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Remove SearchGamez (Easy Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SearchGamez – the program that controls search queries by redirecting all the searches through its own engine

SearchGamez SearchGamez – a browser hijacker that triggers reroutes of every browsing session, so you cannot access wanted content. The main goal of these potentially unwanted program creators is to gain money from views, page visits, and other interactions that happen on their site when users visit the platform. The PUP changes your browser search engine to search-gamez.com, sets this site as homepage, other default preferences, so your browser works on rerouting every session through this domain. You can also notice browser extensions, applications, tools, and other programs downloaded out of nowhere. 

Once the SearchGamez virus manages to inject itself on the machine, it can easily trigger other changes and install programs to ensure the persistence of itself. When installed on the machine, the hijacker will trigger various changes in the system. You should consider the device infected when the browser is controlled by this site and when there are no settings that you normally set. Constant commercial material, banners, pop-ups, push notifications, and other material that is promoting tools or pages should be indications of the unwanted program infection.

Name SearchGamez or search-gamez.com
Type Browser hijacker[1]/ redirect virus/ potentially unwanted program
Symptoms The program creates frustration when redirects to particular sites, promotional content appears out of nowhere and creates issues with other processes
Issues When the browser hijacker runs in the background, your device becomes slower and starts running poorly. Also, PUPs and other commercial sites, third-party companies can access your information, regarding the browsing history, preferences and other more personal details
Distribution Freeware installations lead to issues with such PUPs and downloads of the intrusive programs. You may visit deceptive pages and end up on misleading pop-ups, redirect unwillingly that trigger issues for you too and silently inject shady apps on the machine[2]
Elimination SearchGamez removal happens quickly and without much difficulty, when you rely on professional anti-malware tools and clean the system properly
Repair The system might get affected more if settings get altered by the PUP itself. You should repair those parts of the machine using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or a similar system tool

SearchGamez is the rogue software that falls in the category of a browser hijacker because it promotes search-gamez.com search engine and tries to trick users into visiting commercial sites, possibly dangerous pages. There are tons of similar intruders like this one: 

Any of these programs and the SearchGamez PUP itself are considered questionable applications and search engines or even called redirect viruses because if the constant activities involving pop-ups, banners, redirects to risky commercial pages. This search engine can push other browser add-ons and tools, so pop-ups may become automatic downloads later on.

You need to remove SearchGamez fully from the system because the program that runs on the background is the one that controls all the activities. Removing the browser tools, resetting the browsing engine is not enough to tackle the intruder itself. Fully cleaning the computer is the best solution.

SearchGamez PUPSearchGamez - the program that reroutes your online searches to bogus engine.

SearchGamez search engine affects Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and that is the main issue when it comes to these intrusive PUPs. Besides the questionable activities, experts[3] note about the issue regarding data tracking and problems with the privacy that unwanted tools and hijackers can create. 

Stay away from any pop-ups, banners, redirects, other content that is delivered by SearchGamez, so you can avoid additional installs of the more malicious or damaging tools. Remember that anything installed from the internet can be possibly dangerous and affect the performance of your machine even more.

It is important to perform SearchGamez removal as soon as possible because in most cases, PUPs can run in the background for a while before symptoms get displayed before you. Run the proper anti-malware tool and delete any possibly harmful materials. Then try to repair the damage that might be done in the background with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. After all these procedures, you can restore web browsers fully to default.

SearchGamez hijackSearchGamez is the program that triggers issues with the machine when Search-Gamez.com gets set as the default search engine and homepage.  

Browser redirects triggered by programs running in the system and browser-based apps

You get redirected to suspicious sites all the time, but extensions, browser add-ons, programs, and apps that get installed on the machine can trigger more of those pop-ups and new windows. It happens because PUP runs in the background and manages to trigger those redirects. 

This also means that the site is a result of the infection, not the intruder itself. This browser hijacker or any other adware programs are results of the PUP or PUA infiltration that happens when you visit deceptive pages and allow shady tools to get installed without knowing.

Choose proper sources, official sites, providers that are reliable when you install anything. Then choose Advanced or Custom options and de-select anything from the list that raises questions. This is how you avoid PUP installs.

SearchGamez termination starts with the general system cleaning

You should focus on the SearchGamez removal immediately after finding the unwanted content bothering you. The sooner you clean this hijacker off of the machine the better because you can avoid damage that PUP causes later on.

It is not enough to clear installations form the browser to remove SearchGamez properly, as we mentioned, so you need to run the proper anti-malware tool or security application and clear any detected programs/ files this way. Your AV tools can find more of them, so eliminate any intruders to improve the performance.

Also, when the SearchGamez virus gets on the system it may affect the machine further and trigger changes in system functions, folders, programs. It often affects the registry to trigger the appearance more often, so rely on system tools and fix those issues.

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 SearchGamez, follow these steps:

Uninstall SearchGamez from Windows systems

SearchGamez termination can happen by following these particular 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 SearchGamez and related programs
    Here, look for SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez 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.

Remove SearchGamez from Mac OS X system

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

Remove SearchGamez from Applications folder:

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

Delete SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez-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 SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate SearchGamez from Google Chrome

The browser that gets affected by the SearchGamez PUP can have more tools and applications installed behind your back, so resetting the browser fully can help delete them

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

Uninstall SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez 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 SearchGamez, 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 SearchGamez 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. 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.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. 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
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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