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Remove Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus (Removal Instructions) - updated Jan 2020

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Search.safesidetabsearch.com is a browser hijacker that claims to protect you while browsing online

Search.safesidetabsearch.com
Search.safesidetabsearch.com is a browser hijacker that initiates web browser changes without permission

Search.safesidetabsearch.com is a web address that users can see on their Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or is a browser after they install a potentially unwanted program[1] called FunSafeTab extension by Imali Media. Nevertheless, the URL might also be related to other browser hijackers, so sometimes getting rid of the extension is not enough to regain control of your search engine, new tab, and the homepage.

Questions about Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus

Potentially unwanted programs like Search.safesidetabsearch.com are usually attached to freeware or shareware apps that you download from third-party websites. Due to the deceptive software bundling distribution technique, users may not even notice the entry of a browser hijacker or another PUP. Luckily, most of the modern browsers nowadays warn users about homepage and new tab address change, so users can opt to remove Search.safesidetabsearch.com before it can even apply any changes.

Name Search.safesidetabsearch.com
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Related extension  FunSafeTab 
Developer Imali Media
Infiltration  In most cases, users install potentially unwanted programs unintentionally – via software bundle packages, a deceptive ad, or a fake update prompt. Nevertheless, the extension can also be installed voluntarily via official sources like Google Web store
Symptoms  A browser extension FunSafeTab installed on the web browser; search results are redirected to Yahoo and are filled with sponsored links; overall increased amount of advertising 
Risks  Installation of other potentially unwanted programs, data disclosure to unknown parties 
Removal You can terminate the PUP by following our instructions below or scanning a machine with anti-malware software
Recovery In case your computer is experiencing lag, crashes, BSODs, errors, and other issues, you can scan it with Reimage Reimage Cleaner to repair the Windows OS

Just as many other browser hijackers, FunSafeTab Search tries to attract users with its allegedly useful functionality – it includes a few customization features like the change of the background picture and embedded links that lead users to sites like Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Just to be clear – there is nothing wrong with these links, as they would bring to official websites of well-known companies.

Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that Search.safesidetabsearch.com functionality is not something unique, and most of the web browsers, such as the new MS Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other browsers, provide it as well. The difference is that you could actually customize your front page the way you like and apply links that you visit the most – convenient and risk-free.

Additionally, FunSafeTab also offers the capability of uploading documents and other files, which can be locked with a password. The same feature is provided for notes, although the developer claims that these files are protected with the AES encryption.[2]

On the other side, if you decide to keep Search.safesidetabsearch.com hijacker installed, all your searches will be redirected to Yahoo, although they won't be organic. In other words, the displayed results will be those that were paid for by the developer's partners and affiliates and not the ones you would see by searching via a regular search engine.

Search.safesidetabsearch.com hijack
Search.safesidetabsearch.com is a PUP that redirects all searchers to Yahoo but fills them with sponsored links

Another reason for Search.safesidetabsearch.com removal should be the fact that it collects a variety of information about your web browsing habits with the help of such tracking technologies as cookies, web beacons,[3] pixels, etc. The data may include:

  • IP address
  • Web browser type
  • Language
  • Timestamp
  • Search queries
  • Clicks, and other usage information.

Additionally, FunSafeTab may also gather some personal information that you provide during the registration or operation process of the app.

The second type of information is individually identifiable information, namely information that identifies an individual or may with reasonable effort identify an individual (“Personal Information”). The Personal information includes information which was either voluntarily submitted by you when and if you contact us (name, email address, etc.).  

Search.safesidetabsearch.com uses the same design and characteristics for the whole bunch of fake search engines, including Cooliosearch.comSearch.mysearchengine.infoSearch.wondrousmoviessearch.com, Search.safesidesearch.com, and many others. All of these tools pretend to help users find what they are looking for, but the truth is, they seek the ad revenue through the pay-per-click installs. In the meantime, users might be forced to visit sponsored sites that they otherwise never would. This is especially common for less experienced users who don't see the difference between a hijacked and a genuine search engine.

To conclude, FunSafeTab (Search.safesidetabsearch.com) is not a virus or something very malicious, but it is a tool that will expose you to ads and will show you sponsored links, all while gathering information about you in the background. Thus, we recommend sticking to well-known search providers like Google or Yahoo (which is used by the hijacker anyways).

In case Search.safesidetabsearch.com removal proves to be difficult, you can always scan your machine with anti-malware software that can get the work done for you. Additionally, we recommend scanning the device with Reimage Reimage Cleaner and resetting the installed browsers for the best results.

Search.safesidetabsearch.com hijack operation principles

The main symptom of Search.safesidetabsearch.com hijack is the web browser’s (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, etc.) modifications. This misleading search engine is typically spread via freeware in the form of an extension. Thus, once it is installed, it changes the web browser’s homepage, search engine, new tab window, and other less important parameters.

Consequently, instead of Google, Bing, or Yahoo, you may encounter with Search.safesidetabsearch.com web page all the time. The homepage of this page offers a security scan of a certain domain and provides some quick links to security-related software, allows checking the Internet speed, access social networks directly, and so on. Besides, it also provides Yahoo-based search results that may not look suspicious at all.

Search.safesidetabsearch.com sponsored links
Data gathering, retention and sharing practices of Search.safesidetabsearch.com can be found on the Privacy Policy page

However, as we have already pointed out, search results developed by the Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus may include a bunch of sponsored links and advertisements linked to irrelevant or even unsafe third party web pages. It’s crucial to highlight the fact that IMALI – N.I. MEDIA LTD does not take any responsibility for the content that is displayed via this search engine, which means that the data may be false, and after clicking on the, you will be able to blame yourself only. Therefore, do not take that risk!

Ways to remove and avoid hijackers like Search.safesidetabsearch.com

The 2-spyware team highly recommends you remove Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus as soon as possible as it may deliver unsafe search results and present with tons of pop-up ads linked to third-party pages. In most of the cases, this fake search infects random web browsers with the help of other freeware/shareware. In other words, it may be hidden under software packages and disclosed on the list of 'optional downloads, which is not necessarily checked.

To prevent your PC from being hijacked by Search.safesidetabsearch.com, you have to opt for an advanced or custom installation mode and monitor the installation carefully. If, however, you did the installation of the desired freeware incorrectly and allowed Search.safesidetabsearch.com PUP to land on your web browser accidentally, perform its removal right away. For that, you can use the guide provided below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . 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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus, follow these steps:

Remove Search.safesidetabsearch.com from Windows systems

To get rid of Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus on Windows machines, follow these instructions:

  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.safesidetabsearch.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.safesidetabsearch.com 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.safesidetabsearch.com 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.

Erase Search.safesidetabsearch.com from Mac OS X system

If you are using macOS, you should follow these steps to get rid of FunSafeTab:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Search.safesidetabsearch.com or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Get rid of Search.safesidetabsearch.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search.safesidetabsearch.com and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search.safesidetabsearch.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Eliminate Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Search.safesidetabsearch.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall Search.safesidetabsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Reset Mozilla Firefox to ensure that the hijacker is completely eliminated:

  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.safesidetabsearch.com 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.safesidetabsearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete Search.safesidetabsearch.com from Google Chrome

  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.safesidetabsearch.com 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.safesidetabsearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Search.safesidetabsearch.com 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.safesidetabsearch.com 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.safesidetabsearch.com, 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.safesidetabsearch.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References


  1. Atlas Primeidium says:
    January 12th, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Search.safesidetabsearch.com homepage is driving me insane. It not only been set without my permission, but now even cant be reset

  2. Wayne9 says:
    January 12th, 2016 at 10:09 am

    What can I say, thanks guys for the removal guide. I though that Search.safesidetabsearch.com hijacker will cause me troubles

  3. Epic122 says:
    January 12th, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Hi guys. I am sorry for those who has or had this Search.safesidetabsearch.com virus on the system. Its sooo irritating. The homepage seems quite ok, but the search results are obviously not normal.

  4. Jonathan says:
    January 12th, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Totally agree with you. Be careful with free programs as they carry this hijacker along

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