Can’t Remove PowerfulSearch.net hijacker virus? This page includes detailed PowerfulSearch.net Removal instructions!
PowerfulSearch.net certainly doesn’t appear to be dangerous. At first glance, this program seems like the perfect search engine. That’s exactly what hackers want you to be thinking, though. Despite all promises to improve your online experience, PowerfulSearch.net isn’t going to. This is a classic browser hijacker that lies to your face and modifies your settings. Of course, all shenanigans happen completely behind your back. No infection will take your opinions into consideration. Thus, your own browsing experience ends up hijacked. You are no longer in control of your own browsers and you’re in for quite some trouble. Hijackers are a very persistent, irritating threat. They get activated immediately after installation is complete. First thing you will notice are changes in your browsers. PowerfulSearch.net replaces your search engine and homepage with its own domain. Keep in mind this is a malicious domain. As mentioned, the hijacker was never meant to enhance your browsing experience. If anything, its one goal is to help hackers gain dubious profit online. Now that your search engine and homepage are altered, you’re stuck with the virus. That means you will only be seeing the search results PowerfulSearch.net provides. Unfortunately, these web links are unreliable. A link generated by a virus simply can’t be trusted. Unless for some reason you’re trying to worsen your situation further, stay away from what PowerfulSearch.net generates. The virus completely takes over your browsers. It adds an extension or a plugin to all of them and forces unsafe web links on you. In addition, the hijacker might start generating sponsored pop-up ads as well. We’re talking discounts, coupons, various offers and deals, price comparisons, “best” prices. Long story short, you may end up bombarded by useless, annoying commercials. Make sure you stay away from all of them as those as just as untrustworthy as the search results. The virus is even able to generate some fake software updates. As you can see, PowerfulSearch.net shouldn’t be tolerated. It should be deleted for good in order to prevent further harm. This pest redirects you to unknown pages, displays potentially corrupted ads and slows your PC speed to a crawl. To top it all, the hijacker spies on your browsing history too.
How did I get infected with?
Did you install the virus on purpose? We assume not. Hijackers use the most popular virus distribution methods online. One notoriously famous trick involves program bundles. Therefore, it’s very likely that’s how this nuisance slithered itself onto your PC. If you often download bundled programs off of the Internet, you should know how dangerous that is. You may fall victim to all kinds of parasites in the blink of an eye. Remember, hijackers aren’t among the most vicious infections roaming the Web. There are plenty of Trojans and ransomware out there so keep an eye out for intruders. When installing freeware/shareware bundles, always pay attention. It is up to you whether a sneaky “bonus” virus would get downloaded as well. Check out all programs one by one and watch out for malware. This is much more time-consuming than having to fight some obnoxious infection afterwards. Save yourself the hassle. We’d recommend that you opt for the Advanced or Custom option in the Setup Wizard. Also, go through the Terms and Conditions or EULA (End User License Agreement) as well. It is in your best interest to protect your machine from parasites instead of removing malware later on. Put your security first and be careful while surfing the Web.
Why is this dangerous?
PowerfulSearch.net works with all your preferred browsers. It successfully hijacks Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. To put it mildly, your online activities are now destroyed. The virus starts making unauthorized modifications of your browser settings. Apart from the extension it installs, you might witness some additional toolbars too. Once again, your permission is irrelevant. What matters here is the illegitimate profit hackers gain through the pay-per-click mechanism. Crooks boost web traffic to some specific pages while harassing you constantly. They make effortless money by injecting your browsers with sponsored links. Do not get tempted into clicking any of the deceptive search results displayed by the hijacker. Same thing goes for the product deals and other pop-ups you might stumble across. Get rid of this nuisance before it causes you some irreversible harm. You will find our detailed manual removal guide down below.
How to Remove PowerfulSearch.net virus
The PowerfulSearch.net 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 PowerfulSearch.net 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.
Please, keep in mind that SpyHunter’s scanner tool is free. To remove the PowerfulSearch.net infection, you need to purchase its full version.
STEP 1: Track down PowerfulSearch.net 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 PowerfulSearch.net 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 PowerfulSearch.net 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”
- WARNING! be very careful when editing the Microsoft Windows Registry as this may render the system broken.
Depending on your OS (x86 or x64) navigate to:
- and delete the display Name: [RANDOM]
- 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 PowerfulSearch.net traces from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer
Open Google Chrome
- In the Main Menu, select Tools then Extensions
- Remove the PowerfulSearch.net by clicking on the little recycle bin
- Reset Google Chrome by Deleting the current user to make sure nothing is left behind
Open Mozilla Firefox
- Press simultaneously Ctrl+Shift+A
- Disable the unwanted Extension
- Go to Help
- Then Troubleshoot information
- Click on Reset 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
- Restart Internet Explorer
Step 4: Undo the damage done by PowerfulSearch.net
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 PowerfulSearch.net, 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 PowerfulSearch.net 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.
How to Permanently Remove PowerfulSearch.net Virus (automatic) Removal Guide
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.