How to Remove Searchprivacy.co “Virus” (Chrome/Firefox)

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.


This page aims to help you remove Searchprivacy.co “Virus”. These Searchprivacy.co “Virus” removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

If you want to remove the annoying homepage redirects and new search engine changes that appeared in your browser, then the Searchprivacy.co “Virus” removal guide will help you bring your Chrome, Firefox or other favorite browsing program back to normal. On this page, we will explain the specifics of a certain type of applications, called browser hijackers, and the way they operate. Chances are you are most probably being disturbed by one of them, titled Searchprivacy.co, which is the source of the recent changes that have taken place. Here you will read about how to effectively uninstall it from your computer and restore your normal settings.

Searchprivacy.co Browser Redirect

Searchprivacy.co Browser Redirect

Browser hijackers – a source of unstoppable ads and page redirects

If you are facing an ad-generating piece of software like Searchprivacy.co, the chance is you have already experienced its irritating activity, but may not be familiar with the specifics of this type of programs. Generally, they fall into the category of browser hijackers – pieces of software, which are developed with the sole aim of redirecting users to sponsored advertisements or websites and displaying huge amounts of paid promotional messages. They may come as ads, banners, pop-ups, new tabs, new windows, a changed homepage or a sponsored search engine that redirects you to promotional websites and offers. The main idea of these programs is to collect clicks from users, because every click on such paid ads cashes into income for the browser hijacker owners. However, in the rush to collect more clicks and respectively more money, they program these applications to display so many ads and popping messages, that they take over the screen. In such cases, it may become really difficult for users to browse the web and they would rather seek a way to remove the browser hijacker than tolerate its disturbing activity. 

In the bottom of the Searchprivacy.co intrusiveness lays the well-known Pay-Per-Click method, which many businesses and even software developers use as a way to generate profit and support their ventures. Most free software applications are usually “sponsored” this way, using a browser hijacker component bundled inside their installers. Users, who often download such free software bundles from spam emails, direct downloads, file sharing platforms, torrent sites or open source download platforms, may come across programs like Searchprivacy.co and unknowingly install them on their PC along with the desired program. How does this happen? There is a major mistake, which people commonly make when installing new programs on their PC. They frequently skip reading the EULA and proceed with the standard or quick setup option, where all the programs in the bundle get installed by default. This way they end up with additional components or applications, like browser hijackers, adware or potentially unwanted programs, which they may not need or didn’t intend to install in the first place. To avoid this, we always advise our readers to opt for more control over the installation process. This is possible through the “advanced” or “custom” option in the setup, which gives them the ability to manually select or deselect all the bundled programs in a given installer.

Potentially unwanted activities and risks related to Searchprivacy.co:

The enormous amount of advertisements and the constant page redirects are probably irritating enough for you to decide to remove this program from your PC. However, there are a few more things that are good to know when it comes to such programs. A disturbing fact about browser hijackers is that they may collect your browsing-related data, your history of searches, the latest pages you have visited or your social media shares and likes. This is done mainly with the idea of redirecting users to more relevant and customized pages and advertisements and eventually getting them to click on them. However, it is not really clear who is reviewing the collected data and how safely it is stored.

Another thing, which could be considered as a possible security hazard and is not directly related to browser hijackers, but rather to the random ads they display, is the chance of bumping into fake ads or illegal websites. Misleading ads may contain different threats like viruses, Trojans or even Ransomware, which is the most popular malware today. Such a scenario is relatively rare, but possible, especially if you are not attentive and randomly click on pop-ups, too-good-to-be-true offers, banners and boxes that appear on your screen. Harmful ads may be displayed directly online or they may eventually sneak through ad-generating software like Searchprivacy.co. However, here is the place to clearly point out that the browser hijackers and Searchprivacy.co in particular significantly differ from real malware like Ransomware for example. First of all, the risk doesn’t come directly from the program, since the browser hijacker does not contain a harmful script like viruses do. Second, it is not considered malicious because it cannot directly perform any harmful activities on your system and it is really not created for that. However, there is still a small chance that it may unintentionally expose you to other hazards; therefore, below you will find instructions on how to completely uninstall Searchprivacy.co in case you decide to do so.  

SUMMARY:

Name Searchprivacy.co
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Unstoppable ads and constant page redirects disturb your browsing
Distribution Method  Mostly distributed through free software installers, program bundles, download managers, torrents, file sharing platforms or spam emails.
Detection Tool

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version.
More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

 

How to Remove Searchprivacy.co “Virus”


 

Step1

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step2

WARNING!
To remove parasite, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. Making a mistake and deleting the wrong thing may damage your system.
Avoid this by using SpyHunter - a professional Parasite removal tool.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Reveal All Hidden Files and Folders.

  • Do not skip this  – Searchprivacy.co may have hidden some of its files.

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

Step3

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

DNS

Step4

Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Searchprivacy.co from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Searchprivacy.co from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Searchprivacy.co from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

  • At this point the threat is gone from Chrome, but complete the entire guide or it may reappear on a system reboot.

Step5

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC simultaneously. Go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which ones are dangerous. Google them or ask us in the comments.

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

This is the most important and difficult part. If you delete the wrong file, it may damage your system irreversibly. If you can not do this,
>> Download SpyHunter - a professional parasite scanner and remover.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Right click on each of the problematic processes separately and select Open File LocationEnd the process after you open the folder, then delete the directories you were sent to.

malware-start-taskbar

Step6

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!

Was this guide helpful?