What is Search.hinstantconverternow.com? And how does it work?
Search.hinstantconverternow.com is yet another browser extension released by Polarity Technologies Ltd. – the infamous company known for creating dozens of unwanted programs. Also known as Instant Converter Now, this questionable program offers a file conversion feature that allows users to convert various files into several formats. It might look like a useful browser extension but you must know that it is actually deemed as a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program. Although it isn’t malicious, Search.hinstantconverternow.com can still cause problems on your computer if installed.
If installed, this browser hijacker will set the default start page and new tab URL to hxxp://search.hinstantconverternow.com without your permission. And when you try to search for keywords or queries using it, it will generate search results from Yahoo. Although Yahoo is definitely a legitimate search tool, that doesn’t mean that Search.hinstantconverternow.com is also one. In fact, you will see tons of sponsored contents and links in the search results that outnumbers the related results to your search query. And even though the rerouting tendencies of this browser hijacker is the most threatening it can be to your computer safety, Polarity Technologies Ltd. does not take responsibility for any damages that Search.hinstantconverternow.com might cause as you browse the web using it. It is clearly stated in their EULA found on their official web page:
“Polarity further disclaims any warranty related to your Use of the Software. You acknowledge and agree that you assume all the responsibility and risk for your Use of the Software and the results and performance thereof and your use of any Third-Party Software. <…>
IN NO EVENT WILL POLARITY, <…> BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DAMAGES FOR LOST DATA, LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF GOODWILL, LOST REVENUE, SERVICE INTERRUPTION, COMPUTER DAMAGE, OR SYSTEM FAILURE <…>”
Aside from sudden redirects to suspicious websites, this browser hijacker could also monitor your activities over the web so it can collect information about your browsing activities. The information harvested includes your IP address, search query, browsing history and many more. The information will be used to bring more customized and personalized sponsored content to increase its revenue. Thus, there is no point in keeping this unwanted program installed in your computer.
How is Search.hinstantconverternow.com distributed online?
As expected, Search.hinstantconverternow.com is distributed via freeware and shareware package found on free file sharing sites. Along with other unwanted programs, this browser hijacker is included in the free software package. This is why security experts always recommend users to use the Advanced or Custom setup whenever they install these kinds of packages rather than the usual quick setup.
Refer to the removal guide laid out below to delete Search.hinstantconverternow.com from your computer.
Step 1: Start the removal process by closing all the browsers infected with Search.hinstantconverternow.com. If you’re having a hard time closing them, you can close them using the Task Manager just tap on Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Step 2: After you open the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the infected browser’s process and end it.
Step 3: Then close the Task Manager and open Control Panel – to do so, tap the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 4: After pulling up Control Panel, from the list of installed programs, look for Search.hinstantconverternow.com or any suspicious program you don’t remember installing and then Uninstall it.
Step 5: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the host’s file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Search.hinstantconverternow.com.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Reset all your browsers to default to their default state.
- Launch Google Chrome, press Alt + F, move to More tools, and click Extensions.
- Look for Search.hinstantconverternow.com or any other unwanted add-ons, click the Recycle Bin button, and choose Remove.
- Restart Google Chrome, then tap Alt + F, and select Settings.
- Navigate to the On Startup section at the bottom.
- Select “Open a specific page or set of pages”.
- Click the More actions button next to the hijacker and click Remove.
- Open the browser and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Tap Alt + T and select Internet options.
- Click the General tab and then overwrite the URL under the homepage section.
- Click OK to save the changes.
Step 7: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated to the browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Close the File Explorer.
Step 10: Empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of Search.hinstantconverternow.com as well as all the file residues it left behind.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.