FinderTab browser hijacker (fake) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

FinderTab browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is FinderTab browser hijacker?

FinderTab takes over the browser seemingly out of nowhere by changing the main settings

FinderTabFinderTab gets added as an extension in your browser

FinderTab is a potentially unwanted program[1] that changes the user experience. When it gets added to the browser as a plugin, it alters the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. Often that causes a lot of stress for people because the change happens quickly and unexpectedly. Many think that they have been infected with a virus.

We have written about hundreds of browser hijackers, and this activity does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. It brings value not for the users but for the developers. Some previous similar apps we already wrote about include Finderflash.xyz, BlendedSearch, and Wind Blocker. They can change the data on web browsers and alter the content you see on the screen.

When users try to change their settings back to the way they were, after a short while, they get reverted. This will not stop until you remove the FinderTab Default Search extension from your browser completely. In this article, we will provide a detailed removal guide and some insight into how these types of applications are distributed on the Internet.

NAME FinderTab
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS An extension is added to the browser; homepage and new tab address altered; a different search engine is implemented; sponsored links displayed in the results
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS Inaccurate search results, sponsored links can lead to dangerous pages that want to get users personal information
ELIMINATION You can remove an extension via browser settings or by deploying professional security software
FURTHER STEPS After elimination is complete, clean your web browsers and repair system files. You can do that automatically with ReimageIntego

A detailed view of the plugin

Browser extensions are nothing out of the ordinary, and many people use them to enhance their browser and make it better with additional functions. Users can receive a browsing experience without ads, dangerous links or automatically receive the best discount codes while shopping online.

The FinderTab plugin just changes the settings and forces the person to use findertab.xyz to search the Internet. When you type something in that search and press “Enter,” you will get redirected to Bing search engine. Although there is nothing shady about that engine as it is used by Microsoft, the developers of the app can track your browsing behavior and collect it with the help of cookies.[2]

The best way to get rid of various trackers is to use a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego. It can clear the browsers automatically and stop them completely. That should also improve the performance of the device as it cleans all the temporary files from the machine. Besides that, the software can fix more serious system errors, like corrupted files, registry issues, and BSoDs.[3]

That is why you should read about the services and products you use before getting them. You can see all the things the extension can do in your browser settings, so if you were careful, you would not be surprised. Add-ons just cannot get in your browser without you pressing a couple of “Allow” buttons unless it is a PUP that is hiding in your system.

FinderTab browser hijackerFinderTab performs many unwanted tasks in the background

Distribution techniques

Extensions that are created to generate profit from users' browsing activities are spread on shady websites that are full of deceptive ads and redirects. This is why we always say that these types of infections are caused by the users themselves and their careless nature. Many people ignore cybersecurity expert tips and visit pages that engage in illegal activities and are unregulated.

Another very popular way to spread applications like this is on freeware[4] distribution sites. The owners of such sites still need to make money so they include additional programs in the installers and do not disclose that in the hopes that most users will not notice them. Unfortunately, that is what happens most of the time. Depending on the way the extension got in your browser, you might need to perform different removal methods.

Remove the plugin via browser settings

First, let's open your browser and remove the extension that is causing the settings to change. You can find instructions for Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, and Internet Explorer below this post.

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. 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

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings.Reset Chrome 2

Remove the add-on from your system

As we mentioned before, the symptoms you are experiencing could be caused by a PUP that got there when you were installing freeware from unofficial sources. To avoid that happening in the future, you should implement some habits. Never rush through the installation process and do not skip through the steps. Always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods and uncheck the boxes next to any unnecessary programs in the list.

The removal of a PUP can be a little more complicated if it is named differently than it appears in the browser. Because of that, we recommend using professional security tools like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes that can scan the machine and eliminate them automatically. Antivirus software can detect suspicious processes in the background.

If you know what application you need to get rid of, you can follow the step-by-step instructions for Windows and Mac:

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

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
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Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
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.

Getting rid of FinderTab browser hijacker. Follow these steps

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from 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

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

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

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge
EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

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

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

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

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of FinderTab browser hijacker registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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