How to remove mtabs.org from your browser
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What kind of page is mtabs.org?
During our testing of mtabs.org, we discovered it to be a fake search engine. Pretty often, search engines of this type are promoted through browser hijackers. Typically, these types of applications change the browser settings to hijack them. Therefore, search engines that are promoted in this way should not be considered trustworthy.
More about mtabs.org and browser hijackers
Mtabs.org is a fake search engine that displays search results from Bing (a legitimate search engine). In other words, after entering a search query, users are redirected to bing.com. The issue with mtabs.org is that it may collect various user data, including but not limited to search queries, browsing history, IP addresses, geolocation data, and other personally identifiable information.
This data can be used for malicious purposes, such as targeted advertising, identity theft, or even sold to third-party advertisers. It is highly recommended to avoid using such fake search engines and use reputable ones instead.
As mentioned in the introduction, a big part of fake search engines is promoted via browser-hijacking apps. These apps can modify the default homepage, search engine, and new tab settings to redirect users to unwanted websites. Persistent browser hijackers often require specialized tools or manual removal techniques to eliminate them from the system.
|Name||mtabs.org 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||22.214.171.124|
|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.
Mtabs.org is a fake search engine that may be promoted through browser hijacking. It is not clear what user data it may collect, but it is advisable to avoid using it and to remove any associated browser hijackers from the system. More examples of unreliable search engines are magic-dark.xyz, top-search.xyz, and seekfreeonline.com.
How did mtabs.org promoting software install on my computer?
Users can add browser hijackers to their browsers or install them on their computers unintentionally, often by downloading and installing free software or applications from untrusted or malicious sources. In some cases, browser hijackers are bundled with legitimate software or masquerade as useful browser extensions or add-ons, tricking users into installing them.
Also, users can inadvertently install browser hijackers by clicking on malicious links or pop-up ads while browsing the Internet.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
Be cautious when downloading software or apps from the Internet, especially from untrusted or unknown sources. Always download from the official website of the software developer. Pay attention to the installation process of software and uncheck any boxes offering to install additional apps or change your browser settings.
Keep your operating system and browsers up to date with the latest security patches and updates. Be careful when clicking links and ads on dubious pages. Remove any suspicious browser extensions or add-ons from your browser. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Mtabs.org redirects to bing.com (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 mtabs.org?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove mtabs.org browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove mtabs.org homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove mtabs.org redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
mtabs.org 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 mtabs.org website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
mtabs.org 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.mtabs.org) 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 "mtabs.org", 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 mtabs.org 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://mtabs.org 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 mtabs.org 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 mtabs.org 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 mtabs.org website?
The purpose of forcing users to visit mtabs.org website could be to generate revenue through advertising or to collect user data. By redirecting users to their websites, creators can display advertisements or collect data on users' browsing habits and search queries, which can be used for targeted advertising or sold to third-party advertisers.
Is visiting mtabs.org a threat to my privacy?
It is possible that visiting mtabs.org could be a threat to your privacy, as fake search engines like mtabs.org are often associated with data tracking and collection practices.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Some common tactics include displaying fake browser notifications, using misleading ads, offering fake software updates, and disguising the hijacker as a legitimate browser extension.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove a browser hijacker?
Combo Cleaner scans and removes browser hijackers. Manual removal may not be sufficient when multiple hijackers are present, as they can reinstall each other and affect certain settings. Thus, it is recommended to remove all hijackers at once.
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