A new Browser Hijacker application Searchokay has been reported to our “How to remove” team recently. According to the reports, popular browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Explorer have been affected by the Searchokay virus.
If you are on this page because you have noticed a change in your homepage and/or in the default search engine, or a stream of aggressive ads, pop-ups, banners and redirect prompts, and all of them are “Powered by Searchokay”, then stay with us to learn how to remove these changes and uninstall the program that is causing them.
How was Searchokay installed on my computer?
It is possible that Searchokay could be promoted in some supposedly official page that you have visited. However, it is quite common for most web users to download and install such applications without wanting to, mostly through software bundles. The developers distribute the unwanted apps by packing them into the download wizards and installers of other software. To be more concrete, they do this by hiding the hijacker in the “customized” or the “advanced” settings and other similar settings of installation wizards, and by not indicating this information as it should. The easiest way to be tricked into downloading and installing Browser Hijackers and other ad-generating programs is if you do not pay attention to the settings mentioned above in the wizards. However, this is not the only way to end up with a program like Searchokay, Anvilworker or Grand Explorer. Sometimes it takes just a few clicks on several intrusive ads for some unwanted downloads and installations to be initiated. That’s why we strongly recommend downloading software only from official and reliable websites and not from third-party downloaders, installers, torrent or download clients (or other P2P networks), and unofficial websites, etc. Another important thing is to verify all custom or advanced settings and other small checkboxes and “bonus” programs that are available in any software installer. Also, avoid clicking on intrusive ads, especially if they appear on some suspicious and unofficial websites. These ads may cause redirects to different questionable pages (including sites infected with Trojans or Ransomware) or initiate the download and installation of unwanted apps.
Please follow all the steps below in order to remove Searchokay!
How to remove Searchokay
- First, click the Start Menu on your Windows PC.
- Type Programs and Settings in the Start Menu, click the first item, and find Searchokay in the programs list that would show up.
- Select Searchokay from the list and click on Uninstall.
- Follow the steps in the removal wizard.
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.
What we suggest you do first is, check the list of programs that are presently installed on the infected device and uninstall any rogue software that you find there:
- From the Start Menu, navigate to Control Panel ->>> Programs and Features ->>> Uninstall a Program.
- Next, carefully search for unfamiliar programs or programs that have been installed recently and could be related to Searchokay.
- If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to Searchokay.
- If a notification appears on your screen when you try to uninstall a specific questionable program prompting you to just alter it or repair it, make sure you choose NO and complete the steps from the removal wizard.
Remove Searchokay from Chrome
- Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
- Go to more tools
- Now select extensions
- Remove the Searchokay extension
- Once you open Chrome, click on the three-dots icon to open the browser’s menu, go to More Tools/ More Options, and then to Extensions.
- Again, find the items on that page that could be linked to Searchokay and/or that might be causing problems in the browser and delete them.
- Afterwards, go to this folder: Computer > C: > Users > *Your User Account* > App Data > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data. In there, you will find a folder named Default – you should change its name to Backup Default and restart the PC.
- Note that the App Data folder is normally hidden so you’d have to first make the hidden files and folders on your PC visible before you can access it.
How to get rid of Searchokay on FF/Edge/etc.
- Open the browser and select the menu icon.
- From the menu, click on the Add-ons button.
- Look for the Searchokay extension
- Get rid of Searchokay by removing it from extensions
If using Firefox:
- Open Firefox
- Select the three parallel lines menu and go to Add-ons.
- Find the unwanted add-on and delete it from the browser – if there is more than one unwanted extension, remove all of them.
- Go to the browser menu again, select Options, and then click on Home from the sidebar to the left.
- Check the current addresses for the browser’s homepage and new-tab page and change them if they are currently set to address(es) you don’t know or trust.
If using MS Edge/IE:
- Start Edge
- Select the browser menu and go to Extensions.
- Find and uninstall any Edge extensions that look undesirable and unwanted.
- Select Settings from the browser menu and click on Appearance.
- Check the new-tab page address of the browser and if it has been modified by “Searchokay” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.
How to Delete Searchokay
- Open task manager
- Look for the Searchokay process
- Select it and click on End task
- Open the file location to delete Searchokay
- Access the Task Manager by pressing together the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and then selecting Task Manager.
- Open Processes and there try to find a process with the name of the unwanted software. If you find it, select it with the right button of the mouse and click on the Open File Location option.
- If you don’t see a “Searchokay” process in the Task Manager, look for another suspicious process with an unusual name. It is likely that the unwanted process would be using lots of RAM and CPU so pay attention to the number of resources each process is using.
- Tip: If you think you have singled out the unwanted process but are not sure, it’s always a good idea to search for information about it on the Internet – this should give you a general idea if the process is a legitimate one from a regular program or from your OS or if it is indeed likely linked to the adware.
- If you find another suspicious process, open its File Location too.
- Once in the File Location folder for the suspicious process, start testing all of the files that are stored there by dragging them to our free online scanner available below.
- If the scanner finds malware in any of the files, return to the Processes tab in the Task Manager, select the suspected process, and then select the End Process option to quit it.
- Go back to the folder where the files of that process are located and delete all of the files that you are allowed to delete. If all files get deleted normally, exit the folder and delete that folder too. If one or more of the files showed an error message when you tried to delete them, leave them for now and return to try to delete them again once you’ve completed the rest of the guide.
How to Uninstall Searchokay
- Click on the home button
- Search for Startup Apps
- Look for Searchokay in there
- Uninstall Searchokay from Startup Apps by turning it off
- Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any Searchokay-related entries from the Registry. The easiest way to do this is to open the Registry Editor app (type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter) and then open a Find dialog (CTRL+F key combination) where you have to type the name of the threat.
- Perform a search by clicking on the Find Next button and delete any detected results. Do this as many times as needed until no more results are found.
- After that, to ensure that there are no remaining entries lined to Searchokay in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main/Random
What is Searchokay?
To your relief, Searchokay is not some nasty virus, a Spyware, a Trojan or a Ransomware infection. That’s why you have a good chance to deal with it just by using the instructions and the removal tool in the removal guide above. In any case, even if the Browser Hijacker is not a harmful program, you may want to uninstall it as soon as possible because the longer it remains in the system, the more irritation and disturbance it may create. For instance, you may start to notice that your computer runs slower than normal, your browser becomes unresponsive to your searches and you start to see too many unwanted ads in pop-up windows, that redirect you to suspicious websites. This is something typical for those programs because they basically operate as online advertising tools that promote sponsored content.
When the users enter a search query in their browsers, the job of the hijacker is to open a sponsored web address, some pay-per-click ad or a banner first and only then to display the search result. In summary, this app causes unwanted redirects and spams the screen with advertisements, some of which may even be questionable.
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