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How to uninstall ThePDFConverterSearch?

Also Known As: thepdfconvertersearch.com redirect
Damage level: Medium

What is ThePDFConverterSearch browser hijacker?

ThePDFConverterSearch is a potentially unwanted application (PUA), a browser hijacker designed to change a browser's settings to thepdfconvertersearch.com (to promote a fake search engine). It is worth mentioning that this application can read browsing history and possibly other browsing-related or even sensitive information.

thepdfconvertersearch.com browser hijacker

ThePDFConverterSearch browser hijacker in detail

Most browser hijackers change the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to promote a certain fake search engine. The ThePDFConverterSearch browser hijacker changes those settings to thepdfconvertersearch.com.

The main reason why thepdfconvertersearch.com is a fake search engine is that it does not generate unique results. At the time of the research, thepdfconvertersearch.com redirected to search.yahoo.com and searchlee.com.

Thepdfconvertersearch.com shows results generated by Yahoo and a questionable search engine (searchlee.com). This fake search engine could redirect users to other addresses as well.

It is important to mention that fake search engines can be used to promote shady websites - they can generate misleading results with links to potentially malicious pages in them. Either way, it is advisable not to use questionable, fake search engines and trust only legitimate search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing.

Typically, users cannot undo the changes that the installed browser hijacker has made unless they uninstall it. In this particular case, to be able remove the thepdfconvertersearch.com address from the browser's settings, users need to uninstall ThePDFConverterSearch first.

Another common problem with apps like ThePDFConverterSearch is that they collect IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, and other browsing data. Gathered details could be misused for marketing purposes, sold to third parties, or monetized in other ways.

In some cases, browser hijackers can access sensitive information that could be used to steal personal accounts, commit identity fraud, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, etc. In one way or another, it is strongly recommended not to trust applications of this type.

Threat Summary:
Name ThePDFConverterSearch
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) ThePDFConverterSearch
Supposed Functionality Improved browsing experience
Promoted URL thepdfconvertersearch.com
Serving IP Address (thepdfconvertersearch.com) 172.67.139.144
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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Similarities with other browser hijackers

Most browser hijackers promote search engines that may be used to promote untrustworthy websites, display ads. Both browser hijackers and search engines promoted through them are useless and can be harmful.

More examples of browser hijackers are Dictionary Search, PDFConverterSearchMedia, and FreeIncognitoSearch. It is worth mentioning that apps of this type are called PUAs because users rarely download and installed them on purpose.

How did ThePDFConverterSearch install on my computer?

One of the popular ways to distribute browser hijackers is to use a marketing method called "bundling" - to bundle PUAs with other programs. In such cases, PUAs can be found included in downloaders and installers of other programs as extra offers.

Offers to download or install included applications can be declined using "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings, or by unticking checkboxes. Users download and install PUAs together with other programs when they finish downloads and installations without changing any of the aforementioned settings.

Another deceptive way to distribute PUAs is by designing advertisements to execute certain scripts. Users cause unwanted downloads, installations by clicking on those ads.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Applications should not be downloaded from questionable sources like Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients, and other similar sharing networks), unofficial websites, third-party downloaders, or installed via third-party installers. Instead, they should be downloaded from official pages and via direct links.

Downloaders and installers with settings like "Advanced", "Custom" should be checked for offers to download or install potentially unwanted apps. Those offers should be declined before finishing downloads or installations.

Advertisements on suspicious web pages should not be trusted (clicked). By clicking those ads, users open deceptive, dubious pages or download or even install unwanted programs.

Suspicious, unwanted extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed on a web browser and software of this kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with ThePDFConverterSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Thepdfconvertersearch.com redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):

thepdfconvertersearch browser hijacker thepdfconvertersearch.com shows yahoo results

Thepdfconvertersearch.com redirects to searchlee.com (GIF):

thepdfconvertersearch browser hijacker thepdfconvertersearch.com shows searchlee.com results

Notification informing that ThePDFConverterSearch can read and change data:

thepdfconvertersearch browser hijacker notification

Websites promoting ThePDFConverterSearch browser hijacker:

Website used to promote ThePDFConverterSearch browser hijacker thepdfconvertersearch browser hijacker promoter 2 thepdfconvertersearch browser hijacker promoter 3 thepdfconvertersearch browser hijacker promoter firefox

IMPORTANT NOTE! Some of these deceptive sites 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)

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:

ThePDFConverterSearch browser hijacker removal:

Windows 10 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.

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.

macOS (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.

thepdfconvertersearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

ThePDFConverterSearch browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing thepdfconvertersearch.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 "ThePDFConverterSearch" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing thepdfconvertersearch.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 "ThePDFConverterSearch", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.thepdfconvertersearch.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 thepdfconvertersearch.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 "thepdfconvertersearch.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 thepdfconvertersearch.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 thepdfconvertersearch.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 "ThePDFConverterSearch", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

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

Change your default search engine:

Removing thepdfconvertersearch.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 thepdfconvertersearch.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 thepdfconvertersearch.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.

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing thepdfconvertersearch.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 thepdfconvertersearch.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://thepdfconvertersearch.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 thepdfconvertersearch.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 "ThePDFConverterSearch".

Optional method:

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

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 thepdfconvertersearch.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.

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