How to remove Privado Private Search (Virus Removal Guide)

Privado Private Search


Privado Private Search is a potentially unwanted browser extension that tracks what you search for online, reads and changes your browsing data, and replaces your browser settings.

What is Privado Private Search?


Privado Private Search is a browser extension compatible with Google Chrome and other popular web browsers that is self-described as a tool that allows you to “search the web in enhanced privacy mode.” The extension claims that to provide you with a private search experience and non-personalized ads; However, that is completely false. Despite the fact that the extension may appear to be an innocuous browser tool, the extension may perform numerous tasks that users may consider intrusive, deceptive, and malicious.

Privado Private Search

When the Privado Private Search extension is installed it will replace your new tab page and default search settings with its own website, privado.com. This way, the publisher can download tracking cookies onto your device and keep track of what you search for online. Furthermore, the privado.com website will show potentially harmful advertisements based on what you search for. For example, if you search for “botcrawl” you may find advertisements promoting bogus Antivirus products and other dubious cybersecurity-type websites.

Privado Private Search extension

As you can see in the image above, the Privado Private Search extension for Google Chrome has permission to read and change your data, replace the page you see when opening a new tab, and change your search settings. But, that’s not all that the Privado Private Search extension and associated website can do. The extension can also do things like read your browsing history even while you’re in incognito mode.

Bundles with malware and viruses


One of the biggest issues with the extension is that it may bundle with and/or be advertised by malicious advertising networks that spread malware, adware, browser hijackers, spyware, computer viruses, and other security threats. Simply put, it is possible that your computer is infected with malware due to how the extension is distributed.

Speaking of how the extension is distributed, the Privado extension is most often promoted by deceptive advertisements that promote it as something it isn’t and aggressive advertisements that force and pester users to install it. It can be downloaded through these advertisements and from the developer’s website and Google Web Store.

How to remove Privado Private Search (Virus Removal Guide)


The Privado Private Search browser extension can be manually removed through internet browser settings. However, removing the browser extension within the settings will not remove malware, adware, spyware, viruses, and other threats from an infected computer. To remove malware from an infected computer, we recommend scanning the computer with a reputable security program such as Malwarebytes Premium or Malwarebytes Free. Follow the free removal guide on this page to remove the Privado Private Search extension and use reputable antivirus software to remove malware from your computer.

How to remove the Privado Private Search extension

How to remove malware and viruses

How to remove tracking files and repair Windows registry

How to remove the Privado Private Search extension


Follow the instructions to remove the Privado Private Search extension from Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Google Chrome

1. Open the menu and go to More tools > Extensions

2. Click the Remove button

Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the menu and go to Add-ons

2. Click the Remove button

How to remove malware and viruses


Follow the instructions to remove malware, adware, browser hijackers, spyware, ransomware, viruses, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). The security software recommended in this removal guide is free to use. However, we recommend registering the software to secure your computing device and stop infections before they happen.

1. Download and install Malwarebytes.

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malwarebytes scan

2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, click the Scan Now button to begin scanning the computer.

malwarebytes quarantine selected

3. When the scan is complete, click the Quarantine Selected button to remove all threats detected by Malwarebytes.

4. Reboot the computer.

5. Once the computer is rebooted, download and install HitmanPro or HitmanPro.Alert to perform a second-opinion scan and remove the remaining malware (if applicable). To download the executable file, fill out the information on their website (name and email address) and click submit.

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6. Once HitmanPro is installed, click the Next button to begin scanning the computer.

7. When the scan is complete, click the Next button to remove all threats detected by HitmanPro.

How to remove tracking files and repair Windows registry


Follow the instructions to remove tracking files, remove browsing data, and repair the Windows registry.

1. Download and install CCleaner Free or CCleaner Professional.

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2. Once CCleaner is installed, go to the Easy Clean tab.

ccleaner easy clean

3. Click the Analyze button to find trackers and junk files that CCleaner can remove.

ccleaner clean all

4. When the analysis is complete, click the Clean All button.

ccleaner scan for issues

5. Next, go to the Registry tab and click the Scan for Issues button.

ccleaner fix selected issues

6. When the scan is complete, click the Fix selected Issues… button.

ccleaner back up registry

7. As a precaution, click Yes to back up the registry before making changes to it and save the Reg File (.reg) file to your computer.

ccleaner fix all selected issues

8. Click the Fix All Selected Issues button and then click Close once all problems have been removed.

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.

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