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Remove Searchou (Easy Removal Guide) - Jan 2021 update

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Searchou – a browser hijacker that can come in a bundle with Privitze VPN

Searchou browser hijacker

Questions about Searchou

Searchou is described as a browser-hijacking application that enters systems with additional content such as Privitze VPN. Once you end up with this browser hijacker, unpleasant alterings will be spotted by the default search engine, address bar, and homepage modified to google.com/webhp. After Searchou virus places itself on your machine, you can expect several suspicious activities that are going to be carried out in the meantime. Mostly, these PUPs are closely related to redirecting to affiliate websites, placement of advertising content, browser history enhancing, injection of odd extensions, and similar.

Name Searchou
Type Browser hijacker
Additional software Privitze VPN which travels with MagniPic
Engine google.com/webhp
Found in thepiratebay.se and other unsecured networks
Activities Alterings of browser settings (engine, homepage, new tab URL)
Manual removal Look for instructions at the end of this page
Automatical elimination Download ReimageIntego and try removing the potentially unwanted program with this tool

Reports about Searchou triggering users have flooded the Internet in the past. You can find Malwarebytes forums wild with reports about this browser-hijacking app. One user has claimed that the modified search settings appear each time while entering web browsers such as Chrome, IE, and the computer has been put in the mode of sluggishness. Besides, the user commented that even reliable anti-malware tools can hardly remove every single component of the hijack.[1]

Another person revealed that Searchou.com appeared after downloading a component from the well-known piracy network – thepiratebay.se. After the unsuccessful download, he received the browser hijacker together with the beforementioned Privitze VPN component. It is considered to be a Virtual Private Network[2] that arrives not only with Searchou but also together with MagniPic (an adware program).

As you can see, Searchou can be easily bundled through third-party networks and come with additional software. However, this might be potentially dangerous as different malware strains (Trojan viruses, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, worms, etc.) are also put up on piracy sites such as The Pirate Bay. Note that browser hijackers are one of the main ways of how malware reaches computer systems.

Searchou virusSearchou is a browser hijacker that comes together with Privitze VPN component

Another unpleasant feature of Searchou is redirecting that can be caused to take the user to affiliate websites. This is one of the main ways how third-party developers promote their products, for example, rogue security software. However, in some cases, redirecting actions might relate to landings on malicious websites. This is another way how dangerous infections reach the targetted machine/device.

Continuously, Searchou might be capable of collecting results that relate to your browsing activities. Potentially unwanted programs like this can gather information such as your IP address, type of web browser used, commonly search pages, offers requested, online accounts visited, clicks made on specific ads or hyperlinks, saved bookmarks, and even your geographic location and email address.

Later on, the browser hijacker might pass on all collected details to other parties for income-gaining purposes. Avoid this type of unfair activities by performing Searchou removal. You can try eliminating the threat with tools such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes. Also, you can find manual instructing steps at the end of the article. These guidelines will help you to clean all web browsers on yourself.

However, to remove Searchou fully, you need to get rid of all additional content that the potentially unwanted program has brought together with it. This includes all beforementioned components such as Privitze VPN or even MagniPic if it appeared also. Furthermore, you should definitely check the browser settings for questionable extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons injected.

Searchou PUPSearchou is a browser hijacker that travels through piracy networks

Browser-hijacking apps are delivered via third-party networks

There are plenty of unsecured sources lurking out in the cyberspace and many users enter such networks every day. They are known as piracy, adult-themed, gambling, or online-gaming websites. According to experts from LosVirus.es,[3] the lack of security in these sources allows various hackers to plant PUPs and even malware in them. Another popular browser hijacker distribution technique is by using software bundles. 

If you are looking for ways to avoid potentially unwanted programs such as browser hijacker or adware, you should:

  • Keep a proper distance from third-party websites. 
  • Stop using services that are not provided by their original developers.
  • Avoid downloading programs by using “Quick” modes. Choose “Advanced” instead.
  • Install a reputable security tool and keep it regularly updated. 

Searchou virus removal tips

You need to remove Searchou from your computer system if this potentially unwanted program appeared on your browser unexpectedly and started altering your browser settings. Remember, the longer you keep this threat on your machine, the worse its activities might get and start intruding you even more.

Searchou removal can be carried out in two ways. You can download a reputable anti-malware tool or you can use the below-provided guidelines to clean web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari from questionable extensions and add-ons.

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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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.
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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 Searchou, follow these steps:

Get rid of Searchou from Windows systems

Erase suspicious content and programs from Windows. Use these instructions to help you:

To remove Searchou 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 Searchou (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.

Eliminate Searchou from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Searchou from Applications folder:

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

Delete Searchou 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 Searchou 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 Searchou removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Searchou 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 Searchou-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 Searchou 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 Searchou 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 Searchou 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 Searchou removal.Reset Firefox 2

Uninstall Searchou from Google Chrome

Clean and refresh your Google Chrome web browser after the browser hijacker has modified it:

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 Searchou 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 Searchou-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 Searchou removal.Reset Chrome 2

Get rid of Searchou 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 Searchou 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 Searchou 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.

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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References

  1. Bill says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Spyhunter is just extra spyware.

  2. Ahseya says:
    July 5th, 2013 at 11:24 am

    THANKYOU, SO MUCH!!!!

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