How to remove SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker?

Also Known As: searchpdfconverterz.com redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker removal instructions

What is SearchPDFConverterz?

SearchPDFConverterz is a piece of rogue software that is designed to make modifications to browser settings in order to promote searchpdfconverterz.com - a fake search engine. Additionally, SearchPDFConverterz collects information relating to browsing activity. Due to how it operates, it is classified as a browser hijacker. Since most users install SearchPDFConverterz unintentionally, it is also considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).

searchpdfconverterz.com browser hijacker

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and other popular browsers with large user bases are typical targets of browser hijackers. They assign the addresses of illegitimate search engines as browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. SearchPDFConverterz promotes searchpdfconverterz.com in this manner as well. Hence, with this browser hijacker installed: every new browser tab/window opened and web search done via the URL bar - redirect to searchpdfconverterz.com. Fake search engines have no real value to users, as they are typically unable to provide search results. Therefore, illegitimate web searchers tend to redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to genuine search engines. Searchpdfconverterz.com is not an exception to this, it redirects to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) - a legitimate search engine. Browser hijackers can deny access to the browser's settings and/or undo any permitted changes made. That means that recovering a hijacked browser is impossible, without removing the software affecting it. As mentioned in the introduction, SearchPDFConverterz has data tracking abilities. It can record browsing activity (visited URLs, viewed pages, typed search queries, etc.) and gather sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is highly likely to contain personally identifiable information. Furthermore, this information is monetized by browser hijacker developers by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to financial losses, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name SearchPDFConverterz
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) SearchPDFConverterz
Promoted URL searchpdfconverterz.com
Serving IP Address (searchpdfconverterz.com) 172.67.128.232
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)

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AllConvertersSearchRadioSearches and Nebula Search are a couple examples of other browser hijackers. This software usually appears ordinary and in no way suspect. Users are enticed into download/installation with various "useful" functionalities. However, the advertised features seldom work as promised and in most cases - they do not work at all. This applies to practically all PUAs. Unwanted applications have but one goal - to generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns and track private data.

How did SearchPDFConverterz install on my computer?

Some PUAs (e.g. SearchPDFConverterz) have "official" download webpages. These apps are also distributed via download/installation setups of other products. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". By rushing through download/installation (e.g. by ignoring terms, used pre-set options, etc.) - users risk inadvertently allowing dubious and/or bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements proliferate such applications as well. Upon being clicked, they can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is strongly advised to research products before download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. Intrusive ads appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to various unreliable and questionable pages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.). Should users experience adverts and/or redirects of this kind, they must inspect the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with SearchPDFConverterz, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Screenshot of SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker asking for various permissions:

Nebula Search browser hijacker asking for permissions

Appearance of SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker (GIF):

SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker appearance GIF

Screenshots of websites promoting SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker;

IMPORTANT NOTE! These deceptive sites ask to enable web browser notifications:

Website used to promote SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker (Firefox) Website used to promote SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker (Chrome) 1 Website used to promote SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker (Chrome) 2 Website used to promote SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker (Chrome) 3

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)

Disable pop-up' notifications in Google Chrome web browser

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"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Android Google Chrome web browser

Mozilla Firefox:

  • 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"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Mozilla Firefox web browser

Internet Explorer:

  • 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

Disable pop-up' notifications in Internet Explorer web browser

Microsoft Edge:

  • 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

Disable pop-up' notifications in Microsoft Edge web browser

Safari (Mac):

  • 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

Disable pop-up' notifications in Safari web browser

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Quick menu:

SearchPDFConverterz 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.

searchpdfconverterz.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the searchpdfconverterz.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

SearchPDFConverterz browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing searchpdfconverterz.com 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 searchpdfconverterz.com 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://searchpdfconverterz.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:

Removing searchpdfconverterz.com 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 "SearchPDFConverterz".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchpdfconverterz.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.

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 searchpdfconverterz.com 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 "SearchPDFConverterz" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing searchpdfconverterz.com 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 "SearchPDFConverterz", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchpdfconverterz.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:

Removing searchpdfconverterz.com 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 "searchpdfconverterz.com", 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 searchpdfconverterz.com redirect, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing searchpdfconverterz.com 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 "SearchPDFConverterz", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing searchpdfconverterz.com 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 "SearchPDFConverterz", remove hxxp://searchpdfconverterz.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing searchpdfconverterz.com 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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with searchpdfconverterz.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, 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 (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchpdfconverterz.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset 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 searchpdfconverterz.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
searchpdfconverterz.com redirect QR code
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