How to remove TabOptimizer adware and the ads it delivers
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is TabOptimizer?
TabOptimizer is promoted as a tool for managing browser tabs, thereby eliminating errors and improving the browsing experience. In fact, this piece of software operates by running intrusive advertisement campaigns (i.e., delivering various ads). Due to this, TabOptimizer is classified as adware.
Additionally, TabOptimizer has data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing activity. Since most users download/install adware-type programs inadvertently, they are also categorized as Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs).
Adware enables the placement of third-party graphical content on any visited website (or other interfaces). This software delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, and other intrusive advertisements. These significantly diminish the browsing experience by limiting web page visibility and browsing speed.
Furthermore, intrusive ads pose a threat to device/user safety. When clicked, they can redirect to untrusted/malicious sites and some can stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs).
PUAs can have various dangerous functionality, and the functions can be in different combinations. For example, these apps can deliver intrusive ad campaigns and force-open dangerous pages.
Most PUAs (regardless of other capabilities) can track data. Targeted information includes (but is not limited to) URLs visited, web pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details. The collected data is then monetized by sharing with and/or selling to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
In summary, the presence of unwanted software on devices can result in system infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues, and identity theft. To protect device integrity and user privacy, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.
|Name||Ads by TabOptimizer|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Supposed Functionality||Browser tab management, error removal, and browsing quality improvement.|
|Symptoms||Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution Methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Video Ads Blocker, Image Search, and SketchBall are some examples of software within the adware classification. It may seem legitimate and offer "useful" features, however, the promised functionality is rarely operational. In fact, this applies to most PUAs - the only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate profit for the developers.
PUAs are designed to run intrusive ad campaigns, cause redirects, hijack browsers, and gather vulnerable information.
How did TabOptimizer install on my computer?
PUAs are distributed via download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".
Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and settings, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system.
Some PUAs (including TabOptimizer) have "official" download sites. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.
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.
Installed programs must be activated and updated with tools or implemented functions that are provided by the official developers. No other third party, unofficial tools should be used.
Note that it is illegal to activate licensed software with ‘cracking’ tools. Files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. Avoid third party installers and the tools/sources mentioned above.
Do not open website links or files in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. These bogus emails are often disguised as official and important. Regularly, scan your computer with reputable, up-to-date antivirus or anti-spyware software.
If your computer is already infected with TabOptimizer, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of the deceptive website promoting TabOptimizer adware:
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 TabOptimizer?
- STEP 1. Uninstall TabOptimizer application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove TabOptimizer ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by TabOptimizer' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove TabOptimizer extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove TabOptimizer adware from Internet Explorer.
TabOptimizer adware 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 "TabOptimizer", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application that causes TabOptimizer ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove TabOptimizer adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
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 "TabOptimizer", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by taboptimizer, 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", in the opened window, remove "TabOptimizer".
Computer users who have problems with ads by taboptimizer 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, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
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 upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by taboptimizer, 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 "TabOptimizer", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by taboptimizer, 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.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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