Search-operator.com Hijacker - How to Remove It
THREAT REMOVAL

Search-operator.com Hijacker – How to Remove It

What is Search-operator.com? Why does it keep loading in your browser? How to remove Search-operator.com and improve the security of your PC?

remove-search-operator-com-hijacker-sensorstechforum-guide

Search-operator.com is the domain of a questionable search engine that is classified as a browser hijacker due to its capabilities of modifying main browser settings without users’ permission. Once it affects your browser its main page could be the first to load every time you start a browsing session. The hijacker could also appear on every new tab page. It is likely to be set as a default search engine as well. Since its unexpected appearance may be caused by some kind of a potentially unwanted program, we recommend you to scan your system for any present harmful or unknown files.

Threat Summary

NameSearch-operator.com
TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionIt is a questionable search enigne that suddenly replaces your preferred search enigne and forces you to use its deceptive services.
SymptomsYour homepage, new tab page and search enigne could dislay the main page of this hijacker. Browser slowdowns could occur due to increased number of online ads.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Search-operator.com

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Search-operator.com.

Search-operator.com Browser Hijacker – Spread and Impact

Search-operator.com is a deceptive search engine that is classified as a browser hijacker. It is designed to affect all popular web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Safari.

One of the main reasons why Search-operator.com is considered to be a browser hijacker is its unexpected and often unwanted appearance in the browser. This issue could be explained by the presence of a potentially undesired program on your machine.
The spread of such type of programs is usually realized with the help of software bundles and freeware packages.

Both techniques attempt to conceal their presence in order to trick you into running unnoticeably their configuration files. So it is very likely that you installed it along with a desired and supposedly useful free third-party program.

Once the undesired program associated with Search-operator.com hijacker is running on your operating system (Windows or macOS) it enters the settings of targeted web browsers and alters their homepages, new tab page destinations and default search engines. After it applies these changes you start to see the main page of the hijacker every time you decide to use the affected browser.

search-operator-com-browser-hijacker-main-page-sensorstechforum

One of the purposes of this questionable search engine is data harvesting. To realize this purpose, the hijacker utilizes different tracking technologies such as cookies, web beacons, javascript, etc. So beware that as long as it is running on your PC, it could be able to spy on all your search queries, visited websites, clicks on links and other details that define your browsing habits.

When obtained these details could be misused by Search-operator.com‘s owners for the launch of aggressive advertising campaigns. The moment they make you a target of their campaigns you may start noticing lots of annoying ads of all types – pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, in-text links, images, videos, fake notification windows, etc.

On one hand, this issue could make the affected browser sluggish. On the other hand, these ads expose your system at risk of malware intrusions. If you want to avoid falling victim to severe computer threats like ransomware, Trojans, and spyware you need to remove all harmful files that are running on your system, including Search-operator.com hijacker.

How to Remove Search-operator.com Browser Hijacker

In order to remove Search-operator.com hijacker along with all associated files that enable its appearance in the browser, you should complete several removal steps. In the guide below you will find all removal steps in their precise order. You could choose between manual and automatic removal approaches. In order to fully get rid of this particular undesired program and strengthen the security of your device we recommend you to combine the steps. Have in mind that installed files associated with this hijacker may be detected with names different than Search-operator.com and Search Opearator.

In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us at our email.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Search-operator.com from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Search-operator.com

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Search-operator.com and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Search-operator.com on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Search-operator.com there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Search-operator.com with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Search-operator.com from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Search-operator.com and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Search-operator.com:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Search-operator.com. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Search-operator.com. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Search-operator.com via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Search-operator.com. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove Search-operator.com files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Search-operator.com, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Search-operator.com from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Search-operator.com from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Search-operator.com from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Delete Search-operator.com from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Search-operator.com will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Search-operator.com from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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