Has your Chrome, Firefox or Explorer browser been recently invaded by a program called Searchtab.win “Virus”? If yes, then you most probably have noticed some new toolbar, which has been installed there without your approval or some strange changes to your homepage or your default search engine, which now automatically redirects you to various aggressively popping ads and promotional web pages. These abilities to integrate with the users’ browsers and to redirect their searches to different ads, banners, pop-ups and other advertising materials are typical for a specific type of programs, known as browser hijackers. Searchtab.win “Virus” is just one of the recently reported tools of this type and in the next lines, we are going to explain to you more about it. If you are looking for a permanent solution that can remove the browser hijacker and its changes, stay on this page because at the end we have prepared a removal guide, which will show you exactly how to uninstall Searchtab.win “Virus” and bring your browser settings back to normal.
What should you know about Searchtab.win “Virus”?
Searchtab.win “Virus” is a browser hijacking program, developed by legitimate software developers, with the idea to advertise and bring them profits. You will most likely find this program on your computer after installing a freeware pack or a software bundle from some open source download platforms, torrent sites, spam messages, email attachments or direct download links from the Internet. Such distribution and installation methods are legal and users can usually unmark the added program manually during the installation of the main program. However, due to lack of time or computer skills, they normally don’t do that, and this way, they allow the browser hijacker to become part of their system unintentionally.
Searchtab.win “Virus” may, at first sight, look like a useful browser assistant. It may claim to provide you with some functionality or some features, created to enhance your browsing experience. However, a lot of users have recently contacted our team with a complaint that this program tends to replace the homepage and the default search engine with some other, unfamiliar ones. What is more, the moment it starts to operate on the system, this browser hijacker repeatedly tends to redirect their searches and get them exposed to various aggressive sites and ads. Such activity can be very irritating and annoying, that’s why it is not surprising that some of the users are desperately looking for a way to permanently remove the ads and uninstall the potentially unwanted program.
Can Searchtab.win “Virus” be as harmful as a computer virus?
Fortunately, Searchtab.win “Virus” is not a malicious program. Its developers may basically use it as a bit aggressive ad generation tool, but, unlike the hackers, who produce viruses, Trojans and Ransomware threats, they do not aim to cause harm to the users’ system. However, the developers often choose a bit of a tricky way to spread the browser hijacker and make some money out of it. More often than not, the general functionality, which is promised by the program, is dominated by the intrusive generation of sponsored notifications, offers, promotional sites and new tabs, which prompt the users to click on them. We also have to mention that commonly, the browser hijacker is used to track down the users’ surfing habits and collect information about them. This is not a virus-like activity and is not mean to compromise your privacy the way that a real Spyware, a Trojan horse or a Ransomware threat could do. The real reason for the browser hijackers’ developers to do that is to provide targeted ads and to generate revenue from the users’ clicks through common remuneration methods like Pay-Per-Click. However, if you think that the ads, the redirects and the “traffic data” collection are too much for you to deal with, there is no need to tolerate the hijacker – simply uninstall it.
Removing the potentially unwanted program:
As mentioned earlier in the article, Searchtab.win “Virus” is not a virus, and you should be able to uninstall it from your computer without any complications. However, you may need some detailed instructions on that, that’s why below we have prepared a step-by-step removal guide. If you cannot remove the browser hijacker manually, you can definitely try using the suggested scanning tool. It can easily delete the potentially unwanted program with all the files and registers, associated with it.
Searchtab.win “Virus” Removal
Before you begin completing the steps from the following guide, we advise you to place a bookmark on this page or have it opened on a separate device since some of the following steps will require you to close your browser.
Enter Safe Mode. If you don’t know how to do it, use this guide.
Open the Task Manger by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Go to the processes/details Tab and take a look at the resulting list. If you see a process with the name of the unwanted program or looks shady, right-click on it and select Open File Location. If you believe it is part of the infection, delete the files.
Use the Winkey+R key combination to open the Run window and in the search field type appwiz.cpl. Hit Enter and in the resulting list, look for recently installed programs that look potentially unwanted. If you find anything – uninstall it.
Re-open Run and this tie type msconfig. Hit Enter again and in the resulting window, go to the Startup tab. See if there are any shady programs there and if anything looks suspicious uncheck it and then select OK.
In the Start Menu search field, copy-paste the following line: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts . Open the first result and look at the bottom of the file where it says “Localhost”. If there are any IP addresses below that, tell us what they are in the comments since they might be coming from the unwanted software.
Type Network Connections in the Windows search field and click on the first result. Right-click on the adapter that you are using at the moment and go to Properties > Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Properties.
If the DNS line is not set to Obtain DNS server automatically, make sure to check that option.
Now go to Advanced > DNS tab and remove everything in DNS server addresses, in order of use.
Right-click on your browser’s icon and select Properties. Delete everything in Target that is after .exe”.
For Chrome users
Close Chrome and go to this folder: C:/Users/*Your username*/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. Change the name of the Default folder to Backup Default. Re-open Chrome.
For Firefox users
Open Firefox and click on the Main Menu > Add-ons > Extensions. If you see anything suspicious there, remove it.
For IE users
When you open the browser, go to Tools > Manage Ad-ons and remove the unwanted software if you see it there. Next, go to Tools > Internet options and change the homepage URL to whatever you are normally using.
Open Run (Winkey+R), type Regedit and click on OK. Next, press Ctrl+F and type the malware name. Hit Enter and delete everything that gets found.
If there are no results from the search, manually visit those folders in the Registry Editor.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main
If you find there any suspicious keys that have names with a lot of random letters and numbers, delete them or if you are not sure, tell us in the comments what you saw.