Severity scale:  
  (11/100)

Remove SearchConverterHD (Simple Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SearchConverterHD is labeled as a browser hijacker and PUP due to stealthy installation with freeware and intrusive browser-based behavior

SearchConverterHD virus

SearchConverterHD is the name of an extension, which alters the start page and search engine on the default web browser. According to cybersecurity researchers, it is being actively disseminated on third-party download sites bundled with popular Windows and Mac apps[1]

The main symptom that this PUP has been installed on your machine is the portal.search-converterhd.com or feed.search-converterhd.com start page on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and other web browsers. Such replacement is not the only capability of the so-called SearchConverterHD virus. It can also set a sponsored search engine (typically Yahoo) and inject cookies/beacons into web browser's settings to inform third-party advertisers about your web browser preferences and, subsequently, display pre-selected search results. 

Name SearchConverterHD
Type Browser hijacker
Sub-Type Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)
Symptoms The symptoms are usually seen within a web browser:
– start page URL replaced by portal.search-converterhd.com or feed.search-converterhd.com
– search engine set to Yahoo (sponsored version) without permission
– some unfamiliar URLs may be included into the list of notification permissions
– unwanted toolbars may be installed
– web search results may contain suspicious links and redirect random sites to irrelevant third-party sites
– Search results contain featured banner ads on the right side of the window
Main dangers Clicking on the content brought by SearchConverterHD virus poses a risk of being exposed to suspicious or even dangerous websites managed by third parties. The app may also use tracking cookies to record user's browsing history 
Should I remove it? Cybersecurity experts[2] recommend removing browser hijackers instantly as they disrupt browsing activities, generate intrusive content, and can trigger malware download. The easiest way to eliminate it is to scan the machine with anti-malware and then manually reset the web browser's settings
Repair  Potentially unwanted apps usually spread in bundles and initiate a multiplicity of changes within the registries. To recover the system, try a scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool

SearchConverterHD PUP belongs to the group of browser hijackers that promote an identical search site known as Portal or Feed. There's a rather long list of identical applications, including UpdateSearchPDFSearchesSearchConverterzSearchZone, and SportStreamSearch. Each of these extensions is spread via software bundles and used for promoting a sponsored search engine. 

SearchConverterHD malware is usually promoted as a great extension for improving the web browsing experience. However, users are not informed about its functionality explicitly. All actual information is typically disclosed on the freeware installation checkboxes that are shown to the users only if they opt for Advanced or Custom installation setup. That's the main reason why this questionable extension usually gets installed without the user's knowledge. 

Right after the install of the malware, the extension is dropped onto the default web browser. For this reason, the start page, search engine, new tab URL, and other settings are automatically altered. Both portal.search-converterhd.com and feed.search-converterhd.com searchers look rather neat and reliable. There is a couple of in-built additional features (PDF converter, Calculator, Bitcoin Converter, quick access links, etc.) and a simple search bar on the start page, so there's actually nothing suspicious. 

Then one may ask so what makes people want to remove SearchConverterHD extension? The answer is simple – sponsored content that it is set to display. The changes that it performs are initiated for monetization purposes. In fact, developers of this search gain earn a commission fee for displaying sponsored links and ads. However, please note that the company is not liable for any content that belongs to third parties, but is promoted via SearchConverterHD server. 

You acknowledge that we have no control over and assume no responsibility for Third Party Content. You assume all responsibility and risk in connection with your use of Third Party Content and we hereby disclaim any and all liability to you or any third party in connection thereto. We have no obligation to examine, review or monitor Third Party Content and are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, appropriateness or legality of Third Party Content.

To put it simply, the web browser can continuously trigger SearchConverterHD redirects, which are potentially dangerous due to the potentially dangerous content on the end sites. 

SearchConverterHD redirectsSearchConverterHD redirects cab expose people to suspicious sites that may spread push notification services

Privacy concerns are yet another reason why experts recommend immediate SearchConverterHD removal. This extension contains cookies and web beacons under the main installer. Thus, it can access people's browsing history and record non-personal information and some pieces of personal (email address, IP address, geolocation, name, address, if you enter such info during the search process). 

To prevent privacy and security related issues, it's advisable to keep browser hijackers away from the machine. If, however, you have accidentally installed one, eliminate it properly. SearchConverterHD virus removal can be completed in two ways – manually or with a robust anti-malware tool. 

If you have downloaded unwanted applications alongside freeware[3], we strongly recommend initiating a full system scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego application upon malware removal. That's because PUPs can leave registry entries or running processes even after being removed, so a full optimization might prevent the machine from slowdowns and errors. 

The tips on how to prevent browser-hijacking applications

The fact that the potentially unwanted application has an official website does not mean that it's not spread bundled with freeware at the same time. Therefore, if you want to avoid browser hijacker and intrusive browser-based activities, you should change the thinking that the freeware installation procedure can be initiated by counting up to two. 

SearchConverterHD hijckSearchConverterHD is spread bundled with freeware, which is why its installation does not require a direct user's permission

Proper software installation habits can help you to block the installation of intrusive potentially unwanted apps, such as adware or browser hijacker. First of all, do not install freeware for the purpose and functionality of which is difficult to understand. If it is included in a virus or malware database by any security researchers, it must perform some inadequate behavior, so you'd better not install it. 

Second of all, opt for the Advanced/Custom installation technique. Quick of Recommended installation disguises so-called “additional features” or “optional downloads” and allow their installation without a direct user's permission. The advanced installation allows monitoring of the entire process, so you will most likely notice pre-selected statements saying that you agree to make portal.search-converterhd.com or feed.search-converterhd.com your default homepage and search site. It goes without saying that such offers have to be rejected. 

SearchConverterHD searchSearchConverterHD delivers sponsored search results to promote the content of affiliate parties

Suggestions for the SearchConverterHD uninstall methods

SearchConverterHD is a typical web browser's hijacker. It infiltrates machines via freeware bundles, alters web browser's settings without authorization, and then promoted sponsored content to earn easy money. Such applications are not difficult to remove. However, stealthy replacement of browser's settings means that you have been tricked to download a bundle and, since its not clear what apps might have been installed, a full system scan with a professional anti-malware is recommended. 

Nevertheless, it's possible to remove the SearchConverterHD virus from the system manually. It means that you have to take your time analyzing the apps that have recently been downloaded and uninstall each raising suspicions. Besides, scan the machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego afterward to recover the machine to the state prior to malware installation. 

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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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 SearchConverterHD, follow these steps:

Uninstall SearchConverterHD from Windows systems

Windows OS users should rely on the below-given instructions when trying to deal with the SearchConverterHD-related malware.

  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 SearchConverterHD and related programs
    Here, look for SearchConverterHD 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 SearchConverterHD 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.

Get rid of SearchConverterHD from Mac OS X system

SearchConverterHD redirects on Mac web browsers can also happen if the system runs malware. In order to get rid of it, please scan the machine with a Mac-compatible anti-malware tool or follow this tutorial.

  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 SearchConverterHD 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'

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

Erase SearchConverterHD from Microsoft Edge

To stop intrusive activities on a web browser, eliminate SearchConverterHD extension or completely reset browser's settings as explained below.

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, SearchConverterHD should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Eliminate SearchConverterHD 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 SearchConverterHD 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 SearchConverterHD removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

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 a 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. 

Nevertheless, there's a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

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

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