How to Remove Protectedsearches.com

By | Posted on August 22, 2018 |

Protectedsearches.com is a homepage, which at first look will never cause you any doubt about its malicious behavior. It may be promoted as legitimate search engine that enhances your online browsing experience. But in reality, sudden existence of Protectedsearches.com on web browser only signifies that adware may have gotten inside your PC. The source can be malicious freeware that was downloaded and installed recently. Simple click on malicious link may also set off Protectedsearches.com to be your default homepage.

Because of the unexpected presence of this web page, some people start questioning the legitimacy of Protectedsearches.com especially the application that it promotes. Some even think that computer virus plays part on its abrupt appearance on their browser. Although Protectedsearches.com is somehow malicious, computer security experts never classed it as computer virus. It belongs to category of Adware or Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP). This family of threat is less hazardous than viruses. To be specific, Protectedsearches.com targets only known browser application like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. It will not affect operating system in general.

Protectedsearches.com

The moment this adware interacts with browser programs, it will carry out numerous changes on settings of homepage and default search engine. Protectedsearches.com will be the new choice on this area. User’s preferred settings are gone and will never be reverted while the adware exists. Therefore, removal of Protectedsearches.com is vital to reverse all the modifications and to bring back the browser to its normal state.

Below is our own simple guide to get rid of the adware as well as browser hijacker. Be sure to carry out all the steps to properly remove Protectedsearches.com along with adware and other malicious objects.

Online Security Scanner Report for protectedsearches.com:

Norton SafeWeb Not yet tested Community Rating: 0.0 Updated: Aug. 21, 2018
MCAfee Site Advisor Minimal risk Feedback: No data Updated: Aug. 21, 2018
Transparency Report Currently Safe Feedback: No data Updated: Aug. 21, 2018

Protectedsearches.com Removal Procedure

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the browser hijacker from compromised computer.

In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Stage 1: Delete Browser Extension

Most homepage hijacker and redirects are using a program called browser extension to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend to check and remove the extension that is closely related to Protectedsearches.com.

Remove Protectedsearches.com Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Chrome Extensions

3. Find Protectedsearches.com or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Uninstall Extension from Firefox

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Firefox Extensions

3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.

4. Look for objects that is pertaining to Protectedsearches.com and remove it from the browser.

Delete Extension from Safari

1. Run Safari browser application.

2. Click on Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the window.

3. Choose Preferences from the drop-down list.

4. On Extension window, select Extensions tab.

5. Select Protectedsearches.com or relevant entry and remove it from Safari.

Remove Add-ons from Internet Explorer

1. Open Internet Explorer program.

2. Go to top Menu and click Tools. Then, select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down list.

Internet Explorer Add-ons

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Protectedsearches.com from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If Protectedsearches.com is still present on the IE browser, another option is to remove the adware from Windows Control Panel.

5. Press Windows Key + R and then, type appwiz.cpl command.

6. Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in chronological manner with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on ‘Installed On‘ column.

Add-Remove Adware

7. Select Protectedsearches.com or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.

Stage 2: Scan and Delete Adware with AdwCleaner

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of Protectedsearches.com on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.
Click here to download AdwCleaner (this will open a new window)

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by Protectedsearches.com.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on Scan button.

AdwCleaner

4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Protectedsearches.com.

5. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

6. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.

Stage 3: Remove Protectedsearches.com Add-on and Cleanup the Browser

Preceding steps may have removed Protectedsearches.com from the browser already. This next procedure is needed to double-check that browser is free from any adware remnants especially from Protectedsearches.com. Avast Browser Cleanup is a free tool that restores the browser to its initial, clean state. It will get rid of annoying browser extensions, toolbars, and search hijackers.

1. Click the link below to download this free tool.
Avast Browser Cleanup Download Link (This will open in a new window)

2. To run the installer, please double-click the executable file avast-browser-cleanup-sfx.exe.

3. Run the tool to start analyzing the browsers. It will state whether browser is free from threats or cleanup is needed. Perform suggested cleanup if the tool found suspicious extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins.

Avast Browser Scanner

4. If Avast Browser Cleanup verifies if you want to permanently delete suspicious entries, click Yes to proceed with the removal of Protectedsearches.com.

Stage 4: Scan the Computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool

Lastly, we will scan the computer with a multi-function security program. This will inspect the computer for possible presence of virus, malware, rootkit, adware as well as unwanted homepage like Protectedsearches.com.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
Sophos Virus Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

sophos_exe

3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed.

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove malicious program like Protectedsearches.com.

6. Click the  button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Protectedsearches.com and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

sophos-startscan

Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Protectedsearches.com

Not all browser hijackers are the same. Some cannot be removed by deleting relevant extensions and codes. On this instances, resetting the browser to default configuration is the only best solution. If Protectedsearches.com is still bothering you after completing all the steps above, please execute the procedures below to reset the settings of affected browser program.

Remove Protectedsearches.com from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome application.

2. Type this strings in the address box: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter on keyboard.

3. Scroll down to expand Advanced settings area.

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see Reset and Cleanup section.

5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults. If it prompts for confirmation, please click Reset Settings button to proceed.

Google Chrome Reset

This function will reset Google Chrome’s home page, new tab page, search engine, and other areas affected by Protectedsearches.com. Unwanted extensions will also be removed from the browser. This will not affect your bookmarks, history, and other saved data. You may also use Chrome Cleanup feature for advance scanning. See more details on this page.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

If Mozilla Firefox is affected by Protectedsearches.com and procedures above were not helpful, we suggest that you carry out these steps. This process can fix the issue by restoring Firefox browser to default factory state. Most browser data will be affected but not bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and internet cookies. Extensions and other installed plug-ins maybe deleted by this function. Therefore, if you wish to remove specific extension only, please see manual add-on removal from this link.

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and type the following in the address bar: about:support

2. Browser will be directed to a page of Troubleshooting Information. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating ‘Give Firefox a Tune Up‘. Click the Refresh Firefox button.

FF Reset

3. Confirmation window will pop-up, click Refresh Firefox to continue.

4. The reset process will automatically close the browser and proceed with the restoration. Next, it will display a list of restored data. Protectedsearches.com should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.

Reset Safari Browser to Normal Settings

1. Open Safari browser.

2. Click on the Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the browser window.

3. Select Reset Safari from the drop-down list.

4. Pop-up window will appear. You may select all boxes for total reset or follow the options below if you only want to remove Protectedsearches.com from Safari browser.

5. Please restart Safari browser for changes to take effect.

Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings

1. Open Internet Explorer browser.

2. On top menu, click Tools, and then Internet Options. It will open a new window.

3. Select Advanced tab. See image below.

IE Reset

4. On Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button to start the restoration procedures.

This process will not affect browsing history, bookmarks, and favorites. Add-ons and other integrated codes will be deleted including those that are linked to Protectedsearches.com. If you choose to perform the procedure manually, please view instructions here.

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