How to uninstall the fake Searchify application

Also Known As: Searchify potentially unwanted application
Damage level: Medium

What kind of application is Searchify?

While investigating deceptive sites, our research team discovered the Searchify PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). The name of this rogue software is borrowed from a legitimate online tool that allows developers to add a search function to websites and apps. However, it must be stressed that this application is not associated with the genuine Searchify service.

This PUA promotes a fake search engine – searchify.app; the domain of this bogus website imitates URLs related to the real Searchify (i.e., searchify.com and searchify.io).

Searchify unwanted application install folder

Potentially unwanted application overview

As mentioned in the introduction, this fake app uses "Searchify" as its name, which belongs to a legitimate service that is not associated with this unwanted software. It is quite common for PUAs to use the names/graphics connected to genuine products or services. The reason behind this is to create an impression of legitimacy and trick users into trusting the dubious software.

After we installed the Searchify unwanted application on our test machine, it added its icon to the taskbar's system tray (typically containing the system clock, date, language, etc.). Once the icon was pressed, it launched the default browser with the searchify.app fake search engine open. It must be reiterated that this webpage is not related to the real Searchify sites.

Fraudulent search engines are usually incapable of providing search results, so they redirect to legitimate Internet search websites. At the time of research, when a query was entered into the search bar on searchify.app – it resulted in a redirect to the Bing search engine (bing.com).

Note that this illegitimate site could land elsewhere based on factors like user geolocation. Visiting fake search engines is considered a privacy threat, as they tend to collect (and sell) visitor data.

Potentially unwanted applications often have data-tracking functionalities, and this might apply to Searchify. Targeted information may include: browsing and search engine histories, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. This sensitive data can be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.

To summarize, the presence of software like Searchify on devices may result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Searchify potentially unwanted application
Threat Type PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)
Detection Names (rogue installer) N/A (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (app) Gridinsoft (no cloud) (Trojan.Heur!.02046823), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Promoted URL searchify.app
Detection Names Criminal IP (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address
Rogue Process Name Searchify (process name may vary)
Symptoms A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Rogue redirects. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution Methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling).
Damage Privacy issues, rogue redirects, slow computer performance.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Potentially unwanted application examples

We have analyzed countless PUAs; ViewndownPinaviewY-Cleaner, and Clear Play Tube are merely some examples of our latest finds.

In most cases, unwanted apps are disguised as existing or legitimate-sounding software. Users may be enticed into downloading/installing PUAs by promises of various handy features. However, these functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases – they do not work at all.

Furthermore, these applications commonly possess harmful capabilities, such as adware types, browser hijacking, data tracking, and others.

It must be emphasized that even if a piece of software operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not definitive proof of either legitimacy or safety.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

We downloaded an installer containing Searchify from a deceptive webpage. Using various legitimate-looking promotional pages and scam sites is standard in PUA endorsement.

Most visitors access these webpages via redirects caused by websites utilizing rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, or installed adware.

Additionally, unwanted apps can be bundled with ordinary programs. The risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system is increased by downloading from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and by treating installations with negligence (e.g., reading terms, skipping steps, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.).

Intrusive advertisements spread unwanted software as well. When clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is essential to research software prior to downloading or purchasing it. We recommend downloading only from official and trustworthy sources. Another recommendation is to treat installations with care, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, tools, features, etc.

We also advise being cautious while browsing since fake and malicious online content usually appears genuine and harmless. For example, intrusive ads may look innocuous – yet they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, scam-promoting, adult dating, etc.).

In case of continuous encounters with adverts and/or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Screenshot of searchify.app – a fake search engine promoted by Searchify PUA:

Searchify PUA promoted fake search engine – searchify.app

Appearance of searchify.app redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):

Appearance of Searchify PUA promoted searchify.app website redirecting to Bing (GIF)

Screenshot of Searchify PUA's process on Task Manager ("Searchify" – process name):

Searchify PUA process on Task Manager (Searchify - process name)

Screenshot of the deceptive website promoting Searchify PUA:

Deceptive website used to promote Searchify PUA

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

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.

Searchify uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "Searchify" and other suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

At time of research, Searchify did not install any unwanted browser extensions, however, some unwanted applications can be installed together with adware and browser hijackers. If you experience unwanted ads or redirects when browsing the Internet, continue with the removal guide below.

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchify potentially unwanted application, 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 rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with searchify potentially unwanted application 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 adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

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 adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchify potentially unwanted application, 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.


declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

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If you have additional information on searchify potentially unwanted application or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of an unwanted application?

Unwanted applications are designed to generate revenue for their developers. For example, by pushing in-app purchases, collecting private data, causing redirects, displaying ads, and so forth.

Is Searchify unwanted application legal?

Typically, unwanted applications are considered legal because their End User License Agreements (EULA) provide information concerning the software's behavior.

Is having Searchify installed on my computer dangerous?

Searchify promotes the searchify.app fake search engine. Visiting such sites is deemed to be a minor privacy threat, as they usually gather (and sell) information about their visitors. Generally, PUAs tend to have harmful functionalities, such as data tracking and/or those possessed by adware, browser hijackers, etc.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Searchify unwanted application?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate all manner of threats, including unwanted/malicious applications. It must be mentioned that manual removal (performed without security programs) might be ineffective. In some instances, after a piece of software has been manually removed – various file remnants stay hidden within the system. What is more, the remaining components might continue to run and cause problems. Therefore, it is essential to eliminate unwanted software thoroughly.

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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.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
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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