What kind of software is Plantastic Tab?
Our research team discovered the Plantastic Tab browser extension during a routine investigation of deceptive websites. It operates by modifying browser settings to promote (via redirects) the plantastictab.com fake search engine. Due to this behavior, Plantastic Tab is categorized as a browser hijacker.
Plantastic Tab browser hijacker overview
After we installed Plantastic Tab on our test machine, it reassigned the browser's default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URL to the plantastictab.com website. Therefore, whenever we opened a new browser tab/window or entered a search query into the URL bar – it resulted in redirects to plantastictab.com.
Fake search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect to genuine Internet search websites. Plantastictab.com is not an exception, and it redirected to the Bing search engine (bing.com) during our analysis. However, it is noteworthy that this site could lead elsewhere since factors like user geolocation can impact redirects.
Additionally, browser-hijacking software may restrict access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes – thus complicating its removal and ensuring persistence.
Plantastic Tab likely has data-tracking abilities as they are common to browser hijackers. Data of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, Internet cookies, log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, and so forth. The collected data can then be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
To summarize, the presence of software like Plantastic Tab on devices may result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Plantastic Tab|
|Detection Names (plantastictab.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (plantastictab.com)||126.96.36.199|
|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).|
|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
Browser-hijacking software usually appears ordinary and harmless. It tends to offer a wide variety of useful functionalities, which seldom operate as advertised, and in most cases – do not work at all. Keep in mind that even if a piece of software operates as promised – that is not a guarantee of either legitimacy or safety.
How did Plantastic Tab install on my computer?
We acquired Plantastic Tab from a dubious software-promoting page. Browser hijackers often have "official" promotional sites, and they are endorsed on scam pages. Users typically enter such webpages via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, websites that use rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.
"Bundling" – packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious additions – is also used to proliferate browser-hijacking software. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., ignore terms, used "Quick/Easy" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of inadvertently permitting entry for bundled content into the device.
Additionally, intrusive advertisements spread browser hijackers. When clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading it from official/verified channels. Installation must be treated with care, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all additional apps, extensions, tools, features, etc.
Another recommendation is to exercise caution while browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, intrusive adverts may look harmless – yet redirect to unreliable/questionable sites (e.g., pornography, gambling, adult dating, etc.).
In case of continuous encounters with such advertisements and/or redirects, inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Plantastic Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Plantastic Tab browser hijacker:
Website promoting Plantastic Tab browser hijacker:
Appearance of plantastictab.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 IT 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 Plantastic Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Plantastic Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove plantastictab.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove plantastictab.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Plantastic 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, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Plantastic 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 "Plantastic 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 "Plantastic Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.plantastictab.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 "plantastictab.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 plantastictab.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 "Plantastic 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 "Plantastic Tab", remove hxxp://plantastictab.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 plantastictab.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 plantastictab.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.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on plantastictab.com 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 to visit plantastictab.com website?
Redirects to websites like plantastictab.com are caused because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines) generate revenue through them.
Is visiting plantastictab.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Sites of this kind typically collect (and sell) visitor information.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
The most widely used distribution methods include: deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installation setups, online scams, freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Plantastic Tab browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan systems and eliminate detected browser-hijacking applications. It must be mentioned that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution. In cases where multiple browser hijackers are present, after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. What is more, removal-related settings might be unmodifiable with browser-hijacking software installed. Therefore, browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.