Search.playnsearch.net Redirect

Also Known As: Play N Search browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

search.playnsearch.net redirect removal instructions

What is search.playnsearch.net?

search.playnsearch.net is a fake search engine that supposedly enhances the browsing experience by generating improved results. Judging on appearance alone, search.playnsearch.net may seem similar to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and a number of other legitimate search engines. Therefore, many users believe that search.playnsearch.net is also legitimate and useful. In fact, developers promote this site using browser-hijacking applications called Play N Search and Play N Start, offering a feature that allows users to find various movies. Furthermore, search.playnsearch.net and the aforementioned browser hijackers record information relating to Internet browsing habits.

search.playnsearch.net browser hijacker

Play N Search and Play N Start target Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Immediately after infiltration, they assign the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to search.playnsearch.net These changes may seem significant, and yet users are unable to revert them. Research shows that these browser hijackers reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, as long as Play N Search and/or Play N Start are installed, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users are encouraged to visit search.playnsearch.net when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. These redirects significantly diminish the browsing experience. As mentioned above, search.playnsearch.net, Play N Search, and Play N Start continually record user-system information relating to Internet browsing activity. Collected data typically includes personal details. Furthermore, the collected data is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). These people generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, data tracking might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. We strongly recommend that you uninstall the Play N Search and Play N Start browser hijackers, and never return to search.playnsearch.net

The Internet is full of fake search engines similar to search.playnsearch.net The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) qogotte.com, bronav.com, searchinspired.com, fluxsearch.com, and many others. By offering improved search results and (in some cases) other "useful features" (shortcuts to popular websites, weather forecasts, latest news, etc.), websites such as search.playnsearch.net attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, their only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, they cause unwanted redirects and gather sensitive information. Some even generate misleading results and intrusive advertisements (leading to potentially malicious websites). Therefore, using fake search engines can lead to high-risk computer infections.

How did Play N Search and Play N Start install on my computer?

Play N Search and Play N Start have an official download website. Despite this, these PUPs often infiltrate systems without permission, since developers proliferate them using intrusive advertisements and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Intrusive advertisements redirect users to malicious websites and execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware/PUPs. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party programs together with regular software. Developers do not disclose these installations properly - they hide "bundled" PUPs within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users rush these procedures and skip steps. In addition, they often click various advertisements without understanding the possible consequences. This behavior often leads to inadvertent installation of PUPs such as Play N Search and Play N Start - users expose their systems to risk of infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design. Distinguishing them, however, is easy, since most redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious websites. In most cases, they are delivered by adware-type PUPs. Therefore, if you encounter these rogue ads, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Never use third party downloaders/installers, since they are monetized by promoting ("bundling") PUPs. All software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links.

Website promoting Play N Search and Play N Start browser hijackers:

Website used to promote Play N Search and Play N Start browser hijacker

Instant automatic removal of Play N Search browser hijacker: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Reimage Repair is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Play N Search browser hijacker. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Reimage Repair By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Reimage Repair.

Quick menu:

Play N Search and Play N Start browser hijackers removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

search.playnsearch.net browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed suspicious applications (for example, "Play N Search and Play N Start"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the search.playnsearch.net website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Play N Search and Play N Start browser hijackers removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing search.playnsearch.net related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing search.playnsearch.net from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://search.playnsearch.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing search.playnsearch.net from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "playnsearch".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the play n search browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing search.playnsearch.net related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Play N Search and Play N Start" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing search.playnsearch.net from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.playnsearch.net) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.

Change your default search engine:

Removing search.playnsearch.net from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for "search.playnsearch.net", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the play n search browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing search.playnsearch.net related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" and remove "Play N Search and Play N Start", as well as all other recently-installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing search.playnsearch.net from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://search.playnsearch.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing search.playnsearch.net from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "search.playnsearch.net"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with play n search browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Change your homepage:

Changing homepage in Microsoft Edge

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings", in the opened tab, click the "+ Add new page" link, after entering your preferred URL, remove the link of browser hijackers by clicking the "X" button next to the associated URL.

Change your default search engine:

Changing default Internet search engine in Microsoft Edge

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". Click the "View advanced settings" button and select "Change search engine". In the opened tab, select your preferred Internet search engine and click "Set as default".

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove play n search browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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