Severity scale:  
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Smartsearch.pw. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Smartsearch.pw – an Israel-based browser hijacker that is promoting a highly questionable MacKeeper

  Smartsearch.pw browser hijacker
Smartsearch.pw is a fake search engine that tracks data to set personalized ads to its victim.

Smartsearch.pw is a browsing hijacker that can also be called as Smart Search. This hijacker can easily infect the system without user's notice and start promoting an infamous Mac OS X cleaner called MacKeeper.[1] If you have ever tried it, you should know that this PUP displays numerous notifications on its victim's computer desktop that are all set to see its license. However, the program's effectiveness is doubtful, just like the ability of Smartsearch.pw virus to improve users' search sessions.  No matter how actively this site tries to remind Google or other legitimate search engines, it provides only sponsored search results. In addition, after clicking these results, you can find yourself on highly suspicious websites. 

Name Smartsearch.pw
Type Browser hijacker
Symptoms Changed homepage, new tab, redirects, pop-up ads
Distribution Software bundling
Targets Mac operating system
Elimination Use Reimage for Smartsearch.pw removal

The search provider typically comes to your system without your knowledge or permission. This means that you are not aware of its presence unless you notice its activity on the screen, browser or general sluggishness of your computer. Because of this fact, people tend to call this program a Smartsearch.pw virus.

Although this is just a redirect virus and there is no damage to the main PC system you need to think about Smartsearch.pw removal. It is better for the device that you remove this cyber threat quickly after you notice something suspicious. All those background processes highly affect the performance and speed of your device. High usage of CPU[2] can be a reason of crash or freeze on the device due to the presence of the hijacker

Also, Smartsearch.pw can collect various information from the user. It makes this program more dangerous. Data about your internet habits and preferences in searches or products can be used to create more advertisements. This information about your Internet provider and location is shared with third-party ad developers. As the developer of Smartsearch.pw states on their main search engine Privacy policy this information is used in multiple ways: 

The Company uses the information it collects for analytical, business and operational purposes in the following ways:

  1. to operate and update the Software & Services and provide you with existing and new functionality and features;
  2. to improve and customize the Software & Services;
  3. to provide you personalized content, including through the delivery of targeted interest-based advertisements from us or our partners;
  4. to maintain and improve the quality and operation of the Software & Services;
  5. to notify you of Software & Services updates; 6. to provide you with support and handle your complaints and/or feedback;
  6. to take any action in case of a dispute involving you in connection with the Software & Services;
  7. to enforce the terms and conditions applicable to the Software & Services and to prevent unlawful activities and misuse thereof; and
  8. to comply and satisfy any applicable law regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.

Unfortunately, the customized commercial content after the hijack is also known as targeted advertising. In other terms, the contrivers generate pay-per-click or pay-per-install revenue from the ads you click on. Keep in mind that some advertisements might look legitimate while actually hide malicious scripts inside. Thus, consider uninstalling Smartsearch.pw. 

You need to remove Smartsearch.pw if you want to be safe while surfing the web. According to researchers[3], the best solution for the virus termination and cleaning your system are anti-malware tools like Reimage. It is advisable to use certified programs so you can rely on them. 

Software providers and virus developers make arrangements to spread PUPs

It is known that people tend to rush through some processes on their PC, including installations. Freeware providers and potentially unwanted program creators are aware of this fact. This is where they can employ the marketing technique called bundling. It is the process when software, tools or products are packed with PUPs and other potentially dangerous files. 

When you are getting your updates or software from non-legitimate sources, you can get additional pieces that you don't want. This means that choosing Default or Quick options during installation allows all additional pieces to get on your system and you are not aware of this when you rush through. The best solution here is Advanced or Custom options. These settings allow you to see all programs that are installed on your PC and gives you an ability to de-select programs you do not want to get. 

Smartsearch.pw termination requires professional help

To remove Smartsearch.pwfrom the system, you should use anti-malware tools. This is advisable because these programs can remove all pieces related to browser hijackers or other PUPs. Also, anti-malware can be a good addition to your anti-virus software because of the feature that allows to detect, remove and block malware, including the components of browser hijacker.

Smartsearch.pw removal requires attention because programs that come with other programs can hide in various places and work behind your back. So manual termination is not very helpful and time-consuming. We have a few suggestions of reputable anti-malware programs. Also, if you scroll down, you can find a step-by-step guide that helps to go through the whole virus elimination quickly and get rid of Smartsearch.pw. 

You can remove Smartsearch.pw automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Smartsearch.pw you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Smartsearch.pw. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternate Software
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
We have tested Plumbytes Anti-Malware's efficiency in removing Smartsearch.pw (2018-08-02)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Smartsearch.pw (2018-08-02)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing Smartsearch.pw (2018-08-02)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Smartsearch.pw (2018-08-02)

To remove Smartsearch.pw, follow these steps:

Mac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Smartsearch.pw from Mac OS X system

Get rid of Smartsearch.pw by following these steps:

  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 Smartsearch.pw 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'
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Smartsearch.pw from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove browser hijacker from your Explorer:

  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 Smartsearch.pw 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 Smartsearch.pw removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Smartsearch.pw from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Get rid of browser hijacker now by following these steps:

  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 Smartsearch.pw 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 Smartsearch.pw removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Smartsearch.pw from Google Chrome

Delete Smartsearch.pw from Chrome browser:

  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 Smartsearch.pw 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 Smartsearch.pw removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Smartsearch.pw 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 Smartsearch.pw 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 Smartsearch.pw, 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 Smartsearch.pw removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References