Shiny Tab browser hijacker (virus) - Free Instructions

Shiny Tab browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Shiny Tab browser hijacker?

Shiny Tab pretends to improve productivity by changing the background into a sunset picture

Shiny TabShiny Tab forces users to browse only through selected channels

Shiny Tab is classified as a browser hijacker because it changes the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. It may also collect various browsing-related data. This is all done for the purpose of generating revenue. Once an extension like this is added, it can force users to browse only through selected channels which raises many user privacy and security concerns.

When a plugin has such control of the user experience it can lead them to dangerous pages that trick people into providing their personal information or downloading other PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[1] and even malware. The add-on can generate pop-ups, redirects, banners, and other types of commercial content which could be promoting online scams, adult and gambling websites.

NAME Shiny Tab
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The main browser settings may get changed; users might get redirected to shady websites
DISTRIBUTION Unsafe websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS The application may be collecting data about users' browsing activities; users might get redirected to dangerous websites that can trick them into providing personal information or downloading PUPs and malware
ELIMINATION Remove the extension via browser settings; performing a scan with professional security tools is recommended
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to clear your browsers from cookies and cache

Distribution techniques

Shiny Tab can be downloaded from the chrome web store. Although it is rare, sometimes browser hijackers slip through the lengthy review process. The problem is that digital marketplace owners still do not know how to identify PUPs. One app could be liked by one person, and by another one considered to be a virus.

That is why it is so important to always do your research no matter what. Read the reviews, look at how many users the applications have, and what are the ratings. However, more often people infect themselves with hijackers by browsing through shady websites.

Shiny Tab browser hijackerShiny Tab can be downloaded from an official web store

Usually, these are sites that engage in illegal activities because they are unregulated. Rogue advertising networks can place their ads there, and as a result, such pages are full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects. People accidentally end up on promotional pages for these bogus browser extensions and download them. They get convinced by clever advertising campaigns.

Sometimes, hijacker developers claim that their product was developed in collaboration with a big tech company like Google or Apple. This makes it look legitimate and trustworthy. They also boast about usually non-existent functions that will make users' lives much easier. It is important not to get swayed by false promises and look for applications that are well known, have plenty of reviews and press coverage about them.

Unfortunately, this is not the only way people infect themselves with hijackers. That can also happen without the users' knowledge. Often this happens when people install freeware. Sites that distribute it, include additional programs in the installers that are often adware – a program that monetized user activity by generating ads and collecting data.

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove the Shiny Tab. We show how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

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

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

MS Edge (Chromium)

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

Mozilla Firefox

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

Safari

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

Internet Explorer:

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

PUP elimination process

Sometimes removing only the extension is not effective and users still continue to experience unwanted symptoms. In that case, you will probably have to scan your machine for adware which is a program that hides in the background of the machine and generates commercial content. If you have it, simply removing the add-on will not be enough, and the settings will keep changing until you completely eliminate it from your machine.

Software bundling[2] is the most common reason behind adware and other PUP infections. If you want to avoid it, always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods, read the privacy policy and terms of use to find out what information will be collected and what the application will be allowed to do in your system. The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any items that you think are suspicious or unrelated.

The program that is causing settings changes could have any name or icon, so if you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

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

Clear your browsers

Now that you have removed the intruder completely, it is a good idea to take care of your browsers. Websites and web-based applications can collect various data with cookies[3] and cache. That includes your IP address, geolocation, websites you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online.

Normally, that is nothing out of the ordinary, as legitimate parties use them to personalize the user experience by showing relevant results. However, individuals that are in it only for their own gain can sell this information to rogue advertising networks and other third parties. That way you can get targeted with scam promotions which further puts you in danger.

That is why security experts recommend clearing browsers regularly. However, because it is an annoying process for many, it is left forgotten. We suggest getting a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego that can get rid of cookies and cache automatically with a click of a button. Besides, this software can fix various system errors, corrupted files, and registry issues which is especially helpful after a virus infection.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
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.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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