PowerSmash browser hijacker removal instructions
What is PowerSmash?
PowerSmash browser hijacker is designed to change some of the browser settings to smashapps.net - a fake search engine. Also, it is designed to collect browsing-related information. Browser hijackers are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), it is because in most cases users download and/or install them unknowingly.
Like most browser hijackers, PowerSmash changes settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. It sets them to smashapps.net which redirects users to searchmes.xyz and then provides results by s3arch.page - a questionable search engine which may include links to untrustworthy websites in its results. It is possible that smashapps.net could redirect users to other questionable addresses. Either way, smashapps.net should not be used as a search engine. In order to remove this address from browser settings it is necessary to uninstall PowerSmash first. Another problem with browser hijackers is that they collect browsing-related and/or other data. Usually they target IP addresses, entered search queries, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, and/or other information of this type. Nevertheless, in some cases they can be designed to gather personal, sensitive data. What is worse, their developers could misuse gathered data to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals), or in other ways. It means that users who have apps like PowerSmash installed on a browser and/or computer may experience problems related to privacy, browsing safety, or even worse - they may have their identities stolen.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (smashapps.net)||220.127.116.11|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the 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 browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
Some examples of other apps of this type are ConverterSearchNow, ConverterSearchHD and Jolly Web. It is worthwhile to mention that browser hijackers often are advertised as useful, legitimate applications that supposed to improve browsing experience, include some features, etc. However, most of them collect and are designed to promote fake search engines - they are designed only to generate revenue for their developers.
How did PowerSmash install on my computer?
It is common that users download and/or install PUAs when they are distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". More precisely, when such apps are included in download and/or installations setups of other programs as additional offers and users do not decline them when download and/or install those programs. In most cases such offers can be declined in "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings of setups, or checkboxes in them. In some cases users download and/or install PUAs by clicking deceptive advertisements, however, it can be caused only by clicking ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Download and installation setups should be always analyzed (checked for offers to download and/or install additional apps). If they contain offers to download and/or install PUAs, those offers can be declined in "Advanced", "Custom" or their other settings. Also, software (and files) should be downloaded from official, trustworthy web pages and via direct links. Third party downloaders (and installers), unofficial sites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), or other channels, sources can be monetized by using them as tools to distribute unwanted, in some cases even malicious apps. Additionally, it is recommended not to click advertisements that appear on questionable websites, they can and often do open other pages of this kind or even cause unwanted downloads and/or installation by running certain scripts. If some unwanted app (extension, plug-in or add-on) is already installed on a browser, then it should be removed. Programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with PowerSmash, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting PowerSmash browser hijacker:
Another website promoting PowerSmash browser hijacker:
Notification saying that PowerSmash can read certain data and change settings:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is PowerSmash?
- STEP 1. Uninstall PowerSmash application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove PowerSmash browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove smashapps.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove smashapps.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove smashapps.net redirect from Internet Explorer.
PowerSmash browser hijacker removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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, "PowerSmash"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the smashapps.net website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
PowerSmash browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
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 "PowerSmash" 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 "PowerSmash", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.smashapps.net) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present click on 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 "smashapps.net", 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 smashapps.net redirect, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "PowerSmash", 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 disable "PowerSmash", remove hxxp://smashapps.net 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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with smashapps.net redirect 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 smashapps.net redirect, 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.
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://smashapps.net 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 "PowerSmash".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the smashapps.net redirect, 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.
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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove smashapps.net redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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