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Remove SearchLock (Removal Instructions) - updated Dec 2020

removal by Linas Kiguolis - -   Also known as Search Lock | Type: Browser Hijackers

SearchLock – a questionable browser extension that should not be installed

Searchlock image

SearchLock is a dubious application that pretends to be protecting users' privacy while browsing the internet. It promises improved search results, adult filter, and no personal data tracking. This browser extension was created by BeeStripe LLC, and the latest version 1.0.4 can be downloaded on the official Google web store. Searchlock for Firefox is also available and its version is Nevertheless, despite having a feel of legitimacy, security experts consider this plug-in to be a browser hijacker[1] as it changes the startup page and default search engine and then redirects all searches to hxxps://

Name SearchLock
Type Browser hijacker
Developer BeeStripe LLC
Symtoms Altered search engine and search results; intrusive ads and sponsored links, etc.
Main dangers Exposure to questionable sites that can lead to malware infections
Distribution Software bundling, official web store 
Elimination You can uninstall this app manually by following our instructions below. Also, you can use security software like ReimageIntego to eliminate all unwanted applications quickly

After being added to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers, this anonymous search engine can also track its users' activity on the Internet and fill its search results with the sponsored ones. The entire truth related to Search can be easily revealed by reading users' reviews,[2] so make sure you read them before downloading this add-on.

No matter that there are thousands of people who have already tried this tool on their web browsers, we believe that almost all of them have already performed SearchLock removal on their computers.

SearchLock virus

Characteristics of Search Lock

In reality, this program is an ad-supported application[3] which receives income from redirecting you to its affiliate websites. Therefore, every time you use this supposedly safe search engine you see modified search results featuring links to sponsored websites.

The threat lies in the fact that there is no way of knowing whether you will be redirected to a safe or bogus website that might lead to virus infection or install other potentially unwanted program[4] on your machine. However, there is another aspect to know about this application besides SearchLock redirect activity.

What we are referring to is its feature of installing cookies on your browser and tracking your browsing-related information. Beware that you might be sharing information about your mostly visited websites, search terms, computer's location, IP address and similar data with third-party entities.

What is more, virus might operate as most of other similar applications that modify your browser in a way that prevents you from switching back to your old browser. Therefore, there is one thing you can do with this application – remove SearchLock once and for all, and enjoy safe and unbiased browsing on your computer.

You should remove this application with some reliable anti-spyware utility like ReimageIntego to achieve the best results and complete removal of this program. 

SearchLock 3 – the latest version of the suspicious app

Searchlock 3 is the latest version of SearchLock virus which redirects its victims to, and similar websites having a tendency to promote potentially malicious websites. Typically, this PUP spreads via free programs, such as audio editors, download managers, and media players.

However, the security experts have warned users about its distribution thru Skype network and fake Java or Flash Player updates. To prevent it, you need to be careful with every installation you perform on your computer. Make sure you choose “Custom” installation mode instead of “Recommended” and also check “Terms of Use” to know what you are dealing with.

Questions about SearchLock

As you can see, Searchlock 3 bears similar URL address as its previous version. Also, it spreads with the help of similar techniques, so you need to stay vigilant to avoid it.

The image of Searchlock virusSearchlock virus has been actively spreading on the Internet for almost two years. You can get infected with it when you download free software without monitoring its installation

PUPs rely on software bundling

The questionable app distribution is very predictable because it spreads just like hundreds of other browser hijackers – in a bundle with other applications. Usually, it involves legitimate or at least desirable free applications which can be filled with additional supplements that can be avoided only if you monitor the whole installation process.

Therefore, if you reboot your system after installing something new and you notice some changes on your browser, it means that you failed to check what components does the program contain. To prevent these add-ons, extensions and similar components, you should not skip the Privacy Policy, End User's License Agreement and similar information. Additionally, the best way to prevent installation of third-party applications is to opt for either Advanced or Custom installation options and deselect everything that you might find suspicious or redundant. 

To help you avoid a hijacked browser, we should also add that this PUP has been using Skype network to infiltrate target computer systems.[5] If you happen to receive a link from your friend and it seems suspicious to you, you should ignore it.

Don't click Baidu and similar links before asking your Skype contacts whether they did send you these links to you or not. Usually, that's how viruses spread around. Finally, be careful with fake ads appearing on your screen while browsing the Internet. We highly recommend ignoring popups telling you that you need to update your Flash Player and similar programs. Make sure you visit official websites to download updates that you need.

SearchLock browser hijacker

SearchLock elimination instructions is a potentially unwanted program that should be avoided. You can get infected with it after downloading a free application which was involved to its distribution. Fortunately, SearchLock removal is not a big deal and you can get rid of it by performing several steps on your computer.

According to 2spyware experts, you should opt for automatic removal procedure since this hijacker can spread around in one pack with various components. To remove Search Lock with each of its files, BHOs and similar counterparts, you should install one of programs that are provided below.

However, if you think that you are experienced enough to get rid of this PUP manually, use a detailed guide below. Please be very careful while following steps provided below this article and fix each of web browsers that are installed on your computer.

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 SearchLock, follow these steps:

Uninstall SearchLock from Windows systems

If you want to remove the app, you need to uninstall all entries that belong to this hijacker. Make sure you find SearchLock 1.0.4, SearchLock New Tab, Search Privacy Helper, and other entries that should be eliminated.

  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 SearchLock and related programs
    Here, look for SearchLock 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 SearchLock 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 '' 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.

Delete SearchLock from Mac OS X system

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

Remove SearchLock from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of SearchLock 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 SearchLock 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,
  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 SearchLock removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate SearchLock 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 SearchLock-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 SearchLock from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To fix Mozilla Firefox web browser, you need to remove SearchLock 1.0.4 add-on from your computer. Also, you will have to change your default search engine if it was changed by this virus. Finally, reset Firefox to get rid of this virus completely.

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

Remove SearchLock from Google Chrome

If you want to remove SearchLock 1.0.4 add-on from Google Chrome, you will have to delete its add-on first. You can also reset the browser to fix it.

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

Uninstall SearchLock from Safari

If Safari is hijacked by SearchLock, make sure you remove related add-ons with the help of these steps:

  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 SearchLock 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 SearchLock, 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 SearchLock 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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  1. James says:
    December 30th, 2015 at 12:54 am

    I am very thankful for helping me to remove this program! Its a pain to have it on your computer..

  2. Simbian says:
    December 30th, 2015 at 12:56 am

    I thought I will be capable of removing it manually, but this program is quite aggressive. Stay away from it!

  3. LilyMowrer says:
    December 30th, 2015 at 1:14 am

    I was asking you about SearchLock ads and you were right, this program is earning from them! Thank you for helping me!

  4. Seko says:
    August 11th, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Thats all I needed to know. Thanks Simbian

  5. kee says:
    August 18th, 2016 at 10:53 am


  6. Carl Erickson says:
    November 16th, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Having searchlock has become very intrusive for me. I just do not seem to be able removed it . I have no good nor bad views as to
    its value , I just wish to have help in removing it from my Windows 7 system …. if you could be of service in this matter I
    would be grateful …. sincere apologies for earlier frustrated remarks

  7. 2spyware says:
    November 16th, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Dear Carl,

    have you tried using recommended software? It should help you find all components of this PUP. If you are not willing to use automatic removal methods, you can also try removing this add-on from each of your web browsers manually. If you cant find related add-ons on Chrome, Mozilla, IE, Safari or Edge, you can also try checking Task Manager for Searchlock and uninstalling this PUP from here. Then, you need to reset each of your web browsers.

  8. jimbodacious says:
    March 31st, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Excellent “how-to” on scrubbing SearchLock from my Mac. Thanks!

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