Remove Proto-search.com Hijacker

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.

Proto-search.com

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 computer.

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

Instant Removal : Scan the computer with Anti-malware Program

To remove Proto-search.com automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-malware tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering internet browser threat like Proto-search.com that slows down online browsing activities.

1. Download the free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.

2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.

3. Proceed with the installation using only the default setup. If you need the complete setup procedure, it is available on the download page.

4. After the installation process, click Get Started to run the program.

5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.

6. On Malwarebytes Anti-malware console, click on Scan to run the most comprehensive detection method and find any hidden items linked to Proto-search.com.

7. Wait for the anti-malware to finish scanning the computer.

MBAM Scan

8. When scanning is done, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will display the list of identified threats. Remove all identified threats because one of those might be the responsible for showing of Proto-search.com. Please restart the computer when necessary.

The computer should now be free from Proto-search.com. If you feel that the above solution is not sufficient in getting rid of the browser hijacker, please proceed with the succeeding steps.

Step 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 Proto-search.com.

Remove Proto-search.com Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

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

Chrome Extensions

3. Find Proto-search.com or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Uninstall Proto-search.com Extension from Firefox

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.

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

Firefox Extensions

3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.

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

Remove Proto-search.com 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.

Internet Explorer Add-ons

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Proto-search.com from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If Proto-search.com 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.

Add-Remove Adware

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

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 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.

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.

AdwCleaner

4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Proto-search.com.

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.

Step 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 Proto-search.com.

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. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

sophos_exe

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 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.

sophos-startscan

Option : Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Proto-search.com

Not all adware and PUP's are the same. Some cannot be removed by deleting relevant extensions and codes. On this instance, resetting the browser to default configuration is the only best solution. If Proto-search.com 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 Proto-search.com

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.

Clean Up Computer

This feature of Google Chrome aims to find harmful software and remove it instantly. If unable to delete Proto-search.com, 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 Proto-search.com 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.

FF Reset

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. Proto-search.com should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.

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