© 2019 IOP Publishing Ltd.Under varying certain conditions, different extraction methods (acidic solvent, mechanical and ultrasonic-assisted extractions) for improving the photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are proposed by modifying sensitizers obtained from cornelian cherry (Cornus mas L.). The structural, optical and electrical characteristics of the samples are analyzed with Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), UV-vis absorbance and the current-voltage measurements, respectively. FT-IR spectra of extracted dyes demonstrate the spectrum of anthocyanin. The UV-vis absorption spectra of the dye-loaded photoanodes are strongly dependent on the nature of extraction. Compared with of that of cells based on mechanical press and ultrasonic-assisted methods, a remarkable increase in the efficiency of the cell based on the acidic solvent extraction method is found. The modification of the sensitizer predominantly enhances the short circuit current. Among the extraction methods, the citric acid based solvent extraction is verified to be superior to others in terms of power conversion efficiency. Addressing this point provides a clear pathway to boost the efficiency from 0.47% to 0.98%. Our report opens a path for utilization of a novel bio-based/natural dye extracted with different methods as sensitizers for DSSCs, which might potentially improve the performance of DSSCs by determining a suitable method to extract dye from fruits.