What is smartanswersonline[.]com?
Smartanswersonline.com is one of the untrustworthy search engines generating misleading results. We discovered smartanswersonline.com after adding a browser hijacker to a web browser. That browser hijacker promotes smartanswersonline.com by making changes in the settings of a web browser.
How do browser hijackers promote smartanswersonline[.]com?
Smartanswersonline.com includes links to potentially malicious pages in its search results and shows notifications. Those pages (and sites opened via notifications from smartanswersonline.com) can be used to trick visitors into providing personal/sensitive information, downloading shady applications, calling fake technical support numbers, etc.
Browser hijackers promote fake search engines by changing the default search engine, homepage, and (or) new tab page. Typically, they do not allow to change the affected settings. It is required to remove browser hijackers before fake search engines can be removed from those settings.
It is strongly recommended to use only legitimate search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
|Name||smartanswersonline.com browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Accurate search results|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Detection Names||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address||18.104.22.168|
|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.
Fake search engine and browser hijacker examples
Most browser hijackers are promoted using deceptive methods (e.g., deceptive websites, notifications from untrustworthy websites). Thus, users rarely download and add them to browsers knowingly. The purpose of browser hijackers is to promote fake search engines even when they are promoted as legitimate and useful apps.
How did smartanswersonline[.]com promoting software install on my computer?
It is common for browser hijackers to be promoted on deceptive websites offering to download "recommended"/supposedly required browser extensions. Also, they are distributed via software bundles and deceptive ads.
When software is bundled with a browser hijacker (or other unwanted app), its installer has settings that can be used to deselect that application. Browsers get hijacked after users complete software installations without changing "Custom", "Advanced", or similar settings.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
Use legitimate websites and stores to download applications (or files). Do not trust questionable web pages, third-party downloaders, P2P networks, etc. Examine downloaders and installers before downloading and installing programs. Deselect unwanted apps before completing installations (or downloads).
Also, do not click on advertisements appearing on questionable pages and do not allow web pages to show notifications. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Smartanswersonline.com shows misleading results (GIF):
Notifications from smartanswersonline.com:
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 smartanswersonline[.]com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove smartanswersonline[.]com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove smartanswersonline[.]com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove smartanswersonline[.]com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
smartanswersonline[.]com redirect 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, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the smartanswersonline[.]com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
smartanswersonline[.]com redirect 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 all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable the malicious extension (if present), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.smartanswersonline[.]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 "smartanswersonline[.]com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".
- If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the smartanswersonline.com browser hijacker, 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 and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable malicious extension (if present), remove hxxp://smartanswersonline[.]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 "Accept the Risk and Continue".
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 smartanswersonline.com browser hijacker 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 smartanswersonline.com browser hijacker, 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 smartanswersonline.com website?
This fake search engine generates more revenue for its creators when the count of visitors is higher.
Is visiting smartanswersonline.com a threat to my privacy?
If this fake search engine collects data, it may cause problems related to online privacy.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, software bundles, etc. Most users download and install (add) browser hijackers unintentionally.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove a browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate browser-hijacking applications. It will remove all browser hijackers at once. Manual removal can be complicated since there are cases when browser hijackers can reinstall one another.