Remove Private-search.xyz (Private Search)

This post was made to explain the dangers of installing a browser hijacker called Private-search.xyz. In order to get rid of this browser menace, we are providing instructions such as Manual Removal Guide, Malware Scanners, and Resetting Browser Programs.

Private-search.xyz is a piece of potentially unwanted program (PUP) that acts as a primary search engine on the browser program. This unknown website can be loaded into the computer and perform several functions through its own. Its main role is to attack the internet browser program. These include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Once it gains access, malicious codes are integrated on the browser program that will supersede the preferences of web user.

The Private-search.xyz hijacker

Similar with most hijackers including ClickPDFSearch and HDStreamSearch, Private-search.xyz is often bundled with freeware or other dubious program. This scheme often tricks computer users to install this unwanted web site without their approval.

Primary sign when Private-search.xyz hijacker is occurring on the computer is the sudden changes to browser’s default home page and new tab. Both will show Private Search as the new default setting. Altered search page will launch every time you open a new browser window. It may redirect and regulate search results while this browser intruder runs on the computer system.

In addition, Private-search.xyz has the capability to monitor and record all activity you do online. Note that the main objective of this web site is to generate advertising revenue. Thus, all information that will help improve their marketing scheme will be gathered. However, in some cases, collected data often misuse and lead to further attack like identity theft.

Screenshot of Private-search.xyz

Is Private-search.xyz a virus?

Computer security experts put this domain under the browser hijacker category. It is under the family of unwanted programs. Therefore, it is not as hazardous as computer viruses. Moreover, this adware has no intention of infecting files and programs.

Even if Private-search.xyz is not identified as computer virus, we still suggest removing it from the computer. Its behavior and functionality while inside the system may bring several issues relating to computer safety and online privacy-related concern. To remove this search hijacker and other items associated with it, detailed guide is provided below.

Private-search.xyz Removal Procedure

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised Windows computer. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting browser hijacker and pop-ups.

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

Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of browser hijacker like Private-search.xyz through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

CC for Windows Installation

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the signature file, please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like Private-search.xyz, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

CC for Windows Start Scan

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Private-search.xyz hijacker including all malicious objects from the computer.

Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows includes Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if your are comfortable to manually get rid of the threat and malicious items linked with it.

Step 1 : Delete Private-search.xyz 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 Private-search.xyz.

Remove Private-search.xyz Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

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

Chrome URL

3. Find Private-search.xyz or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome browser.

Uninstall Private-search.xyz Extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.

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

Firefox URL

3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.

4. Look for object that is pertaining to Private-search.xyz and remove it from the browser.

After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that Private-search.xyz is also gone from the homepage.

Remove Private-search.xyz Add-ons from Internet Explorer and Edge Browser

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 Private-search.xyz from Toolbars and Extension. Additionally, delete unwanted entry from Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If Private-search.xyz is still present on the IE browser and there are still unwanted homepage and pop-ups, 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 Malware

7. Select Private-search.xyz or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.

Step 2 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus

To remove Private-search.xyz automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-virus tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like Private-search.xyz 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.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

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 Private-search.xyz.

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 Private-search.xyz and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Private-search.xyz browser hijacker. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

Step 3 : 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 Private-search.xyz on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications as well as invalid browser entries that produces hijacking, redirects, and pop-ups.

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 Private-search.xyz.

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 Private-search.xyz. It will also check for suspicious entries on browser settings that is associated with the hijacker.

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.

Check if your internet browser application is no longer being bothered by Private-search.xyz. If the browser hijacker still persists, please continue with the steps below to reset internet programs to default settings.

Optional : Reset Internet Browser Program

Cleaning your internet browser from clutter and unwanted add-on/extension is a must when dealing with Private-search.xyz. The procedure below discuss on resetting various browsers to its default state.

Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings

Resetting Google Chrome to default settings is helpful in deleting hard-to-remove extension such as from Private-search.xyz. This method is highly advisable to perform if you have difficulty in removing unwanted extension.

1. Open Google Chrome Internet browser.
2. On the address bar, type chrome://settings/reset and press Enter key.
3. Under Reset and clean up section, choose Restore settings to their original defaults.
4. Click Reset settings button to clear all entries of Private-search.xyz.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed Private-search.xyz extension and associated objects.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

This section describes how to remove unwanted extension from Firefox that may be related to Private-search.xyz. This process can fix many browser issues by restoring Firefox to factory settings without affecting your essential information (bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and Internet cookies) on the browser. If you desire to remove only specific extension, please see manual removal of add-on from Firefox.

1. Input the string about:support on Firefox web address and press Enter on keyboard.
2. You will now see the Troubleshooting Information page of Mozilla Firefox.
3. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating Give Firefox a tune up. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
4. If confirmation window appears, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
5. Firefox browser will close and start the resetting process. When done, it will display a list of restored data. Private-search.xyz should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.

Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings

1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to top menu. Click Tools, and then Internet Options.
2. Select Advanced tab on Internet Options window.
3. On lower part of the window, under Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button. Please see image for reference. Your data like favorites, bookmark, and history will remain in the browser. However, this process may delete add-ons by Private-search.xyz and other unknown objects. If you prefer to carry out the procedure manually, please add-on removal from Internet Explorer.

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