Search Encrypt: How to Fully Remove This Browser Hijacker

Search Encrypt logo on a laptop next to an icon with a cross and an icon with a question mark
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How to Remove Search Encrypt: A Quick Guide

Search Encrypt is a pretty annoying browser hijacker. It can endanger your personal information, serve you unwanted ads, and even forcefully take you to sites you don’t want to visit.

But don’t worry, there’s an easy way to get rid of it. Here’s how:

  1. Open your device’s app manager.
  2. Delete the Search Encrypt application or any software that caused the nuisances to start. Search Encrypt hides in other apps, so it’s a safe bet to delete anything installed recently that you don’t need.
  3. Reset your browser settings. This will remove Search Encrypt from your browser, even if it sacrifices some preferences and saved information.
  4. Get a good antivirus. This last step is optional. But it’s definitely a good idea if you want to be protected from malware, and get expert software to analyze your PC and make sure it’s free of threats.
  5. Always use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your traffic and even notifies you of suspected malware as you browse online. Certain top-tier VPNs like NordVPN also include features like Threat Protection to keep you safe online.

If you want a detailed understanding of Search Encrypt, what it does, and how you can completely purge it from your device, read the full article below!

Viruses and malware can be a real pain when you’re simply trying to go about your digital life. They can slow down your connection, open ads and programs without your permission, steal your banking or personal information, or hold all your files for ransom with encryption.

Search Encrypt isn’t your classic type of virus. But it definitely acts like annoying malware, much different from those annoying search engine extensions.

In this article, we’ll discuss what Search Encrypt is, how it spreads, what it affects, and more importantly, how to get rid of Search Encrypt.

What Is Search Encrypt?

Search Encrypt LogoSearch Encrypt claims to be a simple browser extension with a private search engine. On their website, they insist Search Encrypt is not a virus, nor a form of malware.

And that’s technically true: the Search Encrypt extension itself doesn’t do anything malicious. It just opens up your device to advertisers that act intrusively.

Someone by the name of Privacy Guy also wrote a post on Medium about how Search Encrypt is not a virus. Such articles claim that Search Encrypt is a simple privacy-focused search engine extension that lets you browse the internet completely anonymously.

A lot of people beg to differ. They say Search Encrypt is, in fact, malware — more specifically, a browser hijacker. It’s also associated with browser hijackers like Hide My Searches and Encrypted Search, as well as the ill-reputed Wave Browser. So, is Search Encrypt actually unsafe? We decided to settle this debate once and for all.

Is Search Encrypt malware?

Trustworthy cybersecurity and privacy experts note that Search Encrypt may appear safe, but it can actually:

  • Change your default homepage and search engine
  • Redirect you to shady affiliate websites
  • Display unwanted ads
  • Potentially track search history and other information

Here’s how Search Encrypt is dangerous: their software in itself doesn’t harm your computer. But it displays harmful ads and takes control of your browser. Sometimes, it even installs unwanted programs.

And that’s the worrying part since it can install harmful malware or intrusive programs, no matter which browser you use. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge — they’re all in danger.

How Do Users End Up Downloading Search Encrypt?

Search Encrypt is out in the open — we know who makes it (at least a site that claims to represent Search Encrypt’s creators). It even has a Crunchbase entry and its own site. So why wasn’t it “nuked” out of the internet?

Well, because it doesn’t really work that way. Competent online bodies have already taken steps to protect users. For example, it’s been removed from extension stores.

But beyond that, there’s little we can do to limit user exposure to this harmful extension.

We’re counting on individual responsibility to avoid getting infected with a harmful extension like Search Encrypt.

When people aren’t careful, here’s how Search Encrypt usually ends up on their computer:

  • They install it thinking it’s legitimate software. We don’t blame them, Search Encrypt really presents itself as legitimate.
  • It gets packaged stealthily with other applications you install. When you’re installing software, always untick boxes that try to get your permission to install something on the side.
  • They install a different extension but get catfished. Always check the capitalization, reviews, and permissions for extensions you add to your browser.

How to Know If Search Encrypt Is on Your Computer

If you’re here, you’re probably already struggling with Search Encrypt. But if you’re not sure whether or not it got installed on your computer, here are some telltale signs of its presence:

  • Search Encrypt shows up in your extension/application list
  • Your browser slows down. A lagging browser or even internet connection is always a sign of trouble, whether it’s Search Encrypt or anything else.
  • Ads popping out of nowhere. If you start seeing banner ads and pop-ups that weren’t there before, it’s highly likely Search Encrypt is on your browser.
  • Being redirected to unwanted pages when clicking links online.

But there’s good news. Getting rid of this browser hijacker is as easy as pressing the “Uninstall Search Encrypt” button. Usually. Let’s get into the details.

How to Remove Search Encrypt From Your Computer

If you know for sure that Search Encrypt has infected your computer, don’t worry. You can get rid of it in a few minutes, whether you use macOS or Windows.

You’ll just need to uninstall the application in which Search Encrypt was packaged. Sometimes, that might actually be called “Search Encrypt.”

If it’s not, inspect the apps you recently installed. Figure out which one you installed right before the trouble started. With that information, you’re prepared to get rid of it.

Here’s what you need to do if you’re on Windows:

  1. Open your Settings.
  2. Click on the “Apps” thumbnail.
  3. Click on “Apps and Features”.
  4. Browse the list for the app you want to remote.
  5. Select it, then click on “Uninstall.”

If you’re on macOS, you’ll need to:

  1. Click on “Finder” and select the “Applications” menu.
  2. Find the suspicious app you want to delete.
  3. Right-click it and select “Move to Bin.”

But that’s not the end of it. If you want to remove Search Encrypt from your device completely, you’ll also need to clean up any infected files within your browser’s directory.

Below, you’ll find guides on how to completely remove Search Encrypt on most browsers, and how to revert any changes the extension may have made.

How to Remove Search Encrypt From Google Chrome

Google Chrome LogoThe Chrome browser isn’t your best pick for a reliable and secure gateway to the internet. It has serious security issues and has often been in the headlines for backdoor hacks.

If you’re a Google Chrome user, we recommend you change to a different, more secure browser that values your privacy. Take a look at our roundup of the best browsers for privacy to see what’s better.

Even Chrome users don’t have to be alarmed by Search Encrypt, however. You can get rid of it by following these steps:

  1. Click the vertical three-dots button in any Chrome window.
  2. Open the Settings menu from the drop-down options list.
  3. In the left tab, click on “Advanced.”
  4. Open the “Reset and clean up” menu.
  5. Click on “Reset settings to their original defaults.”

Chrome browser page Reset and clean up with Restore settings to their original defaults highlighted

This will reset your settings on Chrome to default, so you will lose any saved data. But it’s the only safe way to get rid of Search Encrypt from your browser and revert any changes it made.

How to Remove Search Encrypt From Firefox

Firefox Logo SmallFirefox is a much more secure option than Chrome, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. If your device was infected with Search Encrypt, and you use Firefox, there’s a strong chance that it latched itself onto the app.

To make sure it’s gone from your computer, you’ll need to reset your Firefox settings. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click the three small lines in the top-right corner of the Firefox dashboard.
  2. Click on Help from the menu.
  3. Choose “More troubleshooting Information.”
  4. Select “Refresh Firefox.” Like with Chrome, this will delete some information from your browser, but it will clean it and get rid of Search Encrypt changes.

Firefox browser page Troubleshooting information with Refresh Firefox... highlighted

How to Remove Search Encrypt From Safari

Safari Logo SmallSafari is the default browser on Mac, and it’s a tad bit safer than Chrome too. However, it’s still vulnerable to malware. If you already uninstalled Search Encrypt from your Mac, there’s one thing left to do to completely get rid of it.

  1. Click on “Safari” in the top-left corner of your Mac’s interface.
  2. Open the Preferences menu.
  3. Click on the “Privacy” thumbnail.
  4. Click on “Manage website data.”

Safari browser tab Privacy with Manage Website Data... highlighted

In the new window, select “Remove all.” This will clear your cache and options on Safari, but it will also remove Search Encrypt completely.

How to Remove Search Encrypt From Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge IconMicrosoft Edge is Windows’ default browser. Based on Chromium, Edge has come a long way since the days of Internet Explorer, and it’s a very popular and safe choice nowadays.

If you accidentally installed Search Encrypt on your Edge browser, you just need to reset your browser to be rid forever of Search Encrypt. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the three dots in the top-right corner of the Edge dashboard.
  2. Open the larger Settings menu.
  3. From the left tab, click on “Reset Settings.”
  4. Click on “Restore settings to their default values.”

Edge browser page Reset settings with Restore settings to their default values highlighted

How to Protect Your Computer From Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt is a special type of browser hijacker, in the sense that it puts up quite the show to certify its legitimacy.

There are supporting blog posts, articles on Medium, and a dedicated site. All of these sources help Search Encrypt masquerade as legitimate software. It’s not. And learning that is the first step in protecting yourself from harmful extensions like Search Encrypt.

If you install one extension on a browser and sync it with other computers, Search Encrypt can easily spread between different devices.

To prevent such infections, here are some general rules of thumb to follow to prevent software like Search Encrypt from making its way to your computer:

  1. Use a VPN. Virtual private networks are better at protecting your privacy online. They provide an added layer of encryption, and sometimes advanced safety features. Our recommendation is NordVPN. VPNs also let you browse anonymously.
  2. Use an up-to-date antivirus. Antivirus software can stop malware and viruses of any kind in their tracks. And by far the best option is Norton 360.
  3. Beware of the links you click. If you don’t know the person that sent you a link, or if it’s just displayed on a site you don’t trust, we suggest you don’t open the link.
  4. Be mindful when installing new software. A lot of malware hides in the installation wizard of other apps. So whenever you’re installing another program, make sure to untick any option for additional software.
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Protect Yourself From Browser Hijackers!

To be fair to this browser hijacker, we should mention that Search Encrypt is not as damaging as your average virus and malware. It’s “soft malware” if you will. Some might go so far as to say that it’s actually useful.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Search Encrypt is a browser hijacker. And it can spell trouble for your device if you’re not careful. If your computer was infected with Search Encrypt, remove it right away using this guide!

How to Remove Search Encrypt: Frequently Asked Questions

If something is still unclear, you can check out the frequently asked questions below. Or, if you have a question, just let us know in the comments below!

Search Encrypt is a browser hijacker that’s pretty annoying to deal with. Search Encrypt takes control of your browser, and uses that to serve you intrusive pop-up ads, and even send you to unwanted web pages. Here’s our guide to removing Search Encrypt.

No, you shouldn’t use Search Encrypt. While it’s masquerading online as legitimate software, Search Encrypt is actually a dangerous application. It serves ads through unfiltered platforms, and these ads can become very intrusive. If you want to learn more, read our full article on what Search Encrypt is.

Some users install it themselves, thinking it will boost their privacy. Other times, Search Encrypt sneaks its way on your device when you install other applications. Like any malware though, we can’t know exactly all of its methods to spread.

Likely, it was installed on your device. If you’re not sure, the best place to check is the apps you installed right before symptoms of Search Encrypt started appearing. Nine times out of ten, that’s how Search Encrypt got on your computer. Here’s a guide on how to remove Search Encrypt.

By definition, Search Encrypt is a browser hijacker. That’s one type of malicious software or malware. Browser hijackers usually take control of your browser to serve you unwanted, and intrusive ads. But you can easily remove Search Encrypt.

First, don’t forget to uninstall the app that got Search Encrypt on your PC in the first place. Then, open Chrome Advanced Settings, and reset your browser settings. This should take care of the problem for you.

Tech writer
Theodor is a content writer passionate about the newest tech developments and content marketing strategies. He likes privacy-friendly software, SEO tools, and when he's not writing, he's trying to convince people they should uninstall TikTok.