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How to Uninstall Search Engage “Malware”

Parasite may reinstall itself multiple times if you don't delete its core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to scan for malicious programs installed with it. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes. 

Download SpyHunter Anti-Malware

More information on SpyHunter, steps to uninstallEULAThreat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy.

This page aims to help you remove the Search Engage “Malware.” These Search Engage removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

I have the Search Engage “Malware” on my PC, should I call the IT guy?

You can probably handle it yourself. It’s not hard to see why calling a specialist would be your first reaction. Viruses can be scary, especially if you regularly use your computer for your work. One sunny day you turn on your PC, open your browser and see piles of ads all over the place and then you realize that something’s not quite right. But wait…did we say virus? If you really have the Search Engage “Malware”, then there’s no need to panic, for it is not an actual virus. Search Engage is a program of the adware (advertising-supported software) type. These programs are notorious for their intrusive ads that keep popping up left, right and center once the adware has been installed on your PC and you try to use your browser. It doesn’t really matter which one. Chrome, Mozilla, IE, Safari, they are all affected in pretty much the same way. At first sight it might be really frustrating to see every page you try to open piled with all those ads. After a while though you will realize that they are nothing more than an annoyance that should be removed. As we already said Search Engage is not a virus. In fact adware programs are, for the most part, legal and are usually quite harmless to your system. There are rare occasions when such a program might become more aggressive and attempt to mess with your browser settings (for instance – alter your front page). Also it is possible that by clicking on some of the displayed ads or interacting with any of the page redirects (yes, sometimes adware will do that) you might end up on some malicious site. Or maybe download a more harmful piece of software but this happens rarely. Actually around ninety percent of the ads are legit and show you actual offers from around the web. This, however, is not to say that you should address adware carelessly. Although adware programs might not bring direct harm to your system, as already mentioned, they can potentially lead you into exposing it to more dangerous threats (such as an actual virus!).

Avoiding it altogether

The best way to deal with Search Engage is…to never actually have the need to deal with it. That’s right, you won’t have to go through all those different steps that will be explained below, if you have never infected your PC with Search Engage in the first place. In order to prevent this from happening, you will need to know what to look out for. Here’s a question you might be asking yourself right now: “Since it is not a virus, how did my PC got infected with it?” . Well…you’ve actually installed Search Engage yourself. “What?”; “How?” It’s pretty simple – since no one will attempt to install this unwanted program willingly, it is usually bundled with other free software. Most users who download said other software, don’t pay much attention to the installation menu and end up installing a bunch of other added stuff they never really knew about. Search Engage might have been among this added stuff. That’s why the next time you are about to install a new program you downloaded for free, carefully look through the menu and seek the custom/advanced install settings. There you will see the details of what you are actually installing. Now uncheck anything that looks suspicious (which is probably all added content) and you can be pretty sure Search Engage won’t be installed on your PC that day.

But it IS already on my PC

Still no need to panic. We have a guide for that just below this article, but before you go there, remember those several tips. The ads, pop-ups, banners, message boxes and page redirects won’t gain you anything useful, so do not interact with them unless you want to risk landing some nasty virus and for this you will indeed need an actual IT specialist. Next thing, consider investing into some kind of anti-adware program. You might not necessarily need such a tool for the removal of Search Engage, but it will help you deal with other intrusive software in the future. Another thing to know is that occasionally the unwanted program might go under a different name, both in the custom installation menu and on your computer once installed. These were the basics you should know when you are faced with Search Engage or other similar adware.


Name Search Engage
Type  Adware
Danger Level Medium
Symptoms New and unfamiliar front page; pop-ups, banners, box messages etc.
Distribution Method Torrent or file-sharing websites, bundled with free downloadable contents.
Detection Tool Search Engage may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter – a professional parasite scanner – to make sure you find all files related to the infection.

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.


Search Engage Removal

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

This was the first preparation.


To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.

If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter
a professional malware removal tool.

More information on SpyHunter, steps to uninstallEULAThreat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy.

Reveal All Hidden Files and Folders.

  • Do not skip this  – Search Engage may have hidden some of its files.

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


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:


Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.


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.


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).


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

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Search Engage 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 Search Engage from Firefox:

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

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Search Engage 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.


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.


We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to see if it can detect parasite files for you.

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.



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!

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