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Remove Search.smartmediatabsearch.com virus (Free Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.smartmediatabsearch.com search results promote possibly dangerous third-party sites

Screenshot of Search.smartmediatabsearch.com virus

Search.smartmediatabsearch.com search engine (by Stepitapp LTD and Aztec Media Inc.) is not a trustworthy one, and if it flashed on your computer screen as you opened your web browser, you should think about your next moves to get rid of it immediately.

This suspicious website typically becomes browser’s homepage after installing the SmartMediaTab extension, which has the permission to set your search settings to hxxp://Search.smartmediatabsearch.com/.

If you’re wondering why this potentially unwanted program (PUP) wants you to use its search engine so badly, we have an answer to that. This questionable browser hijacker[1] strives for pay-per-click revenue, therefore it pretends to be providing a useful search engine that has several “useful” shortcuts on its main page.

However, the real menace emerges when you decide to use its search services. At this point, this questionable program pumps results’ pages with sponsored entries and waits until the victim clicks on them. Each of these clicks generates revenue for the developer of SmartMediaTab, exposing the computer user to various Internet hazards at the same time.

The problem is that this questionable extension is set to advertise websites that are not even endorsed by the developers of it. To put it shortly, if you decide to explore sites promoted by this suspicious search engine, you risk visiting dangerous third-party sites. It goes without saying that deceptive web pages can try to trick you into installing bogus browser toolbars, extensions, programs or software updates[2], besides, such sites can also attempt to swindle personal information from you.

If you do not want to run into websites that are designed to take advantage of you, remove Search.smartmediatabsearch.com as soon as you can because although it does not pose a threat to your privacy or security on its own, it can easily show you a path to dangerous sites.

Search.smartmediatabsearch.com redirect virusSearch.smartmediatabsearch.com virus is developed by Aztec Media, Inc., a company that is the author of many browser hijackers meant to change victim's search settings and push sponsored content via search results' pages.

Speaking of this browser hijacker, we must mention that it attempts to collect some information about the users of Smart Media Tab Search. It mainly seeks to find out user’s language preference, type of browser used, also search queries, page views, impressions, and clicks, as well as IP address. It can also collect your private information if you willingly provide it. Remember that it is very easy to misuse such information; therefore we suggest you think twice before you decide to continue using this search engine.

Distribution of the annoying browser hijacker

Most users complain about Search.smartmediatabsearch.com hijacking their browsers without their knowledge or permission. Surprisingly, this program can access victim’s computer only with user’s permission. Therefore, it has to obtain this permission somehow. It decides to rely on software bundling techniques, which allows slipping a couple of additional programs into victim’s computer without his notice.

To avoid installing software bundles without realizing it, we suggest staying away from vague file sharing sites and avoiding Default/Standard software installation settings when installing new programs.

These settings typically contain statements that grant user’s permission to install all “recommended” software. To prevent sneaky programs from infiltrating your PC, rely on Custom/Advanced settings and deselect every optional component added to your download.

Search.smartmediatabsearch.com removal methods explained

Unfortunately, it won’t be enough to change homepage and search settings to remove Search.smartmediatabsearch.com virus from your browsers. We have decided to prepare a comprehensive removal tutorial for those willing to uninstall this highly questionable browser hijacker manually. However, for best results, we suggest scanning your PC with an anti-malware program to complete Search.smartmediatabsearch.com removal firmly.

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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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.smartmediatabsearch.com virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search.smartmediatabsearch.com from Windows systems

To eliminate the described hijacker, do the following:

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

Delete Search.smartmediatabsearch.com from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Search.smartmediatabsearch.com from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Search.smartmediatabsearch.com 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.smartmediatabsearch.com 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.smartmediatabsearch.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Search.smartmediatabsearch.com virus 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.smartmediatabsearch.com-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

Erase Search.smartmediatabsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Clean Firefox by eliminating every questionable add-on from it, including SmartMediaTab.

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

Remove Search.smartmediatabsearch.com from Google Chrome

Follow the given instructions to navigate to Extensions tab and once you open it, locate and remove SmartMediaTab extension.

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

Uninstall Search.smartmediatabsearch.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.smartmediatabsearch.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.smartmediatabsearch.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.smartmediatabsearch.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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