SearchNet Chrome


SearchNet is a rogue software of the browser-hijacking variety that aims to put ads on your screen and use your browser as a site-promoting platform. Once SearchNet enters the system, it latches onto its main browser, modifies it, and starts to spam ads and page-redirects.

The SearcNet virus aggressively take over the main browser and force it to display sponsored commercials

SearchNet can be encountered on the web as a free addition to popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge and others. If your main browser has recently been invaded by SearchNet and most of the advertising messages and sponsored links that you see on your screen are generated by it, then it’s a good idea to remove it.

A very common reason for browsing irritation and disturbance is the excessive exposure to aggressive ads, different promotional pop-ups, banners and automatic page redirects as well as unwanted modifications to elements of your browser like changes in the toolbar, the search engine or the homepage URL that are caused by the so-called browser hijacker apps. On this page, we will focus our attention on one application of this type known as SearchNet. 

In case that your homepage or search engine has been replaced by another one or if some new buttons and toolbars have appeared on your menu without your approval, with the help of the instructions in the removal guide below, you can eliminate them in a safe and reliable manner. Luckily, in most of the cases, the use of the guide on this page is enough to completely uninstall the browser hijacker and its related components.

Even if you are not a computer expert, you should still be able to get rid of the advertising software, especially if you use the steps in the guide in combination with the suggested professional removal tool. After all, SearchNet is not some sort of dangerous computer virus or a malware piece (such as ransomware, spyware or Trojans) and you can get rid of it without facing any serious consequences. To gain a better understanding of this type of software, in the paragraph below the guide, we have described some of its typical behavioral traits as well as some of the most common issues that it may relate to.

SearchNet Chrome

Usually, when you detect intrusive software like SearchNet Chrome on your PC, it is natural to question its nature and its purpose. Most people who face such applications like SearcNet Chrome usually tend to mistake them for computer viruses and get panicked about their presence in the system.

The reason is that browser hijackers tend to aggressively take over the main browser and force it to display sponsored commercials on the screen during regular web browsing sessions. Such behavior can raise a lot of concerns but in reality, there is no real reason to be worried. Like most other software, applications such as SearchNet and Bingo Captcha Poin Top are created to generate profits for their developers. However, unlike real computer threats that can cause some type of harm, hijackers don’t do anything criminal.

They usually earn profits from the generation of pay-per-click commercials on the users’ screen. That’s why, for the entire period they operate on your system, you are likely to get exposed to different kinds of sponsored ads and tools, redirect links and aggressive promotional materials. Fortunately, if this activity is causing you irritation and disturbance, you can remove the ads and uninstall the hijacker without any serious consequences for your system.



Type Browser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Your browser may start to spam you with various aggressive ads and automatic page redirects.
Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, torrents, free downloads, ads, shareware sites, freeware platforms. 
Detection Tool

How To Remove SearchNet Virus from Chrome

To try and remove SearchNet quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the SearchNet extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove SearchNet by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of SearchNet and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed SearchNet 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).



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:

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    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.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove SearchNet 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 SearchNet from Firefox:

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

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove SearchNet 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!

    About the author


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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