Remove Search-operator.com Hijacker (Virus Removal Guide)
|Brief Description:||Browser hijackers are adware that modifies settings of home page and redirects browser to unknown websites.|
|Removal Tool:||▼ DOWNLOAD MalwareFox|
Search-operator.com is a browser hijacker. It changes the settings of your browser like homepage, new tab, and default search engine. It changes these settings to Search-operator.com. This website pretends to a genuine search engine, however when you search something on it, it steals your search query and then redirects you to Bing Search Engine. A genuine search engine certainly doesn’t redirect to other search engines.
Search-operator.com enters in your computer with the help of free or pirated software. Their makers bundle its code with such software. When you download and install such software, you infect your computer. If you choose the custom installation method, you can see the option to deselect it. Most users consider it a useful feature and don’t deselect.
Once it enters in your computer, it creates an entry to the windows registry so that you cannot remove it. Then it hijacks the settings of the browser. It can hijack almost all browsers but primarily targets Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge.
Search-operator.com also tracks your browsing activity. It records your search query, browsing history, IP Address, location, OS & Browser version, and even some hardware details. This information is used to serve your targeted ads. Their makers also sell this information to third-party vendors to generate some revenue.
How to remove Search-operator.com Completely
Removal steps on this page will help you get rid of the threat effectively using tools and virus scanners. Please make sure that you will carry out the guide in exact order.
Procedure 1: Uninstall Search-operator.com from Windows Control Panel
1. Begin the removal process by uninstalling the adware program from Windows. To do this, we need to open Control Panel. Please ensure that you are logon with the Administrative privilege to access this function.
Accessing Windows 10 Control Panel
- Click on the Windows Start button at lower left corner of the screen.
- Type Control Panel on the search box, and click on its icon on the search result.
- Alternatively, you can just press Windows + X on the keyboard to display Quick Access Menu. Then, click Control Panel.
How to access Control Panel in Windows 8
- The easiest way to access Control Panel on Windows 8 is through the Search function.
- Simply press Windows Key + Q on your keyboard to display the Charms Bar. Alternatively, you can drag mouse pointer to lower-right portion of desktop until the Charms Bar slide-out.
- Click on the Magnifying Glass icon and search for 'Control Panel'. Click the item on the result to access this feature.
How to access Control Panel in Windows XP, Windows Vista/ 7
- Click on Start button that can be found on bottom left corner of the screen.
- From the list, choose Control Panel to access settings of Windows and make the needed changes.
2. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program. It will open a program and features window where-in you can uninstall, change, or repair installed software.
3. Look for adware title or any suspicious name that was installed recently. To do this, you need to arrange the items chronologically. Click on 'Installed On' to display the latest program that looks unfamiliar.
As observed, this threat is also linked to known malware. You may also look for and delete the following names that were identified with Search-operator.com: Search Operator
4. Click on Uninstall button to remove the program automatically.
5. If it prompts for confirmation, please click OK to proceed.
Procedure 2: Scan and remove Search-operator.com files with MalwareFox Anti-Malware
To remove Search-operator.com, download MalwareFox Anti-Malware. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.
1. After downloading, please install the program using the default settings.
2. At the end of the installation, please make sure that it will download necessary updates.
3. Once update has completed, MalwareFox application will be launched.
4. Click on SCAN on the application window.
5. MalwareFox will thoroughly scan the computer. Remove all threats detected by this anti-malware program after the process.
Procedure 3: Run extra scan with Junkware Removal Tool
To make sure that no more malicious files linked to Search-operator.com are inside the computer, we must run another effective scanner. This time, use Junkware Removal Tool. No installation is necessary with this tool.
1. Click the button above to start the download process. Save the file to your preferred location.
2. Junkware Removal Tool will close all running applications later. So, before executing the file, please Bookmark or Print this page. And then, close all programs.
3. Double-click the JRT.exe file to initiate the tool.
4. It will prompt you to "Press any key to continue."
5. Junkware Removal Tool will create a Restore Point and proceed with the scan. Please wait for the scan process to finish.
6. After scanning the computer, JRT will open a Notepad containing scan logs. It may have not find Search-operator.com relevant entities, but it will surely delete any malicious items not found in the previous scans.
Procedure 4: Reset Affected Internet Browser
Reset browser settings of Google Chrome:
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. In the address bar, type this: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter.
3. Navigate at the end of the page and click on Show advanced settings.
4. At the bottom of the page, click on Reset settings to remove all changes made by Search-operator.com.
Reset Internet Explorer Settings:
1. Open Internet Explorer software.
2. Navigate to top menu and click Tools > Internet Options.
3. On Internet Options window, select Advanced tab.
4. In order to reverse modifications caused by Search-operator.com, click on Reset button to bring back Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition.
Reset Firefox to its default state:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox program.
2. Navigate to top menu and Open Help Menu. Then, select on Troubleshooting Information.
3. Click on Refresh Firefox button to erase the effect of Search-operator.com.
Protect your PC from Search-operator.com or Similar Attack
Turn On Safe Browsing Features
Google Chrome's Protection from Dangerous Sites
With Google Chrome's Dangerous Site Protection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious, thus, you can prevent Search-operator.com infection. To enable protection from dangerous sites, please do these steps:
1. Open Google Chrome.
2. In the address bar, type this: chrome://settings/ and then, Press Enter.
3. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
4. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Protect you and your device from dangerous sites'.
5. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.
Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter
Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious programs including Search-operator.com. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:
1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.
4. Please restart Internet Explorer.
Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries
Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats such as Search-operator.com. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Open Menu. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block reported attack sites
- Block reported web forgeries
Edge Browser - SmartScreen Filter
SmartScreen filter is a built-in feature in Microsoft Edge browser that can help you deter malicious programs such as Search-operator.com. It can block malicious web sites and downloads.
1. Open Microsoft Edge browser.
2. Click on More Actions button located at top right corner of the screen.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Under Settings menu, go to Advanced Settings section and click on View Advanced Settings.
5. Scroll down to "help protect my PC from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter". Turn it to ON.
6.You may now restart Microsoft Edge browser.