virus (Removal Instructions) - Improved Guide virus Removal Guide

What is virus? virus – a potentially unwanted program that displays deceptive advertisements browser virus redirects all traffic through a website of its choice is a browser hijacker that modifies specific browser preferences, including homepage, new tab, and the default search engine, to redirect traffic to its promoted search engine and show tons of deceptive ads either as pop-ups or search results. This intruder is developed by Linkury Ltd, which produced similar potentially unwanted programs[1] (PUPs), like Safe Finder virus.

Searchlee browser hijacker can affect both Mac and Windows devices. As soon as it's installed, it changes the aforementioned browser settings. Thus when you open your browser, the first thing you'll see is the fake search engine window. The same happens when you open a new tab or type anything in the URL search bar.

This software is considered a PUP because it can gather non-personal browser-related data and due to the way it's distributed. If you have no idea how this browser intruder got on your device or you installed it willingly, we recommend uninstalling it with our free instructions below.

type Mac virus, redirect virus, PUP
Belongs to Adload virus family
Developer Linkury Ltd
IP address
Altered browser settings A new tab, default search engine, and the homepage preferences
Symptoms Apart from modified browser preferences, user devices become slower, an extensive amount of ads is shown, redirects to suspicious websites
Risks Deceptive ads and redirects might lead to hazardous sites where additional PUPs or malware can be downloaded. Collected browsing data might be shared with third-parties with ill intensions
removal Use our free guides below to remove Searchlee with reliable anti-malware software completely
System fix To restore registry values, maintain settings, and clean up your device, use the powerful FortectIntego tool

Browser hijackers can endanger user privacy and security by causing redirects to shady websites, showing misleading ads, and collecting their browsing habits. The sudden redirects, as well as ads, may lead to affiliated, promotional portals, which may include:

  • gambling,
  • gaming,
  • porn,
  • fake updaters/installers,
  • fake surveys, etc.

These sites might push users to install additional PUPs, try to draw out personal information by using various social-engineering techniques, and so on. The data that virus is gathering (IP addresses, geolocations, device/browser info, search inquiries, etc.) can be shared with advertisers to show ads tailored especially for you.

Although browser hijackers and similar PUPs are advertised as software that will increase your privacy and security while browsing the internet, they can actually do the exact opposite. Therefore, we recommend our readers remove virus from their Mac and Windows devices ASAP. PUP collects browsing-related data and shows ads as search results

The best way to get rid of any PUPs or malware is by scanning your device with professional anti-malware software. It would be best to consider using either SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes for this task. Although note that the virus can be installed as a browser extension too.

In that case, please scroll down to the bottom of this article, where we display free manual virus removal instructions for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Edge users. Once the browser intruder is completely eliminated, it's time to take care of your device's overall health.

PUPs usually alter various system settings and files, which, if unattended, might lead to abnormal system behavior, such as freezing, crashing, severe lag, and so on. Cybersecurity experts[2] highly advise using the FortectIntego tool to fix system-related issues and clean up your browsing data automatically to avoid any repetition of PUP infections.

Software bundles – the most common way PUPs get installed on user devices

Less and less people are tricked into installing PUPs, such as adware or browser hijackers, from deceptive ads stating that it will increase certain aspects of their devices. Thus developers of such software started offering it through software or freeware bundles,[3] i.e., packs that include more than one program installers.

When such bundle is downloaded, usually from third-party vendors, and users select the Quick, Recommended, Standard or installation method alike, all programs from the pack are installed. The trick is very simple, as all apps are pre-selected for installation.

There are two ways to avoid PUPs that are distributed this way:

  1. Download all software directly from the developers.
  2. Choose the Custom or Advanced installation and deselect all software that you don't want to have. browser hijacker displays altered search results

Remove Searchlee virus from your Mac or Windows devices with anti-malware tools

PUPs can impede your browsing experience immensely. Constant redirects, altered search results, and Searchlee ads can cause a massive headache. Furthermore, using such software can endanger your privacy and security. Thus it should be eliminated swiftly.

The most effective way to remove virus is by performing a full system scan with trustworthy anti-malware software. It will detect all the threats automatically, isolate, and terminate them. If the redirects or ads still continue, use our guides below to reset your browsers.

When virus removal is done, we highly advise taking care of your device's system files and settings. Users could do that manually, but it's only recommended for highly experienced, tech-savvy people. Others should entrust this task to powerful system repair tools.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. 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.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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.

Getting rid of virus. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  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 the entry of the 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.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

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

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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, search 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 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 unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  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

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, 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. Reset Firefox 2

Remove 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 the unwanted program 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

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted 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. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension 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 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: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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