Severity scale:  
  (10/100)

Remove SearchFly - Jan 2021 update

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - -   Also known as SearchFly Toolbar, SearchFly virus | Type: Browser hijacker

SearchFly – a browser hijacker that wants to monetize your ad clicks

SearchFly

SearchFly is a potentially unwanted program, which can also be called a browser hijacker. No matter that it may look like a typical toolbar with a search box, we think that you should never install it on your computer. Why are we saying so?

First of all, this program has been actively spread around in a bundle with other applications. Beware that you can allow installation of this Toolbar without knowing that because it has been actively spread in a bundle with apps like:

  • download managers;
  • PDF creators;
  • video streaming software
  • fake system optimizers
  • registry cleaners, and similar programs.

In addition, after entering the system, it can be used to hijack each of your web browsers, including Google Chrome, MS Edge, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and others. After doing so, you may find out that you can't use Google, Yahoo or Bing like you did before because each of your search sessions ends with SearchFly redirects and similar issues.

We don't recommend keeping such programs as SearchFly hijacker on your computer because they are actively used to increase advertising revenue, web traffic and sales.

For that, they may show altered search results that can be filled with misleading links and other content. Besides, they may also interrupt you with continuous pop-up ads that are also displayed for the same reason – trying to earn the money from advertising. One affected user said:

Besides, this program may cause system changes – it  may hijacked my homepage and the default search engine without asking for approval.

However, we think that the most important reason why you should stay away from SearchFly Toolbar is that it may try to collect information about your browsing.  Typically, SearchFly Customized Web Search is interested in people's search terms, mostly visited websites, data that they enter when visiting them, etc.

Please do not ignore such activities and check your computer with reliable anti-spyware to make sure that it's free of malicious programs. You can remove SearchFly either by following out elimination guide below or by performing a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. To achieve the best results, you can use ReimageIntego, as it can bring the affected system files back to normal.

Unexpected browser hijacking can be explained with software bundling

SearchFly is promoted thru its official website or with a help of freeware and shareware. In order to avoid such downloads, you should be very careful when installing PDF creators, download managers and similar applications. At the moment of writing, this app is actively spread in a bundle with one of the following apps:

  • DivX Player
  • Babylon Toolbar
  • Ask Toolbar
  • BitTorrent.

Therefore, if you download software from third-parties, make sure you choose a Custom or Advanced installation when the opportunity is given to you. Also, you should deselect checkboxes that say that you agree to install SearchFly on the system.

Leaving this checkmark will lead you to SearchFly Toolbar’s infiltration and continuous redirects. No matter that technically, it's not a virus, we recommend eliminating it from the system.

Remove SearchFly toolbar to go back to your normal browsing routine

If you want to remove SearchFly toolbar and prevent redirects to affiliate websites, you should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware. This method is the quickest one, as it can find not only potentially unwanted programs but also all the invisible threats that could be running in the background. In general, the absence of up-to-date security software is one of the main reasons users get infected with threats such as ransomware or Trojans.

SearchFly removal with security software might not always be successful due to it being a potentially unwanted program (vendors use different criteria for detection these). In such a case, you can rely on the manual instructions below. Access the settings section of your web browser, clear web data, and eliminate all the extensions.

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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To remove SearchFly, follow these steps:

Eliminate SearchFly from Windows systems

To remove SearchFly from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to SearchFly (or any other recently installed 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.

Remove SearchFly from Mac OS X system

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

Remove SearchFly from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall SearchFly 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 SearchFly 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 SearchFly removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of SearchFly 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 SearchFly-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

Delete SearchFly from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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 plugins that are related to SearchFly and click Remove.Remove extensions from 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

In case SearchFly did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete SearchFly removal.Reset Firefox 2

Erase SearchFly 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 SearchFly 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the SearchFly-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 to complete SearchFly removal.Reset Chrome 2

Eliminate SearchFly from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to SearchFly 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 SearchFly 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.

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 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. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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