Browser hijackers are potentially unwanted programs (PUP), which aims to carry out unauthorized modification on internet settings. Search Zilla is one good example of PUP that is being used to hijack internet browser programs as Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. It normally intrudes the computer through software bundles from suspicious download sites and intrusive ads. Freeware mostly includes adware like Search Zilla on the installation process without user’s authority. This invasive manner of Search Zilla proves that it is not a trustworthy browser extension.
Search Zilla browser hijacker
This browser extension will hijack browsers by switching the home page, new tab window, and default search engine into Portal.search-zilla.com. The usual browser setup will change into a new setting as per Search Zilla rules. The alterations will affect browser functions, especially while online searching or internet browsing. The search results provided by hijacked browsers are most likely imprecise and irrelevant. The browser will start to present web users with unexpected content. The internet browsing of online users becomes disturbing and sluggish.
Advertisement and unwanted pop-ups may appear persistently on the computer screen. Search Zilla can generate numerous adverts to earn online profit. However, ads might promote unwanted programs, fake software updates, and even scams. Pop-ups can cause browser redirection to dubious websites containing undesirable subjects. Another thing is, some ads can voluntarily install unwanted software directly to the computer. The infected browser becomes vulnerable to any malware attacks.
The risk to privacy and security
Unwanted programs like Search Zilla have the capacity to track web user’s browsing details and sensitive data. Search Zilla may contain tracking codes to locate valuable information. Developers of Search Zilla can expose such private details to other digital attackers. It might reach notorious cyber-criminals or hackers to misuse it for malicious intentions. Such data can be an instrument for blackmailing, extorting, or even identity stealing. Serious invasion of privacy and threats to computer’s safety is definitely possible as long as this adware is part of the browser. Therefore, immediate removal of Search Zilla is highly recommended.
Search Zilla Removal Procedure
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) 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 adware and unwanted programs 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 Search Zilla.
Remove Search Zilla Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find Search Zilla or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.
Uninstall Search Zilla Extension from Firefox
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.
4. Look for object that is pertaining to Search Zilla and remove it from the browser.
Remove Search Zilla 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.
3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Search Zilla from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If Search Zilla 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.
7. Select Search Zilla 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 Search Zilla 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 Search Zilla.
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.
4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Search Zilla.
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: 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 Search Zilla.
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.
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 Search Zilla.
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 Search Zilla and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Search Zilla
Not all adware and PUP’s 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 Search Zilla is still bothering you after completing all the steps above, please execute the procedures below to reset the settings of affected browser program.
Use Chrome Clean Up Tool to Delete Search Zilla
1. Open Google Chrome application.
2. Type this strings in the address box: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter on keyboard.
3. Scroll down and expand Advanced settings area.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see Reset and Cleanup section.
5. Click on Clean Up Computer. On next page, please click FIND to proceed.
This feature of Google Chrome aims to find harmful software and remove it instantly. If unable to delete Search Zilla, the other option is to Reset Google Chrome settings to its original defaults. Just go back to previous page (Clean Up Computer) and reset the settings. See more details on this page.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
If Mozilla Firefox is affected by Search Zilla 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.
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. Search Zilla 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 Search Zilla from Safari browser.
5. Please restart Safari browser for changes to take effect.