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Remove Searchitnow.info virus (Removal Guide) - Jan 2019 update

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Searchitnow.info virus is a browser hijacker that typically targets Mac users

Searchitnow.info hijack

Searchitnow.info is an unreliable search engine and a browser hijacker that changes the new tab address, homepage and search engine of Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox on host computers. This potentially unwanted program is spread with the help of bogus Flash Player updates as a SearchItNow application or via insecure websites. When searches are performed, users are instantaneously redirected to goto-searchitnow.global.ssl.fastly.net and then to a different search engine, such as baysearch.co or alphashoppers.co, or others. The main purpose of Searchitnow.info virus is to generate revenue for its developers and their partners by littering the search results with sponsored links, redirecting users to questionable sites and tracking various anonymous or personal information. The browser hijacker usually targets Mac users, although Windows devices might be affected as well.

SUMMARY
Name Searchitnow.info
Type Browser hijacker
Redirects searches to AlphaShoppers, Bay Search, etc.
Distribution Software bundling
Symptoms Altered search engine, homepage and new tab address; intrusive ads; modified search results
Elimination Use our instructions below and then scan your computer with ReimageIntego for optimal results

Searchitnow.info is categorized as a browser hijacker due to the following reasons[1]:

  • Ability to stealthily assign hxxps://searchitnow.info as a default search engine, new tab URL, and
  • homepage;
  • Ability to reassign the browser settings mentioned above to the fake search engine every time user attempts to change it;
  • “Bundling” distribution method used to secretly infiltrate the hijacker on the computer;
  • Impersonation of AlphaShoppers to generate revenue.

The Searchitnow.info removal might get complicated because once the user installs the potentially unwanted program (PUP), he or she is not able to get rid of it — the browser hijacker is designed to insist on using its services daily and prevent the elimination of it. People are annoyed by this arbitrary behavior and recognize it as a virus.

At this point we want to inform you that Searchitnow.info is not a malicious program, but it collects browsing-related data. If you submit personal details in the search bar, you risk your privacy since developers have full access to this information and might sell it to third-party companies.

Searchitnow.info hijacks your browserSearchitnow.info is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that alters your browser settings by assigning the fake search engine, the new tab URL and a homepage.

Moreover, Search It Now is created to display sponsored ads which generate revenue[2]. They look attractive and lure people into clicking on them. This leads to increase in profits for Searchitnow.info developers. It may seem completely legit, but those ads might redirect you to vague pages used to distribute malware and other high-risk computer infections.

Finally, we checked the Privacy Policy of the program, and found the following information about data collection:[3]

In addition, we may share your information with a parent company, subsidiaries, joint ventures, or other companies under common control solely if and when applicable or necessary for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy. We may share information, in the event of a corporate transaction (e.g. sale of a substantial part of our business, merger, consolidation or asset sale), provided however, that our affiliated companies or acquiring company will assume the rights and obligations as described in this Privacy Policy;

Therefore, by using Searchitnow.info services, you allow your private data to be transferred under certain circumstances. Please beware that such behavior might result in identity theft or stolen money.

Thus, we strongly recommend you to remove Searchitnow.info browser hijacker and protect your computer as well as yourself. You can do that by using a professional security software — ReimageIntego — would be our top pick.

Searchitnow uses software bundlingSearchItNow creators use insecure Flash Player updates to spread the potentially unwanted program.

Browser hijacker comes in one download/installation package together with free software

Researchers from Virusi.hr[4] warn that potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) such as Searchitnow are bundled with third-party applications. Therefore, people unconsciously install it on their computer. You shouldn’t rush through the process and carefully monitor it.

Opt for Custom/Advanced settings since then you will be able to detect the hijacker and remove all pre-selected optional components. If you would select Recommended/Quick settings, this step would be automatically skipped. Also, you should avoid clicking on ads because even accidental clicks might lead to the automatic installation of other malware.

Learn to uninstall Searchitnow.info virus from your PC

Do not try to eliminate the potentially unwanted program (PUP) by yourself. Our IT professionals have prepared detailed instructions which you can find at the end of this article. Use them to remove Searchitnow.info virus – they are easy and quick to use. Make sure to carefully follow them in order to avoid disrupting your computer’s performance.

However, we would recommend you to employ a reputable anti-malware system to save your time and possible problems. It is not easy to start a Searchitnow.info removal if you do not have necessary IT knowledge. Thus, download a security software and let it do the job for you.

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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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 Searchitnow.info virus, follow these steps:

Get rid of Searchitnow.info from Windows systems

You can remove Searchitnow.info virus by following the guidelines below:

  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 Searchitnow.info and related programs
    Here, look for Searchitnow.info 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 Searchitnow.info 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 Searchitnow.info from Mac OS X system

To remove SearchItNow from Mac, use the following guide:

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

Remove Searchitnow.info from Applications folder:

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

Erase Searchitnow.info 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 Searchitnow.info 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 Searchitnow.info removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Searchitnow.info virus 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 Searchitnow.info-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 Searchitnow.info from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To completely eliminate the browser hijacker you have to identify and uninstall all browser extensions related to it:

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

Uninstall Searchitnow.info from Google Chrome

To eliminate Searchitnow.info successfully, you should be aware that potentially unwanted programs might secretly install additional plug-ins and add-on. Get rid of them immediately:

  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 Searchitnow.info 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 Searchitnow.info removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

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

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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