THREAT REMOVAL

Search.watchtvnow.co Browser PUP – How to Remove It

This blog post has been made with the sole purpose of explaining to you what is the search.watchtvnow.co browser hijacker and showing you methods on how you can remove it from your computer and stop it from slowing your PC down.

A new browser hijacking software, associated with the web link Search.watchtvnow.co has been detected by security experts. The browser hijacker is a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program), whose main goal is to convince users that it is a safe and wanted tool that can help out users with their online browsing experience in one or more ways. In reality however, the real purpose of Search.watchtvnow.co browser hijacker is to change and modify the web browser settings and to also heavily display advertisements on the infected computers of victims.

Threat Summary

Name
TypeBrowser Hijacker
Short DescriptionAims to modify the settings on your web browser in order to get it to cause browser redirects and display different advertisements.
SymptomsYour web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your PC.
Distribution MethodBundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
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Search.watchtvnow.co – How Does It Spread

There are many methods via which these types of programs end up being installed on the computers of victims without them actually realising it. The most common way of distribution is via software bundling. You may encounter the Search.watchtvnow.co hijacker being advertised as a legitimate program which aims to help you out in watching movies and other media content online by being added as a toolbar on your browser. This advertisement may be shown to you in the installer of another free program you may be trying to set up. There, the Search.watchtvnow.co may be presented as a free extra or an optional offer and these types of adware install steps may be encountered when you perform an installation in the “Advanced” or “Custom” installation modes.

Another way of the Search.watchtvnow.co program being spread is usually by being advertised on a site as a tool to download if you want to watch a movie of some sort. These types of sites are often video streaming sites for pirated movies and to play the movie, the ad asks you to install a plug-in which may end up to be the Search.watchtvnow.co browser hijacker.

In addition to those methods of distribution there is also another way via which these types of programs may appear on the computers of victims and it is often done by adding a suspicious program, like a Windows Activator or other type of hack tool. Such tools may automatically connect to download sites for unwanted software and install the Search.watchtvnow.co hijacker directly on your web browser.

Search.watchtvnow.co Hijacker – Analysis

When installed on your web browser, you may begin to see the main home screen of the Search.watchtvnow.co browser hijacker:

As soon as it is installed, the hijacker may also display a lot of different pop-ups on some web browsers, that ask you to allow it to perform different types of modifications on your web browser, such as to accept push notifications:

When we have checked the web page Search.watchtvnow.co thoroughly, first thing we noticed was that when you use it to search something online, you immediately become redirected to a third-party search site (search.yahoo.com) and this site is modified allegedly by the hijacker to display an enormous amount of ads which take up to 80% of the first page screen as seen below:

In addition to this, we have also noticed cookies to be residing on the computer of the test machine as these cookies often were from third-party websites, which we found to have little or nothing in common with the Search.watchtvnow.co hijacker itself.

In our opinion, the Search.watchtvnow.co browser hijacker is another one of those applications that promise to be useful, but only cramp up your computer with pop-ups, banners, ad-supported search results and other types of ads. The risks associated with them may be many:

  • Redirecting you to malicious website that may infect your computer with viruses.
  • Collect information from your online browsing activities via cookies and other locally stored technologies.
  • Advertise scam sites whose main goal is to trick you into either calling Fake Tech Support scammers or downloading hoax antivirus programs. These sites may claim your system is infected to get you to pay a lot of money to fix it in the end, whereas in reality, there may not be such threats.

Either way, this plus the detail that it may belong to

Remove Search.searchipdf2.com in full. Follow the Search.searchipdf2.com browser hijacker removal instructions given at the end of the article.
Polarity Technologies, known to create potentially unsafe products, makes Search.watchtvnow.co browser hijacker a program which is indirectly dangerous for your computer and if you encounter it, removal is recommended.

Remove Search.watchtvnow.co PUP from Your Machine

If you are convinced that Search.watchtvnow.co is dangerous for your computer and want to remove it, we have created the removal instructions underneath that will help you achieve your goal. If you want to remove the Search.watchtvnow.co hijacker manually from your browser and PC, you can try it by following the first two steps. However, be advised that these programs tend to stay persistent on victim computers and for their removal to be able to be done, a more advanced approach is often necessary. According to tech experts, the best approach towards removing PUPs, like Search.watchtvnow.co automatically is to download an advanced anti-malware software, the main purpose of which is to scan for and remove all the files and objects, related to Search.watchtvnow.co hijacker automatically so that you eliminate the chance of the program showing ads on your computer.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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

How to Remove from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove

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 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 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 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 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 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall 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 :

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 . 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 . 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 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 . 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 malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, 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 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 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 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


Remove 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 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 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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