The moment that Proto-search.com gains momentum on controlling internet browser’s homepage, computer users may not be able to browse the web normally as before. This is because computer threat as Proto-search.com can execute different kinds of browser annoyances like pop-up advertisements and aggressive push notifications. Proto-search.com is also observed to be causing series of browser redirects that could force web user to visit questionable websites. Both of these actions are part of the revenue scheme of Proto-search.com as ad display and traffic referral respectively.
Web users are warned not to click on any advertisements as long as Proto-search.com is part of the browser application. These are not usual ads because the provider is a known underground ad network that works with hackers and malware developers, which avails this suspicious ad scheme. As a result, ads by Proto-search.com are more aggressive and appears in significant amount as compare to usual advertisements from legitimate brands.
Aside from flooding the browser with numerous ad platforms, Proto-search.com is also responsible for data gathering where it collects specific information that is stored on internet program like Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. It gathers data that corresponds to web users browsing activities like search keywords, favorite websites, visited pages, IP address, and so on. Makers of Proto-search.com are expected to analyze collected information and produce ads that are more attractive to web users, based on their online preferences. After utilizing data to elevate online profit, publishers of Proto-search.com may sell them to third parties for additional revenue. As such, stolen sensitive information of web users may soon be the cause of identity theft.
There is no proof that Proto-search.com is a useful homepage and search tool. Therefore, computer security analyst suggests its removal as soon as possible to avoid any further harm. To help users with this task, we are providing simple yet effective procedures on this page. Follow the guide accordingly to ensure complete removal of Proto-search.com.
Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com, 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.
Remove the Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com or any relevant entry and remove it from the Google Chrome browser.
Uninstall the Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com or a recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.
If Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.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 Proto-search.com and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.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 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 Proto-search.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.
4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Proto-search.com. 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 Proto-search.com. 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 Proto-search.com. 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 Proto-search.com. 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 Proto-search.com.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed the Proto-search.com extension and associated objects.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
This section describes how to remove unwanted extensions from Firefox that may be related to Proto-search.com. 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. Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com and other unknown objects.