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Search.tb.ask.com. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.tb.ask.com is a search engine that might hijack your browsers

Search.tb.ask.com virus

Questions about Search.tb.ask.com

Search.tb.ask.com by Mindspark Interactive is a search engine that might appear on Google Chrome or other web browsers after incorrect installation of freeware or shareware. This search engine is powered by Ask search. However, once its set as your default one, you might find difficulties in setting your preferred search provider as default one.

Summary
Name Search.tb.ask.com
Developer Mindspark Interactive
Type Browser hijacker
Distribution Software bundles
Symptoms Browser's homepage, default search engine and new tab URL changed, an increased amount of ads showing up when browsing the web, crashing and freezing web browser.
 To uninstall Search.tb.ask.com, install Reimage and run a full system scan

Due to unexpected appearance, computer users often refer to it as Search.tb.ask.com virus. However, we want to stress out that it is NOT a virus.[1] It might be only called a browser hijacker[2] or potentially unwanted program (PUP)[3] because it causes unwanted changes on the browser, such as:

  • Search.tb.ask.com or o Home.tb.ask.com set as default homepage or search engine,
  • an increased amount of pop-ups, banners or other types of ads,
  • installation of unknown browser extensions,
  • redirects to promotional websites after clicking links in the results page.

Search.tb.ask.com search engine

Despite the surprise of changed browser’s startup page, Search.tb.ask.com seems like a useful tool. The main page includes shortcuts to popular email services, social networks, and other sites. However, security specialists do not recommend trusting it because of the capability to redirect to promotional websites.

Another negative aspect of this search engine is its ability to collect and share various information about users, such as demographic data, browsing history, interaction with advertisements, etc. The Privacy Policy[4] also tells that aggregated information might be shared with third-parties.

Search.tb.ask.com Privacy Policy

Additionally, developers of the search engine allow third-party tracking technologies. Therefore, if you keep and use it for a long time, you might expect to see lots of commercial content based on your browsing history. Keep in mind that ads nowadays are extremely dangerous because they might include malicious content.

Considering the fact that Search.tb.ask.com is categorized as a potentially unwanted program, you should be aware that it might advertise potentially dangerous or harmful content. Therefore, you should not click on any ads and avoid using this search tool.

Search.tb.ask.com redirect virus

If you use Ask search on a daily basis, you should remove Search.tb.ask.com and set Ask as your default search engine. It might not be safe to use it from the hijacked browser. We have prepared manual removal instructions at the end of the article.

However, we want to suggest opting for automatic Search.tb.ask.com removal and checking if any suspicious programs were not installed without your knowledge. You can start a free scan with Reimage right now or you can update your current antivirus and let it clean this cyber threat for you.

The search engine is promoted in freeware bundles: tips to avoid it

When downloading freeware and shareware, you have to be careful and attentive. Many PUPs might be spreading with the help of it. Additionally, you might be offered to replace your default search engine or homepage. If you overlook such important steps, you might have to deal with various problems.

For avoiding unplanned system changes, you should always keep an eye on the installation of free programs. We highly recommend opting for Custom or Advanced installation method when installing freeware on the system and then monitoring every installation step.

Search.tb.ask.com redirect issues

If you see a pre-selected statement saying “I agree to make Search.tb.ask.com my default search engine” or similar, you should remove the tick. Researchers from LesVirus.fr[5] remind that Quick or Recommended settings do not have such option. If you use the latter settings, you allow installing the whole software package.

Eliminate Search.tb.ask.com from Google Chrome and other web browsers

To fully remove Search.tb.ask.com, you have to uninstall all programs, files, browser extensions or plugins that you do not remember installing yourself. The guide below will explain to you where to look up for hijacker-related components and how to get rid of them properly.

However, you can also speed up Search.tb.ask.com removal and check the system with anti-malware or anti-spyware program. After full system scan, your preferred search tool will offer to delete malicious components. We also suggest resetting affected browsers to delete tracking cookies or beacons.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search.tb.ask.com, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Search.tb.ask.com from Windows systems

Follow the guidelines to check the system for unwanted apps:

  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.tb.ask.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Search.tb.ask.com from Mac OS X system

  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.tb.ask.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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Search.tb.ask.com from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge to get rid of the hijacker:

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.tb.ask.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.tb.ask.com 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.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search.tb.ask.com from Google Chrome

Uninstall suspicious extensions that might be associated with Search.tb.ask.com and reset 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.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Search.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.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.tb.ask.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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