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Playsides virus

How to remove search.playsides.com redirect (Removal Guide)

Play Sides (search.playsides.com)

The Play Sides virus (also found as the Playsides virus, Play Sides Search, search.playsides.com virus, search.playsides.com redirect virus, etc.; though not technically a virus ) is potential malware  (similar to TopArcadeHits) categorized as a browser hijacker that installs to a Microsoft Windows computer and attaches to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer as a browser add-on, browser helper object (BHO), and extension with or as some users indicate without user consent.

Playsides virus

Users have reported that the search.playsides.com add-on and extension or other item used to promote search.playsides.com/ changes internet browser settings without their consnet including the home page (start page) and internal browser search engine (default, managed, and provided search engines. This causes affected browsers to redirect to http://http://search.playsides.com/Search?q= in and start-up on the search.playsides.com search engine when users open a new browser window or browser tab; However, we have not found any evidence to support this.

Some security vendors, forum members, and public comments claim that software used to promote search.playsides.com and the games on the website, or similar third-party software is installed the application will begin to replace existing internet browser settings, install additional software, and collect sensitive user information including data manually submitted online such as your name, home address, telephone number, email address, browser activity and history, and more. Play Sides malware (though not definite malware) has been reported to collect information when unwanted software is uninstalled and use additional techniques to collect purchase information or persuade victims to purchase sponsored and/or non-beneficial software.

Play Sides search redirect virus

The Play Sides Search virus (though not technically a virus) displays sponsored search results associated with Ask.com, redirects users to potentially unwanted websites, and is not considered a legitimate standalone search engine by third-party security vendors and public media.

How does the search.playsides.com hijacker get onto a computer?

Items used to promote the search.playsides.com redirect virus can be manually and voluntarily installed from a variety of websites including download.com. Downloadable software that supports the search.playsides.com website often bundles with third-party freeware and shareware.

Some users are given the opportunity to accept or decline an offer to install unwanted software and change their home page and search engine to the search.playsides.com search engine or other.

   Green Arrow Bullet   How to remove Play Sides virus

  1. Automatically remove search.playsides.com – Scan for and automatically remove search.playsides.com and third-party malware
  2. Manually remove search.playsides.com – Remove/Uninstall search.playsides.com supported software and third-party malware (if necessary)

1. Automatic search.playsides.com removal

Use the instructions below to automatically remove search.playsides.com and third-party malware, as well as automatically remove unwanted search engines from your installed internet browsers.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Purchase   Download

2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, make sure to do so.

3. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.

Malwarebytes Perform Full Scan

4. Once the malware scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a notice stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected) or click the Delete button to remove quarantined files.

Malwarebytes Gadgetbox


CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall the search.playsides.com hijacker and associated third-party software.

1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.

Purchase CCleaner for $24.95*   Free Download

CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

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

CCleaner Startup

3. Next, 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.

4. To automatically uninstall Play Sides Toolbar (published by MindSpark or Adpeak)and other unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and search for software used to support search.playsides.com (search engine), etc. in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the unwanted software as selected by clicking the Run Uninstaller button.

2. Manual search.playsides.com removal

Use the instructions below to manually uninstall Play Sides Search supported software and third-party software using generic Microsoft Windows removal procedures. 

How to uninstall search.playsides.com (promoted software)

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. In the list of installed programs search for Play Sides Toolbar and other potentially unwanted software. Once located, double click the unwanted programs or highlight them in the list and click the Uninstall button.

How to remove search.playsides.com add-ons and extensions

Use the instructions to remove PlaySides Toolbar add-ons and extension. Please note, it may be necessary to remove different attachments than suggested and multiple third-party items.

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 the search.playsides.com extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.

2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the search.playsides.com add-on and remove it.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.

2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the search.playsides.com add-on and remove it if located.

How to remove search.playsides.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 the search.playsides.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 the search.playsides.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 the search.playsides.com search engine to remove it.

Please note, If http://search.playsides.com/ is set as Google Chrome’s default search engine, add (or select) a new search engine (such as Google.com) and select the new search engine as the default search engine, then remove the unwanted search engine by clicking the X next to it.

How to remove search.playsides.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.playsides.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.playsides.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.playsides.com and replace it with your preferred homepage URL.

Helpful Links:

Sean Doyle

Sean is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. He is featured in several publications.

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