What kind of application is Smilebox Tab?
After testing the Smilebox Tab browser extension, we found the purpose of this app is to hijack a web browser. It promotes smilebox.co (a fake search engine) by changing the settings of a web browser. It is common for browser hijackers to be promoted and distributed using shady methods. We discovered Smilebox Tab while inspecting deceptive pages.
Smilebox Tab browser hijacker overview
Smilebox Tab hijacks a web browser by making smilebox.co the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page. It forces users to browse the Internet using a fake search engine. Smilebox.co redirects users to search.yahoo.com - it shows results generated by Yahoo, a legitimate search engine.
Fake search engines should not be trusted. They can redirect users to untrustworthy pages, include links to dubious pages in their results, and show results generated by shady search engines. Most browser hijackers do not allow users to undo their changes while they are added to browsers.
It is required to remove browser hijackers before the affected settings can be reverted to their previous state (before the default search engine and other settings can be set to the desired ones).
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Smilebox Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Quick access to e-cards|
|Detection Names (smilebox.co)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (smilebox.co)||220.127.116.11|
|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 can be designed to collect browsing-related information (e.g., visited pages, geolocations, etc.). Their developers may sell gathered data to third parties or monetize it in other ways. In any case, it is recommended to remove any added browser hijackers as soon as possible.
How did Smilebox Tab install on my computer?
Smilebox Tab is distributed via websites suggesting that it may be required to add a free extension to a web browser. It also has an official website. A browser becomes hijacked after completing the steps on websites that promote it.
Also, browser hijackers are distributed via downloaders and installers for other programs and shady advertisements. They get added to browsers via installers when software installations are completed without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings included in installers.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
Download applications from legitimate sources such as official pages and stores. Do not use P2P networks, third-party downloaders, unofficial websites, etc., to download apps or files. Also, check downloaders and installers for unwanted apps and deselect the unwanted ones before downloading or installing software.
Do not trust advertisements appearing on dubious pages or agree to receive notifications from such websites. If your computer is already infected with Smilebox Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Smilebox.co redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):
Website promoting Smilebox Tab browser hijacker:
Deceptive page promoting Smilebox Tab browser hijacker:
Notification from a browser saying what Smilebox Tab 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 Smilebox Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Smilebox Tab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Smilebox Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove smilebox.co homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove smilebox.co redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Smilebox 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, "Smilebox Tab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the smilebox.co website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Smilebox 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 "Smilebox Tab" 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 "Smilebox Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.smilebox.co) 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 "smilebox.co", 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 smilebox.co 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 "Smilebox Tab", 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 "Smilebox Tab", remove hxxp://smilebox.co 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 smilebox.co 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 smilebox.co 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 smilebox.co 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 smilebox.co website?
The creators of smilebox.co aim to make the number of its users as much high as possible because it determines how much money theay earn from smilebox.co.
Is visiting smilebox.co a threat to my privacy?
Using/visiting smilebox.co may be a threat since fake search engines tend to be designed to gather various information about their users/visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
In most cases, apps of this type are distributed using social engineering tactics, such as browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, etc. Also, they are bundled with other programs (included in installers as optional installations).
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Smilebox Tab browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate all browser-hijacking applications. If multiple browser hijackers are present, all of them have to be removed at once. Manual removal is not always a perfect solution since browser hijackers can be designed to reinstall one another. Thus, we recommend using Combo Cleaner for the removal of browser hijackers.