Bubbly Tab browser hijacker (fake) - Free Guide

Bubbly Tab browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Bubbly Tab browser hijacker?

Bubbly Tab takes over the browser by manipulating the settings

Bubbly TabBubbly Tab changes the appearance of your browser

Bubbly Tab is a browser extension that changes the appearance and some of the settings. With thousands of plugins to choose from, users do not always do their research well. The homepage, new tab address gets changed suddenly and unexpectedly, so many users think that they have been infected with a virus.

This add-on claims to be very helpful with productivity. in reality, it has a bunch of useless functions that are available in almost every browser with a click of a button. It just changes the background of the homepage, shows weather, and time. By forcing users to use only selected channels for browsing, it raises many privacy and security concerns.

An extension can be a dangerous thing because it can manipulate browser settings. Anyone can create an application like this and cause issues. People might get redirected to dangerous websites that use social engineering techniques and be fooled into downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs)[1] or even malware.

NAME Bubbly Tab
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The main settings of the browser get changed, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, software bundling, web stores
DANGERS The extension may lead to dangerous websites; display misinformation, inaccurate search results; track browsing and collect data
ELIMINATION Remove the extension by going to your browser settings
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to fix any remaining damage and optimize the machine

Potentially unwanted programs

Even though we always tell our users to use only official sources to get their applications from, they are not free from PUAs. The problem is that web stores do not know how to categorize them. A particular add-on can be liked by one user, and by another one considered an intruder.

Applications like browser hijackers are created for the purpose of pay-per-click advertising.[2] The developers can insert ads, promotional links in the search results and generate revenue every time you click on them. The problem is that the ads can come from legitimate as well as shady individuals because the developers of the add-on do not care about your privacy or security.

While a third-party app is installed on your browser you can get redirected to phishing sites that promote spyware, scareware, fake giveaways, or tech support scams. We have previously written about schemes like Story-board.co, “IP address & personal information might be exposed,” and “You've made the 9.68-billionth search.”

While adding these sorts of programs to your machine, a couple of prompts are shown by the browser that informs users about what changes will be applied to the browser. For example, if you want to add Bubbly Tab, your browser will tell you that it can:

Read and change your data on bubbly-tab.com and sugg.search.yahoo.net

Replace the page you see when opening a new tab

Bubbly Tab browser hijackerBubbly Tab can be installed from the official chrome web store

However, changed settings are not the only thing you should be worried about. The application might also use cookies[3] to collect various data about your browsing-related activities. This information can later be sold to third parties like advertising networks and used to target you with ads even more. Use a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego to clear your browsers automatically and improve the performance.

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove the Bubbly Tab. We show how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Internet Explorer:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

PUP elimination process

Sometimes removing only the extension is not effective and users still continue to experience unwanted symptoms. In that case, you will probably have to scan your machine for adware which is a program that hides in the background of the machine and generates commercial content. If you have it, simply removing the add-on will not be enough, and the settings will keep changing until you completely eliminate it from your machine.

One of the most common ways that these kinds of PUAs are spread is through freeware installation sites. The creators of these platforms have learned that they can include additional programs in the installers and earn money that way. This method is known as software bundling[4] and is very effective as most people rush through the installation process and skip all the steps.

If you want to avoid that in the future, always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods, read the privacy policy and terms of use to find out what information will be collected and what the application will be allowed to do in your system. The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any items that you think are suspicious or unrelated.

The program that is causing settings changes could have any name or icon, so if you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

Windows 7/XP:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2
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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References