Remove PlayCenter Search Redirect

Can’t Remove PlayCenter Search hijacker virus? This page includes detailed PlayCenter Search Removal instructions!

PlayCenter Search app is promoted as a useful app which finds the most interesting and popular online games. This browser extension, however, is just a pretender. Security experts have classified it as a browser hijacker. Following a successful installation, the PlayCenter Search hijacker takes control over your favorite browser. This app has full control over it. The hijacker uses your browser as an ad-displaying program. You must have noticed the increased number of online adverts you are exposed to, haven’t you? Well, the hijacker is behind this ad bombardment. The PlayCenter Search utility is ad-supported. Basically, when you click on a commercial displayed by the hijacker, its owners will get paid. What do you think, will they let you click on their competitors’ ads? Of course, not! The hijacker blocks such content and replaces it with its own. Additionally, it injects extra banners and in-text ads on every website you open. This malicious tool will flood you with commercials. It will ruin your browsing experience. With every passing day, you will see more and more ads. Soon, your browser will start to freeze and crash. The hijacker is so intrusive that your browser will not be able to keep up with ad-stream. The PlayCenter Search hijacker will make you avoid your own computer. Unfortunately, these obvious issues are barely scratching the tip of the iceberg. There is something much darker going on behind your back. The hijacker uses its admin privileges to spy on you. This furtive utility is never idle. It lurks in the shadows and collects information about your online activities. Which websites you visit, what search inquiries you make, what links you follow. It knows everything. Even the Incognito mode of your browser cannot hide you from its watchful eye. The collected information is categorized and sent to the owners of the hijacker. These people did not hesitate to invade your computer. You cannot expect them to keep the collected information for themselves. They sell every bit of data to third parties. As you can see, the PlayCenter Search hijacker is quite dangerous. It threatens your privacy. You, however, can put an end to this madness. The hijacker is removable. Find its lurking spot and delete the parasite ASAP!

Remove PlayCenter Search

How did I get infected with?

The PlayCenter Search utility has an official download. Yet, we won’t be surprised if you cannot recall installing this parasite. The hijacker usually hitches a ride with other software. We are talking about software bundling. To prevent unwanted apps from being installed on your computer, opt for the Advanced installation option. Under it, you will be presented with a list of all extra programs that are about to be installed. Make sure you know what you are approving on board. Read the Terms and Conditions/End User License Agreement (EULA). If you spot anything out of the ordinary, abort the installation immediately. Also, bear in mind that you can deselect all extras and still install the program you originally planned to set up. If a description states otherwise, you are probably dealing with corrupted software copy. Download your programs from reliable sources only. And don’t take anything for granted. Scan everything with a trustworthy anti-virus app. Other malware distribution methods include torrents, spam emails, malvertising, and bogus software updates. All those methods rely on your carelessness. Be vigilant and doubting instead. A little extra caution goes a long, long way.

Why is this dangerous?

The PlayCenter Search hijacker should be removed at once. This app ruins your browsing experience. Yet, it is not a mere nuisance. Given enough time, it can cause harm. The hijacker does not verify the ads it displays so freely. Neither does it check who the advertisers behind them are. All sorts of crooks take advantage of the situation. They use the hijacker to spread malicious adverts. You may try to avoid the ads. The hijacker, however, is programmed to trick its victims into clicking. At the most unexpected times, it will open pop-ups right under the cursor of your mouse. What is worse, it will hide advertisements among the search results you are provided with. The PlayCenter Search hijacker controls your browser. It can inject fake entries among all search results. It doesn’t matter which search engine you use, the hijacker can modify the results. The sponsored entries, however, are not marked as such. You can never be sure which results are organic and which are promoted. And as all ads provided by the hijacker, these, too, are not verified. Dodgy websites pay hefty sums for their links to be displayed. With the hijacker on board, you re very likely to end up on scam and infected websites. Do not let this scenario to unfold. Remove the PlayCenter Search hijacker before it is too late!

The PlayCenter Search infection is specifically designed to make money to its creators one way or another. The specialists from various antivirus companies like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton, Avast, ESET, etc. advise that there is no harmless virus.

If you perform exactly the steps below you should be able to remove the PlayCenter Search infection. Please, follow the procedures in the exact order. Please, consider to print this guide or have another computer at your disposal. You will NOT need any USB sticks or CDs.

STEP 1: Track down PlayCenter Search related processes in the computer memory

STEP 2: Locate PlayCenter Search startup location

STEP 3: Delete PlayCenter Search traces from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer

STEP 4: Undo the damage done by the virus

STEP 1: Track down PlayCenter Search related processes in the computer memory

  • Open your Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys simultaneously
  • Carefully review all processes and stop the suspicious ones.


  • Write down the file location for later reference.

Step 2: Locate PlayCenter Search startup location

Reveal Hidden Files

  • Open any folder
  • Click on “Organize” button
  • Choose “Folder and Search Options”
  • Select the “View” tab
  • Select “Show hidden files and folders” option
  • Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”
  • Click “Apply” and “OK” button

Clean PlayCenter Search virus from the windows registry

  • Once the operating system loads press simultaneously the Windows Logo Button and the R key.


  • A dialog box should open. Type “Regedit”


Depending on your OS (x86 or x64) navigate to:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] or
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] or

  • and delete the display Name: [RANDOM]

delete backgroundcontainer

  • Then open your explorer and navigate to: %appdata% folder and delete the malicious executable.

Clean your HOSTS file to avoid unwanted browser redirection

Navigate to %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/host

If you are hacked, there will be foreign IPs addresses connected to you at the bottom. Take a look below:


STEP 3 : Clean PlayCenter Search traces from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer

  • Open Google Chrome

  • In the Main Menu, select Tools then Extensions
  • Remove the PlayCenter Search by clicking on the little recycle bin
  • Reset Google Chrome by Deleting the current user to make sure nothing is left behind

disable PlayCenter Search from chrome

  • Open Mozilla Firefox

  • Press simultaneously Ctrl+Shift+A
  • Disable the unwanted Extension
  • Go to Help
  • Then Troubleshoot information
  • Click on Reset Firefox

remove PlayCenter Search from firefox

  • Open Internet Explorer

  • On the Upper Right Corner Click on the Gear Icon
  • Click on Internet options
  • go to Toolbars and Extensions and disable the unknown extensions
  • Select the Advanced tab and click on Reset

remove PlayCenter Search from ie

  • Restart Internet Explorer

Step 4: Undo the damage done by PlayCenter Search

This particular Virus may alter your DNS settings.

Attention! this can break your internet connection. Before you change your DNS settings to use Google Public DNS for PlayCenter Search, be sure to write down the current server addresses on a piece of paper.

To fix the damage done by the virus you need to do the following.

  • Click the Windows Start button to open the Start Menu, type control panel in the search box and select Control Panel in the results displayed above.
  • go to Network and Internet
  • then Network and Sharing Center
  • then Change Adapter Settings
  • Right-click on your active internet connection and click properties. Under the Networking tab, find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Left click on it and then click on properties. Both options should be automatic! By default it should be set to “Obtain an IP address automatically” and the second one to “Obtain DNS server address automatically!” If they are not just change them, however if you are part of a domain network you should contact your Domain Administrator to set these settings, otherwise the internet connection will break!!!

You must clean all your browser shortcuts as well. To do that you need to

  • Right click on the shortcut of your favorite browser and then select properties.


  • in the target field remove PlayCenter Search argument and then apply the changes.
  • Repeat that with the shortcuts of your other browsers.
  • Check your scheduled tasks to make sure the virus will not download itself again.

Please, have in mind that once you are infected with a single virus, it compromises your whole system or network and let all doors wide open for many other infections. To make sure manual removal is successful, we recommend to use a free scanner of any professional antimalware program to identify possible registry leftovers or temporary files.

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