Search.privatesearch.online Redirect

Also Known As: Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Search.privatesearch.online redirect removal instructions

What is search.privatesearch.online?

The search.privatesearch.online website operates as a search engine, however developers promote it using a browser hijacker called Private Browsing by Safely. Browser hijackers are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). The search engines that they promote are generally useless and should not be trusted. Private Browsing by Safely promotes search.privatesearch.online by changing browser settings and, as with most apps of this type, also collects browsing-related data.

search.privatesearch.online browser hijacker

Most browser hijackers can be installed on browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer. As mentioned, Private Browsing by Safely modifies browser settings. Once installed it assigns the homepage, new tab URL and default search engine to search.privatesearch.online. This fake search engine is then visited when a browser/new tab is opened or a search query is entered into the URL bar. If used to search, search.privatesearch.online displays results produced by Yahoo. Users are simply redirected to search.yahoo.com (a legitimate search engine) and thus search.privatesearch.online provides no unique results, rendering this search engine useless. Private Browsing by Safely prevents users from changing the aforementioned settings - no changes can be made unless the browser hijacker is uninstalled. Browser hijackers and search engines that they promote often record information relating to users' browsing activities. Targeted details usually include geolocations, IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites and other similar information. These apps also collect personal details. The people responsible for these apps (developers) share the data with other parties who misuse it to generate revenue. Some of these third parties might include cyber criminals. Therefore, do not trust any fake search engines or browser hijackers should.

Threat Summary:
Name Private Browsing by Safely
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Private Browsing by Safely
Supposed Functionality Privacy protection.
Promoted URL search.privatesearch.online
Serving IP Address (search.privatesearch.online) 35.244.208.173
Affected Browser Settings Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
Symptoms Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.
Removal

To eliminate Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Dailymailtab.com, speedtestace.co and page-ups.com are just some examples of other fake search engines. There are many more available online. Typically, they are promoted using various browser hijackers and bogus search engines that supposedly enhance the browsing experience (provide fast searches, accurate results, and other benefits). Most are useless and designed only to generate revenue for the developers. By using them, many people put their browsing safety and privacy at risk.

How did Private Browsing by Safely install on my computer?

These apps are often promoted/distributed using "bundling", a deceptive marketing method that is used to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted apps with other, regular software. Information about bundled apps is not properly disclosed and is hidden in "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings of software download/installation set-ups. When software is downloaded and installed without checking the set-ups, unwanted apps are also installed. Another common reason behind download/installation of PUAs is clicked intrusive advertisements. Some are deceptive and, if clicked, run scripts designed to download and install unwanted, potentially malicious software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Do not use third party downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (such as torrent clients, eMule etc.), unofficial websites and other similar sources as tools to download software. The best way to download software is using official websites and direct download links. Furthermore, all download and installation procedures should be handled properly. It is important to check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings that are included in set-ups and to deselect offers to download/install unwanted applications. Additionally, intrusive advertisements should not be trusted. They may seem legitimate, however, by clicking them, people are redirected to untrustworthy websites. Typically, ads of this type appear on pages relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating and so on. If unwanted redirects or ads are a common issue, check for unwanted, unknown extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the default web browser. Remove all entries of this kind immediately. Also check installed programs on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with Private Browsing by Safely, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Website promoting Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker

Instant automatic removal of Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter 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 Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker 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.privatesearch.online browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Private Browsing by Safely"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

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

Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing search.privatesearch.online 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.privatesearch.online 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.privatesearch.online 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.privatesearch.online 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 "search.privatesearch.online".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the private browsing by safely 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.privatesearch.online 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 "Private Browsing by Safely" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing search.privatesearch.online 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, disable "Private Browsing by Safely", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.privatesearch.online) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.

Change your default search engine:

Removing search.privatesearch.online 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.privatesearch.online", 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 private browsing by safely 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.privatesearch.online related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Private Browsing by Safely", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing search.privatesearch.online 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, disable "Private Browsing by Safely", remove hxxp://search.privatesearch.online and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing search.privatesearch.online 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.privatesearch.online"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with private browsing by safely 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 private browsing by safely browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on private browsing by safely browser hijacker or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Private Browsing by Safely browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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