What kind of application is SearchTab Default Search?
Our malware researchers have discovered the SearchTab Default Search browser extension while examining questionable websites that use advertising networks. They found that this app promotes searchtab.xyz (a fake search engine) by changing the settings of a browser. Thus, it was concluded that SearchTab Default Search is a browser hijacker.
SearchTab Default Search in detail
During our research, we learned that SearchTab Default Search hijacks a web browser by changing the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page to searchtab.xyz. We tested searchtab.xyz and discovered that it shows results generated by Bing (it redirects to bing.com). Searchtab.xyzis a fake search engine because it does not generate individual results.
It is important to know that fake search engines can promote untrustworthy websites and show results generated by dubious search engines. Therefore, it is highly recommended not to trust fake search engines (including searchtab.xyz) or use browser hijackers.
|Name||SearchTab Default Search|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||SearchTab Default Search|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved web browsing experience|
|Detection Names (searchtab.xyz)||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.
More about browser hijackers
A browser hijacker can be used to gather user data. A fake search engine can be used for that too. Pretty often, browser-hijacking apps are distributed/promoted using shady methods. Thus, users download/install them unknowingly. Our team has examined plenty of browser hijackers. Some of them are History-Cleaner, UltraADSBlockSearch, StreamUltraSearch.
How did SearchTab Default Search install on my computer?
Most browser hijackers get installed on browsers after using fake installers, clicking shady advertisements, or installing software without changing certain settings. Software bundled with unwanted apps (in this case, browser hijackers) has "Custom", "Advancved", or other settings in its installer that have to be changed to avoid unwanted installations.
How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?
Download applications from trustworthy (official) websites. Do not trust apps and files downloaded from unofficial sites, via third-party downloaders, P2P networks, etc. Also, do not click on advertisements that appear while visiting questionable pages.
Deselect unwanted apps included in downloaders and installers before finishing software downloads and installations. If your computer is already infected with SearchTab Default Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Searchtab.xyz redirecs to bing.com (GIF):
Browser notification containing details about SearchTab Default Search browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 SearchTab Default Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchTab Default Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SearchTab Default Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove searchtab.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove searchtab.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchTab 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, "SearchTab Default Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the searchtab.xyz website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchTab 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 "SearchTab 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 "SearchTab Default Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchtab.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 "searchtab.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 searchtab.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 "SearchTab 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 "SearchTab Default Search", remove hxxp://searchtab.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 searchtab.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 searchtab.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.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on searchtab.xyz redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit searchtab.xyz website?
Individuals behind searchtab.xyz generate more revenue when the count of visitors is higher. Thus, their goal is to make searchtab.xyz as much visitable as possible.
Is visiting searchtab.xyz a threat to my privacy?
A website like searchtab.xyz can invade privacy when collecting information about visitors. Thus, it is possible that searchtab.xyz is a threat to privacy.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using social engineering tactics, such as browser notifications, shady advertisements. In other cases, they are distributed using deceptive websites, downloaders, and installers for other programs.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove SearchTab Default Search browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will remove this and any other browser hijacker. If multiple browser hijackers are present, it will remove all of them at cone (which has to be done to avoid them from reinstalling one another). It is worth mentioning that it can be difficult to remove more than one browser hijacker manually. Thus, it is recommended to do that using apps like Combo Cleaner.