SearchLock “Virus” Removal (What is SearchLock?)

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

This page aims to help you remove SearchLock. These SearchLock removal instructions work for Chrome and Firefox as well as every version of Windows.

If you are wondering What is SearchLock – well it is a nasty program that pretends to keep you safe from the dangers in the Web space. Supposedly it will prevent you from making any unsafe and non-private searches and will re-direct you to a safe environment. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Then a wise person would ask himself – if it’s so good why is it free?

What is SearchLock

SearchLock Virus Removal

What is SearchLock really? A program that offers something of a Faustian deal. It will keep you safe…. from making any searches outside the range of companies that pay SearchLock to be included in their filters. Basically as long as you have it installed your search results will be redirected to include content from affiliate  companies who pay SearchLock royalties. Unfortunately the quality control about who gets included in the exclusive club of the program’s victims is basically whoever pays the fee, so you may be actually exposed to all kinds of dangerous sites that may contain viruses or phishing scams.

The saddest part is that this software is not downright fraudulent, so it cannot be classified as malicious software and be shut down from getting distributed officially. But as they say the devil is in the details.


Name SearchLock
Type  PUP/Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium
Symptoms  Misleading messages claiming you were infected by a virus appear and prompt you to install this program; once installed it turns out to be quite hard to remove.
Distribution Method 3-rd party installers, software bundles.
Detection Tool



If the removal guide helps you, remember: a thank you in the comments goes a long way to warm our hearts!
1: Enter Safe Mode.
2: Remove SearchLock from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
3: Remove attachments to browser shortcuts.
4: Uninstall the virus from your Add/Remove Programs.
5: Permanently delete the threat from Task Manager’s processes.
6: Uninstall the virus from Regedit and Msconfig.

Ironically your computer is more vulnerable to being spied on while you have SearchLock installed

This software is claiming to prevent big companies from spying on your searches and gathering data on you and that is sort of true – those companies are not getting that data – SearchLock is and it is free to sell that data anyway for extra profit! It has been reported to install tracking cookies for sites you visit through your searches – which is exactly the most commonly used tool to gather data on unsuspecting users – the kind of behavior this program is supposed to prevent.

Worse – it may also work as a browser hijacker making it impossible to get rid of through conventional means. If you are convinced that this program is up to no good and need it removed – this is the moment our Removal Guide steps in to help you and you will find it by reading through the rest of the article.

But how did your PC end up with SearchLock?

Our experience shows that very few people actually install this willingly on their computer. This program prefers to use 3rd party installers to come into your machine uninvited through the back door. There is a process called bundling, which involves loading a couple of programs in a single installer. This is usually a modified/infected installer of a well known program that has been downloaded from an unsafe location. Alternatively it could be the installer of some free software. Whatever the source may be whenever you try to install the main program the installer will also silently drop off the bundled programs as well.

If you do not want nasty surprises in the future similar to what is SearchLock we highly recommend that you forget using the Default installation option. Clicking the Advanced installation when installing any program will achieve the exact same result with a couple of clicks on the Next button, but it also has one massive advantage. It allows you to see if there are any bundled programs with the installer, what they are and you also receive the option to forbid them to install on your PC. Use this option whenever possible – it might save you a lot of headaches.

SearchLock “Virus” Removal


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

This was the first preparation.


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

The first thing you absolutely must do is Reveal All Hidden Files and Folders.

  • Do not skip this step. SearchLock may have hidden some of its files and you need to see them.

Repeat Step 2 for ALL browsers you have installed.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove the Malware from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the malware. Remove it by pressing DisableIf your Home Page has been hijacked, go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options> change the URL to whatever you use —> Apply.  Reset Your IE Settings

firefox-512 Remove SearchLock from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu (top right) ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> RemoveRefresh Your Firefox Settings.

chrome-logo-transparent-background Remove SearchLock from Chrome:

 Start Chrome, click chrome menu icon —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. Find the malware and  select  chrome-trash-icon

pic 8

 Click chrome menu icon —> Settings —> Search —> Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but your normal search engines. Reset Your Chrome Settings.



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) as well.


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


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. If you see a screen like this when you click Uninstall, choose NO:


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, type “Control Panel” in the search box —> Enter. Network and Internet —> Network and Sharing Center —> Change Adapter Settings. Right-click your Internet connection —> Properties.

In Networking, left click Internet Protocol Version 4 —> Properties. If everything is normal, your window will look like this:

DNS Settings

If it’s not, click on the two “automatic” choices. NOTE: If you are in a domain network, contact your Domain Administrator so he can make these settings, or this may break your Internet Connection.


 Right click on the Taskbar —> “Start Task Manager.”


Go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which ones are a virus. Google them or ask us in the comments.


This is the most important and difficult part, so be extremely careful. If you make a big mistake, it can damage your system significantly. Accounts connected to your credit cards or important information may be exposed to SearchLock. If you do not feel you can do this, download a professional remover


Right click on each of the virus processes and select Open File Location, then End the process. Copy the folders somewhere (as a backup if you make a mistake) and delete the directories you were sent to.


Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:


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

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Once inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’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