A browser hijacker is a type of computer threat that targets internet browser applications like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. An adware or malicious browser extension usually endorses this kind of infamous online tool. The moment that this threat is active, it overrides search settings on the internet browser application. Therefore, when a web user performs an online search, their inquiries are directed to an unknown server. In order to conceal this unusual hijacking, the final search results eventually concluded on a legitimate search engine. One threat that has this matching description is Protected Browse.
Protected Browse is a hijacker
Because there are many computer users who are fond of free software, Protected Browse was able to spread rapidly and infect a significant number of internet programs. Makers of this threat are making heavy use of various freeware to deploy the adware that is relevant to Protected Browse. Commonly, these attackers embed malicious code in various freeware like games, utilities, media players, file converters, creativity apps, and so on. Because they are in complete disguise as valuable apps, quite a number of computer users downloaded them without knowing that installing them would apparently change their homepage and search to Protected Browse. As an alternative, the infected browser application may have a similar threat as QR Code Search and My Crypto Tab.
While this threat is active in the browser, web users have limited search functions. Instead of utilizing valuable search engines, they are restricted to using Protected Browse, which is unreliable and a threat to online privacy. The motive behind the redirect or hijacking is to spy on web user’s searching activities, and it can pass the data on Protected Browse server.
Pop-up ads and redirects
As adware, Protected Browse occurrences can cause the aggressive display of pop-up advertisements and browser redirects. The intention behind this is for publishers to earn revenue while pushing web users to visit unfriendly websites. Most of the ads from this infection lead to a bad landing page that can be the basis for the installation of rogue software.
Nothing differs from the redirects that Protected Browse is producing. It points the browser program to hazardous pages that are involved in exhibiting fake software updates and other misleading contents, such as bogus online surveys, scam money-making tutorials, and fraudulent online raffles.
Eliminating Protected Browse adware
Removing browser hijackers like Protected Browse is crucial due to their potential to compromise user privacy, security, and the overall online experience. This intrusive program can alter browser settings, leading to unauthorized redirects, intrusive advertisements, and changes in search engine preferences. Browser hijackers often track users’ browsing habits, collecting sensitive data such as login credentials and personal information, posing a significant risk of identity theft and privacy breaches. Additionally, the constant redirections and unwanted pop-ups can hinder the efficiency of web browsing, negatively impacting user productivity and creating a frustrating online environment. Therefore, prompt removal of Protected Browse is essential to restore control over one’s browsing experience and safeguard sensitive information.
Protected Browse Removal Procedure
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of unwanted programs from compromised Windows computers. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting browser hijackers and pop-ups. In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process exactly.
Remove Protected Browse from the computer by executing the steps below.
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 Protected Browse 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.
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 Protected Browse, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.
7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.
Remove the Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse or any relevant entry and remove it from the Google Chrome browser.
Uninstall the Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse or a recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.
If Protected Browse is still present on the browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups, another option is to remove the browser hijacker 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 Protected Browse 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 the computer with Sophos Antivirus
To remove Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse.
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 Protected Browse and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse 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 Protected Browse.
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 Protected Browse. 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 Protected Browse. 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 Protected Browse. The procedure below discusses on resetting various browsers to their default state.
Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings
Resetting Google Chrome to its default settings is helpful in deleting hard-to-remove extensions, such as Protected Browse. This method is highly advisable to perform if you have difficulty removing unwanted extensions.
1. Open the Google Chrome internet browser.
2. On the address bar, type chrome://settings/reset and press the Enter key.
3. Click on Reset Settings on the sidebar and choose Restore settings to their original defaults.
4. On the confirmation window, click the Reset settings button to clear all entries for Protected Browse.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed the Protected Browse extension and associated objects.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
This section describes how to remove unwanted extensions from Firefox that may be related to Protected Browse. 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 a specific extension, please see the manual removal of add-ons from Firefox.
1. Input the string about:support on the Firefox web address and press Enter on the keyboard.
2. You will now see the Troubleshooting Information page of Mozilla Firefox.
3. You will notice a section in the upper-right corner of the screen stating, Give Firefox a tune-up. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
4. If a 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. Protected Browse should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.
Restore Microsoft Edge to Default Settings
1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
2. On the address bar, please input edge://settings/reset and press Enter on the keyboard.
3. Once you are on the Reset Settings page, click on Restore settings to their default values.
4. A confirmation window will appear; click on the Reset button to continue.
Your data, like favorites, bookmarks, and history, will remain in the browser. However, this process will delete add-ons by Protected Browse and other unknown objects.