Severity scale:  
  (10/100)

Remove Search.freshtab.net (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - Removal Instructions

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.freshtab.net – suspicious domain that may initiate redirects to questionable sites

Picture of Search.freshtab.net start page

Search.freshtab.net is a domain that may cause unwanted web browser's redirects to suspicious websites. According to cyber security experts, it features all traits typical to browser hijacker[1] and potentially unwanted program (PUP). Usually, people install it accidentally without being aware of that, but it's not possible not to notice its presence. Once its extension is dropped on Chrome or another web browser, https://search.freshtab.net URL becomes a default start page and search provider.

The purpose of Freshtab search is to increase traffic[2] to affiliate websites. It renders Yahoo search results and tries to impersonate legitimate search site. Nevertheless, it may try to promote potentially dangerous web domains some of which may be used for malware distribution. 

By the way, freshtab virus may try gather personally non-identifiable information, including your web browsing history, email address, and IP address, and transfer it to affiliate parties. Such details may further be used for affiliate marketing. Cookies that this search renders cannot be removed separately. The only way to get rid of them is to remove the hijacker completely. 

Although this particular browser hijacker affects Google Chrome[3] most frequently, none of the other web browsers are immune to the attack. If your web browser's settings have been corrupted without your permission, your' immediate response should be a complete Search.freshtab.net removal. For this purpose, you can use ReimageIntego. After that, don't forget to reset your web browser's settings.

Search.freshtab.net virus removalSearch.freshtab.net is a redirect virus that changes new URL, start page and search engine without authorization to cause unwanted redirects later on.

Do not delay the removal of browser hijackers

Search.freshtab.net removal should not be delayed unless you don't mind unwanted redirects while browsing and other unpleasant side effects that this search domain may have on your web browsing experience. These are the thing malware is capable of:

  • Redirects. The web browser is a target for hackers not without a purpose. The third-party search engine can display predetermined search results at the top of which people can find links to irrelevant or even unsafe domains.
  • Advertising. Search.freshtab.net virus can also be accused of an excessive amount of ads within trusted websites. Malware can execute an extension on each web browser, which is set to generate commercial and non-commercial ads.
  • Fake update pop-ups. Search.freshtab.net start page can contain ads that promote software or urge to install software updates. Be very careful with such ads because they may trick you into downloading more PUPs.
  • Data collection. Although the question what information is personally identifiable and what is not is disputable, no one likes to reveal browsing history, name, email address, telephone number, bookmarks, and similar information to unknown parties, especially knowing the fact that it can be used for illegal purposes.

Choose Advanced installation setup to prevent installation of PUPs

Start page and search engine can be taken after the installation of any free application. Developers of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) disseminate unwanted add-ons and extensions by bundling.

Although this distribution strategy is not illegal, it's rather unfair because people are not explicitly informed how many programs are going to be installed on the system. “Free attachments” are typically revealed under Advanced installation wizard, but Quick or Basic installation setup is the default one. Consequently, if the user follows quick steps, he or she won't be informed about unwanted installers.

Sometimes browser hijackers and other malware can be promoted via fake pop-up ads that inform PC's owner about missing/required updates or virus infection.

Eliminate Search.freshtab.net virus with one click

It's not difficult to remove Search.freshtab.net from the system. The easiest way to get rid of it is to perform a thorough system scan with ReimageIntego or another professional anti-malware tool.

However, to remove malware from Control Panel (Windows) or System Libraries (Mac OS X) is not enough to remove Search.freshtab.net completely. You should also reset web browser's settings. This task has to be implemented manually, so you should follow the guide below. Also, it contains a section on how to get rid of Search.freshtab.net virus manually.

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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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.

To remove Search.freshtab.net, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search.freshtab.net from Windows systems

Although automatic removal of browser hijackers is more reliable, manual removal is not a difficult task to perform. All you have to do is to follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Search.freshtab.net and related programs
    Here, look for Search.freshtab.net or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Search.freshtab.net from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Eliminate Search.freshtab.net from Mac OS X system

Mac OS X is less vulnerable to cyber threats like Search Fresh Tab. However, security experts have already registered several instances, so if you are one those people whose web browser was hijacked by Search.freshtab.net virus, try these steps to get rid of it:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Search.freshtab.net from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Search.freshtab.net-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 Search.freshtab.net, 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 related to Search.freshtab.net and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Search.freshtab.net-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Erase Search.freshtab.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  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 Search.freshtab.net and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search.freshtab.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of Search.freshtab.net 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 Search.freshtab.net-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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

Remove Search.freshtab.net from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Search.freshtab.net and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Search.freshtab.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete Search.freshtab.net from Google Chrome

To eliminate Search.freshtab.net malware from Google Chrome, reset its settings to default:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Search.freshtab.net and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Search.freshtab.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Search.freshtab.net from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Search.freshtab.net or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Search.freshtab.net, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Search.freshtab.net removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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