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Remove Searchsecretly.net virus (Removal Instructions) - Tutorial

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search Secretly supposedly provides you online “privacy”

The image of Search Secretly

Searchsecretly.net virus is perceived to be not an actual malware[1], but rather a potentially unwanted program. Due to certain flaws  i.e. browser hijacker. It uses the form of a search engine to advertise various companies, websites, services, and products. Such programs are not particularly favored by the users because they typically replace default search engines and open in new tab and browser window. Thus, they are often referred to simply as viruses.

This may not be the most suitable name for Search Secretly service, but there is no denying that due to some of its functionalities, this program deserves such a title. The stealthy system infiltration alone is a doubtful software distribution choice, nevertheless, there are more reasons why this supposedly handy Visicom Media Inc. creation is not worth keeping on your computer. Keep reading and find out what bothers the users and experts considering this program.

If you decide to remove Search Secretly from an infected device, you will find helpful tips and tricks at the on of the article. Keep in mind that if this program has entered your computer without your knowledge, it might be that your system or your own browsing habits have vulnerabilities that might allow other much more serious malware to get through. Thus, we also recommend additionally scanning your computer with some reliable malware detection device, such as ReimageIntego, for instance.

Questions about Searchsecretly.net virus

Image of the Searchsecretly.net virusSearchsecretly.net creators do their best to convince their new victims about the legitimacy and usefulness of this service. You should not be tricked, though. This search engine is merely and ad-based engine which brings more inconvenience than benefit.

When talking about the functionalities of this browser hijacker we should point out that the most noticeable aspects of Searchsecretly.net hijack are not always the most harmful. In fact, most questionable program’s behavior lies underneath the surface. The sponsored links, ads, and Searchsecretly.net redirect issue may not seem that big of a deal as long as you are unaware of what content does this Canada-based search engine actually promotes.

Nevertheless, investigating them more closely reveals that they often lead to potentially dangerous sites where the users may be tricked into obtaining unreputable programs or disclosing sensitive information. Searchsecretly.net removal can prevent this from happening and is highly recommended in order to maintain general computer’s stability.

The sponsored links, ads, and Searchsecretly.net redirect issue may not seem that big of a deal as long as you are unaware of what content does this Canada-based search engine actually promotes. Nevertheless, investigating them more closely reveals that they often lead to potentially dangerous sites[2] where the users may be tricked into obtaining unreputable programs or disclosing sensitive information. Searchsecretly.net removal can prevent this from happening and is highly recommended in order to maintain general computer’s stability.

PUP detection and prevention

Searchsecretly.net is surely an unpleasant cyber infection to have snooping around on your computer. So the question is: can you do anything to stop such programs from entering your PC? Undoubtedly yes! You may start with obtaining an antivirus software that will protect you from drive-by downloads or fake software updates that often hide viruses like Searchsecretly.net and help them find their way into the system. 

Nevertheless, you should not rely on automatic tools alone and must take precautions yourself. For instance, avoid visiting unfamiliar websites and carefully choose the source of your downloads. When you already download a software package, do not forget to inspect it for additional components and cancel the installation of the suspicious ones.

Get rid Searchsecretly.net and regain control of the browser

To regain control of your browser and to roll back the changes made to its settings, you should remove Searchsecretly.net virus from the computer. First, you may try scanning your device with an antivirus utility, but if that does not help to locate and isolate the virus, you may also try to remove it manually. 

The key to manual Searchsecretly.net removal is simple — you have to follow professional instructions. For your convenience, we have provided a comprehensive hijacker elimination tutorial just below this article. Note that users who are non-native English speakers, for example, Estonain users[3], may notice the ads promoting this PUP as well.

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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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 Searchsecretly.net virus, follow these steps:

Get rid of Searchsecretly.net from Windows systems

Searchsecretly.net is not the worst possible enemy you may have, but it is an undesirable program you should remove from your computer when you have the chance. Instructions on the program's elimination are provided in this tutorial:

  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 Searchsecretly.net and related programs
    Here, look for Searchsecretly.net 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 Searchsecretly.net 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.

Erase Searchsecretly.net from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Searchsecretly.net virus from Applications folder:

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

Delete Searchsecretly.net 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 Searchsecretly.net 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, 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 Searchsecretly.net virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Searchsecretly.net virus from Microsoft Edge

Do not let Searchsecretly.net impact your browsing habits and twist them its own way. Remove this browser hijacker from your browser and then reset Edge to confirm the changes.

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 Searchsecretly.net 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

Remove Searchsecretly.net 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 Searchsecretly.net 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 Searchsecretly.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Searchsecretly.net from Google Chrome

Your Google Chrome should not be controlled by Searchsecretly.net. That's why you should remove this hijacker from your browser following the steps below:

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

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

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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