What is Searchtab.win “Virus”? Removal from Chrome/Firefox/IE

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.


How irritating is this virus?

This page aims to help you remove Searchtab.win “Virus”. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

What is a Browser Hijacker?

Normally, a Browser Hijacker is any program that has the ability to introduce unwanted changes to the user’s browser program (IE, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, etc.). Mostly, the said changes include the replacement of the previous starting page of the browser or of the default search engine. Additionally, the irritating software piece might also install some obscure new toolbar and could even trigger irritating page redirects or generate unpleasant pop-ups.

If you have recently had a Browser Hijacker program called Searchtab.win “Virus” installed onto your computer, then you are likely looking for a way to have it uninstalled and removed from your system. Here, we can offer you that – at the bottom of this article, you will be able to find a detailed guide manual that consists of several methods organized as different steps that will help you get rid of the pesky software. However, before you head to the removal guide, you are advised to read the article itself and see what information it has to offer you. Know that being well informed with regards to this type of unwanted programs is key to never landing another such application again.

What is the purpose of Hijackers?

The main idea behind the majority of programs like Searchtab.win “Virus” is that they generate income through Internet marketing and advertising techniques (hence the browser changes, page redirects and the generation of pop-ups/ads). A lot of times a Hijacker might be advertised as a program/software tool that would make your browsing experience safer and/or more pleasant. The truth, however, is that in the majority of instances this is only stated as a way to make it more likely that the user would download the Hijacker. In reality, most programs the likes of Searchtab.win “Virus” are nowhere near as beneficial or as useful as they might be promoted to be. Furthermore, normally such a program would actually worsen the aspects it is said to be able to improve by heavily obstructing your online activities and also, in certain cases, making your system less safe. The reason for that is because the main concern of the developers of such programs is usually their personal profit and not how much benefit (or lack thereof) the actual customer will obtain from the program.

 

Searchtab.win “Virus” Removal

If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.

If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.


Step1

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. If you want a fast safe solution, we recommend SpyHunter. 

>> Click to Download Spyhunter. If you don't want this software, continue with the guide below.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet

After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

Step3

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

Step4

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

DNS

Step5

  • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Searchtab.win “Virus” from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Searchtab.win “Virus” from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Searchtab.win “Virus” from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

Step6

WARNING!
To remove parasite, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. Making a mistake and deleting the wrong thing may damage your system.
Avoid this by using SpyHunter - a professional Parasite removal tool.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!

Comparison between Hijackers and PC viruses

Many people seem to believe that if their computer gets a Hijacker installed on it, it means that their system has been infected by some noxious and insidious virus the likes of a Trojan horse or Ransomware. In reality, this isn’t really the case in most such situations. Hijackers and actual computer viruses like the ones we mentioned are two different types of software and while there might be certain similarities between them, there are also quite a few substantial differences. The main thing that sets the two kinds of software apart is that a typical Hijacker wouldn’t normally try to harm anything on your PC or mess with your personal data in contrast to what a Trojan or a Ransomware would certainly attempt to do. That being said, however, one should still be on their guard if there’s a Hijacker like Searchtab.win “Virus” on their computer. If you aren’t careful and interact with what the pesky piece of software generates on your screen, you might indeed expose your system to various risks. Therefore, make sure to avoid the pages you might get redirected to by the Hijacker or the pop-ups that it might generate. Also, do not use the custom search engine or toolbar that it might have added to your browser. The one thing that we believe you SHOULD do if there’s a Hijacker on your computer is see to its removal as soon as possible.

Preventing Hijacker installation in the future

It’s easy to stop Hijackers as long as you know how they normally get distributed. Most of the time, users land such programs without actually realizing it. It could happen by interacting with the contents of a spam e-mail or spam social network/Skype message or by clicking on a shady advert or banner from the pages of some unreliable and obscure website. Using untrusted download sources is another way you can unknowingly get a Browser Hijacker installed on your PC. One other thing that is used as a method for spreading this sort of programs is what is known as file-bundling. With this technique, the unwanted piece of software gets put inside the setup file of another program as an optional install. A lot of users tend to ignore such optional installs allowing them to get installed onto their PC along the main program. If you want to prevent getting Hijackers on your computer. Be sure to avoid making that same mistake and always check the setup menu for any bundled software – if there’s something added that might look potentially unwanted, simply remove the tick from the checkbox next to it and you should be good to go and proceed with the installation process.

SUMMARY:

Name Searchtab.win
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  The most notable red flag that normally gives away a Hijacker program is the changes that the unwanted software would likely introduce to your browser.
Distribution Method Shady browser ads, offers and warnings, spam messages to your Facebook, Skype or e-mail, software bundles, untrusted download sources and others.
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.