Remove SmartWebSearch (Simple Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

SmartWebSearch Removal Guide

What is SmartWebSearch?

SmartWebSearch – a browser hijacker that provides search results directly from Google

SmartWebSearch PUPSmartWebSearch - a potentially unwanted program that has earned the name of a PUP because it comes bundled with various third-party products

SmartWebSearch is categorized as a browser hijacker[1] that changes the default engine, homepage, and new tab URL to smartwebsearch.mysearchsocial.com. It mostly appears on web browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox but can also hijack other apps such as Microsoft Edge or Safari. Also known as Smartwebsearch.mysearchsocial.com, the potentially unwanted program generates search query results straight from a legitimate search engine named Google that makes the search results reliable and safe. However, the browser hijacker is more likely to bring you various disadvantages than advantages, so you should just keep on using Google as your default search provider instead.

Name SmartWebSearch
Type/sub-type Potentially unwanted program/browser hijacker
Search engine After hijacking the web browser, the PUP ads smartwebsearch.mysearchsocial.com as the default search provider and this type of change can be reversed only by erasing the browser hijacker permanently
Target(s) The browser hijacker can appear on both Windows and macOS operating systems and target all types of web browser applications such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari
Other activities After changing browser settings such as the search provider, homepage, and new tab URL bar, this product can also start tracking the user's browsing activities, providing intrusive advertisements, and redirecting the victim to sponsored pages some of which might be filled with malicious content
Spreading Such programs come together with other bundled products from third-party downloading sources. The browser hijacker can appear together with some type of player such as Vplay, a download manager, pdf converter, etc.
Termination You can get rid of the potentially unwanted program with the help of antivirus products that will speed up the termination process or you can employ manual guiding steps that are provided at the end of this article
Fix If you have discovered any altered areas on your operating system, you can try fixing them with ReimageIntego

SmartWebSearch virus might try to attract a bigger number of users by providing fast access to popular social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. However, you can simply save bookmarks as shortcuts to these sources and you will not need to use the browser hijacker's provided services.

When SmartWebSearch gets bundled with other third-party products such as pdf converters, download managers, and various players such as Vplay, it can modify the Windows Registry and fill it with rogue keys. The same can happen with Windows Task Manager and this section might end up with processes that you have never seen before.

SmartWebSearch does not leave web browsers alone too. If you are using Internet Explorer, the browser hijacker will probably fill it with browser helper objects (BHOs)[2] such as add-ons. If you are employing Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you will likely find various unknown extensions, toolbars, or plug-ins included in these browser apps.

Nevertheless, SmartWebSearch developers know that they have competition with other developers of similar products. Regarding this fact, the browser hijacker might be programmed to place a lock file on a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox in order to prevent other applications from modifying its settings.

SmartWebSearch browser hijackerSmartWebSearch is categorized as a browser hijacker because it applies unwanted modifications to web browsers and their search providers, homepages, and new tab URL bars

Furthermore, SmartWebSearch might install tracking objects such as cookies, pixels, or beacons that are capable of recording browsing-related details such as recently visited websites, saved bookmarks, hyperlinks and adverts accessed, the type of your web browser, your geographic location, and IP address.

Even though SmartWebSearch developers might claim that such information is collected for improving their services, the truth is far from that. In reality, this type of data is shared with other parties for receiving monetary income or used in creating beneficial offers and getting involved in targeted advertising campaigns.

SmartWebSearch can start interrupting your browsing activities with intrusive advertisements. These components can come in forms of banner ads, pop-ups, pop-unders, and coupons. You might be provided with offers to purchase rogue security utilities, subscribe to unneeded services, or participate in some type of survey, lottery.

Most of the ads provided by SmartWebSearch cannot offer anything good for the users and are placed on the computer screen to gather pay-per-click income. However, other pop-ups can redirect the person to sponsored domains some of which might be infected with dangerous malware forms such as ransomware viruses or trojans.

SmartWebSearch virusSmartWebSearch is a browser hijacker that changes the default search engine and provides search results directly from Google

Besides that, SmartWebSearch might also come to the computer system and web browser not alone. Potentially unwanted programs can carry other suspicious products such as adware, browser hijackers, fake security software, and so on. If you find some unnoticed apps, you should uninstall them together with the primary browser hijacker.

You can remove SmartWebSearch from your operating system and web browsers in two different ways. The first technique involves downloading and loading a reliable antivirus tool when the second one is based on manual elimination that the user can complete by himself (go to the end of this article for instructions).

If you think you might struggle with manual SmartWebSearch removal, you should definitely go for the automatical method. Besides if you have found that the browser hijacker or similar apps have altered some directories on your operating system, you can try fixing the compromised locations with the help of software such as ReimageIntego.

Third-party products bring browser hijackers to machines

Virusai.lt cybersecurity experts[3] claim that the most popular technique of distributing browser hijackers is known as software bundling. PUPs often infiltrate the computer system when users opt for other software such as pdf converters, download managers, and various players that are promoted on secondary downloading sources such as cnet.com, download.com, softonic.com, and soft32.com.

You should pay more attention while choosing the source from which you are going to download your wanted software or service. Better get all products from original developers and their official websites. Furthermore, make sure that you have set the downloading configuration to Custom and Advanced instead of picking the unsafe modes such as Recommended or Quick.

Even though bundling[4] is the most common way to get infected with browser hijackers, it is not the only one. Other sources such as unsafe advertisements, fake flash player updates, and infectious hyperlinks might also be the reason why you have a PUP installed on your computer system.

The main way to avoid all unwanted installations from such types of locations is to browse only on trustworthy pages, not click on every content that appears in front of you, and use a reliable antivirus tool that will likely alert about deceptive or malicious content ahead.

Terminate SmartWebSearch from your OS and web browsers to diminish unwanted changes

SmartWebSearch virus is not a pleasant program to meet while browsing the Internet, however, it gets on many users' computers due to the fact that people lack knowledge and attention. Still, it does not matter how the PUP appeared on your machine, you still need to get rid of it or you will be left struggling to perform quality-full searches.

First of all, you should remove SmartWebSearch from your operating system as the browser hijacker might have included suspicious files, processes, and apps on your computer. This type of task can be accomplished with the help of a reliable antivirus tool or by completing the manual step-by-step guidelines that are displayed below.

After SmartWebSearch removal from the OS, you have to get rid of unwanted extensions and other additional products from web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari, otherwise, your browsing apps will still remain hijacked.

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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

Getting rid of SmartWebSearch. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

To clean your Windows operating system from suspicious-looking applications and diminish any questionable changes, perform the below-provided instructions

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  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

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  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.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  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

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To keep Mozilla Firefox optimized and fully clean after the browser hijacker invasion, you should take a look at the below-given instructing lines

Remove dangerous extensions:

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

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

To get rid of all the modifications that were applied to Chrome by SmartWebSearch browser hijacker, you should follow these guidelines

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. 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

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

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

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of SmartWebSearch registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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