SimpleConverters browser hijacker Removal Guide
What is SimpleConverters browser hijacker?
SimpleConverters browser hijacker alters your search results to promote ads
Browser hijackers, while considered minor infections, are not desirable apps by most people
We are all used to our web browsing routines – it is a combination of the browser preference, bookmarks added, add-ons installed, and homepage chosen. These settings allow a great deal of customization, and everybody can choose from many different options. Unfortunately, these preferences can be easily destroyed by an unwelcome guest on your computer – a browser hijacker.
One such app, known as SimpleConverters, has been spreading around the internet in the past couple of weeks. Coming from a much broader family of browser hijackers, it spreads via third-party sources (most commonly, within a bundle of freeware) and is usually not installed intentionally.
As soon as it manages to enter the device as a browser extension, it immediately changes the homepage and a new tab address to portal.simpleconverters.com or feed.simpleconverters.com. It also appends a customized search engine to the middle of the start page, which redirects search results to one of the following providers:
When trying to search for the information online, the hijacked web browser (be it Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari) would show a set of alternative search results; they usually include various ads/promotional links that lead to affiliated pages. Ads can be easily confused with organic results, making users more likely to click on them. In the meantime, the promoted content might not always be accurate or relevant, which diminishes the web browsing experience by a lot.
|Infiltration||Hijackers are not typically installed intentionally; spread in software bundles or via deceptive websites/ads|
|Symptoms||SimpleConverters extension on application installed on the browser; homepage is set to portal.simpleconverters.com; all searches redirected to Bing, Yahoo, or nearbyme.io; search results filled with sponsored links|
|Risks||Installation of other potentially unwanted programs/malware, personal data disclosure to unknown parties, financial losses|
|Elimination||You can uninstall the extension by right-clicking on it or by accessing the settings of your browser. There could be other PUPs installed on the system level, so you should check it out too – use SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software to do it quickly|
|Additional steps||After browser hijacker elimination, you should also clean your web browsers; you can check the instructions below or choose a faster option – ReimageIntego|
Browser hijackers in detail
Browser hijackers have been around for many years. The early versions of hijackers are now easily identified as malware by researchers and the security community – apps like Ask Toolbar come to mind. Initially meant to generate revenue, they were programmed to be extremely difficult to remove and remain on the infected system for as long as possible.
Nowadays, most browser hijackers come in the form of a browser extension and are nowhere near as dangerous as they used to be, all thanks to better security regulations implemented by various authority agencies and tech giants such as Google.
Despite not being malicious, these potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) still retained many of the features that are considered to be undesirable by many. Here are a few examples:
- Changed homepage and new tab web address;
- Altered search provider;
- Alternative search results;
- Search results being filled with sponsored links;
- Sneaky infiltration via software bundling or deceptive ads;
- Information gathering practices.
This is the tip of the iceberg for some browser hijackers (namely Mazy Search, Kwiqsearch.com, and some others). They use a sneaky technique that allows them to lock the browser/apply the “Managed by your organization” setting by modifying group policies on Windows machines. This prevents users from modifying their browser settings and removing unwanted extensions as required. Such behavior, without a doubt, is not only undesirable but also malicious.
SimpleConverters and how to remove it
SimpleConverters is a browser hijacker that comes from a larger family, versions of which we discussed previously (TigerVideoSearches, ProVideoSearch, TopPDFSearch, etc.). The developer of these apps is not defined for relatively obvious reasons. Namely, potentially unwanted program developers often fail to provide any contact details or names in case of controversy – they can continue producing new apps if something goes wrong.
Speaking of which, there is a reason why new versions of this browser hijacker family keep expanding constantly. Many security solutions block these apps (or at least warn users), or they receive bad publicity. This is why the authors just keep rebranding them without providing any new features or improvements.
The only difference is the name of the app, as well as some changes in logos. These also use precisely the same features – currency converter, calculator, PDF creator (although it does not always work), etc. These perks, while supposedly useful, might come at a price.
First of all, let's talk about the change of the browser preferences. The altered homepage makes users use an alternative search box, which directs all results to Yahoo, Bing, or nearbyme.io, depending on your location. While the first two are reliable search providers, most users prefer Google for various reasons. Besides, the results using these providers would still not be genuine, as the hijacker would insert its own ads at the results.
However, the other provider is not widely known and presents sponsored links as genuine ones – it is a typical deception technique to make users click on ads, monetizing user clicks via a pay-per-click scheme. To make this scheme successful, users are tracked as long as the program is installed.
Targeted advertising can benefit companies and users, although it is commonly correlated with privacy risks, as it requires third parties to gather information. In this case, IP address, search queries, browser/language settings, links clicked, technical device details, and other data are gathered via cookies and other tracking technologies.
You should have no problems with SimpleConverters removal, as all you have to do is find a browser extension under the same name and eliminate it at once. However, these two things should be taken into consideration:
- There could be other unwanted or malicious apps/programs installed on your system. In order to check this, simply use SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or another powerful security software to scan your computer thoroughly and remove everything found. Alternatively, you can try finding PUP yourself – we provide instructions below;
- After PUP/malware removal, don't forget to clean your web browsers; otherwise, the removal process can not be considered complete.
You can clean your browsers by following the instructions below. Keep in mind that this process can take some time – you might want to avoid that by using a PC utility ReimageIntego which can clean your browsers and remove junk from your system automatically. Besides, it can also fix any malware-related damage if such is present on your machine.
- Click on Menu and pick Settings.
- Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
- Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
- Click Clear data.
- Click Menu and pick Options.
- Go to Privacy & Security section.
- Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
- Click on Clear Data…
- Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Click on Menu and go to Settings.
- Select Privacy and services.
- Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
- Under Time range, pick All time.
- Select Clear now.
- Click Safari > Clear History…
- From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
- Confirm with Clear History.
Bonus: tips to avoid unexpected browser hijack
As previously mentioned, many users install PUPs unintentionally and see ads or browser changes unexpectedly. This is a very common occurrence, and most people only realize that they have installed something unwanted when they make ends meet. In other cases, some potentially unwanted programs might not be that visible initially, especially for those who are not that proficient with using computers.
Here are a few tips provided by experts that could help you avoiding browser hijackers, adware, scamware, and other unwanted stuff:
- Only install apps from official sources and avoid third-party ones;
- Never download pirated programs or software cracks;
- If you encounter a message which claims that something is missing from your system (e.g., Java, Flash Player) or that your computer has been infected with a virus (e.g., YahLover.worm, Tor.jack malware), leave the site immediately and do not fulfill any requests to download software;
- During the installation process of new programs, always pick “Advanced/Custom” mode instead of “Recommended/Quick” one;
- Remove all the ticks from pre-ticked boxes and decline all the deals/offers;
- Use powerful anti-malware software to protect yourself from PUPs and malware.
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.
Getting rid of SimpleConverters browser hijacker. Follow these steps
Uninstall from Windows
Instructions for Windows 10/8 machines:
- Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
- Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.
- From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
- Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
- If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
- Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.
If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:
- Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
- In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.
- Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
- At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
- In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
- Click OK once the removal process is finished.
Delete from macOS
Remove items from Applications folder:
- From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
- In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
- Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)
To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:
- Select Go > Go to Folder.
- Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
- In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
- Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.
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 SimpleConverters browser hijacker 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 browser hijacker
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.