|Brief Description:||Browser hijackers are adware that modifies settings of home page and redirects browser to unknown websites.|
One of the most increasing and annoying adware is browser hijacker like Private Search. It is an unknown search engine that able to change the homepage or search settings of Edge, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.
Private Search is contained in some adware that spreads over the Internet. Some of its functions can do browser modifications like creating shortcuts on your toolbar, add links, and redirect search results. However, its main concern is to set Private Search as the default home page on your browser.
In general, Private Search is an adware that displays advertisements when you use the search function. This adware is typically bundled to free programs such as free tools, games, updates, and download manager. Without your knowledge, any of these applications may secretly install Private Search.
Once running on the PC, your browser may get flooded with pop-up ads. Endorsements containing materials that you might find inappropriate and invaluable shows up each time you are surfing the net. Purpose of putting Private Search on your browser is to earn money through ads and other promotional schemes.
Adware risks always exist these days. It can cause harm to your PC and diminish system performance if not deleted at once. Some browser hijacker can be taken out easily. However, it is not always the case, other variants can be too complicated to eliminate. For a complete guide, please browse the section on this page where we have complete tutorials to remove Private Search effectively.
Procedures to Remove Private Search
Removal steps on this page will help you get rid of the threat effectively using tools and virus scanners. Please make sure that you will carry out the guide in exact order.
Procedure 1: Uninstall Private Search from Windows Control Panel
1. Begin the removal process by uninstalling the adware program from Windows. To do this, we need to open Control Panel. Please ensure that you are logon with the Administrative privilege to access this function.
Accessing Windows 10 Control Panel
- Click on the Windows Start button at lower left corner of the screen.
- Type Control Panel on the search box, and click on its icon on the search result.
- Alternatively, you can just press Windows + X on the keyboard to display Quick Access Menu. Then, click Control Panel.
How to access Control Panel in Windows 8
- The easiest way to access Control Panel on Windows 8 is through the Search function.
- Simply press Windows Key + Q on your keyboard to display the Charms Bar. Alternatively, you can drag mouse pointer to lower-right portion of desktop until the Charms Bar slide-out.
- Click on the Magnifying Glass icon and search for 'Control Panel'. Click the item on the result to access this feature.
How to access Control Panel in Windows XP, Windows Vista/ 7
- Click on Start button that can be found on bottom left corner of the screen.
- From the list, choose Control Panel to access settings of Windows and make the needed changes.
2. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program. It will open a program and features window where-in you can uninstall, change, or repair installed software.
3. Look for adware title or any suspicious name that was installed recently. To do this, you need to arrange the items chronologically. Click on 'Installed On' to display the latest program that looks unfamiliar.
As observed, this threat is also linked to known malware. You may also look for and delete the following names that were identified with Private Search: eanswers.com
4. Click on Uninstall button to remove the program automatically.
5. If it prompts for confirmation, please click OK to proceed.
Procedure 2: Scan Computer in Safe Mode Using Installed Anti-virus Program
1. In troubleshooting a PC, one common step is to boot operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. The same approach will be used in the removal of Private Search. Please execute instructions based on your Windows OS version.
Start Windows 8 / Windows 10 in Safe Mode with Networking
- Please restart the computer and as soon as it begins to start, please press Shift + F8 keys.
- Instead of seeing Advance Boot Options, latest version of Windows will display Recovery Mode. Continue with the given steps until you reach Safe Mode function.
- Click on 'See advanced repair options'.
- Then, click on Troubleshoot.
- Next, please select Advanced options.
- On the next window, please choose Windows Startup Settings.
- Lastly, click on Restart button. Windows 8 / Windows 10 will now restart and boot into Advanced Boot Option wherein you can run the system in Safe Mode with Networking.
Start in Safe Mode with Networking (Windows XP/Vista/7 Instruction)
- Please restart the computer and just before Windows start, press F8 on your keyboard repeatedly. You will be presented with Advanced Options Menu.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.
2. Once your Windows is running in Safe Mode, open your installed anti-virus programs and update it to the most recent version by automatically downloading necessary updates.
3. Thoroughly scan the computer and remove all identified threats. Do not restart or turn off the computer after the scan process. You still need to run another scan. Please follow the next procedure.
Procedure 3: Scan and remove Private Search files with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
To remove Private Search, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.
1. After downloading, please install the program using the default settings.
2. At the end of the installation, please make sure that it will download necessary updates.
3. Once update has completed, MBAM will launch.
4. Select SCAN from the top menu. Then, click on Threat Scan (Recommended) section.
5. Click on Start Scan to thoroughly scan the computer. Remove all threats detected by this anti-malware program after the process.
Procedure 4: Run extra scan with Junkware Removal Tool
To make sure that no more malicious files linked to Private Search are inside the computer, we must run another effective scanner. This time, use Junkware Removal Tool. No installation is necessary with this tool.
1. Click the button above to start the download process. Save the file to your preferred location.
2. Junkware Removal Tool will close all running applications later. So, before executing the file, please Bookmark or Print this page. And then, close all programs.
3. Double-click the JRT.exe file to initiate the tool.
4. It will prompt you to "Press any key to continue."
5. Junkware Removal Tool will create a Restore Point and proceed with the scan. Please wait for the scan process to finish.
6. After scanning the computer, JRT will open a Notepad containing scan logs. It may have not find Private Search relevant entities, but it will surely delete any malicious items not found in the previous scans.
Procedure 5: Reset Affected Internet Browser
Reset browser settings of Google Chrome:
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. In the address bar, type this: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter.
3. Navigate at the end of the page and click on Show advanced settings.
4. At the bottom of the page, click on Reset settings to remove all changes made by Private Search.
Reset Internet Explorer Settings:
1. Open Internet Explorer software.
2. Navigate to top menu and click Tools > Internet Options.
3. On Internet Options window, select Advanced tab.
4. In order to reverse modifications caused by Private Search, click on Reset button to bring back Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition.
Reset Firefox to its default state:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox program.
2. Navigate to top menu and Open Help Menu. Then, select on Troubleshooting Information.
3. Click on Refresh Firefox button to erase the effect of Private Search.
Protect your PC from Private Search or Similar Attack
Turn On Safe Browsing Features
Google Chrome's Protection from Dangerous Sites
With Google Chrome's Dangerous Site Protection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious, thus, you can prevent Private Search infection. To enable protection from dangerous sites, please do these steps:
1. Open Google Chrome.
2. In the address bar, type this: chrome://settings/ and then, Press Enter.
3. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
4. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Protect you and your device from dangerous sites'.
5. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.
Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter
Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious programs including Private Search. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:
1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.
4. Please restart Internet Explorer.
Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries
Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats such as Private Search. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Open Menu. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block reported attack sites
- Block reported web forgeries
Edge Browser - SmartScreen Filter
SmartScreen filter is a built-in feature in Microsoft Edge browser that can help you deter malicious programs such as Private Search. It can block malicious web sites and downloads.
1. Open Microsoft Edge browser.
2. Click on More Actions button located at top right corner of the screen.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Under Settings menu, go to Advanced Settings section and click on View Advanced Settings.
5. Scroll down to "help protect my PC from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter". Turn it to ON.
6.You may now restart Microsoft Edge browser.