Search Defender is a browser hijacker that can be placed on homepage by the same unwanted extension (Search Defender Live) that can be obtained from unusual online sources. Unfortunately, only handful computer users are well informed that this unwanted program is successfully distributed over the internet by enclosing the installer file to a number of freeware or shareware. Hence, Search Defender can freely enter the computer if user patronizes the guilty free software. Some users are totally wary on this attack but they accidentally catches this adware while in pursuit of cost-less application with attractive features.
With many web users currently relying on free programs and keeps on acquiring them without caring for their safety, achieving the extinction of browser hijacker like Search Defender is quite impossible. In fact, it has evolved from simple homepage hijacker to becoming thieves of personal online data. Initially, homepage hijackers were made as profit generating adware that exhibits advertisements on the browser and operates under pay-per-click settlement between advertisers and adware makers. In recent years, it progresses as an app that is able to monitor browsing habit of web users and capable of logging search keywords, favorite websites, IP address and geographical location.
Makers of Search Defender and other browser hijackers discover an opportunity to maximize the adware existence on internet applications to elevate their revenue. Collected information from infected browser may land on third-party online marketing company if adware makers agree to sell the data. This multi-million dollar business is rationale why makers of Search Defender want limitless access to browser programs.
To stop Search Defender from exploiting the browser and avoid getting redirected to searchdefenderlive.com, it is significant to eliminate the extension as soon as possible. These procedures also restore online privacy and security of users. Though it is quite a challenge to remove Search Defender, our guide is so basic that even non-technical users can execute.
Search Defender 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.
Stage 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 Search Defender.
Remove Search Defender Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find Search Defender Live or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.
Uninstall Search Defender Extension from Firefox
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.
4. Look for object that is pertaining to Search Defender Live and remove it from the browser.
Delete Search Defender Extension from Safari
1. Run Safari browser application.
2. Click on Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the window.
3. Choose Preferences from the drop-down list.
4. On Extension window, select Extensions tab.
5. Select Search Defender or relevant entry and remove it from Safari.
6. Lastly, go to Safari Settings once again and select Downloads from the drop down list.
7. If Searchdefenderapp.safariextz is present, click on Clear button to remove the unwanted extension.
Remove Search Defender 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.
3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Search Defender from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If Search Defender 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.
7. Select Search Defender or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
Stage 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 Search Defender 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.
Click here to download AdwCleaner (this will open a new window)
2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by Search Defender.
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 Search Defender.
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.
Stage 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 Search Defender.
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
Sophos Virus Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
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.
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 Search Defender.
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 Search Defender and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Search Defender
Not all adware and PUP’s are the same. Some cannot be removed by deleting relevant extensions and codes. On this instances, resetting the browser to default configuration is the only best solution. If Search Defender 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 Search Defender
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.
This feature of Google Chrome aims to find harmful software and remove it instantly. If unable to delete Search Defender, 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 Search Defender 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.
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. Search Defender should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.
Reset Safari Browser to Normal Settings
1. Open Safari browser.
2. Click on the Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the browser window.
3. Select Reset Safari from the drop-down list.
4. Pop-up window will appear. You may select all boxes for total reset or follow the options below if you only want to remove Search Defender from Safari browser.
5. Please restart Safari browser for changes to take effect.
Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings
1. Open Internet Explorer browser.
2. On top menu, click Tools, and then Internet Options. It will open a new window.
3. Select Advanced tab. See image below.
4. On Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button to start the restoration procedures.
This process will not affect browsing history, bookmarks, and favorites. Add-ons and other integrated codes will be deleted including those that are linked to Search Defender. If you choose to perform the procedure manually, please view instructions here.