LessTabs Adware

Also Known As: LessTabs Virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

LessTabs - how to remove Less Tabs adware and eliminate unwanted online ads?

What is LessTabs?

The LessTabs (or Less Tabs) browser add-on enhances Internet users' browsing experience by displaying quick information relating to highlighted text without the need to open additional browser tabs. When the user highlights text (by selecting it), LessTabs displays a pop-up window with relevant translations, thesaurus, Wikipedia, and additional search results. Whilst such added functionality may seem useful, many computer users refer to this browser add-on as the LessTabs virus or adware. Such associations are made since the LessTabs browser extension is promoted using free software downloads, and Internet users often download and install it unwillingly.

Less Tabs adware homepage

Moreover, after installation, this browser plug-in displays banner, search, pop-up, pop-under, interstitial, and in-text ads when visiting websites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, etc. LessTabs is similar in behavior to "ads not by this site" and "Yontoo". While LessTabs is not considered a virus, it is categorized as adware since it displays unwanted ads, diminishes Internet browser performance, and may lead to serious privacy and computer security issues. Installation of this potentially unwanted browser add-on is often a consequence of reckless freeware installation, thus it is highly recommended that users remove LessTabs from their Internet browsers.

To avoid installation of LessTabs and other adware, Internet users should be attentive when downloading and installing free software. Today, many popular download websites (including download.com, softonic.com, soft32.com, etc.) use so-called 'download clients' offering promoted programs and browser add-ons prior to download of the chosen software. Some download clients employ deceptive tactics to promote additional software by hiding the buttons that allow the user to opt-out of promoted program download and installation. When dealing with free software, use the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options and disallow any suggested modifications to the Internet browser settings or installation of additional programs. If you feel that LessTabs was installed on your computer without your consent, use the removal guide provided to eliminate it.

Deceptive free software installer used in LessTabs adware distribution:

lesstabs adware installer

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Quick menu:

LessTabs removal:

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.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.

Mac 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.

LessTabs uninstall

In the uninstall programs window, look for "LessTabs", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling LessTabs, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.

Remove LessTabs from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

LessTabs removal from Internet Explorer

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "LessTabs" and disable it.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the lesstabs virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

LessTabs removal from Google Chrome

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions".  Locate: "LessTabs", select it and click on the trash can icon.

If the LessTabs extension is greyed-out and you cannot remove it ("This extension is managed and cannot be removed of disabled"), please follow this removal guide - how to remove a managed Google Chrome extension?

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the lesstabs virus, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

LessTabs removal from Mozilla FireFox

Click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable this add-on: "LessTabs".

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with lesstabs virus 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 adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

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

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

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 adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the lesstabs virus, 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 adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove lesstabs virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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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
LessTabs Virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of LessTabs Virus on your mobile device.
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