Severity scale:  
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Remove SearchConverterz (Simple Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SearchConverterz – a browser hijacker that can alter and manage web browser's settings without user's permission 

SearchConverterz

SearchConverterz is the name of a free browser-based app that can be downloaded from a Chrome web store[1] as a “useful” Chrome extension. However, once downloaded it alters web browser's settings, registers user's search queries, takes over search traffic, and initiates other advertising activities.

Its sole purpose is to generate income for the developers regardless of the users' needs. For this purpose, it is actively distributed via misleading push notification pop-ups and freeware bundles. Therefore, the SearchConverterz virus has been attributed to the group of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and browser hijackers. 

It is not possible not to notice the SearchConverterz hijack or see many other inturders that look and act the same as ConvertrzSearch. If it infiltrates the machine as an optional download of freeware, it sets portal.searchconverterz.com or feed.searchconverterz.com as a default start page and sends user's search queries to Yahoo (sponsored version). The extension is Chrome-based, though some people reported that they have accidentally installed this hijacker on Mozilla Firefox and Safari browsers. 

Name SearchConverterz
Type Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP), browser hijacker
Promoted as  Useful extension for Chrome
Distribution It can be downloaded directly from the Chrome Web Store. However, most people downloaded it accidentally via freeware bundles or misleading click-to-download ads
Search site promoted portal.searchconverterz.com, feed.searchconverterz.com, search.yahoo.com
Symptoms Chrome's settings altered without authorization. Start page, search provider, new tab window, and other settings changed. Search results contain sponsored links, multiple ads injected into random websites. Web browser runs slower, randomly freezes
Removal In order to get rid of the SearchConverterz browser hijacker scan the system with a robust anti-malware program to delete unwanted programs altogether. Those who prefer manual PUP removal can use a free guide submitted by our security team (at the end of the article)
Fix malware damage Browser hijackers are non-malicious if we compare them to spyware, ransomware, or Trojans. However, even after elimination, they leave the footprints within Windows Registries, thus it's advisable to optimize the system with a repair tool, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Those who have been considering to install this app should rather make a small research on it before doing that. Based on the NoVirus.uk[2] research, SearchConverterz is identical to ConvertrzSearch, CoverterzSearch. It works the same as other applications based on hijacking the browser like SearchZoneSealoidSpinyon, and many other Chrome extensions. Each of them is basically used to push sponsored search site and hijack the web traffic. 

Although it cannot affect the system severely, the processes that it initiates a considered potentially dangerous. First of all, users should not underestimate the fact that the SearchConverterz extension collaborates with unspecified third-parties to serve users with sponsored advertisements and redirect them to the domains that belong to those parties.

Such a marketing technique is not illicit in its nature and is applied by many developers. Nevertheless, no one takes the responsibility of the SearchConverterz redirects and cannot grant that the content behind its ads and links is reliable. 

SearchConverterz malware downloadsSearchConverterz browser hijacker can be promoted via misleading pop-ups

It has been noticed that this browser hijacker displays Yahoo-based search results. Nevertheless, the search.yahoo.com search seems to be sponsored. No matter what search query the user enters the search bar, the feed.searchconverterz.com related search displays irrelevant banner ads on the right side of the search results.

Besides, random websites contain hyperlinks within texts. It is not recommended to click on any of them to prevent landing on malware-infected phishing websites and get another intruder like ConvertrzSearch. As stated in the EULA[3] of the extension:

Any use by you of Third Party Content is subject to the terms and conditions of the Service Provider or the applicable third party. 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.

Thus, if you click on any content represented by this extension and experience SearchConverterz virus redirects to dangerous websites, it will be your own responsibility. Thus, be responsible and rely on reputable search providers that filter the content that they display and ensure online security. 

Experts recommend people remove SearchConverterz extension to prevent privacy violations. The extension injects tracking cookies to the web browser and keeps recording the following information:

  • type of browser
  • type of the user's device
  • language preferences
  • time stamps
  • clicks
  • visited pages
  • Search logs
  • operating system
  • utilized internet service provider
  • IP address
  • Contact information

Along with the SearchConverterz removal, you will eliminate the cookies that harvest your browsing history. Although such information is not extremely sensitive, third-parties can misuse it for marketing purposes and the ads that emerge on your web browser may be more seductive. 

SearchConverterz SearchConverterz is a browser hijacker that may display sponsored content and redirect people to misleading websites

In general, this application causes more problems than benefits. Its real service is not clear at all, so if you have accidentally installed it, eliminate the malware, then root out the extension, and restore your web browser's settings. You may need to find all the changes that ConvertrzSearch and other PUPs, injected on the system may cause. So rely on tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego that can indicate file corruption and affected programs or functions.

If you need assistance with the SearchConverterz removal, scroll down to the end of this post. We have prepared a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial explaining how to deal with browser hijackers. Anti-malware tools still are the best for these PUP infections.

Browser hijackers usually do not ask users permission to change browser's settings explicitly

This PUP can be downloaded from Chrome web store purposely believing that Chrome's extension will improve the web browsing experience. However, direct downloads of suchlike apps are not very common. In most of the cases, people install them accidentally by hitting the Next button during freeware installation. 

Browser hijackers increase their users' rates with the help of bundling[4] distribution. The installer of a hijacker is added to the main installer of a free application (converters, players, web browsers, games, etc.) in exchange for a commission fee. Additional installers are usually disclosed on the installation setup boxes; however, only if the user opts for the Advanced or Custom installation technique. 

SearchConverterz PUPSearchConverterz belongs to the group of potentially unwanted programs since it is mainly spread via freeware bundles

Thus, to prevent bundled installers, carefully select freeware to install and monitor the installation process. Read all terms, conditions, and Privacy Policy. Most importantly, do not skip any windows to spot additional installers and unmark the checkboxes saying that you agree with the installation of add-ons or extensions that settle down on web browsers and alter settings. 

Eliminate SearchConverterz virus with a reliable AV tool completely

SearchConverterz removal can be accomplished in two ways, i.e. either manually or automatically. Both methods are fully functional. However, malware elimination with a reliable AV tool is highly recommended in order to ensure the full elimination of suspicious applications. 

SearchConverterz hijackSearchConverterz virus alters web browser's settings to take control over people's web browsing activities

If this extension has been installed on your machine without your permission, there's a high risk that your PC is heavily infected by PUPs. Thus, a full scan will do the trick and help you to perform the automatic ConvertrzSearch removal. Besides, experts stress the importance of a proper system's maintenance.

Malware is capable of altering Windows Registries and leaving related files in a random system's location. These unwanted entries may eventually cache the system and trigger malfunctions. So right after you remove SearchConverterz, check for issues with the system performance. 

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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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 SearchConverterz, follow these steps:

Get rid of SearchConverterz from Windows systems

If you determined to remove SearchConverterz virus manually, follow these steps in the right sequence:

  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 SearchConverterz and related programs
    Here, look for SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz 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.

Delete SearchConverterz from Mac OS X system

SearchConverterz extension for Chrome can settle down on macOS successfully. To delete it from the system, follow this tutorial:

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

Remove SearchConverterz from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall SearchConverterz from Internet Explorer (IE)

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 SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz-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

Remove SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase SearchConverterz from Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the main target for the SearchConverterz hijacker. To get rid of it completely, you should ensure that all potentially unwanted programs have been removed from the machine. After that, delete the extension and reset web 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 SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz 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 SearchConverterz, 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 SearchConverterz removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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