If you are reading this blog post, the chances are, you are doing so through the web browser that has been hijacked by something called Searchprotector.net. The Searchprotector.net is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) from the category of browser hijackers. Most often it’s installed without your permission. It takes control of your web-browser and alters your homepage, newtab and default search engine to its own. So, you will find the Searchprotector.net as a new startpage and search engine installed in the FF, Google Chrome, IE and Edge internet browsers.
If your system is infected with Searchprotector.net browser hijacker, every time you launch your web browser you will see this web-page. Of course you may setup your homepage again, but next time you start a web-browser you will see that Searchprotector.net return. As mentioned above, the hijacker may change the default search engine on this annoying web page too, so all your search queries will be re-directed to Searchprotector.net. Thus the authors of the hijacker infection can gather the search terms of your queries, and redirect you to intrusive sites.
Also, adware (sometimes called ‘ad-supported’ software) can be installed on the PC system together with Searchprotector.net hijacker. It will insert a huge number of ads directly to the web sites that you view, creating a sense that advertisements has been added by the authors of the web-page. Moreover, legal ads may be replaced on fake advertisements that will offer to download and install various unnecessary and malicious applications. Moreover, the Searchprotector.net hijacker has the ability to gather user data that can be later sold to third parties.
Most often, the Searchprotector.net browser hijacker affects most common web-browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. But such browser hijacker infections as well can infect other internet browsers by changing its shortcuts (adding ‘http://site.address’ into Target field of web-browser’s shortcut). So every time you open the browser, it will open Searchprotector.net web page. Even if you setup your startpage again, the intrusive Searchprotector.net web-site will be the first thing which you see when you start the browser.
We strongly recommend that you perform the few simple steps below that will help you to remove Searchprotector.net using the standard features of Windows and some proven freeware.
How to remove Searchprotector.net from system
Even if you’ve the up-to-date classic antivirus installed, and you’ve checked your personal computer for malicious software and removed anything found, you need to do the tutorial below. The Searchprotector.net browser hijacker removal is not simple as installing another antivirus. Classic antivirus applications are not made to run together and will conflict with each other, or possibly crash Microsoft Windows. Instead we recommend complete the manual steps below after that run Zemana Anti Malware, Malwarebytes or AdwCleaner, which are free software dedicated to detect and remove malware like Searchprotector.net hijacker. Use these utilities to ensure the browser hijacker is removed.
To remove Searchprotector.net homepage, use the following steps:
- How to manually remove Searchprotector.net
- Delete potentially unwanted applications using Microsoft Windows Control Panel
- Fix infected browsers shortcuts to delete Searchprotector.net
- Remove Searchprotector.net search from IE
- Delete Searchprotector.net redirect from Chrome
- Remove Searchprotector.net from Firefox by resetting web-browser settings
- Scan your system and remove Searchprotector.net with free utilities
- Run AdBlocker to block Searchprotector.net and stay safe online
- How does your personal computer get infected with Searchprotector.net hijacker
- To sum up
How to manually remove Searchprotector.net
Most common browser hijackers may be deleted without any antivirus applications. The manual hijacker removal is few simple steps that will teach you how to remove the Searchprotector.net redirect.
Delete potentially unwanted applications using Microsoft Windows Control Panel
First of all, check the list of installed applications on your system and uninstall all unknown and recently installed programs. If you see an unknown program with incorrect spelling or varying capital letters, it have most likely been installed by malicious software and you should clean it off first with malware removal utility such as Zemana Anti-malware.
Press Windows button , then click Search . Type “Control panel”and press Enter. If you using Windows XP or Windows 7, then click “Start” and select “Control Panel”. It will display the Windows Control Panel as displayed on the image below.
Further, click “Uninstall a program”
It will open a list of all applications installed on your computer. Scroll through the all list, and uninstall any suspicious and unknown software.
Fix infected browsers shortcuts to delete Searchprotector.net
A hijacker can hijack various Windows shortcuts on your desktop (most often, all browsers shortcuts), so in this step you need to check and clean them by removing the argument like http://site.address/.
Open the properties of the web browser shortcut. Right click on the shortcut of infected web-browser and choose the “Properties” option and it’ll display the properties of the shortcut. Next, select the “Shortcut” tab and have a look at the Target field like below.
Normally, if the last word in the Target field is chrome.exe, iexplore.exe, firefox.exe. Be sure to pay attention to the extension, should be “exe”! All shortcuts that have been modified by browser hijacker such as Searchprotector.net usually point to .bat, .cmd or .url files instead of .exe as displayed on the screen below
Another variant, an address has been added at the end of the line. In this case the Target field looks such as …Application\chrome.exe” http://site.address as shown in the following example.
In order to fix a shortcut, you need to insert right path to the Target field or remove an address (if it has been added at the end). You can use the following information to fix your shortcuts which have been modified by hijacker.
|Chrome||C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe|
|FF||C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe|
|Microsoft Internet Explorer||C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|Opera||C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\launcher.exe|
Once is done, press OK to save changes. Repeat the step for all web-browsers which are rerouted to the Searchprotector.net intrusive web-site.
Remove Searchprotector.net search from IE
By resetting Microsoft Internet Explorer web-browser you restore your web browser settings to its default state. This is first when troubleshooting problems that might have been caused by hijacker like Searchprotector.net.
First, run the Internet Explorer. Next, click the button in the form of gear (). It will open the Tools drop-down menu, click the “Internet Options” as shown below.
In the “Internet Options” window click on the Advanced tab, then click the Reset button. The Internet Explorer will open the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” window as shown in the figure below. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click “Reset” button.
You will now need to restart your personal computer for the changes to take effect.
Delete Searchprotector.net redirect from Chrome
Run the Reset web browser utility of the Chrome to reset all its settings like home page, newtab and default search engine to original defaults. This is a very useful utility to use, in the case of web-browser hijacks like Searchprotector.net.
- First launch the Chrome and press Menu button (small button in the form of three horizontal stripes).
- It will display the Google Chrome main menu. Select “Settings” option.
- You will see the Google Chrome’s settings page. Scroll down and click “Show advanced settings” link.
- Scroll down again and click the “Reset settings” button.
- The Google Chrome will show the reset profile settings page as on the image above.
- Next press the “Reset” button.
- Once this task is done, your web-browser’s start page, new tab and default search provider will be restored to their original defaults.
- To learn more, read the article How to reset Chrome settings to default.
Remove Searchprotector.net from Firefox by resetting web-browser settings
Click the Menu button (looks like three horizontal lines), and click the blue Help icon located at the bottom of the drop down menu like below.
A small menu will appear, press the “Troubleshooting Information”. On this page, press “Refresh Firefox” button as shown in the figure below.
Follow the onscreen procedure to return your Firefox internet browser settings to its original state.
Scan your system and remove Searchprotector.net with free utilities
Manual removal tutorial does not always allow to completely get rid of the browser hijacker infection, as it’s not easy to identify and delete components of browser hijacker and all malicious files from hard disk. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use malware removal utility to completely remove Searchprotector.net off your machine. Several free malicious software removal utilities are currently available that can be used against the hijacker infection. The optimum solution would be to run Zemana Free, Malwarebytes Free and AdwCleaner.
Automatically get rid of Searchprotector.net home page with Zemana
Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) is a tool that can delete ‘ad supported’ software, PUPs, browser hijacker infections and other malicious software from your computer easily and for free. Zemana Anti Malware is compatible with most antivirus software. It works under Windows (10 – XP, 32 and 64 bit) and uses minimum of PC system resources.
Download Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) from the link below.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: March 3, 2018
Once downloading is done, close all programs and windows on your personal computer. Open a directory in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup as displayed in the following example.
When the install begins, you will see the “Setup wizard” that will help you install Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) on your PC system.
Once setup is done, you will see window as shown in the following example.
Now click the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the hijacker which changes internet browser settings to replace your homepage, new tab page and search provider by default with Searchprotector.net web-page.
When Zemana AntiMalware completes the scan, you can check all items found on your system. Review the scan results and then click “Next” button.
The Zemana will start to get rid of browser hijacker that cause Searchprotector.net web-site to appear.
Remove Searchprotector.net start page with Malwarebytes
Manual Searchprotector.net removal requires some computer skills. Some files and registry entries that created by the browser hijacker can be not completely removed. We suggest that run the Malwarebytes Free that are completely clean your machine of browser hijacker. Moreover, the free program will allow you to get rid of malware, PUPs, adware and toolbars that your PC system can be infected too.
- Please download MalwareBytes Free from the link below. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 20, 2018
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your internet browser will show the “Save as” prompt. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- Once downloading is finished, please close all programs and open windows on your machine. Double-click on the icon that’s named mb3-setup.
- This will launch the “Setup wizard” of MalwareBytes AntiMalware onto your personal computer. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the MalwareBytes will run and display the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan Now” button .MalwareBytes Free program will scan through the whole system for the hijacker that cause a redirect to Searchprotector.net page. Depending on your computer, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. While the MalwareBytes program is scanning, you can see how many objects it has identified as threat.
- When MalwareBytes Free has finished scanning your PC system, you can check all threats detected on your PC.
- Review the results once the tool has finished the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply click the “Quarantine Selected” button. Once finished, you may be prompted to restart the computer.
- Close the AntiMalware and continue with the next step.
Video instruction, which reveals in detail the steps above.
Scan your personal computer and remove Searchprotector.net startpage with AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner is a free portable program that scans your PC system for ad supported software, potentially unwanted software and browser hijacker infections such as Searchprotector.net and helps remove them easily. Moreover, it’ll also allow you delete any malicious internet browser extensions and add-ons.
Download AdwCleaner on your machine by clicking on the following link.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: January 8, 2019
After downloading is finished, open the folder in which you saved it. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the AdwCleaner desktop icon. Once the tool is started, you will see a screen as shown in the figure below.
Further, click “Scan” button to perform a system scan with this tool for the browser hijacker that causes internet browsers to open undesired Searchprotector.net web page. A system scan can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your PC system. When the system scan is finished, AdwCleaner will display you the results as on the image below.
Review the scan results and then click “Clean” button. It will open a prompt as shown on the image below.
You need to press “OK”. After that process is done, the AdwCleaner may ask you to reboot your system. When your PC system is started, you will see an AdwCleaner log.
These steps are shown in detail in the following video guide.
Run AdBlocker to block Searchprotector.net and stay safe online
Running an ad blocker program such as AdGuard is an effective way to alleviate the risks. Additionally, adblocker programs will also protect you from malicious ads and web-sites, and, of course, block redirection chain to Searchprotector.net and similar web-sites.
- Download AdGuard program from the following link. Save it on your Microsoft Windows desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: July 17, 2017
- After the downloading process is finished, start the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” program window. Follow the prompts.
- When the setup is complete, press “Skip” to close the install application and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick tutorial that will help you get to know AdGuard better.
- In most cases, the default settings are enough and you don’t need to change anything. Each time, when you start your PC, AdGuard will run automatically and block popup advertisements, web pages such Searchprotector.net, as well as other harmful or misleading web pages. For an overview of all the features of the program, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the icon named AdGuard, that is located on your desktop.
How does your personal computer get infected with Searchprotector.net hijacker
Usually, Searchprotector.net browser hijacker infection gets into your machine as part of a bundle with free software, sharing files and other unsafe programs that you downloaded from the Web. The makers of this browser hijacker infection pays software developers for distributing Searchprotector.net hijacker within their programs. So, third-party applications is often included as part of the install package. In order to avoid the install of any browser hijacker infections such as Searchprotector.net: choose only Manual, Custom or Advanced installation method and uncheck all additional software in which you are unsure.
To sum up
After completing the steps shown above, your personal computer should be clean from this hijacker infection and other malicious software. The Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and MS Edge will no longer display annoying Searchprotector.net home page on startup. Unfortunately, if the few simple steps does not help you, then you have caught a new browser hijacker infection, and then the best way – ask for help.
Please start a new thread by using the “New Topic” button in the Spyware Removal forum. When posting your HJT log, try to give us some details about your problems, so we can try to help you more accurately. Wait for one of our trained “Security Team” or Site Administrator to provide you with knowledgeable assistance tailored to your problem with the undesired Searchprotector.net search.