What is PDFConverterSearchNet?
PDFConverterSearchNet is a rogue browser extension designed to hijack browsers and promote the pdfconvertersearchnet.com fake search engine. Furthermore, due to the questionable methods used to distribute browser hijackers, they are also categorized as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
PDFConverterSearchNet browser hijacker in detail
PDFConverterSearchNet reassigns browsers' homepage, new tab/window, and default search engine URLs - to pdfconvertersearchnet.com. Therefore, new browser tabs/windows opened and web searches done via the URL bar - redirect to this illegitimate web searcher.
Fake search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other genuine ones. This also applies to pdfconvertersearchnet.com; it redirects both to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) and the searchlee.com fraudulent search engine (possibly others). While searchlee.com can provide search results, they are inaccurate and may endorse unreliable/malicious websites.
What is more, browser hijackers use persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers. PDFConverterSearchNet likely monitors browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collects vulnerable information extracted from it (IP addresses, personally identifiable details, etc.). The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Serving IP Address (pdfconvertersearchnet.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.
Browser hijackers in general
PUAs (browser hijackers included) entice users into download/installation with promises of "advantageous" and "handy" features, which are seldom operational. Unwanted apps typically have harmful abilities, e.g., hijacking browsers, causing redirects, running intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and gathering private data.
How did PDFConverterSearchNet install on my computer?
PUAs are distributed using the "bundling" marketing tactic - packing ordinary programs with unwanted/malicious additions. Rushed download/installation processes increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive adverts are also used to proliferate PUAs. Upon being clicked, the advertisements can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission. Some PUAs may have "official" promotional/download webpages as well.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is advised to research software and download only from official/verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc. - often offer bundled and hazardous content.
When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from all supplements. Intrusive ads appear legitimate; however, they redirect to dubious sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
In case of encounters with adverts and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with PDFConverterSearchNet, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of pdfconvertersearchnet.com redirecting to the Yahoo search engine (GIF):
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 PDFConverterSearchNet?
- STEP 1. Uninstall PDFConverterSearchNet application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove PDFConverterSearchNet browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove pdfconvertersearchnet.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove pdfconvertersearchnet.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
PDFConverterSearchNet browser hijacker removal:
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, "PDFConverterSearchNet"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the pdfconvertersearchnet.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
PDFConverterSearchNet browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
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 "PDFConverterSearchNet" 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 "PDFConverterSearchNet", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.pdfconvertersearchnet.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 "pdfconvertersearchnet.com", 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 pdfconvertersearchnet.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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "PDFConverterSearchNet", 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 disable "PDFConverterSearchNet", remove hxxp://pdfconvertersearchnet.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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with pdfconvertersearchnet.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 pdfconvertersearchnet.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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove pdfconvertersearchnet.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit pdfconvertersearchnet.com website?
The website's visitor count generates revenue for the cyber criminals. Hence, by forcing them into visiting pdfconvertersearchnet.com - browser hijacker developers profit.
Is visiting pdfconvertersearchnet.com a threat to my privacy?
Yes, it is a potential threat. Sites like pdfconvertersearchnet.com usually gather information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Social engineering techniques are common in browser hijacker distribution. This includes deceptive browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, and scam websites. Browser hijackers may also be bundled together with other software.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove PDFConverterSearchNet browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate browser hijacker applications. It is noteworthy that manual removal may not be an ideal solution. Browser hijackers may be installed in bundles, which can enable them to re-install one another. Additionally, this software may prevent access/ revert removal-related settings. Therefore, it is crucial to remove all browser hijackers at once.