Smooth Search Tab browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Smooth Search Tab?
Smooth Search Tab is rogue software categorized as a browser hijacker. Following successful infiltration, it makes modifications to browser settings to promote smoothsearch.online (a fake search engine). Additionally, most browser hijackers collect browsing-related information. It is likely that Smooth Search Tab has these data tracking capabilities as well. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate this browser hijacker, it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Browser hijackers operate by assigning the addresses of fake search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. Therefore, with a browser hijacker installed, each new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar redirects to the promoted address. In the case of Smooth Search Tab, the aforementioned actions redirect to smoothsearch.online. Furthermore, bogus search engines are rarely capable of providing search results, and so they tend to redirect to legitimate sites (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). The smoothsearch.online web searcher is no exception to this, however, to which genuine search engine it redirects to depends on users' geolocations. Browser hijackers can also undo any changes users attempt to make to their browsers, if they permit access to the settings in the first place. Therefore, recovering an affected browser is impossible without removing the software hijacking it. As mentioned, most browser hijackers can track data. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, web pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This vulnerable data is then monetized by sharing with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can result in serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect browser/system integrity and user privacy, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.
|Name||Smooth Search Tab|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Smooth Search Tab|
|Serving IP Address (smoothsearch.online)||126.96.36.199|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
ConvertItSearch, AnyStationSearch and Kibo Web are some examples of other browser hijackers. They often tempt users into download/installation with offers of various "useful" functionality, however, despite how good the advertised features may sound, they are usually nonoperational. In fact, this applies to most PUAs. The sole purpose of this unwanted software is to generate revenue for the developers. Regular users receive no real value and can experience serious issues. PUAs hijack browsers, force-open untrusted and malicious websites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns, and collect sensitive and personally identifiable information.
How did Smooth Search Tab install on my computer?
Browser hijackers, adware-type apps, and other types of PUAs are commonly distributed by integrating them into the download and/or installation set-ups of other programs, so that a proportion of users inadvertently download and install them together with their chosen software. This distribution method is known as "bundling". Offers to download and install additionally-included apps usually appear in "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of the set-ups (where they can usually be declined). Many users fail to check and change these settings, thereby granting permission for PUAs to be downloaded and installed by default. In addition, unwanted downloads and installations are sometimes caused by clicking deceptive advertisements capable of executing certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all software before download/installation. Use only official and verified download channels. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule), and other third party downloaders commonly offer harmful and bundled content, and are therefore untrusted and should be avoided. When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious and malicious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others). If you encounter ads or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately. If your computer is already infected with Smooth Search Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Smooth Search Tab browser hijacker asking for permissions:
Appearance of Smooth Search Tab browser hijacker (smoothsearch.online) redirecting to the Google search engine (GIF):
Appearance of Smooth Search Tab browser hijacker (smoothsearch.online) redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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 Smooth Search Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Smooth Search Tab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Smooth Search Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove smoothsearch.online homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove smoothsearch.online redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove smoothsearch.online redirect from Internet Explorer.
Smooth Search Tab 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, "Smooth Search Tab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the smoothsearch.online website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Smooth Search Tab 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 "Smooth Search Tab" 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 "Smooth Search Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.smoothsearch.online) 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 "smoothsearch.online", 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 smoothsearch.online 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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Smooth Search Tab", 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 "Smooth Search Tab", remove hxxp://smoothsearch.online 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 smoothsearch.online 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 smoothsearch.online 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://smoothsearch.online 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 "Smooth Search Tab".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the smoothsearch.online 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 smoothsearch.online redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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