Search.searchvzcm.com virus (Virus Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

Search.searchvzcm.com virus Removal Guide

What is Search.searchvzcm.com virus?

Search.searchvzcm.com – an alternative search engine that might bring you more ads that you expected

The picture of Search.searchvzcm.com

Search.searchvzcm.com is a dubious search engine created by Polarity Technologies Ltd. Just like hundreds of other browser hijackers[1] developed by the same company, this one also is designed to alter browser settings, deliver commercial content and track user data in the background.

Developers apply the bundling technique to make many users install their app unwillingly. On the affected computer, it alters the targeted browser’s settings and sets its domain as the default homepage and search engine. Additionally, you might find the New Tab Search extension installed on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another browser.

Name Search.searchvzcm.com
Type Browser hijacker
Distribution Software bundling, third-party websites
Activities
  • Records online user activities and uses the data for marketing purposes
  • Changes homepage, new tab URL, and the search engine
  • Redirects all searches to Yahoo or another provider
  • Fills search results with sponsored links and ads
Uninstall Get rid of the related browser extension or the installed program
System optimization You should clean your web browsers and ensure that system-related issues are fixed – you can do that with ReimageIntego

In order to make Search.searchvzcm.com removal complicated, the virus might modify the browser’s settings and modify Registry. Thus, changing the homepage’s address through the browser’s settings is not enough. Hijacker rejects such modifications.

However, once you spotted this search tool on your browser, you should install a reputable anti-malware/anti-spyware program and scan the device with an updated tool. We recommend deleting hijacker-related entries automatically with ReimageIntego.

The altered search engine uses Yahoo! database. However, apart from organic links, you might find tons of sponsored links included in search results. Thus, this search tool might alter search results, negatively impacting the web browsing experience.

This activity allows developers of the free program generate revenue. However, since the first day you find this website on the browser, you might also notice an increased amount of online ads.

However, clicking on commercial content might end up pretty badly. The research has revealed serious redirect problems. When you click on a sponsored link or online ad, you might be redirected to potentially dangerous websites. Various cybercriminals, scammers, or developers of unknown software might be using hijacker’s services to trick people and involve in online crimes.[2]

As you can see, using this search engine and letting it stay on the browser might lead to serious computer-related or even privacy-related problems. That’s why you should remove Search.searchvzcm.com before it tricked you into installing malware or other unwanted software.

The hijacker collects information about users and shares it with third-parties

The Privacy Policy reveals concerning details about data tracking. The hijacker might be collecting both personally identifiable and non-personally identifiable information.

The hijacker collects information related to your browsing history and habits, such as visited websites, search keywords, etc. It might also collect technical information about the operating system and browser.

However, the biggest worries are related to personally identifiable information collecting. Your full name, email and home address, and similar details.

What is more, authors of the app might also share aggregated details with third parties, affiliates, and advertising networks.

Usually, data tracking helps to build a user’s profile and apply a behavioral marketing strategy. However, sharing information with unknown people may lead to privacy-related issues or even identity theft.

The image of Search.searchvzcm.com virusSearch.searchvzcm.com might become your default search engine after incorrect installation of freeware.

Bundling – most common PUP distribution technique

The hijacker spreads in software bundles as the SearchTab VZ or New Tab Search browser extension. This potentially unwanted application might be promoted in different shareware or freeware packages. Thus, careless installation of free programs might end up in the hijack web browser.

The technique that allows attaching extension as an optional component is called bundling. It’s a popular strategy to spread questionable programs.

In order to avoid your browser being hijacked and installing other undesired apps, you always have to choose “Advanced” or “Custom” installation settings. Then carefully follow each of the steps and once you see the list of pre-selected entries, untick all optional downloads.

Stay away from “Standard” or “Quick” settings that do not openly disclose additional apps and installs them by default.

Eliminate the unwanted components from your browsers and the system

The easiest way to remove Search.searchvzcm.com is to employ a professional anti-malware program and run a full system scan with the help of it. Don't forget to update it to the latest version before doing so.

However, not all users are willing to install security tools. Due to the reason that some of you are interested in the manual removal option, we prepared detailed guidelines on how to get rid of the hijacker without a security program.

Manual removal requires locating and deleting all hijacker-related entries from the computer and web browsers. You will find all the relevant information related to this process below.

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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of Search.searchvzcm.com virus. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Open Firefox's extensions and uninstall all suspicious entries.

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Follow the guidelines to delete the hijacker from the Safari.

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Search.searchvzcm.com registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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