Note mini browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Note mini?
A browser hijacker is a type of potentially unwanted application (PUA) that changes browser settings to promote a specific address (typically, a fake search engine). Note mini promotes the fxsmash.xyz address but it does not always changes browser settings for that. Browser hijackers are called PUAs because most of them get downloaded and installed by users accidentally. It is noteworthy that browser hijackers can be designed to collect various information (e.g., browsing data).
In most cases, browser hijackers modify settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. As a rule, they change them to an address of a fake search engine. Note mini promotes the fxsmash.xyz address. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, sometimes it leaves browser settings unchanged. In such a case, Note mini opens fxsmash.xyz when it detects that a user has entered a search query into the URL bar. In other cases, this browser hijacker forces its user to visit fxsmash.xyz each time a user opens a new window, new tab, and browses the web via the browser's URL bar. Depending on visitor's geolocation, fxsmash.xyz can redirect users to search.yahoo.com, websearches.club or other addresses. In other words, fxsmash.xyz can provide results generated by Yahoo, websearches.club (another fake search engine), or some other search engine. It is strongly advisable not to use fake search engines, they can be designed to show misleading results, unwanted advertisements, and show results generated by other untrustworthy search engines.
As a rule, users can undo the changes made by a browser hijacker (in this case, Note mini) only when that PUA is no longer installed on a browser or the operating system. In other words, unwanted address can be removed from browser settings only after the uninstallation of the app that promotes it. Furthermore, it is possible that the Note mini browser hijacker collects various information. It is common that apps of this type gather geolocations, addresses of visited pages, IP addresses, entered search queries, or other browsing-related data. In some cases, they can read sensitive information (e.g., passwords, credit card details). Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to have any browser hijacker installed on a browser or the operating system. Its developers may use collected data for marketing purposes, sell it to third parties, or use other ways to monetize it.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Note mini|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Detection Names||alphaMountain.ai (Suspicious), Avast (Malware), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (fxsmash.xyz)||22.214.171.124;|
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
SuperPDFConverterSearch, Edit webpage, and IncognitoSearchBox are examples of other unwanted apps that are designed to hijack browsers. As a rule, the main purpose of apps of this type is to promote fake search engines by changing browser settings. Sometimes, they are designed to collect browsing data or other information. Very often, browser hijackers are advertised as apps that are supposed to have various features, improve the browsing experience, etc. However, most of them are designed only to generate revenue for their developers.
How did Note mini install on my computer?
In some cases, users accidentally download or install unwanted applications by clicking on deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute specific scripts. As a rule, apps of this type appear on potentially malicious pages. However, it is more common that users download or install PUAs when they are distributed via downloaders and installers for other programs. In other words, when PUAs are bundled together with other programs. In such cases, information about additional downloads or installations is provided in "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" and other settings, or alongside some checkboxes. Unwanted offers can be declined using those settings (or by unticking those checkboxes). Although, pretty often, users download and install programs without changing any of those settings and by doing so they allow for included apps to be downloaded or installed too.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Downloaders and installers with checkboxes or "Custom", "Advanced", or some other settings often are used to distribute potentially unwanted apps. Therefore, they should be checked for bundled applications and unwanted offers should be declined before finishing downloads and installations. Software, files should not come from unofficial pages, Peer-Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, third party downloaders, etc., or installed through third-party installers. It is common that the aforementioned channels are used to trick users into downloading (or installing) unwanted software. Apps and files should be downloaded from official pages and via direct links. Additionally, it is advisable not to click on advertisements that are displayed on shady websites - it is common that by clicking on such ads users open untrustworthy websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. All unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins installed on a browser should be removed. Programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled as well. If your computer is already infected with Note mini, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Fxsmash.xyz redirects to websearches.com (GIF):
Deceptive download website for Note mini:
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 Note mini?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Note mini application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Note mini browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove fxsmash.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove fxsmash.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove fxsmash.xyz redirect from Internet Explorer.
Note mini 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, "Note mini"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the fxsmash.xyz website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Note mini 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 "Note mini" 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 "Note mini", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.fxsmash.xyz) 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 "fxsmash.xyz", 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 note mini 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 "Note mini", 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 "Note mini", remove hxxp://fxsmash.xyz 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 note mini 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 note mini 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://fxsmash.xyz 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 "Note mini".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the note mini 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 note mini redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on note mini redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.