because developers of PUP wants to generate advertising-based revenue.

The privacy policy also reveals that the hijacker might share aggregated information with third-parties. Hence, you should uninstall Easy File Converter and its related apps to avoid privacy-related issues.

“Unpacking” freeware downloads helps to avoid browser hijack

The browser hijacker spreads with the help of freeware and shareware. It is added as an optional component in the software package. Security specialists from Udenvirus.dk[3] warn that any freeware or shareware can be a “bundle” and not a single program as you would expect.


Therefore, to avoid browser hijack, you have to use “Custom” or “Advanced” installation settings and carefully monitor the process. Typically “optional downloads” appear in one of the installation steps. Hence, your task is to remove the ticks from the checkboxes to reject their installation.

Note that “Recommended” or “Standard” installers do not include this feature. However, if you use these settings, you agree to install the whole software package without even knowing what is inside. It goes without saying that you should stop using this setup.

Uninstall unwanted apps and fix the browser after the Search.searchfefc.com hijack

To remove Search.searchfefc.com from your browser, you have to uninstall questionable programs from the computer. After that, you have to look through browser extensions, uninstall suspicious entries and reset the affected web browser.

Detailed Search.searchfefc.com removal instructions are given below. However, instead of spending your precious time with an annoying procedure, you can take advantage of anti-malware software and get rid of the PUP within a few clicks.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
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.searchfefc.com, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Search.searchfefc.com from Windows systems

To eliminate Search.searchfefc.com and all its components, you have to uninstall suspicious programs and take care of your web browsers. The guidelines below will show you how:

  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.searchfefc.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.searchfefc.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.searchfefc.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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Search.searchfefc.com 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.searchfefc.com 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

Delete Search.searchfefc.com 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.searchfefc.com 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.searchfefc.com 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.searchfefc.com 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.searchfefc.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.searchfefc.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Check Firefox extensions. Once you get rid of unknown add-ons, reset the browser.

  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.searchfefc.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.searchfefc.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Search.searchfefc.com from Google Chrome

The instructions below will explain who to uninstall Search.searchfefc.com and Chrome extensions that are responsible for keeping it set as your startup page.

  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.searchfefc.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.searchfefc.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Search.searchfefc.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.searchfefc.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.searchfefc.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.searchfefc.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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