How to remove the QuickTab Plus browser hijacker?

Also Known As: QuickTab Plus redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

QuickTab Plus browser hijacker removal instructions

What is QuickTab Plus?

QuickTab Plus is a browser hijacker promoting tailsearch.com - a fake search engine. Software within this category usually operates by making changes to browser settings, which are intended to promote fake web searchers (e.g., tailsearch.com). However, QuickTab Plus does not always modify browser settings. Additionally, this dubious browser extension spies on users' browsing activity. Since most users download/install browser hijackers inadvertently, they are also categorized as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Application).

QuickTab Plus browser hijacker asking to be permitted to track data

Browser hijackers typically assign illegitimate web searcher addresses as browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs. Hence, with a browser hijacker installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address. As mentioned in the introduction, in some cases QuickTab Plus makes these alterations to browser settings, in others - it does not.

Furthermore, fake search engines are seldom able to provide search results. They tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other legitimate search engines. The tailsearch.com web searcher is not an exception to this. At the time of research, tailsearch.com either redirected to Google (google.com) or caused a redirection chain consisting of my-search.com, search-checker.com, and concluding with Bing (bing.com).

Browser hijackers have certain abilities, which ensure their persistence and complicate browser recovery. This software can undo any changes users attempt to make to their browsers. Alternatively, browser hijackers restrict/deny access to the browser settings outright. Therefore, recovering an affected browser is impossible without removing the software hijacking it.

What is more, QuickTab Plus can track data, and this is typical of browser hijackers. Information of interest includes: visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, geolocations, etc. The gathered data is highly likely to contain personally identifiable information. Browser hijacker developers monetize the information by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of data-tracking software on browsers/systems can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name QuickTab Plus
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) QuickTab Plus
Promoted URL tailsearch.com
Serving IP Address (tailsearch.com) 104.27.146.124
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)

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MovieSearchToolAllMusicSearchesDigitalIncognitoSearch, and reeSearchConverter are some examples of browser hijackers. They appear legitimate and innocuous. Users are enticed into download/installation with offers of "handy" features. However, these functionalities seldom work ad advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. This is true of nearly all PUAs. The only purpose of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user privacy are irrelevant. PUAs are designed to hijack browsers, force-open untrustworthy and malicious websites, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and collect private data.

How did QuickTab Plus install on my computer?

Select PUAs (e.g., QuickTab Plus) have "official" download webpages. These applications can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs. "Bundling" is the name of this deceptive marketing technique - packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions. By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g., by skipping steps, using pre-set options, etc.) - users risk inadvertently allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements spread PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Since untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer harmful and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, explore possible options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear ordinary and harmless; however, they redirect to various unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with QuickTab Plus, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Website promoting QuickTab Plus browser hijacker:

Website used to promote QuickTab Plus browser hijacker

Appearance of tailsearch.com redirecting to the Google search engine (GIF):

QuickTab Plus browser hijacker redirecting to Google (GIF)

Appearance of tailsearch.com redirecting to (via my-search.com and search-checker.com) the Bing search engine (GIF):

QuickTab Plus browser hijacker redirecting to Bing (GIF)

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Quick menu:

QuickTab Plus browser hijacker removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

tailsearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "QuickTab Plus"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the tailsearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

QuickTab Plus browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing tailsearch.com related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "QuickTab Plus" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing tailsearch.com from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "QuickTab Plus", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.tailsearch.com) 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:

Removing tailsearch.com from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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 "tailsearch.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the quicktab plus redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing tailsearch.com related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "QuickTab Plus", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing tailsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window disable "QuickTab Plus", remove hxxp://tailsearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing tailsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox 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 Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with quicktab plus redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the quicktab plus redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing tailsearch.com related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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:

Removing tailsearch.com from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://tailsearch.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:

Removing tailsearch.com from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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 "QuickTab Plus".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the quicktab plus 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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove quicktab plus redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
QuickTab Plus redirect QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of QuickTab Plus redirect on your mobile device.
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