What is Internet Download Manager?
Not to be confused with any legitimate software under the name of "Internet Download Manager", this extension is a browser hijacker.
While this fake extension is presented as a tool for advanced download management, it modifies browser settings to promote the smartwebfinder.com illegitimate search engine instead. Additionally, Internet Download Manager can display spam browser notifications and collects private data.
Internet Download Manager browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers assign the addresses of their search engines as browsers' default and their homepage and new tab/window URLs. Internet Download Manager sets them to the smartwebfinder.com website. Therefore, new browser tab/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - result in redirects to smartwebfinder.com.
It must be noted that browser-hijacking software typically employs persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers. Internet Download Manager is not an exception to this.
Fake search engines typically cannot provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. When we inspected Internet Download Manager, smartwebfinder.com redirected to Bing (bing.com) and Google (google.com). However, it might land elsewhere since redirects can depend on factors like user geolocation and similar.
This browser extension can also display spam notifications, which advertise online scams, unreliable/harmful software, and in some instances - even malware.
What is more, Internet Download Manager spies on users' browsing activity. Browser hijackers usually collect the following data: visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. The gathered data can then be shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of software like this fake Internet Download Manager on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Name||Internet Download Manager|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Internet Download Manager, Smart|
|Supposed Functionality||Download management tool|
|Detection Names (smartwebfinder.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (smartwebfinder.com)||18.104.22.168|
|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; Extension Settings, My Keypro, and UltraCouponSearch are merely a couple of examples. Browser-hijacking software typically appears legitimate and offers "handy" features. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.
How did Internet Download Manager install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can have "official" promotional pages, and it is endorsed on scam websites. Most users access these sites via redirects caused by pages using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, and installed adware.
Furthermore, intrusive advertisements proliferate browser-hijacking software. Once clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
Browser hijackers can also be bundled (packed together) with ordinary programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Additionally, installation must be approached with care, e.g., by reading terms, studying possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplementary apps, tools, features, etc.
We advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious material usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements look harmless yet redirect to questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
In case of encounters with such adverts/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Internet Download Manager, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Internet Download Manager browser hijacker:
Appearance of smartwebfinder.com redirecting to the Bing 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 Internet Download Manager?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Internet Download Manager application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Internet Download Manager browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove smartwebfinder.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove smartwebfinder.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Internet Download Manager 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, "Internet Download Manager"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the smartwebfinder.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Internet Download Manager browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove Internet Download Manager browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:
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 "Internet Download Manager" and other 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 "Internet Download Manager" (or simply "Smart"), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.smartwebfinder.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 "smartwebfinder.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 smartwebfinder.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 extensions 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 "Internet Download Manager", as well as 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 "Internet Download Manager", remove hxxp://smartwebfinder.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 smartwebfinder.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 smartwebfinder.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 smartwebfinder.com website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through these redirects to sites like smartwebfinder.com.
Is visiting smartwebfinder.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Smartwebfinder.com and similar websites usually collect visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily distributed via software bundling, deceptive promotional sites, P2P sharing networks, freeware and free file-hosting websites, online scams, fake updates, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Internet Download Manager browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate installed browser-hijacking apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective, especially when multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system. Since when one is removed - the others may re-install it. What is more, browser-hijacking software can deny access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes. Therefore, browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.