What is Search Defender Prime?
Search Defender Prime (previous version was simply called Search Defender) is a rogue application that supposedly allows users to search safely and avoid system infections.
This functionality may seem legitimate and useful, however, Search Defender Prime is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) and a browser hijacker, since it often infiltrates systems without users' consent. In addition, Search Defender Prime promotes a fake search engine and records information relating to browsing activity.
Developers use Search Defender Prime to promote the searchdefenderprime.com search engine, which is fake. To achieve this, Search Defender Prime hijacks the most popular browsers and assigns the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to searchdefenderprime.com.
These changes may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert them - Search Defender Prime reassigns options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states is impossible, unless Search Defender Prime is uninstalled.
Thus, users are forced to visit searchdefenderprime.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. This significantly diminishes the browsing experience. Note that searchdefenderprime.com redirects to search.yahoo.com when a search query is entered.
Therefore, users simply end up searching via Yahoo (a legitimate search engine) and searchdefenderprime.com becomes redundant. Search Defender Prime and searchdefenderprime.com continually record information relating to browsing activity.
Browser hijackers and fake search engines typically gather information such as IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, and geolocations. Furthermore, recorded data usually includes personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
These people generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. We strongly recommend that you eliminate the Search Defender Prime browser hijacker and avoid searchdefenderprime.com.
|Name||Search Defender Prime|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Search Defender Prime, Search Defender.|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved web search experience.|
|Serving IP Address (searchdefenderprime.com)||22.214.171.124|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser 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 browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
There are hundreds of browser-hijacking applications that share similarities with Search Defender Prime including My Forms Suite, Easy Weather Forecast, and Go Maps - these just some examples from many. Note that most of these applications offer useful features, however, these false promises are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install.
In fact, browser hijackers are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, apps such as Search Defender Prime cause unwanted redirects and gather sensitive data.
How did Search Defender Prime install on my computer?
Search Defender Prime is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, it often infiltrates computers without consent, since developers proliferate it using intrusive advertisements (usually delivered by other potentially unwanted applications, such as File Convert Pro browser hijacker) and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling".
Intrusive advertisements redirect users to dubious websites or run scripts designed to download/install PUAs. "Bundling" is stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software. Developers hide "bundled" apps behind "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes.
Furthermore, many users click advertisements and skip download/installation steps - behavior that can lead to inadvertent installation of unwanted applications.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior. Caution is the key to safety. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software.
Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, they usually redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and similar). If you encounter these ads or redirects, remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins immediately.
Carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Opt-out of additionally-included applications and decline offers to download/install them. Avoid using third party downloaders, since most are monetized using the "bundling" method (developers promote PUAs).
Therefore, software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. If your computer is already infected with Search Defender Prime, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Search Defender Prime asking for permissions in Google Chrome web browser:
Search Defender Prime asking for permissions in Mozilla Firefox web browser:
File Convert Pro browser hijacker redirecting users to site that promotes Search Defender Prime:
Another website promoting Search Defender Prime browser hijacker:
IMPORTANT NOTE! Some websites that promote Search Defender Prime browser hijacker ask to enable web browser notifications.
Therefore, before commencing, perform these steps:
Google Chrome (PC):
- Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Settings", scroll down to the bottom and click "Advanced"
- Scroll down to the "Privacy and security" section, select "Content settings" and then "Notifications"
- Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)
Google Chrome (Android):
- Click on the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and click "Settings"
- Scroll down, click on "Site settings" and then "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and click on them one-by-one
- Select "Notifications" in the "Permissions" section and set the toggle button to "OFF"
- Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Options" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen
- Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select "Block"
- Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
- Select "Internet options"
- Select the "Privacy" tab and click "Settings" under "Pop-up Blocker" section
- Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the "Remove" button
- Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
- Scroll down, find and click "Settings"
- Scroll down again and click "View advanced settings"
- Click "Manage" under "Website permissions"
- Click the switch under each suspicious website
- Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences..."
- Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane
- Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option for each
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Search Defender Prime?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Search Defender Prime application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove searchdefenderprime.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Search Defender Prime browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove searchdefenderprime.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove searchdefenderprime.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search Defender Prime browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Search Defender Prime"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the searchdefenderprime.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Search Defender Prime browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects (Windows OS):
Video showing how to remove Search Defender Prime browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner (MacOS):
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://searchdefenderprime.com 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:
Click the "gear" 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 Defender Prime".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchdefenderprime.com redirect, 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Search Defender Prime" (or simply "Search Defender") and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Search Defender Prime" (or simply "Search Defender"), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchdefenderprime.com) 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:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the 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 "searchdefenderprime.com", and when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchdefenderprime.com redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Search Defender Prime" (or simply "Search Defender"), as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://searchdefenderprime.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your 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: "searchdefenderprime"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with searchdefenderprime.com redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
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.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchdefenderprime.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A 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.
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