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How to remove Smilebox Tab browser hijacker

Also Known As: smilebox.co redirect
Damage level: Medium

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.co browser hijacker

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 Summary:
Name Smilebox Tab
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Smilebox Tab
Supposed Functionality Quick access to e-cards
Promoted URL smilebox.co
Detection Names (smilebox.co) N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (smilebox.co) 13.249.85.120
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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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.

More examples of browser-hijacking apps are Secure Search Pro, Rugby Start, and Smartbase.

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):

smilebox tab browser hijacker smilebox.co shows yahoo results

Website promoting Smilebox Tab browser hijacker:

smilebox tab browser hijacker official page

Deceptive page promoting Smilebox Tab browser hijacker:

smilebox tab browser hijacker deceptive promoter

Notification from a browser saying what Smilebox Tab can do:

smilebox tab browser hijacker notification

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Smilebox Tab browser hijacker removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

smilebox.co browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing smilebox.co related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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:

Removing smilebox.co from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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:

Removing smilebox.co from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the smilebox.co redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing smilebox.co related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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:

Removing smilebox.co from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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:

Removing smilebox.co from Mozilla Firefox 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 Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

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, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the smilebox.co redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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 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.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
smilebox.co redirect QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of smilebox.co redirect on your mobile device.
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