What is My Note?
My Note is the name of a browser hijacker designed to promote the fxsmash.xyz address (a fake search engine). Like most apps of this type, My Note hijacks browsers by changing some of their settings. It is worth mentioning that most browser hijackers collect browsing data. Typically, users download and install apps like My Note unknowingly, for this reason they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
My Note in detail
A typical browser modifies settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. This particular browser hijacker changes those addresses to the fxsmash.xyz address - a fake search engine. Search engines promoted by browser hijackers are called fake because they do not generate unique results (e.g., they show results generated by Google or another legitimate search engine) or they include links to untrustworthy pages in their results.
Fake search engine promoted by My Note browser hijacker can redirect users to websearches.club, search.yahoo.com, or some other address - it depends on the user's geolocation. In other words, fxsmash.xyz can show results generated by both questionable and legitimate search engines. Either way, it is highly advisable not to trust browser hijackers or fake search engines. It is worth mentioning that users can remove the address of a fake search engine from the settings of a hijacked browser only when an app like My Note (a browser hijacker) is no longer installed.
Additionally, browser hijackers can be designed to collect browsing-related information (e.g., addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses) that could be used for marketing purposes, sold to third parties, etc. Also, apps of this kind can be designed to gather sensitive information like passwords, credit card details, and so on. Therefore, it is recommended not to trust (download and install) PUAs that gather various information.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||My Note|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (fxsmash.xyz)||22.214.171.124|
|Detection Names (fxsmash.xyz)||alphaMountain.ai (Suspicious), Fortinet (Malware), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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.
Browser hijackers in general
As a rule, apps like My Note are rarely useful to their users - they do not improve browsing experience or have any actually useful features. Even if they are advertised as legitimate, useful programs. The only main purpose of a typical browser hijacker is to force its users to use a fake search engine. More examples of apps like My Note/browser hijackers are DigitalMusicSearch, MyShopSearch, and MyStreamsSearch.
How did My Note install on my computer?
It is common that users accidentally download and install PUAs together with other programs. This distribution method is known as "bundling". When developers use it, they include PUAs in downloaders, installers for other programs as extra offers. In most cases, users can deselect PUAs by unticking ticked checkboxes or through "Custom", "Advanced" or other options that those downloaders, installers have. When users leave those checkboxes ticked or settings unchanged, they download or install both wanted and additionally offered applications.
It is worth mentioning that unexpected downloads or installation can be caused by clicking deceptive advertisements. It happens when users click ads designed to execute specific scripts. In most cases, ads of this kind appear mostly on questionable, potentially malicious websites.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Applications of files should not be downloaded via questionable channels like Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients), unofficial websites, third-party downloaders, etc., or installed via third-party installers. It is recommended to download files or programs from official pages and using direct links. Other sources are likely to be used to trick users into downloading and installing PUAs or malicious apps.
Downloaders and installers with settings like "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or ticked checkboxes are likely to include additional offers. Therefore, those downloaders and installers should be checked for extra offers before finishing downloads or installations.
Ads on shady pages should not be trusted (clicked) as well. It is common that those ads promote deceptive, dubious pages or are designed to distribute (download, install) unwanted programs. Suspicious, unwanted extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed on a web browser and software of this kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with My Note, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Fxsmash.xyz redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):
Fxsmash.xyz redirects to websearches.club (GIF):
Website promoting My Note browser hijacker:
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 My Note?
- STEP 1. Uninstall My Note application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove My Note 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.
My Note browser hijacker 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 any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "My Note"), 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.
My Note 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 "My Note" 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 "My Note", 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 my note 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 "My Note", 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 "My Note", 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 my note 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 my note 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 "My Note".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the my note 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.
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