Protect My Search
Protect My Search targets popular web browsing programs such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox and others. Protect My Search integrates with these browser and causes them to generate online ads on the screens of infected users.
This invasive behavior has earned software of this kind the collective name of browser hijackers. And once we’ve described exactly how programs like Protect My Search operate, you will understand why.
For example, Protect My Search will typically take the liberty of substituting your default search engine with a custom one – without asking for your permission. And that same search engine may also be set as the new homepage. And, you guessed right, it will also not ask for your approval. What’s more, you won’t even be allowed to change these configurations back. As long as Protect My Search is in your system, those settings will stay as the browser hijacker intended and that’s it.
Moving on, browser hijackers typically also install ad-generating components in the browser. This enables the generation and display of obscene amounts of online ads in the form of banners, popups, box messages, in-text links, etc. And as if that weren’t bad enough, a piece like Protect My Search can also make your browser initiate page redirects. So, you may very often find yourself redirected to random websites just as you were peacefully browsing the web.
Thus, if you’ve already had enough of all this advertising nonsense, and you’re ready to move on with your life, you’ve come to the right page. Here, we will show you how you can manually remove Protect My Search from your system, together with all of its constituents and unwanted effects on your online experience.
The Protect My Search App
Now, browser hijackers ,like the Protect My Search App,are generally not seen as harmful software. At worst, they’re considered to be potentially unwanted programs or PUPs, but they cannot damage your system the way that a virus or pieces of malware could.
However, because of their obvious intrusiveness and apparent lack of features that would somehow benefit the end user, they fall into the gray area between actual viruses and regular, useful applications. Contributing to this fact is also the background processes that are typically run by browser hijackers such as Protect My Search.
For instance, in order to optimize the flow of ads, software of this kind may actively monitor your browsing patterns and compile this data in order to tailor the popups and banners to your preferences. This can have various degrees of underlying consequences, for instance, your system may be put under pressure due to the amount of resources that Protect My Search may use for this purpose. And that may lead to sluggishness, freezes, browser crashes, etc. Not to mention that the data collected from your browser can be of value to various third parties, so it may be sold without your knowledge or approval.
Furthermore, software of this type could potentially also expose you to unsafe web locations. And those may easily be sources of malware like Trojans, rootkits, spyware, ransomware and who knows what else. So, with all this in mind, it’s best to simply remove Protect My Search and spare yourself the risk of dealing with any of these problems.
|Name||Protect My Search|
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Popups, banners, box messages and various other online ads visible during browsing sessions; frequent and spontaneous page redirects and changes made to the browser’s interface.|
|Distribution Method||Usually with the help of so-called program bundles where the main install is normally some type of system optimization tool or other free software.|
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Remove Protect My Search App Virus
To try and remove Protect My Search quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the Protect My Search extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove Protect My Search by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of Protect My Search and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Protect My Search removal guide below.
If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.
If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide
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).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous.
Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders.
Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.
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 or otherwise look suspicious.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
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:
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.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.
- After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.
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.
Remove Protect My Search from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove Protect My Search from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Protect My Search from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
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 up 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—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!