How To Remove The Virus – ProtectedSearch Redirection Virus Removal Instructions

What Is The Virus (Protected Search Malware)?

The Proteced Search virus, also referred to as the virus, or simply Protected Search is malware, categorized as a browser hijacker that installs software to a computer system without consent, as well as changes existing internet browser settings, causing infected browsers to start-up on and redirect to,,,, or search based webpages and third party domain names. Virus is not a realistic search engine and search results displayed on the search results page are forged and paid for by unethical third parties, or utilized by Protected Search to install additional software, malicious payloads, or orchestrate unethical practices. Virus Dangers And Symptoms

The virus installs a program to a computer system and infects popular internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer, as an add-on, browser helper object (BHO), extension, plug-in, and/or toolbar. Also note, symptoms relating to malware may derive from third party browser attachments and removing such attachments may stop your browser from redirecting to and other unwanted websites, etc. changes default home pages, causing infected internet browsers to direct to,,,, and third party websites upon starting. changes the default search engine of infected internet browsers without permission, also known as the provided search engine, or managed search engine. This is what causes redirections to and other websites. Infected internet browsers primarily redirect to when the user is attempting to search the internet or direct to a specific website using the browser’s address bar, or omnibar.

ProtectedSearch Redirection Virus search results may contain malicious links and spam advertisements, primarily paid for, or geographically (if that makes sense) located and paid for by third parties. – Third parties may pay for advertisement location and keywords on search results or bundled software. An example of a spam advertisement is pictured below, though the advertisement below was delivered via Javascript through an ad-serving network based off keywords and internet history.

ProtectedSearch Popup Advertisement virus symptoms, including hijacked browser settings may be the sign of additional third party malware that may have introduced to the browser and system or vice versa. Additional third party malware related to the Protected Search virus may include adware, spyware, and Trojans capable of destroying a computers complete functionality or observing browser and computer activity.

How To Remove & Third Party Malware

If has hijacked your internet browser, or your browser and computer system is showing signs of an infection, please use the instructions and alternative removal steps below to remove the virus and third party malware from your computer.

1. Removal Software

A suggestion is to Scan and Remove malware affecting your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (other suggested removal tools).

Instructions: 1. Install Malwarebytes 2. Update the software 3. Perform full scan (Image).

Malwarebytes Perform Full Scan

Malwarebytes will automatically detect and remove malware from your computer system once the scan is initiated.

If you do not wish to use software to remove, please refer to the instructions and tips below.

2. How To Uninstall (Windows) may install a program to a computer system in order to attach an add-on, BHO, or extension to each browser installed onto the computer. Locate and remove this program before attempting to remove the browser attachment using the steps below.

1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.

Uninstall a program

2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.

3. Search for suspicious software in the list of installed programs, even search for a program titled Double click the unwanted program to uninstall it, or highlight the program and click the Uninstall button.

Proceed to remove the browser attachment.

3. How To Remove Add-on And Extension

The instructions below detail where to locate and remove browser attachments for Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Please note, primarily bundles with third party attachments such as CouponCompanion or FBPhotoZoom.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Click Tools and select Add-ons. (Ctrl+Shift+A)

2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for and additional third party add-ons and remove them.

Google Chrome

1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions.

2. Search for and additional third party extensions. Remove the extension by clicking the trashcan icon adjacent to it.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.

2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for and additional third party add-ons and remove them if located.

Alternative Removal Options & Tips:

If removing, uninstalling, or bypassing symptoms of malware associated with is difficult to remove, please refer to alternative removal options and tips below.

How To Remove Home Page

CCleaner ↔ Install

An alternative recommendation is to use a program such as CCleaner to repair all browser settings at once with productive accuracy.

1. Install CCleaner.

CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

2. Navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

Manually Remove Home Page

In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings. Click “Set pages” under the On startup option. Remove and replace with your preferred URL.

In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options. Under the General tab remove from the “Home Page:” field and replace with your preferred home page.

In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove from the Home Page field and replace with your preferred URL.

How To Remove Default Search Engine

CCleaner ↔ Install

1. Install CCleaner.

CCleaner Startup

2. Navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found.

Manually Remove Default Search Engine

In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to to remove it. If is set as the default search engine, add or select a new search engine, and highlight over it and click Make Default (as shown in the image), then delete by clicking the X.

Remove ProtectedSearch Search Engine

In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove from the list by highlighting the selection and clicking remove.

In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons and remove from the list.

System Restore

System Restore is an easy solution to restore an infected computer to a date and time before the computer was infected with System Restores can be used to remove software that may have installed without consent.

Windows Recommended Restore And Choose A Restore Point

Hosts File (Block DNS IP Address)

If you chose to use Window’s hosts file, add the following IP addresses: