Security researchers called the Search Protect a PUP (potentially unwanted program) and a browser hijacker because it is made to take over the web-browser and control user’s browsing preferences. The Search Protect can sneak into the PC system unnoticed due to the fact that it is actively being promoted in free applications. It usually aims at Google Chrome web browser, but it is possible that it can infect other browsers too. We recommend you to remove Search Protect as soon as it hijacks your homepage or search provider.
If your personal computer has been affected by Search Protect browser hijacker you will be forced to use its own search engine. It could seem not to be dangerous, but you still should be very careful, since it may display intrusive advertisements created to force you into buying some questionable applications or products, provide search results that may redirect your web-browser to unwanted web pages. We advise that you use only the reliable search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
As well as undesired internet browser redirects, the Search Protect may gather your Internet browsing activity by saving URLs visited, IP addresses, browser version and type, cookie information, Internet Service Provider (ISP) and web sites visited. Such kind of behavior can lead to serious security problems or confidential data theft. This is another reason why the hijacker that redirects the browser to Search Protect, is categorized as potentially unwanted application (PUA).
Thus, the Search Protect does not really have beneficial features. So, we suggest you remove Search Protect from the MS Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome internet browsers sooner. This will also prevent the browser hijacker from tracking your online activities. A full Search Protect removal can be easily carried out using manual or automatic solution listed below.
Remove Search Protect from Chrome (Firefox, IE, Edge)
In the few simple steps below we will have a look at the hijacker and how to remove Search Protect from Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers for Microsoft Windows OS, natively or by using a few free removal utilities. Certain of the steps below will require you to exit this page. So, please read the step-by-step tutorial carefully, after that bookmark or print it for later reference.
To remove Search Protect, use the following steps:
- How to manually remove Search Protect
- How to automatically remove Search Protect browser hijacker
- How to stay safe online
- How can you prevent the Search Protect hijacker
- To sum up
How to manually remove Search Protect
If you perform exactly the few simple steps below you should be able to remove the Search Protect from the Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome web-browsers.
Uninstall potentially unwanted programs using MS Windows Control Panel
We recommend that you start the system cleaning process by checking the list of installed applications and delete all unknown or dubious software. This is a very important step, as mentioned above, very often the harmful applications such as adware and hijacker infections may be bundled with free programs. Uninstall the unwanted software can get rid of the annoying ads or internet browser redirect.
Windows 8, 8.1, 10
When the ‘Control Panel’ opens, click the ‘Uninstall a program’ link under Programs category as shown in the following example.
You will see the ‘Uninstall a program’ panel as shown on the image below.
Very carefully look around the entire list of software installed on your machine. Most likely, one of them is the Search Protect PUP. If you’ve many apps installed, you can help simplify the search of malicious software by sort the list by date of installation. Once you have found a questionable, unwanted or unused application, right click to it, after that click ‘Uninstall’.
Windows XP, Vista, 7
When the Windows ‘Control Panel’ opens, you need to click ‘Uninstall a program’ under ‘Programs’ as on the image below.
You will see a list of software installed on your machine. We recommend to sort the list by date of installation to quickly find the apps that were installed last. Most likely, it’s the Search Protect. If you are in doubt, you can always check the program by doing a search for her name in Google, Yahoo or Bing. Once the program which you need to uninstall is found, simply click on its name, and then click ‘Uninstall’ like below.
Remove Search Protect from Mozilla Firefox
Resetting Mozilla Firefox browser will reset all the settings to their default state and will remove Search Protect and unwanted add-ons. When using the reset feature, your personal information such as passwords, bookmarks, browsing history and web form auto-fill data will be saved.
First, open the Firefox. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal stripes (). It will open the drop-down menu. Next, click the Help button ().
In the Help menu press the “Troubleshooting Information”. In the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page click on “Refresh Firefox” button as displayed on the image below.
Confirm your action, press the “Refresh Firefox”.
Delete Search Protect from Internet Explorer
If you find that IE web browser settings such as search engine by default, home page and newtab having been hijacked, then you may return your settings, via the reset browser procedure.
First, open the Microsoft Internet Explorer, click ) button. Next, press “Internet Options” as displayed on the image below.
In the “Internet Options” screen select the Advanced tab. Next, click Reset button. The Microsoft Internet Explorer will show the Reset Internet Explorer settings dialog box. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box and press Reset button.
You will now need to reboot your personal computer for the changes to take effect. It will delete browser hijacker related to Search Protect, disable unwanted and adware browser extensions and restore the Microsoft Internet Explorer’s settings like new tab, search engine by default and home page to default state.
Remove Search Protect from Chrome
In order to be sure that there is nothing left behind, we suggest you to reset Chrome browser. It will restore Chrome settings including homepage, search engine by default and newtab page to defaults.
- First start the Chrome and press Menu button (small button in the form of three dots).
- It will open the Chrome main menu. Choose More Tools, then press Extensions.
- You will see the list of installed addons. If the list has the extension labeled with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following instructions: Remove Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
- Now open the Chrome menu once again, click the “Settings” menu.
- You will see the Google Chrome’s settings page. Scroll down and click “Advanced” link.
- Scroll down again and press the “Reset” button.
- The Google Chrome will open the reset profile settings page as shown on the image above.
- Next click the “Reset” button.
- Once this task is finished, your internet browser’s homepage, search provider by default and newtab will be restored to their original defaults.
- To learn more, read the article How to reset Chrome settings to default.
How to automatically remove Search Protect browser hijacker
It’s not enough to remove Search Protect from your web browser by completing the manual steps above to solve all problems. Some Search Protect related files may remain on your system and they will recover the browser hijacker even after you get rid of it. For that reason we recommend to use free anti malware tool like Zemana, MalwareBytes Free and Hitman Pro. Either of those applications should can scan for and remove Search Protect and other unwanted web-browser extensions.
How to remove Search Protect with Zemana Anti-Malware
Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) is a free program for Windows OS to detect and delete potentially unwanted programs, adware, malicious web browser plugins, browser toolbars, and other undesired software like the Search Protect, installed on your machine.
Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) can be downloaded from the following link. Save it on your Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: March 3, 2018
Once downloading is complete, close all programs and windows on your system. Double-click the install file called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup. If the “User Account Control” dialog box pops up as displayed in the following example, click the “Yes” button.
It will open the “Setup wizard” which will help you set up Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) on your PC. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
Once installation is done successfully, Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) will automatically start and you can see its main screen as displayed below.
Now click the “Scan” button . Zemana Anti Malware tool will start scanning the whole computer to find out the Search Protect and other unwanted software. When a threat is detected, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the scanning is finished.
As the scanning ends, Zemana will open a screen which contains a list of malware that has been detected. When you’re ready, click “Next” button. The Zemana Anti-Malware will start to remove the Search Protect and other PUPs. When the clean-up is finished, you may be prompted to reboot the PC system.
Run Hitman Pro to remove Search Protect from the system
HitmanPro is a free removal tool which can check your system for a wide range of security threats such as adware, malware, potentially unwanted applications as well as the Search Protect program. It will perform a deep scan of your computer including hard drives and Microsoft Windows registry. Once a malicious software is found, it will help you to remove all found threats from your system by a simple click.
- Please go to the following link to download the latest version of HitmanPro for MS Windows. Save it on your Microsoft Windows desktop or in any other place.
Category: Security tools
Update: June 28, 2018
- After the download is complete, run the Hitman Pro, double-click the HitmanPro.exe file.
- If the “User Account Control” prompts, click Yes to continue.
- In the Hitman Pro window, click the “Next” to perform a system scan for the Search Protect and other security threats. A scan can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your personal computer and the speed of your PC system. While the Hitman Pro program is scanning, you can see how many objects it has identified as threat.
- Once the scan get finished, the results are displayed in the scan report. Review the results once the utility has finished the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply click “Next”. Now, click the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial to remove all malware found.
Automatically delete Search Protect with Malwarebytes
We suggest using the Malwarebytes Free which are completely clean your personal computer of the browser hijacker. The free utility is an advanced malware removal program designed by (c) Malwarebytes lab. This program uses the world’s most popular anti malware technology. It is able to help you remove browser hijacker infections, PUPs, malicious software, adware, toolbars, ransomware and other security threats from your system for free.
- Download MalwareBytes Free on your MS Windows Desktop from the following link.
Category: Security tools
Update: February 5, 2019
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your web browser will show the “Save as” prompt. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- Once the download is finished, please close all programs and open windows on your machine. Double-click on the icon that’s called mb3-setup.
- This will open the “Setup wizard” of MalwareBytes onto your system. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the MalwareBytes will start and open the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan Now” button to perform a system scan with this tool for the Search Protect hijacker. This task can take some time, so please be patient. While the utility is scanning, you can see how many objects and files has already scanned.
- Once MalwareBytes Anti Malware (MBAM) completes the scan, MalwareBytes AntiMalware will create a list of unwanted and ad supported software.
- All found items will be marked. You can remove them all by simply press the “Quarantine Selected” button. After the cleaning process is complete, you may be prompted to reboot the computer.
- Close the Anti Malware and continue with the next step.
Video instruction, which reveals in detail the steps above.
How to stay safe online
In order to increase your security and protect your machine against new annoying ads and malicious web-sites, you need to use adblocker application that blocks an access to malicious advertisements and web-pages. Moreover, the program may block the open of intrusive advertising, that also leads to faster loading of websites and reduce the consumption of web traffic.
Download AdGuard on your Windows Desktop from the following link.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After downloading it, double-click the downloaded file to run it. The “Setup Wizard” window will show up on the computer screen as on the image below.
Follow the prompts. AdGuard will then be installed and an icon will be placed on your desktop. A window will show up asking you to confirm that you want to see a quick guidance as displayed in the figure below.
Click “Skip” button to close the window and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick guidance which will allow you get to know AdGuard better.
Each time, when you run your personal computer, AdGuard will start automatically and block pop up ads, browser redirects, 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 AdGuard icon, that is located on your desktop.
How can you prevent the Search Protect hijacker
To sum up
After completing the steps above, your PC system should be clean from the Search Protect and other potentially unwanted applications. The Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome will no longer display an unwanted web-page on startup. Unfortunately, if the guidance does not help you, then you have caught a new hijacker, and then the best way – ask for help in our Spyware/Malware removal forum.