Protectedsearches.com is a fake search engine that hijacks the new tab, search engine, and homepage in the Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge web-browser. After infiltrating the browser, the start page and search engine will be replaced by Protectedsearches.com. The Protectedsearches.com redirects the browser to deceptive search results which are useless for the user. Searches and other sensitive information are collected by the Protectedsearches.com browser hijacker. Protectedsearches.com will be installed without the knowledge of the user. Protectedsearches.com is installed through rogue – malicious software installations. This malicious installation software is also known as adware. Adware is a universal pseudonym for malware type applications that infect the computer without the knowledge of the user. Protectedsearches.com adware causes unwanted changes in the web browser that cannot be reverted by the user. Protectedsearches.com displays many offensive and intrusive – unwanted advertisements as popup ads or in-text – content ads in the Protectedsearches.com search results.
Protectedsearches.com browser hijacker
Protectedsearches.com: Download Removal Tool
Distribution: Adware, intrusive popup ads
Affected Browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer
Type: browser hijacker
Adware e.g. ad-supported malware is responsible for the Protectedsearches.com search engine in the Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge web browser. Adware and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) infiltrate the computer with other software that you can download from the Internet. Adware is usually suggested as a helpful add-on or a third party software application during a software installation process.
It is important to note that the Protectedsearches.com search engine is also promoted by pop-ups in the browser. In this way, adware developers try to deceive the user to install the Protectedsearches.com browser hijacker. Adware developers often claim that the Protectedsearches.com search engine offers a number of advantages over legitimate search engines. In reality, it is about popup, and in-content advertisements to generate income through pay per click – PPC ads. The Protectedsearches.com search engine does not provide any advantage over legitimate search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Protectedsearches.com is only built for revenue generation purposes and is dangerous for your online privacy. Follow this removal instruction to get rid of the Protectedsearches.com fake search engine in the web browser.
How to remove Protectedsearches.com?
Remove Protectedsearches.com, complete the steps below
- Remove Protectedsearches.com from Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10
- Scan your computer for malware with free anti-malware software to detect and remove Protectedsearches.com files
Windows 7 user: Click the Start button in the left bottom corner, select Control Panel, select “Programs, and Features”.
Windows 8 user: right-click the Windows logo in the bottom left corner, select Control Panel, select “Programs, and Features”.
Windows 10 user: right-click the Windows logo in the bottom left corner, open Run, and type appwiz.cpl
Search the applications for any recently installed software, remove the adware with the Uninstall button.
Click the column “Installed On” to sort installed software by date, this makes it easier to detect recently installed software.
If you don’t know what to look for, go to this removal step.
Manually remove Protectedsearches.com from Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge
In this first step for Internet Explorer, you have to verify if internet explorer is infected with a malicious add-on. Add-ons could be responsible for the Protectedsearches.com homepage, search engine in the Internet Explorer web browser.
choose the wrench button, and from the menu click “Manage add-ons”.
Check the add-on list for any suspicious add-on in Internet Explorer, click “Disable” or “Remove” to delete the add-on.
Continue to the next step to remove Protectedsearches.com homepage from Internet Explorer.
Change your homepage for Internet Explorer
choose the wrench button, and from the menu click “Internet options”.
Go to tab General, remove Protectedsearches.com and enter your preferred internet explorer homepage. Save settings with OK.
Change your default search engine for Internet Explorer
choose the wrench button, and from the menu click “Manage add-ons”. In the left menu choose “Search Providers”.
Set the search engine of your choice, Google, Bing or Yahoo as default and remove Protectedsearches.com. In order to do this, click the search engine you want as your default search “Google” and click the “Set as default” button. Select Protectedsearches.com and click the “Remove” button. When Google, Bing, Yahoo is not listed, click the “Find more search providers” link at the bottom of the Manage Add-ons window and add one.
Optional: Reset Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer has the possibility to reset to default, an Internet Explorer reset will affect your saved bookmarks and passwords. Internet Explorer reset is the easiest way to get rid of Protectedsearches.com browser hijacker.
click the wrench button and from the menu click “Internet Options”.
Choose the Advanced tab, click the “Reset” button.
Check “Delete personal settings” and click the “Reset” button.
Restart Internet Explorer to complete the reset.
Good, Internet Explorer is reset to the default configuration, it is important to know there are adware (Protectedsearches.com) remnants on your computer. I recommend to scan and remove the virus files from your computer. Make sure the Protectedsearches.com redirect doesn’t occur again and all remnants are removed from your PC.
In this first step for Google Chrome, you need to identify and remove the browser extension responsible for the Protectedsearches.com search engine. Some browser extensions are ad-supported, e.g. adware and might change the homepage or search settings to Protectedsearches.com.
If you didn’t install any browser extension at all, remove all browser extensions from Chrome.
Click the menu button, from the Chrome menu click “More tools” and then “Extensions”.
Identify browser extension(s) from the list and click the “Remove” button to remove the extension.
If you are unsure if the extension is malicious, click the slider and disable the extension first. Continue to the next step.
Change Google Chrome homepage and new tab
Click the Google Chrome menu button, from the Chrome menu go to “Settings”.
In the On startup section find the Protectedsearches.com extension and click “Disable”. Click the “Open a specific page or set of pages” and check for the Protectedsearches.com homepage, if present select the three vertical dots and click the “Remove” button.
Change Google Chrome search engine
Click the Google Chrome menu button, from the Chrome menu go to “Settings”.
In the “Search engine” section find the “manage search engines” button.
In the list of search engines, locate the Protectedsearches.com search engine. On the right next to the URL, click the three vertical dots button and select “Remove from list”.
Click the three vertical dots next to Google, Yahoo, or Bing and select “Make default”.
Reset the Google Chrome profile sync
Google Chrome synchronizes the browsers user-profile with the Google Cloud services. If the Google Chrome browser is infected with adware, this adware, usually browser extensions, the homepage and Protectedsearches.com search engine settings are synced with Google’s servers.
It is important to clean this synchronized cache. If the user doesn’t clear the synchronized settings, the Protectedsearches.com extension and Chrome settings keep coming back on any devices the Chrome user profile is synchronized with.
Open the Google Dashboard (opens in a new browser window). Click the Reset sync button to clear all of your synced data on Google’s server, confirm with OK.
Restart Google Chrome, if necessary continue to the next step.
Optional: Reset Google Chrome
Chrome has the option to reset to default settings, a Chrome browser reset will not affect your saved bookmarks and passwords. Google Chrome reset is the easiest way to get rid of ad-supported browser extensions that install the Protectedsearches.com homepage.
Click the menu button, from the drop-down menu click “Settings”.
Scroll down to Advanced and again scroll down to Reset settings.
Click the “Reset” button to reset Google Chrome.
Confirm the reset of the Chrome web browser by clicking the “Reset” button.
Restart Google Chrome for the changes to take effect.
Google Chrome is reset to default settings, it is important to know there are remnants of Protectedsearches.com hijacker on your computer. I recommend to scan and remove malware files from your computer to make sure the adware does not reinstall and the Protectedsearches.com redirect doesn’t occur again.
In this first step for Firefox, you need to identify and remove any Firefox add-on that is unknown to you.
If you didn’t install any add-on at all, remove all add-ons from Firefox. Add-ons in Firefox could be ad-supported which basically means an add-on might have installed Protectedsearches.com in Firefox.
Click the Firefox menu button, from the drop-down menu click Add-ons.
Click extensions from the left menu. Identify the Protectedsearches.com Firefox browser extension.
Click the “Remove” button to delete the extension and get rid of Protectedsearches.com.
Change Firefox homepage
Open the Firefox menu, which can be found in the top right corner. Select “Options” from the menu.
In the options window, go to Home in the left menu. Remove Protectedsearches.com from the Custom URLs textbox, or click the “Restore Defaults” button.
Change default search engine for Firefox
In the address bar type about:config and confirm with Enter. Click the I accept the risk! button.
In the search bar type: moz-extension
right-click on each of the results and select Reset to restore their values to default settings.
Restart Firefox, if necessary continue to the next step.
Optional: Reset Firefox
Firefox has the option to reset to default settings, this will reset Firefox completely. Reset Firefox is the easiest way to get rid of ad-supported add-ons from Firefox that install Protectedsearches.com as your default search engine.
Click the menu button, from the menu, select Help ? (the question mark icon, at the end of the menu).
Click on Troubleshooting information from the Help menu.
select the Refresh Firefox button, confirm the reset and restart Firefox.
The Firefox browser is reset to default settings, it is important to know there are remnants of malware on your computer. I recommend to scan and remove malware files from your computer to make sure the malware does not reinstall and the Protectedsearches.com redirect is entirely removed from the Firefox web browser.
If you encounter Protectedsearches.com as your default homepage or search engine in Microsoft Edge, follow these instructions.
Right-click the start button in Windows 10, from the start menu top click Apps and Features.
Scroll down through the right Apps and Features list till you see Microsoft Edge, click Advanced options.
Click on the Reset button to reset Microsoft Edge to default settings. Microsoft Edge reset will clear the browsing history, cookies, and settings. Not the Microsoft Edge favorites web pages.
The Microsoft Edge web-browser is reset to default settings, it is important to know there are remnants of the Protectedsearches.com hijacker on your PC. I recommend to scan and remove malware files from your computer to make sure the browser hijacker does not reinstall and the Protectedsearches.com search engine is entirely removed from the Microsoft Edge web browser and PC.
Remove Protectedsearches.com with Malwarebytes
Get rid of Protectedsearches.com with Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is free to use, detect and remove the Protectedsearches.com redirect from the Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge web browser. Protectedsearches.com is a browser hijacker which is a type of malware, Malwarebytes will remove the Protectedsearches.com malware from the web browser for free.
Run the Malwarebytes program installation file. Click here for Malwarebytes installation instructions.
Click Scan Now to start searching for the adware responsible for the Protectedsearches.com search engine in the web browser.
Malwarebytes will start scanning for malware, please wait for Malwarebytes to finish the malware scan.
Malwarebytes usually takes between 2 to 5 minutes to complete.
Once the malware scan is completed, Malwarebytes will present the results of the Protectedsearches.com malware scan.
Remove the malware found by Malwarebytes using the Quarantine Selected button.
Wait for Malwarebytes to move all malware to quarantine.
Malwarebytes needs to perform a system reboot to finish the Protectedsearches.com redirect removal process.
Save and close any working documents or open web pages and click Yes to reboot your PC.
After the system reboot, your web browser is free from the Protectedsearches.com browser hijacker. Stay protected with Malwarebytes against future browser hijacker and other types of malware. Malwarebytes stops adware, browser hijackers, potentially unwanted programs, malicious web pages, suspicious downloads, viruses, spyware and ransomware from infecting your web browser.
Get rid of Protectedsearches.com with Zemana
Zemana Anti-Malware is an second opinion anti-malware scanner which uses Cloud technology with Protectedsearches.com browser hijacker detection. Zemana is the fastest, smallest and most proactively malware scanner available. Zemana is its best in addition to a primary virus scanner or malware scanner such as Malwarebytes.
Open the Zemana anti-malware setup file.
Install Zemana anti-malware using the default settings, after successful installation Zemana anti-malware will update itself to the latest version.
Select the Scan button to perform a malware scan to detect the malware responsible for the Protectedsearches.com redirect
Please wait for the scan to finish, the scan usually takes a few minutes.
Click the Next button to remove the malware found by Zemana on your computer.
Wait a couple of seconds for Zemana to remove the Protectedsearches.com browser hijacker from Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.
Zemana has successfully removed the Protectedsearches.com malware from your computer. Zemana is an excellent protection for people searching for a lightweight malware detection and removal tool. Zemana is its best in addition to a more comprehensive antivirus or anti-malware security application such as Malwarebytes.
Get rid of Protectedsearches.com with adwcleaner
- Right-click the AdwCleaner executable you just downloaded and select “Run as Administrator” this is important.
- Select the Scan Now button.
- Wait for the adware & malware scan to finish.
- Click the Clean & Repair button to remove the adware and malware from your PC.
- Wait for AdwCleaner to remove the adware and malware from your PC.
- Click the Clean & Restart Now button to finish the malware removal process.
- After the reboot, AdwCleaner shows a summary of the detected and removed malware files.
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