What is Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt or Searchencrypt.com is internet search engine, that, according to its developers, prioritises users’s privacy while web search. Company, that developed this site is based in Limassol, Cyprus. Search Encrypt uses AES-256 encryption to encode search terms, and creates short-living key to encrypt user’s queries. Searchencrypt.com can be used independently, or along with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox add-ons called Search Encrypt and Privacy Toolkit. Although, website seems to be legitimate, many users complain, that extensions are installed without their consent. Search Encrypt gets its revenue from ads, and advertising policy, as well as encryption technology are not transparent. These facts give a birth to concerns about its safety and privacy. In this tutorial we show how to completely remove Search Encrypt and restore preferred homepage and search engine settings.

How Search Encrypt infected your PC

Search Encrypt is promoted via Google Adsense and along with free software installers. It uses aggressive advertising and phishing landing pages with titles like:

Stop Big Companies From Tracking Your Searches
Prevent Your Searches From Being Tracked
Recommended: Stop Search Tracking

Search Encrypt can also be bundled with various free applications, such as converters, downloaders, media players. You can see examples of adware promotions on the pictures below.

On this page you can find manual removal instructions and tools, that will remove Search Encrypt from your computer, or prevent infection.

Download Removal Tool for Windows

Download Removal Tool

compatible with microsoft

To remove Search Encrypt completely, we recommend you to use WiperSoft AntiSpyware from WiperSoft. It detects and removes all files, folders and registry keys of Search Encrypt and several millions of other adware, hijackers, toolbars.

Download Removal Tool for Mac

Download ComboCleaner

To remove Search Encrypt completely, we recommend you to use Combo Cleaner. It can help you remove files, folders and registry keys of Search Encrypt and uninstall hijackers, toolbars and unwanted add-ons from Safari browser. Trial version of Combo Cleaner offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Remove Search Encrypt manually for free

Here is the manual step-by-step tutorial for full Search Encrypt removal from your computer. This works 99% and was checked with the latest versions of Search Encrypt installer on operating systems with the latest updates and browser versions.

Note: Search Encrypt can be installed as Google Chrome extension as Administrator (you may see Installed by enterprise policy inscription near it), and this will not allow removal. Therefore, before starting removal process, perform these actions:

  1. Start the Command Prompt by clicking the Start menu button and typing command prompt (or just searching for “command prompt” in Windows 10 search field). Right click on the Command Prompt result and choose Run as Administrator.
  2. start command prompt as administrator

  3. Type in and execute the following commands:


    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers"
    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy"
    gpupdate /force

  4. update group policy in windows

Remove Search Encrypt from Control Panel

To start removing Search Encrypt you should uninstall it using Control Panel. It can be present by different names – “Search Encrypt” or “Privacy Toolkit”. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use IObit Uninstaller Pro to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Remove Search Encrypt from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. Search Encrypt might have an Uninstaller.
  3. Otherwise, drag Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Remove Search Encrypt from Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Choose Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Find Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove Search Encrypt from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit and click Uninstall.

Remove Search Encrypt from Windows 8:

  1. Hover mouse pointer to the bottom-right corner to see Menu.
  2. Click Search.
  3. After that click Apps.
  4. Then Control Panel.
  5. Click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  6. Find Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit, click Uninstall.

Remove Search Encrypt from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall Search Encrypt from Windows 10

Way one
  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the System tile.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit in the list.
  5. Click on it and then click Uninstall button near it.
Way two (classic)
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Programs and Features.
  3. Locate Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Cannot uninstall Search Encrypt

In some cases, Search Encrypt won’t uninstall and gives you the message, that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall Search Encrypt. Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing Search Encrypt folder and files. This happens, because process or service does not allow you to do it. In this case, I will recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes AntiMalware or uninstall Search Encrypt in Safe Mode. To boot in Safe Mode do the following:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. While it starts booting type F8 button.
  3. This will open Advanced Boot Options menu.
  4. Choose Safe Mode and wait until Windows loads.
  5. Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a program and remove Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit

>> See detailed instructions and video tutorial on how to boot in Safe Mode

and for Mac:

If you can’t uninstall Search Encrypt using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of Search Encrypt. Follow instructions below:

  1. Download free AppCleaner.
  2. Drag Search Encrypt from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
  3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with Search Encrypt.
  4. Click Delete button.

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling Search Encrypt from Control Panel often does not bring desired effect. It sometimes have browser extension and it may still be active in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove Search Encrypt extension from your browsers manually.

Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Click Extensions tab.
  3. Find Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit extensions.
  4. Click Uninstall button to remove it.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://extensions/.
  3. Find Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit add-ons.
  4. Click the trash can icon to remove them.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:addons.
  3. Choose Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit extensions.
  4. Click Disable or Remove button.
  5. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

Note: There is no feature to remove browser extensions from browser in latest version of Internet Explorer. To remove Search Encrypt from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling program from Control Panel. To disable Search Encrypt, please, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu Manage Add-ons.
  4. Select Toolbars and Extensions.
  5. Click Disable Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

Generally, Search Encrypt does not install in Opera browser however you can always double check. Do the following:

  1. Start Opera browser.
  2. Go to Tools > Extensions > Manage Extensions.
  3. Find Search Encrypt or Privacy Toolkit extensions.
  4. Click Uninstall button.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

Search Encrypt installs search engine (Searchencrypt.com), that hijacks your browsers. Here is instruction to reset your browsers homepage, new tab and search engine to default values.

Reset Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data button.
  4. In opened window click Remove Now button to remove data stored by websites in Safari.
  5. Go to the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences.
  6. Click the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.
  7. In the menu click Develop and select Empty Caches from this menu.
  8. Again, go to Safari menu and choose Clear History….
  9. Choose to clear all history and click Clear History button.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://settings/.
  3. Scroll down and find Show advanced settings link.
  4. Click on it and scroll down to the bottom again.
  5. Click Reset browser settings button and click Reset to confirm.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:support.
  3. Click Reset Firefox… button.
  4. Click Reset Firefox to confirm.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu choose Internet options.
  4. Click Advanced tab.
  5. Click Reset button.
  6. Choose Delete personal settings and click Reset.

Opera Browser:

  1. Close Opera and open command prompt from the start menu.
  2. Type following command del %AppData%\Opera\Opera\operaprefs.ini
  3. Start Opera.

How to block redirects and pop-ups from Search Encrypt

adguard pop-up blocker

Search Encrypt redirects, in most cases, are caused by a program installed on your PC or add-on installed in browsers. However, sometimes it can appear on a clean computer when visiting malicious website, using advertising script. Also, apps that generate “Search Encrypt” are themselves installed from pop-ups. To protect your PC and browsers from phishing websites, pop-up ads, banners, malicious scripts it is recommended to use AdGuard. Download free trial here:

Download AdGuard for Windows Download AdGuard for Mac

Alternative way to remove adware browser extensions and reset browser settings

avast browser cleanup For safe and effective browser extension removal use avast! Browser Cleanup utility. Run it with administrator privileges and remove all extensions with bad rating including related to Search Encrypt. You can also reset your browser settings for each of your browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.

Download Browser Cleanup

Cleaning browsers shortcuts

shortcut cleaner You can clean your browser shortcuts manually right-clicking on your browser icon, choosing “Properties” and removing hijacker address from “Target” field (leave just the path to your browser). However it is easier to use free Shortcut Cleaner from BleepingComputer. Download it here – its FREE:

Download Shortcut Cleaner

Final tips

Be careful surfing the internet and downloading software, as programs like Search Encrypt may become a real headache as they are hard to remove and break your privacy. To keep safe from such threats we recommend you always use antivirus and one of anti-malware programs available on the market. One of the best anti-spyware and anti-malware programs is SpyHunter 5. It can protect your PC from threats, like Search Encrypt.

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