A search engine named SearchSecretly.net loads automatically and pops up every time I open my Chrome. I have never seen it and don’t know how it slips into my computer. The search engine is so annoying that I decide to remove it. I have much better choices but I can’t change it back to my original search engine. How does my computer get infected with the pest? Is there an effective way to solve the problem? Please help me.
Re: It is actually annoying. But there is a way to solve the problem. If you believe me, please open the attachment, which contains some useful removal guide. Good luck to you.
What is SearchSecretly.net?
SearchSecretly.net belongs to Browser Hijacker which modifies browser settings without users’ permission. It is used as a search engine developed by Visicom Media Inc. Computer users are told that they can browse the Web with privacy and security with Search Secretly. However, computer users are dissatisfied with the website because the search engine conducts unfriendly activity. The search engine actually provides services above. But at the same time, it redirects users to unwanted websites without their permission. Not all are sports fans and use the website voluntarily. So it is normal that the search engine is not welcomed by most of users. Some browsers which have build-in blocker can block malicious phishing website. If you access a website that is blacklisted, the browser will send you a warning and stop you from entering. However, some websites like SearchSecretly.net can’t be blocked because they are not much malicious than other websites. Or it will be blacklisted by browsers one day. It is certain that you encounter stubborn computer problem if you are redirected to a website several times. That’s why the website is classified as a browser hijacker.
Like other browser hijackers , the website also provides search service. They are the same in the way of hijacking users’ web browsers. The annoying website also follows this pattern and makes modification to users’ browser. Users’ default homepage, startup page, search engine are also changed to the domain page easily. It also appends the argument to your browsers’ shortcut so that you are always redirected to the domain when you open the browser. What it attacks are various browsers including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and so on. Although the website is classified as one member on the black list of these browsers, users should be more careful. In addition to hijacking browsers, it also displays all kinds of pop-up ads. Users may be monitored by the website because contents of these ads are related to their recent browsing websites or web pages. Some applications also keep track of users’ browsing history and protect users’ information, while the website won’t keep the promise. Hence, you’d better not keep the browser hijacker in the computer if you detect it.
Why Does SearchSecretly.net Get on your computer?
The browser hijacker won’t ask your permission and get on your computer in silence. Some unknown navigation sites are actually green house where malicious and annoying programs or other threats grows up. When you enter these websites accidently and click on pop-up ads, malware quickly gets installed on your computer within several minutes. So users are not recommended to visit strange websites. To prevent clicking on unwanted ads, you’d better install Adblock Plus (a kind of browser extension). Another distribution technique called “bundling” is also welcomed by developers of the browser hijacker. Under cover of normal freeware or shareware, many unwanted programs can enter the target computer easily. Although users are not forced to install these bundles, the developers manage to lead you to choose them.
For example, the Standard option is selected automatically and recommended by the software when you are in the Setup Wizard. Options that are related to unwanted programs are also selected automatically. If you don’t deselect unwanted options by yourselves, malware gets on your computer by default. The running speed of the computer becomes slow because a number of unwanted programs are being installed. Most of the time, users are careless while installing. They should have stopped the program running in the background although they select unwanted options mistakenly. In a word, computer users should be more careful before they click on “Install” button.
Summary of SearchSecretly.net
|Type||Browser Hijacker; Malware|
|Affected Browsers||Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari & Opera|
|Symptoms||Change homepage, Startup page & new tab; Change default search engine; Generate commercial ads or links; Diminish users’ browsing experience|
|Distribution Techniques||Via freeware or shareware bundling; Via pop-up ads on suspicious websites or phishing websites.|
|Solution||Read the detailed guide below|
Here are manual removal and automatic removal tutorial. Not only manual removal but also automatic removal tutorial is chosen, you should know that no removal guide is 100% removal. However, automatic removal make your computer cleaner than manual removal. So, automatic removal is advised to carry out firstly. If you insist on trying manual removal tutorial, you’d better back up your system settings in case of accident.
Automatic Removal Tutorial (Recommended)
Manual Removal Tutorial (Time-consuming)
Automatic Removal Tutorial (Recommended)
Option 1: Remove SearchSecretly.net with SpyHunter
SpyHunter is an effective anti-malware designed for detecting and removing all detected computer threats including Browser hijackers, PUP, Spyware, Rootkits and so on. It owns a group of computer experts and up-to-date database so that your computer can obtain comprehensive protection. Now follow the guide and start the removal.
Clicking the button below to download SpyHunter.
Open the downloaded file (SpyHunter-Installer) to initiate the installation, and then click Run to continue when a window pops up as below.
After selecting your language, click OK button.
Click CONTINUE button.
Click Exit button to confirm the completion of the installation.
After the installation is complete, SpyHunter will run and scan your computer automatically. If not, you need to double-click on the icon of SpyHunter and then Start New Scan by clicking on Scan Computer Now! button.
Don’t close the program while the scanning is on going.
After the scan is completed, all malicious items that SpyHunter has detected will be shown as a list. To remove detected items completely, click “Fix Threats” button.
Restart your computer to apply all changes after removal is complete.
Option 2: Remove SearchSecretly.net with Plumbytes Anti-Malware
Download Plumbytes Anti-Malware from the button below.
Install Plumbytes Anti-Malware by clicking INSTALL.
After installation is done, run Plumbytes Anti-Malware by double-clicking on (or Plumbytes Anti-Malware will run automatically).
Go to OVERVIEW, and then click Run a scan.
After scan is completed, all detected items will show in the list.
Check the box beside SearchSecretly.net or Select All and then click REMOVE SELECTED.
Restart the computer to apply all the changes.
Step 1 Repair Hosts File
The major function of the Hosts file is to define the mapping between IP address and host name, which is also a rule of mapping IP address and host name. It can be opened with txt file. When a user type a website in the address bar, system will go to host file and search for the IP address that matches the website automatically. Once find IP, its web page will pop up. If not, the browser will send the website to DNS server and analyze the IP address.
Click on Start button and type “Notepad” in the search box.
Click on notepad.exe, and then a window named “untitled” pops up.
Copy the following the text to the file:
# Copyright (c) 1993-2006 Microsoft Corp.## This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.## This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one# space.## Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual# lines or following the machine name denoted by a ‘#’ symbol.## For example:## 126.96.36.199 rhino.acme.com # source server# 188.8.131.52 x.acme.com # x client host# localhost name resolution is handle within DNS itself.# 127.0.0.1 localhost# ::1 localhost
Name the txt file “hosts” and then save it to the desktop.
And then find the Hosts file on the computer and replace it with the new Hosts file that is created by you just now.
How to find Hosts file?
- Locate C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc, you will find Host file in the folder.
Press Windows + R to initiate Run dialogue box
Type “C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc” in the box and then hit Enter key.
Step 2 Fix Browser Shortcuts
Right click on the icon of the hijacked browser and select Properties
Focus on the Target section and delete the suspicious argument.
Tip: Don’t delete the whole path, otherwise your browser goes wrong.
You can also replace the current path with the right path below (only for reference):
Internet Explorer: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
Google Chrome: C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
Mozilla Firefox: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
Opera: “C:\Program Files\Opera\launcher.exe”
Safari: ”””””””*:\Program Files\Safari\
Click on Apply and OK button for the changes to take effect.
Click on Continue button when you see the pop-up window below.
Sometimes the browse hijacker not only hijacks your shortcut but also hijack homepage so that users see the web page pops up on their screen. Hence, users are advised to check their browsing settings and remove all suspicious items. If you are tired of doing time-consuming steps, you can try automatic removal tools in the post.
Step 3 Remove SearchSecretly.net from Your Browsers
Run Google Chrome, select Settings from the Menu, which is opened by clicking on 3-bar or 3-dot button
Check up whether your default homepage, start up page, search engine have been replaced with the browser hijacker.
Click on Change under Show Home button
Highlight the whole suspicious link and click on Backspace or Delete key
Click OK button to close the window.
Change Startup page:
Click on Set page beside “Open a specific or set of pages”
Click × to remove the suspicious link
Click OK button to save the changes.
Set Search Engine:
Click on Manage search engines… button
Check up search engines in the pop-up window and delete the suspicious items by clicking ×.
Note: If the website is set as the Default search engine, you should set another search engine as the Default and then remove the search engine.
Save the changes by clicking on Done button
Navigate to Menu, move the mouse to More Tools and then click on Clear browsing data button.
Select your wanted items and then click Clear browsing data button.
Run Internet Explorer, select Internet Options from the Tools menu, which is opened by clicking Tools or gear icon.
Delete unwanted link on Home Page section or replace it with your favorite website.
Navigate to Internet Options, click Settings button on Search section.
In the Search Provider tab, check up search engines and delete the suspicious items by clicking Remove button.
Click Close button.
Navigate to Internet Options, go to General tab and then click on Delete button
Select your wanted items and then click on Delete button.
Run Mozilla Firefox, click on 3-bar button and then select Options.
In the Home Page section, highlight the suspicious link and then click Backspace or Delete key
Navigate to Search tab by clicking on Search button on the left side of the page.
Check up all search engines and delete suspicious items by clicking Remove button.
Navigate to Tools menu and then select History.
Click on Clear Recent History…
Select unwanted items you want to clear and then click on Clear Now button.
Tip: The manual guide is not easy because you should check up your browser and remove all suspicious links if you have one more browser. To remove all traces and remains of the browser hijacker quickly & completely, an automatic removal tool is a better choice.
Step 4 Clear Relevant Registry Entries
Click on Run dialogue box, which is seen in Start menu.
Type “regedit” in the box and then click OK button.
Click on Edit and then click Find… on the top bar of the Registry Editor window.
Type “SearchSecretly.net” in the search box and then press Enter key.
Search results come out after a while, you’d better check up selected item carefully and then remove them.
Hit F3 key to search for the next suspicious item and delete it.
If you see the window below, you can stop searching for the next item.
SearchSecretly.net is an untrustworthy website which shouldn’t be used by many computer users. At first, the contents on the site are boring and filled with various ads including banners, offers, pop ups, coupons and so on. Once click on these ads, computer users may be switched to strange websites. Secondly, it hijacks your homepage, default search engine and shortcut without your permission. The sign that it hijacks your browser is that you always see the website every time you open the browser. Removing the link from the browser is a temporary method. It still comes back and occupies your browser. So computer users are required to do Step 4 – Clear Relevant Registry Entries because the browser hijacker may add its codes and files to Registry Editor. However, you may make mistake in Step 4. Computer users are advised to back up registry entries (click on File and then select Export). If you are afraid of doing manual guide, you can take into account automatic removal tools in the post.
The following video offers a complete guide for SearchSecretly.net removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!