This page aims to help you remove Search Shield for free. Our Search Shield removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.
Have you noticed some fishy changes to your browser lately? Has the homepage been changed to one you don’t recall ever setting, or maybe you’ve noticed that your searches are redirected to a search engine you’ve never even seen before? These are typical traits of a browser hijacker on your system; and if you’re still not quite sure, then the crazy amount of ads you’ve been witnessing lately within your browser is sure to settle any doubts. To be more specific, you’ve been infected with Search Shield, which is one of the latest browser hijackers that have been released to date. Don’t let this alarm you, though, our removal guide at the bottom of this page will walk you through the exact steps necessary to delete this invasive program and remove all the imposed settings that came with it. But first, we think it rather important to be aware of the most prominent browser hijacker aspects, which you need to be aware of in order to ensure a safer browser experience for yourself.
Search Shield and why it’s on your computer
In the world of Internet businesses there’s a popular strategy called Pay Per Click or PPC. It’s exploited by numerous businesses of all kinds and software developers have joined their ranks, using their browser hijackers like Search Shield to profit from this scheme. Each time a user clicks on any of the featured ads produced by the software, the developers make money. This should explain the wild quantity of popups and banners that you’re likely to have been witnessing lately. In addition to making navigating past the ads physically difficult, Search Shield also has the tendency of creating ads that are aimed at you personally in the hopes of attracting your interest. This is done with the help of a bit of spying: data that is related to your browsing activities is collected and stored with the aim of adjusting the following ad campaign in accordance with your estimated preferences and interests. For example, you might notice that several of the ads you’ve been seeing today are suspiciously about the same thing you were researching just the other day.
This sort of behavior is often considered a violation of privacy and is even thought of as the kind of act a virus would perform. Nonetheless, Search Shield is not a virus; as a matter of fact this kind of software is more often than not completely legal. This doesn’t place it in the completely harmless end of the spectrum, though, either. To be perfectly clear: browser hijackers are not malicious, BUT they could potentially expose you to malicious threats, such as ransomware, if you happen to click on the wrong ad. In very rare cases you might be presented with malvertisements, which are fake ads that either redirect you to dangerous websites with viruses on them or they directly download malware onto your system. This actually happens to be the most common way of getting infected by the world’s most feared cyber threat – ransomware.
How Search Shield got on your PC
This part is probably the most important, due to the simple fact that by knowing how you contracted the hijacker you will be able to prevent anything like this from happening in the future. It’s most likely that you installed this particular version alongside some other program, usually freeware or shareware of some kind. This is called program bundling and involves the process of distributing a package of two or more programs bundled together. The mistake most users usually make is installing new software using the default settings in the setup wizard. By doing so you are surrendering your right to control the setup to the predetermined choice of the developers, which is often the inclusion of all added programs within the bundle. If you would simply choose the custom or advanced settings in the wizard, you would be able to rid yourself of any unwanted features before they could even enter your system just by that one simple click. You will have the option to choose from all the added software, which goes and which stays. To stop a certain program (like Search Shield) from being installed, simply uncheck the box opposite it and resume with the next steps in the wizard.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Screen may be covered in numerous ads, homepage and default search engine may be changed to unfamiliar ones.|
|Distribution Method||File sharing websites, open source download platforms, infected torrents, spam emails and program bundles.|
|Detection Tool||Search Shield may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter – a professional parasite scanner – to make sure you find all files related to the infection.|
Search Shield Removal
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).
- Do not skip this – Search Shield 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 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.
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 Search Shield 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 Search Shield from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Search Shield 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.
- 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.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Right click on each of the problematic processes separately and select Open File Location. End 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—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!