Remove SearchZone (Removal Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

SearchZone Removal Guide

What is SearchZone?

SearchZone is yet another useless browser extension that hijacks web browsers to deliver altered search results

SearchZoneSearchZone is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that changes homepage and new tab URL to feed.search-zone.com

SearchZone is a browser hijacker[1] that might appear on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another web browser unexpectedly, as potentially unwanted programs like this one are typically distributed via software bundle packages, resulting in unintentional installation. Once established, the app changes the web browser settings and sets the web address of the homepage and the new tab to portal.search-zone.com or feed.search-zone.com.

As a result, users are forced to perform searches via the SearchZone search engine, which redirects all results to Yahoo. However, these results are not the same as those that users would see if they would use Yahoo without having a hijacked browser. Instead, they would see a bunch of sponsored links and ads that are inserted at the top.

Besides altering the way users browse the web, the SearchZone virus is also set to collect certain personally identifiable and anonymous information in the background, which may be shared with third-parties.

Name SearchZone
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Also known as Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic
Distribution In most cases, potentially unwanted applications are delivered through software bundle packages downloaded from software distribution sites, although can also be installed intentionally by the user via various methods
Symptoms
  • SearchZone browser extension is installed on the web browser
  • Homepage or new tab address is set to portal.search-zone.com or feed.search-zone.com
  • All the search queries are redirected to search.yahoo.com
  • Search results are filled with sponsored links
  • Overall slowdown of the web browser or difficult to reach certain websites
Dangers In some cases, users might visit sites that ask them to download and install suspicious applications, resulting in additional PUP infiltration. Besides, since most of such apps are set to track users' online behavior, it can cause certain privacy issues
Elimination You can get rid of unwanted applications manually by following our step-by-step guide below or by scanning the machine with reputable anti-malware software
Optimization You can optimize your computer after infection with tools such as ReimageIntego

Since the unwanted browser extension might get installed without permission, the SearchZone hijack might not be that apparent straight away. However, as soon as the web browser is opened, you will see a feed.search-zone.com in the URL bar at the top, and you are likely to notice that the search engine of your web browser changed. In other words, the presence of the add-on can be noticed almost immediately due to visual changes in the web browser.

More clues follow right away – in case you would enter a search query into the provided search engine, you would soon notice that all your searches are redirected to search.yahoo.com. While Yahoo is a legitimate search provider and one of the major tech companies around, these results are not genuine, since you would look at the SearchZone ads instead. These are typically placed at the top, increasing the chances of users clicking on them.

Even if you would not use the provided search engine and instead use the URL bar, you would still be redirected via the third-party website/extension. As a result, you would not be able to find genuine results without performing SearchZone removal, which can be accomplished in either manual or automatic ways.

Just as many other similar potentially unwanted programs, this app pretends to be a useful search tool that would enhance web browsing experience to its users. However, instead of doing that, the SearchZone virus delivers sponsored links and ads to acquire revenue from user clicks.

To make these search results more attractive, SearchZone Search developers use a variety of data tracking technologies (cookies, web beacons,[2] etc.) in order to gather information about users' web browsing activities. This helps the app authors to provide targeted ads to users, increasing the chance of them clicking on sponsored content. Besides, such information like the IP address, browser type, language preferences, visited websites, ISP, search logs, and other data can be shared with certain third-parties:[3]

We may share Non-Personal Information with our trusted Service Providers only to the extent required to fulfill the purposes of providing the services.

Other third parties (including retailers, media networks, feed providers) in any of the above circumstances, as well as for the purpose of developing or delivering content

In case the information gets transferred to a suspicious third-party, it may cause serious privacy issues and also make ads to appear on the web browser more often than it should.

SearchZone hijackerSearchZone is a browser hijacker that delivered sponsored search results via Yahoo search provider

All the described SearchZone features above are very similar to those of other browser hijackers, such as Screen Dream Osalo APP, Mazy Search, and many others. They all pretend to be “useful browsing tools” that do not benefit users in any way. Instead, they employ tracking technologies to follow their online activities and deliver ads. Thus, we suggest you remove SearchZone from your system immediately.

You can eliminate the unwanted applications by following our detailed instructions below. If you want an automatic option, you can simply scan your machine with reputable anti-malware. Besides, to ensure that your machine is operating as good as prior to the infection, you can use repair tools such as ReimageIntego and reset the installed web browsers in case other unwanted apps are present.

Your browser was hijacked due to software bundling

Software developers often employ the freeware monetization principle in order to acquire monetary returns for certain applications that users believe that they are installing for free. However, these apps might engage in potentially harmful activities on the host computer (information tracking, active promotion of other potentially unwanted software, ad delivery, etc.), so each of free programs should be treated with caution. In fact, one of the main reasons why users get infected with browser hijackers is that they believe in their allegedly useful functionality.

To make apps more popular, software developers and third-party websites often include several components into a single package/installer. This technique is called software bundling and, while initially not harmful, can cause troubles to inattentive users.

During the installation process of freeware, users are often offered optional applications in various ways. Unfortunately, these are often hidden under the Advanced installation setting, and most go for the Recommended one. As a result, third-party apps end up installed on the system without consent. Thus, be careful when installing new apps from third-party sites – always pick Advanced/Custom method, untick all the pre-ticked boxes and read the installation instructions carefully.

Methods to eradicate SearchZone

SearchZone virus is just another potentially unwanted program that will clutter your web browser, track your online activities, and provide this information to other parties for marketing purposes. It is always a good idea to stay away from such browser extensions and applications, as they clutter the web browser without providing real benefits for the user.

SearchZone potentially unwanted appSearchZone delivered sponsored search results in order to monetize on users' clicks

You can remove SearchZone either manually or automatically – the choice is yours. If the hijack is related to a browser extension, you can usually terminate it by right-clicking on it. However, if such extension is not visible, or sets the “Managed by your organization” status, the termination process might get a bit more complicated.

If you are having difficulties, you can always perform SearchZone removal with the help of reputable anti-malware software. Additionally, a browser reset is also an excellent method to get rid of unwanted components, as some malicious settings might still remain within Google Chrome or another web browser.

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.

Getting rid of SearchZone. Follow these steps

Get rid of SearchZone from Windows systems

Get rid of potentially unwanted programs as per instructions provided below:

To remove SearchZone 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 SearchZone (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 SearchZone from Mac OS X system

Remove SearchZone from Applications folder:

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

Remove SearchZone 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 SearchZone-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

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 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 SearchZone 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 SearchZone 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 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

Reset Mozilla Firefox

In case SearchZone 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 SearchZone removal. Reset Firefox 2

Delete SearchZone from Google Chrome

Reset Google Chrome if ads, sponsored links, and other intrusive content does not go away:

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 SearchZone 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 like SearchZone 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 SearchZone-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 SearchZone removal. Reset Chrome 2

Get rid of SearchZone 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 SearchZone 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 SearchZone 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.

How to prevent from getting SearchZone

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
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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