I’m running Windows 7 with Google Chrome browser. Recently a new tab with the address Searchz.co always shows up automatically whenever I start the Chrome or open the homepage. I did check the Chrome homepage and startup settings but nothing weird was found. I also ran MSE and it detected nothing in the search results. Is there any suggestion? Why did this website that I’ve never visited occur on my browser? Is my computer infected with a virus? How can I get rid of Searchz.co?
Information about Searchz.co:
Searchz.co, like Safebrowsing.biz and Hightsearch.com, is considered as a browser hijacker that enters computer users’ machines in deceptive ways and changes their browser settings. Most popular web browsers including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome could be affected by this browser hijacker. This PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) is usually bundled with other applications on the Internet and installed as a part of freeware. For example, if you download a free game from an unverified or unknown source, browser hijackers and other additional programs may also be installed on your machine if you don’t pay attention to the installation process. Sometimes, you are allowed to decline these “special offers” and refuse the changes made to your browsers during installation. If a piece of software is installed in a hurry, some unexpected applications may enter your system at the same time. If this browser hijacker takes control of your browser, you will find the homepage is changed to the page as shown below:
This site looks like other famous search engines such as Google and Bing. However, it displays many sponsored ads in the search results when you do a search using its search provider. Some ads may also be displayed under the search box. The annoying advertisements really affect the web searching experience. Avoid clicking on those ads because they may redirect you to websites containing spamming ads or malware. To protect your computer from potential threats, we suggest you remove Searchz.co from the PC as soon as possible.
Note: In addition to Searchz.co, there might be other unwanted programs or cyber infections that can’t be found by you. To make sure your computer is free of viruses, we recommend using an advanced virus scanner to perform a full scan of your system and delete all of the threats. Your installed antivirus detects nothing? Click on the following button to download and install a powerful malware removal tool now!
How to prevent browser hijackers like Searchz.co?
As browser hijackers usually get into the PC by being bundled with other free applications on the Internet, you need to be cautious when downloading and installing third party applications. In addition, it can also be spread via attachments in spam emails, drive-by download and file-sharing sites. To keep away from these PUPs, here’re several tips that you can follow:
☑ Never visit suspicious or malicious websites. If you carelessly visit a website that contains lots of pop-up ads, please exit immediately. DO NOT click on the pop-up ads on the webpage with the content like “Your computer is infected with XXX, click here to free scan”, otherwise, some rogue programs or spyware or other malware could be downloaded and installed.
☑ Don’t open the attachments or links in emails sent by strangers or even your friends until you make sure they’re 100 percent safe to click on. Some PUPs, including browser hijackers, may be installed when you click on the attachments. If the links redirect you to spamming sites or infected sites, please close the sites as quickly as you can.
☑ Always choose the advanced or custom install when installing a program and read carefully EULA documents. If you find unwanted items such as browser hijackers are mentioned in the EULA, you can select “I do not agree” to cancel the installation. But many people don’t pay much attention to the EULAs and accept malware unknowingly.
☑ Keep a real-time and advanced anti-malware program like SpyHunter on your machine to protect the system from malicious software. The files downloaded from the internet should be scanned by the security software before you open them.
How to get rid of Searchz.co from your computer completely?
To completely remove this hijackware from the PC, we recommend using SpyHunter to perform a scan of the system and remove all of the threats completely. If you have tried several methods to delete the threat yourself but still fail, try SpyHunter. It can detect all the traces of the browser hijacker as well as other threats on your computer for free. You can either clear them manually or purchase the full version of SpyHunter to erase them completely and easily.
Use SpyHunter Anti-malware to remove Searchz.co and other threats (Strongly Recommended)
Click on the button below to download SpyHunter.
SpyHunter will automatically scan your system once installed. If not, you can click on Scan Computer Now button to start the scanning. (Note: Please update the tool to the latest version and close all running programs and files before scanning the PC.)
When the scanning is completed, you will find Searchz.co and other threats are displayed in the scan results. Click on Fix Threats button to clear all the threats detected on your PC. Make sure that you have purchased the full version of SpyHunter.
After the browser hijacker has been removed, you may need to set the default homepage and other settings to what you want. Read on and learn how to repair the browser settings.
Manually remove Searchz.co from your IE/Chrome/Firefox
Follow the steps below to get rid of the browser hijacker from your PC by hand and change the browser setting that were modified by the PUP.
☛ Uninstall suspicious programs from your Windows
- Click on the Start button and choose Settings in the menu.
- Click System.
- Choose Apps & features on the left pane.
- Select any unwanted program and click on Uninstall button.
- Confirm the software removal by clicking on Uninstall.
- For Windows 7/Vista, click on the Start button and click on Control Panel. For Windows 8/8.1, press Windows key + X key and select Programs and Features in the menu.
- When all of the programs installed on your computer are displayed, find the app that may cause the browser hijacking and click on Uninstall button.
Note: If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
- Click on Start button and select Control Panel.
- Double click on Add/Remove Programs.
- Highlight the program strange to you and click on Remove button.
Note: If the program you want to remove can’t be uninstalled from the Programs and Features or Add/Remove Programs list, you can follow the guide in How to Force Uninstall a Program That Won’t Uninstall or use a powerful malware removal tool to eliminate them easily.
☛Delete Searchz.co from your Internet Explorer
☑Remove suspicious IE add-ons
Click on Tools or the IE menu icon, and then click Manage Add-ons.
Under Add-on Types, select Toolbars and Extensions.
Find any add-on/toolbar that was installed without permission recently and click on Remove button.
☑Delete the unwanted URL from IE homepage
Click on the Tools or the IE menu icon (for IE 11) and click Internet Options.
In the Internet Options window, under the General tab, check Home page field and delete Searchz.co. Then enter the address of the website that you’d like to set as the default homepage instead. Click OK to save the changes.
☑Reset the IE settings to defaults (optional)
If Searchz.co still appears on your IE after you have uninstalled the suspicious programs & toolbars and changed the homepage, try resetting IE. It’s the same with Chrome and Firefox.
Click the Tools button or the IE menu icon and then select Internet options.
In the Internet Options window, under the Advanced tab, click Reset.
In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, click Reset button.
When Internet Explorer finishes applying default settings, click Close. You may need to restart the PC to reset IE completely.
☛Remove Searchz.co from your Google Chrome
☑Delete malicious Chrome add-ons
Click on the Chrome menu icon on the top right and then select More Tools then Extensions.
In the Chrome Extensions page, find the extension which was installed without permission and click chrome-trash-icon to remove it.
☑Change the startup page and homepage of Chrome
Click on Chrome menu button and select Settings from the menu.
Under On startup, select Open a specific page or set of pages and click the Set pages. Delete any unwanted page and enter the URL of your preferred page and click on OK to save the changes.
Scroll down to Appearance, check Open Homepage button and click on Change link. If Searchz.co is displayed there, you need to delete it by clicking on the “X” button.
☑Restore Chrome’s settings to the original (Optional)
Click on the chrome menu icon and then select Settings from the menu.
In the Chrome Settings page, click on Show Advanced Settings… at the bottom of the page and then click on Reset browser settings.
Click on Reset button when the dialog box asking for your confirmation pops up.
☛Delete Searchz.co from your Mozilla Firefox
☑ Disable or remove suspicious Firefox add-ons
Click on Tools on the menu bar or the Mozilla Firefox menu and then select Add-ons.
Select Extensions on the left side.
If you find any unknown and dubious add-on, click on Remove button to uninstall it from Firefox.
☑Change the Firefox browser homepage
Click on Tools or the Firefox menu and select Options from the menu.
In the Options page, select the General on the left side. Under Startup, make sure When Firefox starts: is set to Show my home page. If Searchz.co is found in the Home Page field, delete it and then enter the address of your preferred page.
☑Reset Firefox to the default settings (Optional)
Click on Firefox menu icon and click Open Help menu (question mark icon) at the bottom of the menu and then select Troubleshooting Information.
Or you can click on Help on the menu bar and select Troubleshooting Information.
In the Firefox Troubleshooting Information page, click on Fresh Firefox… button.
Click on Refresh Firefox button again in the pop-up window to restore the settings of Firefox.
Follow the steps above and you will be able to remove Searchz.co from the PC. If other browser hijackers are found on your PC in the future, you can get rid of them in the same way. It’s not a good experience to see such unwanted items on the machine. To avoid them and protect the PC, please be more cautious when surfing the web, especially downloading and installing programs. Remember to choose the advanced install and read the EULA carefully when installing a program. Always keep an advanced antivirus program on the PC. If any malware can’t be removed completely, try SpyHunter.
The following video offers a complete guide for Searchz.co Redirect Virus removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!