SearchConverterz – a browser hijacker that can alter and manage web browser’s settings without user’s permission 



SearchConverterz is the name of a free browser-based app that can be downloaded from a Chrome web store[1] as a “useful” Chrome extension. However, once downloaded it alters web browser’s settings, registers user’s search queries, takes over search traffic, and initiates other advertising activities.

Its sole purpose is to generate income for the developers regardless of the users’ needs. For this purpose, it is actively distributed via misleading push notification pop-ups and freeware bundles. Therefore, the SearchConverterz virus has been attributed to the group of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and browser hijackers. 

It is not possible not to notice the SearchConverterz hijack. If it infiltrates the machine as an optional download of freeware, it sets or as a default start page and sends user’s search queries to Yahoo (sponsored version). The extension is Chrome-based, though some people reported that they have accidentally installed this hijacker on Mozilla Firefox and Safari browsers. 

Name SearchConverterz
Type Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP), browser hijacker
Promoted as  Useful extension for Chrome
Distribution It can be downloaded directly from the Chrome Web Store. However, most people downloaded it accidentally via freeware bundles or misleading click-to-download ads
Search site promoted,,
Symptoms Chrome’s settings altered without authorization. Start page, search provider, new tab window, and other settings changed. Search results contain sponsored links, multiple ads injected into random websites. Web browser runs slower, randomly freezes
Removal In order to get rid of the SearchConverterz browser hijacker scan the system with a robust anti-malware program to delete unwanted programs altogether. Those who prefer manual PUP removal can use a free guide submitted by our security team (at the end of the article)
Fix malware damage Browser hijackers are non-malicious if we compare them to spyware, ransomware, or Trojans. However, even after elimination, they leave the footprints within Windows Registries, thus it’s advisable to optimize the system with a repair tool, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Those who have been considering to install this app should rather make a small research on it before doing that. Based on the[2] research, SearchConverterz malware is identical to SearchZoneSealoidSpinyon, and many other Chrome extensions. Each of them is basically used to push sponsored search site and hijack the web traffic. 

Although it cannot affect the system severely, the processes that it initiates a considered potentially dangerous. First of all, users should not underestimate the fact that the SearchConverterz extension collaborates with unspecified third-parties to serve users with sponsored advertisements and redirect them to the domains that belong to those parties. Such a marketing technique is not illicit in its nature and is applied by many developers. Nevertheless, no one takes the responsibility of the SearchConverterz redirects and cannot grant that the content behind its ads and links is reliable. 

SearchConverterz malware downloads
SearchConverterz browser hijacker can be promoted via misleading pop-ups

SearchConverterz malware downloads
SearchConverterz browser hijacker can be promoted via misleading pop-ups

It has been noticed that this browser hijacker displays Yahoo-based search results. Nevertheless, the search seems to be sponsored. No matter what search query the user enters the search bar, the related search displays irrelevant banner ads on the right side of the search results. Besides, random websites contain hyperlinks within texts. It is not recommended to click on any of them to prevent landing on malware-infected phishing websites. As stated in the EULA[3] of the extension:

Any use by you of Third Party Content is subject to the terms and conditions of the Service Provider or the applicable third party. You acknowledge that we have no control over and assume no responsibility for Third Party Content. You assume all responsibility and risk in connection with your use of Third Party Content and we hereby disclaim any and all liability to you or any third party in connection thereto. We have no obligation to examine, review or monitor Third Party Content and are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, appropriateness or legality of Third Party Content.

Thus, if you click on any content represented by this extension and experience SearchConverterz virus redirects to dangerous websites, it will be your own responsibility. Thus, be responsible and rely on reputable search providers that filter the content that they display and ensure online security. 

Experts recommend people remove SearchConverterz extension to prevent privacy violations. The extension injects tracking cookies to the web browser and keeps recording the following information:

  • type of browser
  • type of the user’s device
  • language preferences
  • time stamps
  • clicks
  • visited pages
  • Search logs
  • operating system
  • utilized internet service provider
  • IP address
  • Contact information

Along with the SearchConverterz removal, you will eliminate the cookies that harvest your browsing history. Although such information is not extremely sensitive, third-parties can misuse it for marketing purposes and the ads that emerge on your web browser may be more seductive. 

SearchConverterz is a browser hijacker that may display sponsored content and redirect people to misleading websites

SearchConverterz is a browser hijacker that may display sponsored content and redirect people to misleading websites

In general, this application causes more problems than benefits. Its real service is not clear at all, so if you have accidentally installed it, eliminate the malware, then root out the extension, and restore your web browser’s settings. If you need assistance with the SearchConverterz virus removal, scroll down to the end of this post. We have prepared a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial explaining how to deal with browser hijackers. 

Browser hijackers usually do not ask users permission to change browser’s settings explicitly

This PUP can be downloaded from Chrome web store purposely believing that Chrome’s extension will improve the web browsing experience. However, direct downloads of suchlike apps are not very common. In most of the cases, people install them accidentally by hitting the Next button during freeware installation. 

Browser hijackers increase their users’ rates with the help of bundling[4] distribution. The installer of a hijacker is added to the main installer of a free application (converters, players, web browsers, games, etc.) in exchange for a commission fee. Additional installers are usually disclosed on the installation setup boxes; however, only if the user opts for the Advanced or Custom installation technique. 

SearchConverterz PUP
SearchConverterz belongs to the group of potentially unwanted programs since it is mainly spread via freeware bundles

SearchConverterz PUP
SearchConverterz belongs to the group of potentially unwanted programs since it is mainly spread via freeware bundles

Thus, to prevent bundled installers, carefully select freeware to install and monitor the installation process. Read all terms, conditions, and Privacy Policy. Most importantly, do not skip any windows to spot additional installers and unmark the checkboxes saying that you agree with the installation of add-ons or extensions that settle down on web browsers and alter settings. 

Eliminate SearchConverterz malware with a reliable AV tool completely

SearchConverterz removal can be accomplished in two ways, i.e. either manually or automatically. Both methods are fully functional. However, malware elimination with a reliable AV tool is highly recommended in order to ensure the full elimination of suspicious applications. 

SearchConverterz hijack
SearchConverterz virus alters web browser’s settings to take control over people’s web browsing activities

SearchConverterz hijack
SearchConverterz virus alters web browser’s settings to take control over people’s web browsing activities

If this extension has been installed on your machine without your permission, there’s a high risk that your PC is heavily infected by PUPs. Thus, a full scan will do the trick. Besides, experts stress the importance of a proper system’s maintenance. Malware is capable of altering Windows Registries and leaving related files in a random system’s location. These unwanted entries may eventually cache the system and trigger malfunctions. Thus, we recommend repairing the machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool.  

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users’ data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.