What is PDFConverterSearchNow?
PDFConverterSearchNow is a rogue browser extension. After analyzing it, our researchers have concluded that this piece of software operates as a browser hijacker. PDFConverterSearchNow changes browser settings and promotes the pdfconvertersearchnow.com fake search engine.
PDFConverterSearchNow browser hijacker overview
On our test system, PDFConverterSearchNow assigned pdfconvertersearchnow.com as browsers' default search engine, new tab/window, and homepage URLs. This caused the browser to redirect to this address - when new tabs/windows were opened, and search queries were typed into the URL bar.
Fraudulent search engines typically cannot generate search results and redirect to genuine ones. This was the case with pdfconvertersearchnow.com when we researched it; this search engine redirected to Google. However, fake search engines can redirect to multiple legitimate ones - depending on various factors. Our researchers also found that PDFConverterSearchNow uses persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent browser recovery.
Based on extensive research on browser hijackers, we can safely claim that most track data. PDFConverterSearchNow requests user permission to read browsing history. Typically, this means that the software aims to collect users' browsing data, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, and other sensitive information.
Browser hijacker developers collect data to sell it. Therefore, the presence of such 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|
|Detection Names||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (pdfconvertersearchnow.com)||220.127.116.11|
|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 hijacker examples
GetSportSearch, Big Dark, and Fantasy-Sports are a few examples of the browser hijackers we have analyzed. They usually appear legitimate and offer "handy" features (e.g., file format conversion, improved browsing experience, easy access to online content, etc.). However, these claims are almost always deceptive.
How did PDFConverterSearchNow install on my computer?
We downloaded PDFConverterSearchNow from its "official" promotional website, which our researchers accessed via misleading browser notifications.
However, cyber criminals try to spread their products as widely as possible. Therefore, there are multiple common browser hijacker distribution methods, e.g., software bundling (packing ordinary program installation setups with unwanted supplements), dubious download sources (unofficial, freeware, software "cracking", and scam sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), fake updates, and stealthy installations by intrusive ads (triggered when clicked).
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly advise researching software and always using official and trustworthy download channels. When downloading/installing, our researchers recommend reading terms, exploring possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additions.
It is equally important to exercise caution when browsing. Deceptive websites and intrusive advertisements appear innocuous yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If ads/redirects of this kind are encountered - the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed. If your computer is already infected with PDFConverterSearchNow, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Websites promoting the PDFConverterSearchNow browser hijacker:
Appearance of pdfconvertersearchnow.com redirecting to the Google 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 PDFConverterSearchNow?
- STEP 1. Uninstall PDFConverterSearchNow application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove PDFConverterSearchNow browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove pdfconvertersearchnow.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove pdfconvertersearchnow.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
PDFConverterSearchNow 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, "PDFConverterSearchNow"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the pdfconvertersearchnow.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
PDFConverterSearchNow 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 "PDFConverterSearchNow" 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 "PDFConverterSearchNow" (or "Convert to PDF"), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.pdfconvertersearchnow.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 "pdfconvertersearchnow.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 pdfconvertersearchnow.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 "PDFConverterSearchNow", 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 "PDFConverterSearchNow", remove hxxp://pdfconvertersearchnow.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 pdfconvertersearchnow.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 pdfconvertersearchnow.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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit pdfconvertersearchnow.com website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., fake search engine and browser hijacker developers) profit through such redirects. This is the reason why PDFConverterSearchNow causes redirects to the pdfconvertersearchnow.com site.
Is visiting pdfconvertersearchnow.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like pdfconvertersearchnow.com typically collect and sell information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using various questionable techniques. For example, this software can be installed together with other programs (bundling), downloaded from untrustworthy channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), stealthily installed by intrusive advertisements, deceptively endorsed on dubious/scam sites and browser notifications, and so on.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove PDFConverterSearchNow browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate the browser-hijacking applications present. It is noteworthy that manual removal may not be ideal when multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system. In such cases, when one is removed, the others might re-install it. Additionally, some settings may be unmodifiable/inaccessible while this software is present. Therefore, it is paramount to remove browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.