What is m.smartsrch.com?
m.smartsrch.com is a fake web search engine that supposedly enhances the browsing experience by generating improved results. Judging on appearance alone, m.smartsrch.com may seem legitimate, however, this site is promoted using a browser-hijacking application called SearchFunctions. Furthermore, it continually gathers various information relating to web browsing activity.
SearchFunctions targets Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily assigning the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to m.smartsrch.com or searchfunctions.com (which redirects to m.smartsrch.com). Although they may seem insignificant, users are unable to revert these changes.
Research shows that SearchFunctions reassigns browser settings when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, as long as SearchFunctions is present, returning browsers to their previous states is impossible and users are encouraged to visit m.smartsrch.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar.
By causing unwanted redirects, SearchFunctions significantly diminishes the browsing experience. Another important downside is information tracking. Be aware that m.smartsrch.com, searchfunctions.com, and SearchFunctions gather information such as IP addresses, search queries, URLs visited, pages viewed, and other similar data that typically includes personal details.
Collected data is later shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private data to generate revenue - behavior that can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Therefore, we strongly advise you to uninstall the SearchFunctions browser hijacker and never return to m.smartsrch.com/searchfunctions.com
|Name||SearchFunctions browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
The Internet is full of fake web search engines that share similarities with m.smartsrch.com. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) srcbar.com, go.deepteep.com, searchfortplus.com, and stabers.club.
All claim to enhance the browsing experience by generating improved results and, in some cases, other 'useful features' (quick access to popular websites, weather forecasts, etc.), however, by delivering these false promises, websites such as m.smartsrch.com attempt to give the impression of legitimacy.
The only purpose of all fake web search engines is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, websites such as m.smartsrch.com cause unwanted redirects and gather sensitive data.
Some even generate misleading search results and intrusive ads, leading to potentially malicious websites. Therefore, using fake web search engines can lead to high-risk computer infections.
How did SearchFunctions install on my computer?
SearchFunctions has an official promotion site, however, due to the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users, this PUP often infiltrates systems without permission, since developers promote it using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" and intrusive advertisements. "Bundling" is stealth installation of third party software together with regular apps.
Developers do not disclose this information properly - all "bundled" PUPs are concealed within "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download/installation processes, whilst intrusive ads redirect users to malicious sites and run scripts that stealthily download and install malware/PUPs.
Therefore, skipping download/installation steps and clicking various advertisements often leads to inadvertent installation of rogue software such as SearchFunctions.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
To prevent infiltration by PUPs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Download your software from official sources only, using direct download links.
Third party download/installation tools are often monetized by promoting PUPs (the "bundling" method). Therefore, these tools should never be used. Furthermore, bear in mind that intrusive ads typically look legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, they redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious sites.
In most cases, intrusive advertisements are delivered by adware-type programs. If you encounter them, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins.
Website promoting SearchFunctions browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is m.smartsrch.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchFunctions application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove m.smartsrch.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove SearchFunctions browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove m.smartsrch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove m.smartsrch.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchFunctions browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed suspicious applications (for example, "SearchFunctions"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the m.smartsrch.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchFunctions browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://m.smartsrch.com (or hxxp://searchfunctions.com) and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "smartsrch".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchfunctions browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "SearchFunctions" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable SearchFunctions, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.m.smartsrch.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for hxxp://m.smartsrch.com (or hxxp://searchfunctions.com), and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchfunctions browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" and remove "SearchFunctions", as well as all other recently-installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://m.smartsrch.com (or hxxp://searchfunctions.com) and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: hxxp://m.smartsrch.com (or hxxp://searchfunctions.com)
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with searchfunctions browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchfunctions browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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