The search.protectedio.com virus (ProtectedIO Search virus) is a term to identify a deceptive website, search engine, and potentially unwanted program (PUP) in the browser hijacker category of computer threats. The search.protectedio.com search engine is flagged for corrupting existing internet browser settings of popular internet browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer, in order to cause browser redirects to search.protectedio.com and other sponsored webpages.

search.protectedio.com virus removal

Once potential search.protectedio.com malware and programs used to support the website are installed (such as ProtectedIO), internet users will notice continuous browser redirects to search.protectedio.com and other webpages. This mostly occurs when a new browser window is opened, a new browser tab is opened, or when a user searches the web using the infected browser’s address bar.

protectedio search

Furthermore, there are many programs are used to promote the search.protectedio virus and cause browser redirects to search.protectedio.com. This means it may be necessary to uninstall multiple programs and remove multiple browser add-ons and extensions.

How to remove search.protectedio.com

Step 1: Uninstall unwanted software

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2.Navigate to the Control Panel on Windows Start Menu.

search.protectedio.com

3. Click Uninstall a program (or Add and remove a program).

protectedio search removal

4. A list of programs installed on your computer will appear. Search for suspicious and unwanted programs in the list of installed programs. Once a program you want to remove is located, double click to begin the uninstall process (or select the program and click Uninstall).

Step 2: Remove browser add-ons and extensions

Google Chrome

1. Click on the Customize icon (3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to More tools > Extensions.

search.protectedio.com removal

2. Search for the extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to it.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.

2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the add-on, select it, and remove it.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.

2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the add-on, click it, and click the Remove button.

Step 3: Remove search.protectedio.com 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 search.protectedio.com search engine from the list of search providers by highlighting the selections and clicking remove.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons > Search Providers and remove search.protectedio.com search engine from the list.
  • In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to search.protectedio.com  search engine to remove it.

Step 4: Remove search.protectedio.com homepage

  • In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove search.protectedio.com from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove search.protectedio.com from the Home Page field and replace it with your preferred URL.
  • In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings.Click “Set pages” under the On startup option. Remove search.protectedio.com and replace it with your preferred homepage URL.

Step 5: Scan your computer for malware

1. Download and Install the free or full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. The full version enables real-time protection to block malware and unwanted programs from infecting your computer, while the free version is just a free scan and removal tool.

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malwarebytes

2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, open the Anti-Malware program and click the Scan Now button or visit the “Scan” tab to manually run a scan. Malwarebytes may automatically begin to update and scan your computer at this point.

3. When the malware scan is complete, click the Quarantine All button to isolate and remove the detected files. You may be asked to reboot your computer to completely remove detected files.

If you are still having issues with malware it is recommended to download and install a second opinion scanner such as HitmanPro by Surfright to eradicate existing malicious files and automatically repair corrupted settings.

Step 6: Clean up and repair settings

1. Download and Install the free or full version of CCleaner by Piriform.

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CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

2. Open CCleaner after it is installed and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button.

CCleaner Startup

3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search for suspicious entries through each tab starting from Windows, Internet Explorer, etc., all the way to Context Menu and click Disable and Delete once anything you do not recognize is found. This will help you locate and remove unwanted browser attachments and repair other settings.

If you are still experiencing issues removing potential malware after using this removal guide we recommend to perform a system restore/recovery or a reset/refresh for Windows 8.

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