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Remove virus (Removal Guide) - updated Sep 2017

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker serves questionable search results 

Privacy Search virus is a browser hijacker[1], so make sure you are not tempted by its looks or name. Keep in mind that its owners are working hard on making it look like a useful search tool that is capable of protecting you while you are browsing the Internet. However, virus cannot be considered a trustworthy program no matter what.

Questions about virus

The main fact which is related to this browser hijacker is that it is capable of tracking its users and collecting non-personal information which is related to their searches. No matter that the biggest amount of information which is collected by this virus is not personal, you can easily reveal your email address or PC's IP address to strangers.

What is Search Privacy?

Search Privacy is a dangerous browser extension that changes default search settings in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer and provides untrustworthy search results. It advertises itself as a tool that can protect user's privacy, however, it tracks user's search terms, IP address and similar data to provide third-party ads.

In addition, this questionable browsing tool can easily hijack your computer “bundled” with the freeware. In most of the cases, it does that without your permission asked and takes over your homepage, the default search engine and new tab URL. If you are dealing with this issue right now, you need to remove from your computer. To find all components that belong to this PUP, you can use ReimageIntego.

It seems that this browser hijacker belongs to a new generation. Its creators are promising to help users improve their browsing activity by deleting their search queries, disabling tracking cookies, and preventing other unwanted activities that can be initiated behind their back. However, you need to install Search Privacy add-on on your computer to use these promised services.

Besides, since Privacysearch me is a browser hijacker, it spies on its users and collects non-personal data. While the majority of unwanted browsing tools employ the collected data for marketing purposes, this one uses it for creating more user-oriented results and pop-up ads which can easily start interrupting each of your searches. redirect virus alters browser's settings and tracks user's browsing habits although it claims that it doesn't do so.

Within the time of using this browsing tool, you will also notice redirect problem. After entering the required web page, you can fail to access it because you get misled to a different domain. You should not ignore this phenomenon as you can get redirected to a web page which is infected with less or more serious malware[2].

However, the most important issue related to this browser hijacker is that it disables all security plug-ins that can be found on your computer. Such behavior should not be tolerated because you can get infected without a warning. Thus, do not waste time and start removal. Let ReimageIntego assist you.

Ads and programs that suggest installing this suspicious program

You might have accidentally installed the hijacker along with another free program. experts[3] claim that while hopping through the steps of the installation wizard, users rarely see tiny attachments. Under one of them might hide this potentially unwanted program. There is a way how you can avoid stealth infiltration of unwanted applications.

Upon starting the installation guide of a new program, select “Advanced” settings. Only when you are sure that no additional add-ons will be installed, finish the installation. Generally speaking, cautiousness will not only save you from Privacy Search hijack but more treacherous hijackers as well. 

However, the described browser hijacker is closely associated with several domains that suggest adding versions of this questionable software. If these websites continuously pop-up on your screen although you haven't agreed to install Search Privacy Chrome or SearchPrivacy Firefox, we strongly recommend checking your PC for adware programs that might be sending these ads to you.

  • virus. This suspicious domain advertises an extension for Chrome, promising to launch versions for Firefox and Chrome shortly. The suspicious extension asks to change user's search settings to At first, the user won't see any visible changes in the browser because this potentially unwanted program affects browser's default search settings. Therefore, the user runs into Privacy Search results only after entering a search query into browser's URL bar. It then sends user's query to its servers and displays customized results for the user.
  • virus. This web page is extremely similar to the previously described one. It also promotes an extension that modifies browser's settings. However, the extension has a different name –
  • virus. It is a slightly modified version of the original browser hijacker that works identically as other rogue “privacy-protecting” browser extensions.
  • virus. This browser redirect virus takes control over browser's default search without user's knowledge. It can be installed directly from its main page or arrive as an additional component in unison with some potentially unwanted free program.
  • Search-Privacy.Space virus. Yet another vague web page dedicated to promoting Search Privacy Chrome extension. The extension wants the user to allow it read and change all data with cooperating websites and modify the default search setting to Again, the user has to deal with sponsored search results while looking for relevant information online.

Get rid of without problems

You should read the tutorial we provide to learn how to uninstall Search Privacy virus right away. It will help you to escape more annoying effects this hijacker might cause. You can do it manually and automatically. If you opt for the former solution, be very attentive not to miss any important detail.

Otherwise, there will remain a significantly high probability of getting infected with the hijacker. Therefore, we recommend more time-saving option. Install an anti-spyware program which will remove virus for you.

The program will also serve as an invaluable tool protecting your computer. Finally, do not forget to review all installation stages before hitting the “Install” button and review privacy policies before installing a new application.

Users looking for a more speedy Privacy Search removal option should consider using a program that can remove spyware or malware automatically. You can find some of the programs we tested and recommend using below.

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.
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 virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall from Windows systems

When infected with Privacy Search virus, you need to uninstall all entries that could be related to this hijacker. Make sure you uninstall Search Privacy 1.19,, Privacy Search and similar entries.

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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.

Remove from Mac OS X system

To eliminate hijack from Mac OS X, you need to uninstall all entries that look suspicious to you. We highly recommend eliminating all related entries. The latest its version is 1.19.

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

Remove virus from Applications folder:

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

Delete 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 virus 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 virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate 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 virus-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

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

Erase from Google Chrome is widely popular among Chrome users. If this hijacker has affected this browser, you need to go to Extensions directory, select this add-on and click on the rubbish bin. Then, make sure you reset your browser

You need to get rid of the following extension to remove from Chrome.

The image showing Search Privacy add-on in Google Chrome 

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

Uninstall from Safari

If Safari browser is affected by virus, you need to remove Search Privacy 1.19 add-on from this browser. To remove the malicious search engine, you should reset Safari as well.

 The image showing Search Privacy hijack on 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 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  1. Henry says:
    June 20th, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Where is “Secure Privacy” if I cant even read their privacy policy?

  2. Colin says:
    June 20th, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Just stay with your ordinary search engine. Thats what you get from searching for “something fresh.”

Your opinion regarding virus