Browser Redirect

How to Remove Search Encrypt “Malware” (Chrome/FF/IE) June 2019 Update

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This page aims to help you remove the Search Encrypt “Malware”. 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.

Search Encrypt "malware" removal

Search Encrypt “Malware” is a search engine which will display annoying ads and pop-ups in your browser, whether it is Chrome, Firefox or any other type.

How the Search Encrypt “Malware” operates

If you are seeing ads in your browser that are in some way related to the Search Encrypt “malware” or if your current default browser search engine has the its logo on it, then you definitely have this hijacker in your system and you may want to get it uninstalled with the help of the instructions that we have here. The Search Encrypt “malware” isn’t a very dangerous threat and you don’t have to bring your computer to an IT professional – you can most probably handle this yourself, as long as you have access to the right guidance. Though most users refer to it as the Search Encrypt “malware” – this won’t really harm the system or the files on your computer as it isn’t really a virus. In reality, the Search Encrypt “malware” is a browser hijacker and its main goal is to promote different products on your screen.

Remove Search Encrypt "Malware" Chrome is a search engine just like Search Encrypt. Their purpose is to spam you with all kinds of pop-ups and ads.

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.The Search Encrypt “virus” 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 the Search Encrypt “virus” 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 may employ some aggressive marketing practices!

There are a few more good reasons to rid your system of the Search Encrypt “malware” 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 the Search Encrypt “malware” 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 get rid of the Search Encrypt “Malware”?

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.


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

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 Search Encrypt “Malware”

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.


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).



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:

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:

Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result

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:

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.



  • 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.

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.


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!

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