What kind of application is ProTabs Default Search?
ProTabs Default Search is a browser hijacker that promotes the protabs.xyz address - a fake search engine. It does that by changing the web browser's settings. Typically, users end up having their browsers hijacked inadvertently.
ProTabs Default Search browser hijacker in detail
ProTabs Default Search makes protabs.xyz as the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page. Protabs.xyz redirects users to bing.com - it shows results generated by Bing. It is important to mention that fake search engines can be used to promote dubious pages and show results generated by untrustworthy search engines.
|Name||ProTabs Default Search|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||ProTabs Default Search|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Detection Names (protabs.xyz)||N/A (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.
More about browser hijackers
Browser hijackers often are designed to keep their settings unchangeable until users remove them. Also, lots of apps of this type are capable of collecting information about their users. Apps like ProTabs Default Search and fake search engines are not trustworthy.
How did ProTabs Default Search install on my computer?
Browser-hijacking apps often are bundled with other programs. They get downloaded or installed through downloaders and installers for other programs. Although, it happens when users download or install programs without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings presented in downloaders and installers.
In other cases, browsers get hijacked through advertisements designed to run certain scripts (and download or install unwanted apps) or fake installers downloaded from shady websites.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Download applications and files from official websites and direct download links. Check downloaders and installers for "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings to see if they can be used to deselect unwanted apps before downloading and installing programs. Also, do not click on advertisements displayed on questionable pages.
If your computer is already infected with ProTabs Default Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Protabs.xyz redirects to bing.com (GIF):
Browser notification informing about what ProTabs Default Search browser hijacker can do:
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 ProTabs Default Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ProTabs Default Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove ProTabs Default Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove protabs.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove protabs.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ProTabs Default Search 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, "ProTabs Default Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the protabs.xyz website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
ProTabs Default Search 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 "ProTabs Default Search" 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 "ProTabs Default Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.protabs.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 "protabs.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 protabs.xyz 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 "ProTabs Default Search", 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 "ProTabs Default Search", remove hxxp://protabs.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 protabs.xyz 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 protabs.xyz 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.
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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit protabs.xyz website?
The amount of revenue creators of the protabs.xyz generate directly depends on the number of page visits. Thus, its creators are interested in making their page as much visitable as possible.
Is visiting protabs.xyz a threat to my privacy?
Fake search engines (pages like protabs.xyz) can be designed to collect information about their users. The same applies to browser hijackers.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Usually, browser hijackers are distributed using browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, and other social engineering tactics, and downloaders/installers for other programs, fake installers.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove ProTabs Default Search browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan the operating system and remove existing browser-hijacking applications. It will remove all browser hijackers at one (if there are multiple apps of this type present). It is worth mentioning that browser hijackers can reinstall one another. Thus, it can be difficult to remove multiple browser hijackers manually.