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SearchLock “Virus” Removal (What is SearchLock?) April 2019 Update

Parasite may reinstall itself multiple times if you don't delete its core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to scan for malicious programs installed with it. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes. 

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More information on SpyHunter, steps to uninstallEULAThreat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy.

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

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

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).



We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to see if it can detect parasite files for you.

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 SearchLock “Virus” 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 SearchLock “Virus” from Firefox:

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

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove SearchLock “Virus” 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.


To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.

If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter
a professional malware removal tool.

More information on SpyHunter, steps to uninstallEULAThreat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy.

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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