Search Encrypt “Virus” Removal (Chrome/Firefox/IE)

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


How irritating is this virus?

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

Are you facing difficulty navigating the web due to some nagging and aggressively popping ads, banners and pop-ups? Do you experience sudden page redirects? Has some strange new toolbar, a search engine or a homepage taken over your browser? If yes, then a browser hijacking program like Search Encrypt could be the most probable source of your disturbance. Stay on this page to learn how to safely uninstall it and remove all of its potentially unwanted modifications and ads, as well as how to reverse the settings of your Chrome, Firefox or Explorer back to normal.

Browser hijackers – what programs are these?

Browser hijackers are all the programs that tend to intrusively display all sorts of undesired advertisements on the users’ screens. These programs are also known to impose certain potentially unwanted changes to the users’ default browser such as homepage or search engine replacements or the installation of new toolbars. Search Encrypt is a typical representative of this software category and as such, it is absolutely capable of taking over your browser in an above-described way and making it display tens of nagging ads.

There is a lot of money in the way that browser hijackers operate because these pieces of software basically serve as advertising tools. Many vendors, advertisers, and software developers use them to promote their services and products and ensure greater exposure to their ads. With this idea, pieces like Search Encrypt are specially developed to expose or redirect the users to certain sponsored messages, ads or websites and prompt them to click on them. This way, the people, who stay behind the hijackers, can benefit from the clicks (through Pay-Per-Click), the website traffic and the eventual sales they make.

The users, whose browser has been hijacked, however, may have to endure a constant flow of intrusive pop-ups, banners, ads, in-text messages, new tabs and sudden page redirects. Such aggressive advertising activity is generally not malicious, but is often referred to as potentially unwanted and may heavily decrease their web experience and cause irritation and browsing disturbance. Unfortunately, there is no way to disable or stop the ads through some menu or some settings and even uninstalling the affected browser may not remove them. That’s why, for a lot of users, the permanent solution to save themselves from the stream of nagging ads is to uninstall the browser hijacker.

Search Encrypt “Virus” Removal

If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.

If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.


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! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

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. If you want a fast safe solution, we recommend SpyHunter. 

>> Click to Download Spyhunter. If you don't want this software, continue with the guide below.

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

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. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

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/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet

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. 

Step3

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.

Step4

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

Step5

  • 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).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

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

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Search Encrypt 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 Encrypt from Firefox:

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

pic 6

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

Step6

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 & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

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—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    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!

Search Encrypt may employ some aggressive marketing practices!

There are a few more good reasons to rid your system of Search Encrypt and similar programs. Browser hijackers are often programmed to extract browsing-related data from the affected browser. This way, they can silently collect information about the users’ browsing queries, latest web activities and interests and employ this information in various aggressive advertising practices such as intrusive ad-generation or sponsored ads positioning on your screen.

The developers claim that such data collection activity is only used to improve the users’ exposure to more relevant ads and has no intention to cause any harm, nor can it compromise their passwords, login credentials or confidential data. In a way, this is true, because browser hijackers are not typical viruses and definitely cannot cause any major damage to the computer. Unlike the real malicious threats like Ransomware, Trojans and other viruses, programs like Search Encrypt do not contain malicious scripts. In fact, security experts consider them to be pretty harmless, compared to a Ransomware infection, for example, because they cannot destroy your files or your system in any way. What is more, if the data collecting, the frequent page redirects, and the aggressively popping ads are disturbing you, you can easily remove the browser hijacker and save yourself from the annoyance without any harmful consequences.  

How to safely uninstall Search Encrypt and prevent future infections?

Programs like Search Encrypt are often found inside different free installers, torrents, free download links, different spam messages, shareware or freeware sites and automatic setups. That’s why, to avoid them, it is best if you generally stay away from some non-reputed software sources and their free installation wizards. When you run a new setup, let’s say of some desirable new program, make sure you carefully read the EULA and customize the installer through the given “Advanced/Manual/Custom” option. Don’t use the “Standard/Automatic/Recommended” one, because this way, you may unknowingly give permission to some potentially unwanted program (or a tricky virus) to become part of your system, in case that it is bundled inside the installer.

Now, to uninstall Search Encrypt, you need to first correctly detect it. You can use the instructions in the removal guide below for that and make sure you carefully follow them. At some point, you may need to interact with important system files, so double check what you have to delete before you do anything and, in a case of a doubt, scan your system with the professional tool. It will help you identify the correct browser hijacker files and eliminate them without any risk for your system.

SUMMARY:

Name Search Encrypt
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Nagging and aggressively popping ads, banners and pop-ups may frequently disturb your web browsing. 
Distribution Method This software may be found inside different free installers, torrents, free download links, different spam messages, shareware or freeware sites and automatic setups.
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

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.