What is Search.watchtvnow.co? And how does it work?
Search.watchtvnow.co, also called Watch Tv Now extension, is a browser extension that supposedly works as a search engine. It is created by Polarity Technologies Ltd – a shady company known to develop unwanted programs. Search.watchtvnow.co claims to allow users to watch TV online. It provides quick links to TVNews, Netflix, ESPN GO, Hulu, as well as links to News, Local Weather and many more.
Once installed, Search.watchtvnow.co will change the default home page, search provider and new tab page of the browser. Note that these changes are done without your consent which is why security experts categorize it as a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program. This useless search tool is also capable of altering shortcuts, adding other shady toolbars and add-ons as well as creating Registry entries which allow it to control the affected browser more. This browser hijacker will also cause redirects from time to time to some unknown websites. It also generates and injects sponsored contents like banners, pop-ups, in-text links, etc. This only shows that Search.watchtvnow.co is getting revenue from the sponsored contents it displays. Moreover, it also spies on all your browsing activities in order to obtain browsing-related data such as search queries, the websites you often visit, IP address, browser type, OS version, ISP and so on. The harvested data may be used and shared with third parties, allowing this browser hijacker and affiliated sites to bring in more pesky advertisements.
How is Search.watchtvnow.co distributed online?
Search.watchtvnow.co is distributed using several methods but its developers mostly use software bundling. It is added as one of the optional programs in software bundles together with other unknown programs. It could end up getting installed in your computer along with the other programs in the package if you’re not careful. Thus, you must use the Advanced or Custom setup when installing software bundles, else you will have to deal with browser hijackers and unwanted programs like Search.watchtvnow.co.
Refer to the removal instructions given below to delete Search.watchtvnow.co from your browser and computer.
Step 1: You need to close the browser infected with the browser hijacker. And if you can’t close it manually, you can close it using the Task Manager instead. Tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and open the Task Manager.
Step 2: Next, look for the process of your browser, right click on it and select End task or End process to close it.
Step 3: Afterwards, tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “appwiz.cpl” in the field and press Enter to open the Programs and Features in Control Panel.
Step 4: From the list of programs installed, look for any programs that could be related to Search.watchtvnow.co or any suspicious program you don’t remember installing under the list of installed programs and once you’ve found it, 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 hosts file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Search.watchtvnow.co.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Now you have to flush the DNS cache of your computer. To do so, right click on the Start button and click on Command Prompt (administrator). From there, type the “ipconfig /flushdns” command and hit Enter to flush the DNS.
Step 7: After that, restart your computer and then open your browsers and reset them back to their default state.
- Open Google Chrome, then tap the Alt + F keys.
- After that, click on Settings.
- Next, scroll down until you see the Advanced option, once you see it, click on it.
- After clicking the Advanced option, go to the “Restore and clean up option and click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults” option to reset Google Chrome.
- Now restart Google Chrome.
- Open Mozilla Firefox 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.
- Next, click the wrench icon for Settings.
- Then click Internet Options.
- After that, go to the Advanced tab.
- From there, click the Reset button. This will reset Internet Explorer’s settings to their default condition.
- Now click OK to save the changes made.
- Restart your computer.
Step 8: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 9: 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 10: Close the File Explorer and empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of this browser hijacker from your computer 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 it.
- 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 Safe Mode 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.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.