What is Neptun Tab?
Neptun Tab is a rogue browser extension, which our research team discovered while analyzing fake Google Chrome updates. This piece of software is endorsed as a tool capable of allowing users to customize their browsers' homepage and new tab appearance - including such widgets as weather, time, reminders, etc.
Our researchers determined that the Neptun Tab extension is a browser hijacker that promotes the search.neptuntab.com illegitimate search engine.
Neptun Tab browser hijacker overview
On our test system, Neptun Tab reassigned the browser's default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URLs to the search.neptuntab.com site. Hence, when we opened a new browser tab/window or performed a Web search via the URL bar - it resulted in a redirect to search.neptuntab.com. Furthermore, this browser-hijacking software uses persistence-ensuring techniques to complicate its removal.
Fake search engines redirect to genuine ones, as they typically cannot generate search results. In the case of search.neptuntab.com, it redirects to the Google search engine (google.com). Search.neptuntab.com might land elsewhere, as that can be determined by various factors (e.g., user geolocation, etc.).
What is more, Neptun Tab monitors users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and likely collects sensitive data extracted from it (personally identifiable details, account credentials, financial/banking information, etc.). The gathered information can then be monetized through sale to third-parties, likewise intent on misusing it for profit.
To summarize, the presence of browser-hijacking software like Neptun Tab on browsers/systems can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Neptun Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Browser homepage and new tab customization.|
|Detection Names (search.neptuntab.com)||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.
Browser hijacker examples
We have analyzed thousands of browser hijackers; TopMoviesLinks Default Search, Quick Pro, and Movieztab Default Search are merely a couple of examples. This software usually appears legitimate and offers "useful" features, which are seldom operational. Even if their functionalities work, the dangerous behavior of browser hijackers overweighs any value.
How did Neptun Tab install on my computer?
We acquired Neptun Tab from its "official" promotional webpage, which we encountered while researching Chrome-themed scams - "Update your Chrome browser extension", "TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME", and "Install the extension for Chrome to protect your privacy".
Both promotional and deceptive sites are seldom accessed intentionally. Most users enter them via mistyped URLs or redirects caused by spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, pages using rogue advertising networks, or installed adware.
Browser hijackers are also distributed using the "bundling" marketing method - packing regular programs with unwanted/malicious supplements. Download from dubious sources and rushed installations - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser-hijacking software as well. Upon being clicked, some of these adverts can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly advise researching software and downloading from official/trustworthy channels. Additionally, it is essential to exercise caution with installation processes, e.g., reading terms, inspecting possible options, and using the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out of all additions.
Another recommendation is being vigilant when browsing, as fraudulent and malicious material usually looks innocuous. For example, intrusive ads appear ordinary and harmless, yet they redirect to questionable websites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
If you experience such ads and/or redirects, inspect your device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Neptun Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Neptun Tab browser hijacker:
Website promoting Neptun Tab browser hijacker:
Appearance of search.neptuntab.com redirecting to the Google search engine (GIF):
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 Neptun Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Neptun Tab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Neptun Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.neptuntab.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.neptuntab.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Neptun Tab 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, "Neptun Tab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the search.neptuntab.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Neptun Tab 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 "Neptun Tab" 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 "Neptun Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.neptuntab.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:
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 "search.neptuntab.com", 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 search.neptuntab.com 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 "Neptun Tab", 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 "Neptun Tab", remove hxxp://search.neptuntab.com 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 search.neptuntab.com 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 search.neptuntab.com 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 to visit search.neptuntab.com website?
The developers of browser hijackers and illegitimate search engines generate revenue through such redirects.
Is visiting search.neptuntab.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Search.neptuntab.com and sites similar to it - typically collect (and sell) information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Neptun Tab has an "official" download page, which has been observed being promoted through Google Chrome centered scams (e.g., "Update your Chrome browser extension", "TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME", "Install the extension for Chrome to protect your privacy", etc.) In addition to online scams, browser hijackers are also commonly proliferated through software bundling, freeware and third-party download sites, spam browser notifications, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Neptun Tab browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate detected browser-hijacking apps. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be a perfect solution, especially when multiple browser hijackers are present. There are instances of one browser hijacker being removed - only for it to be re-installed by the others. Furthermore, this software may deny access to removal-related settings or undo user-made changes. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.