Every time, when you run your browser the Search Defender that you do not remember installing as homepage or search provider keeps annoying you? Search Defender is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) from the category of Browser hijackers. It can end up on your computer in various ways. In most cases is when you download and install another free program and forget to uncheck the box for the bundled software installation. Do not panic because we have got the solution. Here’s a guide on how to get rid of intrusive Search Defender redirect from any web browsers, including the Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
When you are performing searches using the web browser that has been affected by Search Defender, the search results will be returned from Bing, Yahoo or Google Custom Search. The devs behind Search Defender browser hijacker are most likely doing this to generate advertisement revenue from the advertisements shown in the search results.
Some hijackers also contain adware (also known as ‘ad-supported’ software) which has the ability to display undesired advertisements or gather a wide variety of marketing-type data about you which may be transferred to third parties. These undesired advertisements can be displayed as pop-unders, pop-ups, in-text ads, video ads, text links or banners or even massive full page ads. Most of the adware software is developed to display advertisements, but some adware software is form of spyware that often used to track users to collect privacy info about you.
|Type||browser hijacker, search engine hijacker, startpage hijacker, toolbar, unwanted new tab, redirect virus|
|Removal||Search Defender removal guide|
We strongly recommend that you perform the steps below which will assist you to get rid of Search Defender using the standard features of Windows and some proven free applications.
How to remove Search Defender (removal guide)
Not all unwanted apps like browser hijacker responsible for changing your web-browser settings to Search Defender are easily uninstallable. You might see a new start page, newtab, search engine and other type of unwanted changes to the Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge and Internet Explorer settings and might not be able to figure out the application responsible for this activity. The reason for this is that many undesired programs neither appear in MS Windows Control Panel. Therefore in order to completely remove Search Defender homepage, you need to execute the following steps. Certain of the steps below will require you to exit this web-page. So, please read the few simple steps carefully, after that bookmark or print it for later reference.
To remove Search Defender, use the following steps:
- How to manually get rid of Search Defender
- How to delete Search Defender automatically
- Stop Search Defender redirect
- How did you get infected with Search Defender hijacker
- Finish words
How to manually get rid of Search Defender
To remove Search Defender browser hijacker, adware and other unwanted applications you can try to do so manually. Unfortunately some of the hijackers won’t show up in your program list, but some hijackers may. In this case, you may be able to remove it through the uninstall function of your computer. You can do this by following the steps below.
Delete Search Defender related software through the Control Panel of your personal computer
We recommend that you begin the PC cleaning process by checking the list of installed software and uninstall all unknown or suspicious applications. This is a very important step, as mentioned above, very often the malicious apps such as adware and browser hijackers may be bundled with free programs. Remove the unwanted apps can get rid of the undesired ads or internet browser redirect.
Make sure you have closed all internet browsers and other applications. Press CTRL, ALT, DEL keys together to open the Windows Task Manager.
Click on the “Processes” tab, look for something suspicious that is the hijacker that responsible for web browser redirect to the undesired Search Defender web page then right-click it and select “End Task” or “End Process” option. Most often, malware masks itself to avoid detection by imitating legitimate Windows processes. A process is particularly suspicious: it’s taking up a lot of memory (despite the fact that you closed all of your programs), its name is not familiar to you (if you are in doubt, you can always check the program by doing a search for its name in Google, Yahoo or Bing).
Next, remove any unknown and suspicious software from your Control panel.
Windows 10, 8.1, 8
Now, click the Windows button, type “Control panel” in search and press Enter. Choose “Programs and Features”, then “Uninstall a program”.
Look around the entire list of programs installed on your PC system. Most likely, one of them is the hijacker which designed to redirect your browser to the Search Defender web-site. Select the dubious program or the application that name is not familiar to you and uninstall it.
Windows Vista, 7
From the “Start” menu in MS Windows, select “Control Panel”. Under the “Programs” icon, choose “Uninstall a program”.
Choose the suspicious or any unknown apps, then click “Uninstall/Change” button to remove this unwanted application from your computer.
Click the “Start” button, select “Control Panel” option. Click on “Add/Remove Programs”.
Select an undesired program, then click “Change/Remove” button. Follow the prompts.
Remove Search Defender from Chrome
Reset Chrome settings is a easy method to remove Search Defender, malicious and adware plugins, as well as to recover web-browser’s search provider by default, newtab and startpage which have been replaced by browser hijacker infection.
First run the Google Chrome. Next, press the button in the form of three horizontal dots ().
It will display the Chrome menu. Select More Tools, then press Extensions. Carefully browse through the list of installed addons. If the list has the extension signed with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following tutorial: Remove Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
Open the Chrome menu once again. Further, click the option named “Settings”.
The internet browser will display the settings screen. Another method to show the Google Chrome’s settings – type chrome://settings in the browser adress bar and press Enter
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Advanced” link. Now scroll down until the “Reset” section is visible, as shown in the following example and click the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
The Chrome will show the confirmation prompt as shown on the image below.
You need to confirm your action, click the “Reset” button. The internet browser will run the procedure of cleaning. Once it is finished, the web-browser’s settings including newtab page, search engine by default and startpage back to the values which have been when the Google Chrome was first installed on your machine.
Remove Search Defender homepage from Internet Explorer
By resetting Internet Explorer web-browser you restore your internet browser settings to its default state. This is good initial when troubleshooting problems that might have been caused by browser hijacker like Search Defender.
First, launch the Internet Explorer. Next, press the button in the form of gear (). It will open the Tools drop-down menu, click the “Internet Options” as on the image below.
In the “Internet Options” window click on the Advanced tab, then press the Reset button. The Microsoft Internet Explorer will show the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” window as shown in the figure below. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then press “Reset” button.
You will now need to restart your PC system for the changes to take effect.
Remove Search Defender from Firefox by resetting internet browser settings
If Firefox startpage or search provider are hijacked by the Search Defender, your internet browser displays annoying pop up ads, then ‘Reset Firefox’ could solve these problems. Your saved bookmarks, form auto-fill information and passwords won’t be cleared or changed.
First, launch the Firefox and click button. It will show the drop-down menu on the right-part of the web browser. Further, click the Help button () as displayed on the image below.
In the Help menu, select the “Troubleshooting Information” option. Another way to open the “Troubleshooting Information” screen – type “about:support” in the web-browser adress bar and press Enter. It will show the “Troubleshooting Information” page as shown on the screen below. In the upper-right corner of this screen, press the “Refresh Firefox” button.
It will display the confirmation prompt. Further, click the “Refresh Firefox” button. The Mozilla Firefox will begin a task to fix your problems that caused by the Search Defender browser hijacker infection. After, it is complete, click the “Finish” button.
How to delete Search Defender automatically
Many antivirus companies have created programs that help detect and delete browser hijacker infection, and thereby restore internet browsers settings. Below is a a few of the free programs you may want to run. Your system can have a large number of potentially unwanted software, adware and browser hijacker infections installed at the same time, so we recommend, if any unwanted or harmful application returns after rebooting the PC system, then launch your PC into Safe Mode and run the antimalware utility once again.
Automatically remove Search Defender with Zemana
We advise using the Zemana Anti-Malware. You can download and install Zemana AntiMalware to search for and remove Search Defender redirect from your system. When installed and updated, the malware remover will automatically scan and detect all threats exist on the PC system.
Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) can be downloaded from the following link. Save it on your Windows desktop or in any other place.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
After the download is done, close all applications and windows on your computer. Double-click the set up file named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup. If the “User Account Control” dialog box pops up as displayed in the figure below, click the “Yes” button.
It will open the “Setup wizard” which will help you install Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) on your computer. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
Once setup is complete successfully, Zemana Free will automatically start and you can see its main screen such as the one below.
Now press the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the browser hijacker that cause a redirect to Search Defender web-page. A scan can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your PC system and the speed of your PC. During the scan Zemana Free will search for threats exist on your system.
When Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) has completed scanning your PC system, the results are displayed in the scan report. Make sure to check mark the items which are unsafe and then click “Next” button. The Zemana will remove browser hijacker infection related to Search Defender and move threats to the program’s quarantine. After the clean-up is complete, you may be prompted to reboot the machine.
Delete Search Defender from browsers with HitmanPro
Hitman Pro is a free removal tool that can scan your machine for a wide range of security threats like adware, malware, PUPs as well as browser hijacker which developed to redirect your internet browser to the Search Defender web-site. It will perform a deep scan of your personal computer including hard drives and MS Windows registry. Once a malicious software is detected, it will help you to delete all found threats from your machine with a simple click.
- Visit the following page to download Hitman Pro. Save it to your Desktop so that you can access the file easily.
Category: Security tools
Update: June 28, 2018
- Once downloading is complete, start the Hitman Pro, double-click the HitmanPro.exe file.
- If the “User Account Control” prompts, press Yes to continue.
- In the HitmanPro window, press the “Next” to detect browser hijacker infection responsible for redirecting your web browser to Search Defender web-page. Depending on your computer, the scan may take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. While the Hitman Pro tool is checking, you may see number of objects it has identified as being infected by malicious software.
- After Hitman Pro completes the scan, the results are displayed in the scan report. In order to remove all items, simply click “Next”. Now, click the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial to remove all malware found.
Get rid of Search Defender startpage with MalwareBytes Free
Remove Search Defender hijacker infection manually is difficult and often the hijacker is not fully removed. Therefore, we suggest you to run the MalwareBytes Anti-Malware that are completely clean your PC system. Moreover, this free program will allow you to get rid of malware, PUPs, toolbars and adware that your computer may be infected too.
- Please go to the following link to download MalwareBytes. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your browser will display the “Save as” dialog box. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- After the downloading process is complete, please close all programs and open windows on your PC system. Double-click on the icon that’s named mb3-setup.
- This will start the “Setup wizard” of MalwareBytes Free onto your machine. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) will run and display the main window.
- Further, press the “Scan Now” button . MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) program will scan through the whole personal computer for the Search Defender hijacker and other web-browser’s harmful addons. During the scan MalwareBytes will look for threats present on your computer.
- Once the scan is done, it will display the Scan Results.
- Once you’ve selected what you wish to delete from your personal computer press the “Quarantine Selected” button. When finished, you may be prompted to restart the system.
- Close the Anti Malware and continue with the next step.
Video instruction, which reveals in detail the steps above.
Stop Search Defender redirect
If you surf the Net, you can’t avoid malicious advertising. But you can protect your web-browser against it. Download and run an ad-blocker application. AdGuard is an ad blocker that can filter out a large number of of the malvertising, stoping dynamic scripts from loading malicious content.
- Please go to the link below to download the latest version of AdGuard for MS Windows. Save it to your Desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
- Once downloading is complete, run the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” program window. Follow the prompts.
- After the installation is finished, click “Skip” to close the installation program and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick tutorial that will allow 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 run your machine, AdGuard will start automatically and stop unwanted advertisements, block Search Defender, as well as other harmful or misleading webpages. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the icon called AdGuard, which is located on your desktop.
How did you get infected with Search Defender hijacker
The browser hijacker is bundled within many freeware and commercial apps. This PUP can be installed in background without user consent, but usually it’s introduced to a user when a downloaded program are installed. So, read term of use and user agreement very carefully before installing any software or otherwise you can end up with another browser hijacker on your computer, like this hijacker which cause Search Defender web-site to appear.
Now your computer should be free of the browser hijacker that causes web browsers to open annoying Search Defender web site. We suggest that you keep Zemana AntiMalware (to periodically scan your PC system for new browser hijacker infections and other malicious software) and AdGuard (to help you stop unwanted pop up ads and malicious web-pages). Moreover, to prevent any hijacker, please stay clear of unknown and third party applications, make sure that your antivirus program, turn on the option to scan for PUPs.
If you need more help with Search Defender redirect related issues, go to here.