Search Engage is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and malicious browser hijacker infection that modifies your existing internet browser settings without your consent or knowledge. The infection will replace your home page, new tab page, and search settings with or another website. This will cause your affected web browser to start on the website and redirect to the website when a new tab is opened or a search is performed in the address bar.

  • Modifies your browser shortcut to make your browser start on a or another commercial webpage
  • Replaces your home page, new tab page, and search settings with or another commercial webpage
  • Downloads and installs as a standalone program named Search Engage
  • Downloads and installs malicious browser extensions as an administrator (enterprise program) that cannot be removed manually
  • Bundles with malware, adware, and other potentially unwanted programs

What is Search Engage?

Search Engage is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and malicious browser hijacker that replaces your existing internet browser settings, bundles with other threats, and causes performance issues with your PC and internet connectivity. The Search Engage program will install additional programs and browser extensions. The browser extensions installed by this potentially unwanted program are often difficult to removed due to being forcefully installed as an administrator as an enterprise program.

Search Engage

Since the malicious browser extension installed by Search Engage cannot be removed through the infected web browser, it will cause the affected internet browser to start on or another commercial webpage when a new browser window is opened, a new tab is opened in the browser, or a search is performed in the address or omni bar.

How did Search Engage virus get on my computer?

Potentially unwanted programs and browser attachments that change browser settings to this search engine typically bundle with free downloadable content. This includes freeware, shareware, plugins, and torrents. Downloading free items online can result in potentially unwanted programs, adware, and malware infecting the computer system. Even if a program is commonly used by many people and reputable (Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, etc.), if it is download  from a malicious website or via an untrustworthy download manager it can lead to a computer infection.


Some advertisements embedded by various websites and third-party download managers may also claim that the program used to change browser settings or another program a user might seek to download is something it is not. The program may also be offered as a custom install which allows users to manually chose to accept or decline the download.

How to remove Search Engage (Removal Guide)

This Search Engage removal guide contains steps to remove Search Engage virus, redirect, and all other traces of malware from your computer. In order to remove this threat and other malicious programs follow each step below.

1. Download and Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software to scan for malware and automatically remove malicious files from your computer.

download malwarebytes

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2. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button – or go to the Scan tab and click the Start Scan button.

3. Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete click the Remove Selected button.

4. To finish the Malwarebytes scan and remove detected threats click the Finish button and restart your computer if promoted to do so.

5. Download and Install HitmanPro by Surfright to perform a second-opinion scan, remove remaining trace files, and automatically repair certain settings.

download hitmanpro

6. Open HitmanPro and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.

7. Once the HitmanPro scan is complete click the Next button.

8. To activate the free version of HitmanPro: enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.

9. Click the Reboot button.

10. Download and Install CCleaner by Piriform to automatically cleanup junk files, repair your registry, and manage settings that may have been changed.

download ccleaner

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11. Open CCleaner and go to the main Cleaner screen. Click the Analyze button. When the process is complete, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

12. Go to Tools > Startup and search for suspicious entries in each tab starting from Windows all the way to Content Menu. If you find anything suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.

13. Go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.

14. Make sure that your browser settings have been repaired by opening your affected web browser. If the browser was not repaired use the tutorials below to manually repair your browser settings.

How to manually repair your browser settings
How to stay protected against future infections

The key to staying protected against future infections is to follow common online guidelines and take advantage of reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware security software with real-time protection.

Real-time security software

Security software like Malwarebytes and Norton Security have real-time features that can block malicious files before they spread across your computer. These programs bundled together can establish a wall between your computer and cyber criminals.

download norton security
Common Online Guidelines

  • Backup your computer and personal files to an external drive or online backup service
  • Create a restore point on your computer in case you need to restore your computer to a date before infection
  • Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs you are not familiar with
  • Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs from websites you are not familiar with – some websites use their own download manager to bundle additional programs with the initial download
  • If you plan to download and install freeware, open source software, or shareware make sure to be alert when you install the object and read all the instructions presented by the download manager
  • Avoid torrents and P2P clients
  • Do not open email messages from senders you do not know
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