What is PlayCenter Home? And how does it work?
PlayCenter Home is another browser extension for Google Chrome browser. It is promoted as a program “for a quick games click-and-visit experience”. This may attract users who are fond of online games. Its number of users have reached the number of 179, 992 at the time of writing – obviously, these number of users didn’t have any clue that PlayCenter Home is actually a potentially unwanted program and a browser hijacker. Even though this program isn’t considered malicious, but that does not make it safe to use as it actually exposes your computer to potential threats online.
If you install this extension on your Google Chrome browser, it will alter your browser’s settings without your permission. Such alterations applies to your default home page, search engine and new tab URL so that the next time you open Chrome, you won’t have any choice but to use PlayCenter Home. And if you perform any searches using this extension, all your searches will be redirected first to http://play.eanswers.com and then to Yahoo search results. According to researchers, although the search results are from Yahoo, they’re all modified so the results are not really reliable as majority of the search results are composed of sponsored content instead of results related to your search query. This is not uncommon for browser hijackers like PlayCenter Home since they get their income by displaying sponsored content. Be careful though as some of the contents it display may redirect you to unknown and dubious web pages which is why it was pointed out that PlayCenter Home exposes your computer to potential threats online. It may redirect you to gambling sites, phishing sites, suspicious movie streaming sites and the likes.
How is PlayCenter Home distributed online?
PlayCenter Home is distributed in the Chrome Web Store. However, that’s not the only distribution technique it uses, as per experienced specialists, it might also be promoted by pop-ups and other kinds of ads. So users can also install this extension with just a single click on an advertisement. Moreover, if you don’t remember ever installing this program then it’s possible that it may have entered your computer when you install a software bundle. The hijack occurs when you install a software bundle using only the quick setup instead of the Advanced or Custom one. So the next time you install a software bundle, make sure you do so using the Custom setup as it allows you to get rid of an extra programs added in the bundle.
To remove PlayCenter Home from your computer, refer to the removal instructions below.
Step 1: Open your Google Chrome browser and click the wrench icon. And from the drop-down menu click on Tools and then select Extensions.
Step 2: Under the Extensions tab, select PlayCenter Home Extension and other suspicious browser extensions related to it and then click on the Trash icon.
Step 3: Click on Remove button from the confirmation dialog box.
Step 4: Reset Google Chrome. To do that, click the three stripes icon located at the upper-right corner of your screen. And then select Settings.
Step 5: under Settings, look for Show advanced settings at the bottom of the page and click on it.
Step 6: Then click on the Reset browser settings button.
Step 7: After that, a dialog box pops up, click the Reset button to Reset Chrome.
Step 8: After you reset Chrome, enable the Phishing and Malware Protection in Chrome to prevent browser hijackers like PlayCenter Home Extension from infecting your computer again in the future. To do that, click Settings once again.
Step 9: Select the Show advanced settings again.
Step 10: Go to the Privacy section and check the Enable phishing and malware protection option.
Step 11: Restart Chrome and tap the Win + R keys to open Run and then type in appwiz.cpl to open Control Panel to uninstall any suspicious program related to the browser hijacker.
Step 12: Look for PlayCenter Home under the list of installed programs. Once you’ve found it, uninstall it.
Step 13: Close the Control Panel and tap the Win + E keys to open File Explorer. Navigate to the following directories and look for the adware installer like the software bundle it came with as well as other suspicious files and delete them.
Step 14: Close the File Explorer and empty your Recycle Bin.
To completely remove PlayCenter Home and its related files from your computer, follow the advanced removal guide below.
Perform a full system scan using SpyRemover Pro. 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 explorer http://www.fixmypcfree.com/install/spyremoverpro
A single space must be in between explorer and http. Click OK.
- A dialog box will be displayed by Internet Explorer. Click Run to begin downloading the program. Installation will start automatically once download is done.
- Click OK to launch it.
- Run SpyRemover Pro and perform a full system scan.
- After all the infections are identified, click REMOVE ALL.