Chrome Protect – Smart Search is a suspicious browser extension. The installation of this tool is normally executed without the knowledge of computer users. Because of the different deceitful techniques that attackers are using to penetrate the computer, Chrome Protect was dubbed as potentially unwanted program (PUP). Being in the category of PUP, web users must not disregard the unsolicited entry of this questionable app on the browser, it can be the basis for different internet browser misbehaviors and security risks.
Chrome Protect – Smart Search Risk Factors
When the questionable browser extension is installed on the computer, web users will start to witness different annoyances on the internet program including aggressive pop-up ads, redirects, and push notifications. The search functionality of the browser is greatly affected because Chrome Protect – Smart Search will assign Browseprotect.co as the new homepage and search provider. If the previous search experience is above satisfactory, a complete opposite will be witness now that the unknown search tool is in place.
Ads that continuously exhibits on the browser window are unusual. These are not the common type of online ads that you encounter on legitimate sites. The majority of ads from this PUP are derived from an underground network and marketers. Therefore, it could contain malicious links that can lead to further contamination of extra adware or malware.
The risks of being a victim of identity theft are likewise possible if web users disregard the operation of Chrome Protect – Smart Search on the internet program. It is able to collect various data and credentials like browsing history, favorite websites, visited URL, contact details, full name, and so on.
How to avoid Chrome Protect – Smart Search
Malicious freeware or shareware is the common source of Chrome Protect – Smart Search. The unsolicited installation is run during the installation process of the carrier files. As such, computer users are not aware of its entry. Aside from questionable file bundles, web users may acquire Chrome Protect by allowing the fake software update to install and make modifications to the browser. This said fake update commonly purports as system alerts and prompts users that they must download the recommended software to override the obsolete one. Hence, instead of the software update, the pop-up will install Chrome Protect – Smart Search. Several misleading advertisements are also promoting the tool as protection and enhancement application and because of this, some web users were tricked to voluntarily download the application from various servers.
So, staying away from freeware downloads and malicious pop-ups that certain websites use to exhibit are possible ways to avoid Chrome Protect – Smart Search. In addition, installing an effective anti-malware tool will be your first line of defense because it can block malicious sites and files that are the usual cause of PUP infection.
Procedures to Remove Chrome Protect - Smart Search from Mac
This section contains comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove malicious browser hijacker from internet application.
Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.
Quick Fix - Scan the System with Combo Cleaner
Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker like Chrome Protect - Smart Search. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.
1. Download the tool from the following page:
2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.
3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.
4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.
5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Chrome Protect - Smart Search.
6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.
Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.
Step 1 : Delete Chrome Protect - Smart Search from Mac Applications
1. Go to Finder.
2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.
3. Find Chrome Protect - Smart Search or any unwanted program.
4. Drag Chrome Protect - Smart Search to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.
5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.
Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Chrome Protect - Smart Search
1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the hijacker. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.
Safari - Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.
Chrome - Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.
Firefox - Choose Add-ons from the Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.
2. Once you have located Chrome Protect - Smart Search or any suspicious items, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.
3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.
Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Chrome Protect - Smart Search
1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.
2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...
3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.
4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:
The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:
- ChromeProtect, SmartSearch
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Chrome Protect - Smart Search to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.
Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.
5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.
6. Please restart the computer.
7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.
8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.
9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):
Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:
1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.
2. Select the process you want to quit.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to Chrome Protect - Smart Search homepage hijacker.
Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from the link below.
2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including Chrome Protect - Smart Search.
3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.
4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Chrome Protect - Smart Search is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 5 : Remove Chrome Protect - Smart Search from Homepage and Search
- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove Chrome Protect - Smart Search from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Chrome Protect - Smart Search. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.
- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace Chrome Protect - Smart Search settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.
Step 6 : Delete Chrome Protect - Smart Search Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Chrome Protect - Smart Search during user log in.
1. Go to Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
2. Select Users & Groups from the preferences window.
3. You may need to Unlock this area in order to make changes. Click on the Lock icon on lower left corner of the window.
4. Next, select user account that runs Chrome Protect - Smart Search.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select Chrome Protect - Smart Search or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.
Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:
Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by Chrome Protect - Smart Search. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:
1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.
2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.
3. Select , Chrome Protect - Smart Search or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.
5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with Chrome Protect - Smart Search.
Chrome Protect - Smart Search Removal Procedure for PC
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.
Quick Fix - Scan the computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool
To remove Chrome Protect - Smart Search automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful malware and virus removal app is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like Chrome Protect - Smart Search that slows down online browsing activities.
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.
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. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes 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 Chrome Protect - Smart Search.
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 Chrome Protect - Smart Search and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the browser hijacker. However, if you still find that there are still remnants of Chrome Protect - Smart Search on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.
Step 1 : Delete Browser Extension
Most adware and unwanted programs use an application called a "browser extension" to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to Chrome Protect - Smart Search. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.
Remove the Chrome Protect - Smart Search Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open your Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard.
3. Find Chrome Protect - Smart Search or any relevant entry and remove it from the Google Chrome browser.
Uninstall the Chrome Protect - Smart Search Extension from Mozilla Firefox
1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard.
3. Choose Extensions from the sidebar menu.
4. Look for an object that pertains to Chrome Protect - Smart Search and remove it from the browser.
After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that pop-ups and other troubles will be gone from the internet browser.
Remove Chrome Protect - Smart Search from Microsoft Windows and Edge Browser
1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key + R and then, type the appwiz.cpl command.
2. The Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in a chronological manner, with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on the 'Installed On' column.
3. Select Chrome Protect - Smart Search or a recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.
If Chrome Protect - Smart Search is still present on the browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups, another option is to remove the adware from the browser settings.
4. Open the Microsoft Edge program.
5. Input edge://extensions/ in the URL bar and press Enter on the keyboard.
6. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for Chrome Protect - Smart Search from the Installed Extensions area. Additionally, delete the same object from the Search Providers section by executing the Hijacker Removal Procedure for Edge.
7. Close the window and restart Microsoft Edge.
Step 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 Chrome Protect - Smart Search 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.
2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by Chrome Protect - Smart Search.
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 Chrome Protect - Smart Search.
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.