Severity scale:  
  (13/100)

Remove SearchConvertor (Removal Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SearchConvertor – a potentially unwanted application that hijacks web browsers without asking

SearchConvertorSearchConvertor is a browser-hijacking application that changes homepage and new tab URL without permission

SearchConvertor is a browser hijacker that can be downloaded from various sources, although most users find it on their systems unexpectedly. This happens since the app is mostly distributed via software bundles, where several programs are compiled into a single package.

As soon as SearchConvertor gains access to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, MS Edge, or another web browser, it begins to change their settings instantaneously. For example, the homepage and the new tab address are changed to feed.searchconvertor.com, and a customized search engine is applied. As soon as users attempt to search the web, their browser begins a redirect to search.yahoo.com, and the top results are always ads, otherwise known as sponsored links.

Besides changing the way users browse the web, the so-called SearchConvertor virus also tracks their online behavior to deliver more suited advertisements for more profits.

Name SearchConvertor
Type Browser hijacker
Distribution  While many browser hijackers can be downloaded on official sources such as Google Web Store, most users find these unwanted programs installed without permission. This happens due to deceptive distribution tactics such as software bundling or fake updates
Symptoms 
  • SearchConvertor browser extension or application is installed
  • Homepage and new tab address is altered to feed.searchconvertor.com or portal.searchconvertor.com
  • All searchers are redirected to Yahoo or another provider
  • Sponsored links and ads shown at the top of the search results
  • Overall increased amount of advertisements
Risks  Installation of other potentially unwanted programs or malware, monetary losses, personal data disclosure to unknown parities or cybercriminals 
Removal  You can uninstall browser extension by right-clicking on it; in case you have a PUP installed on your computer, either follow manual guide below or employ powerful anti-malware for automatic elimination 
Optional steps In case you still see ads and redirects, you should also reset your web browsers. In case malware was found on your machine by the security software, you should also restore normal Windows functions with a PC repair software such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

Just as its visual clones SearchZoneSearchConverterHD, or SearchGamez, SearchConvertor is yet another browser-hijacking application that claims that it is a useful search tool. In fact, many would be attracted to tools such as PDF converter or calculator that is presented as optional components within the main page. However, these useful features are not the only things that the hijacker is capable of.

A browser hijacker is a simple way to monetize – the costs of release are minimal, while the profit it can bring is potentially huge. However, let's keep in mind that the main goal of SearchConvertor developers is to promote advertisements and monetize users' clicks.

To do that effectively, the app collects a variety of information about users who have it installed. It uses browser cookies, web beacons,[1] pixels, scripts, or other tracking technologies to collect anonymous and personal data (mostly IP address and other device identifiers) about SearchConvertor users:

The Non-Personal Information which is being collected may include technical information automatically transmitted by the user's device (for example, type of browser, the type of the user's device and technical information pertaining to the user's device, language preferences, time stamps, clicks and visited pages, search logs, the operating system, utilized internet service provider and other similar information.

However, if you will try to prevent tracking or attempting to search via the address bar, you will be rerouted to Yahoo via the feed.searchconvertor.com portal. This way, the developers ensure that sponsored links are placed all the time, so more users visit affiliated sites. The only way to stop this activity is to remove SearchConvertor from your machine.

SearchConvertor hijackerSearchConvertor is a potentially unwanted program that redirects all search results to Yahoo and shows sponsored links at the top

SearchConvertor is most commonly distributed as an extension that is compatible with several popular web browsers. However, it can also be installed as a standalone application on a Mac or Windows machine. The deletion of the extension should not be a problem to most, although SearchConvertor removal might be a bit more difficult when dealing with the installed app.

However, if you struggle to uninstall SearchConvertor, you can rely on the instructions we provide below or perform a full system scan with a powerful anti-malware. Also, security researchers from novirus.uk[2] advise using a PC repair tool such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego after any type of infection is eliminated from a system.

Prevent infiltration of potentially unwanted programs

Potentially unwanted programs, including browser hijackers, are often distributed via deceptive methods, which result in an unintentional installation by users. One prime example is software bundling – developers of PUPs or freeware distributors often compile several apps into a single installer, and then deliberately hide their presence in order to mislead users.

While it might seem that seemingly reputable websites would not distribute potentially unwanted programs, it is far from the truth. There are plenty of browser hijackers and adware apps that are present on official sources such as Chrome Web Store as well (Google is pulling out apps due to malicious behavior on a regular basis).[3]

Thus, be very careful when you are downloading new applications – always choose official sources if possible, although never let your guard down. Read the installation instructions carefully, decline all the offers (don't be mislead by misplaced buttons), remove all ticks from pre-ticked boxes, and always opt for Advanced or Custom settings when prompted, as it will let you stay in control of the process from start to finish.

SearchConvertor SearchConvertor includes seemingly useful features, although it also tracks users in the background and redirects search results to sponsored sites

Uninstall SearchConvertor from your computer in a few different ways

If you are dealing with a browser extension that is attached to your browser, all you have to do is access the add-on section via browser settings, and then select “Remove SearchConvertor.” However, this might not go as well for all users – the app might set the “Managed by your organization” status or might actually be installed on the system instead of the browser. In the case of the former, you should reset the installed web browser – this will also eliminate cookies and other tracking technologies setup by the hijacker.

If you have an app installed on your computer and you are not sure how to perform SearchConvertor removal manually, we provide the instructions for the process below. If you do not want to meddle with this process yourself, you can let an anti-malware program to take care of everything automatically (just ensure that the security app has PUP detection feature enabled).

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 SearchConvertor, follow these steps:

Delete SearchConvertor from Windows systems

To uninstall SearchConvertor from Windows computer, you should perform the following steps:

  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 SearchConvertor and related programs
    Here, look for SearchConvertor 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 SearchConvertor 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.

Eliminate SearchConvertor from Mac OS X system

If you are a macOS user, you can also easily get infected with a potentially unwanted program such as browser hijacker. Thus, follow these guidelines to eliminate the PUP:

  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 SearchConvertor 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'

Remove SearchConvertor 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 SearchConvertor 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 SearchConvertor removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall SearchConvertor 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 SearchConvertor-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

Erase SearchConvertor from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If you cannot eliminate extensions from your browser or if you want to get rid of the annoying notifications/popups, reset Mozilla Firefox as explained below:

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

Get rid of SearchConvertor from Google Chrome

In case you still see ads, you should reset Google Chrome as soon as unwanted programs are eliminated:

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

Delete SearchConvertor 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 SearchConvertor 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 SearchConvertor, 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 SearchConvertor removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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

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