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Smilebox. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - -   Also known as Mystart.smilebox.com | Type: Browser hijacker

Smilebox – an app that poses security risks to its users

Screenshot of SmileBox

SmileBox is a free application that allows creating collages, slideshows, invitations, greetings and other creative stuff. The program is legitimate; however, it has features that can be attributed to the potentially unwanted program (PUP). If you have encountered Smilebox installer on your computer without downloading it, you should take care of its removal. 

According to computer experts, Smilebox application is also known as a browser hijacker due to these reasons:

  • silent installation;
  • alteration of browser’s settings;
  • delivery of commercial content, such as ads, banners or links.

The program spreads in software bundles and might get inside the computer unnoticed. For this reason, the appearance of the program makes people think that it’s SmileBox virus. However, it’s a huge misconception. This application is not malicious. Potentially unwanted programs cannot harm the system or files stored on the computer.

Users just have to learn to install freeware and shareware correctly[1] to avoid third-party apps. If you do not pay proper attention to software installation, you may have found yourself wondering what is Smilebox? And what does it do on my computer?

The signs that computer is infected are clear. As soon as the Smilebox malware gets inside the computer, it might alter browsers’ settings. These modifications consist of a changed homepage and/or default search engine to Mystart.smilebox.com, which is a commercial search engine[2] that might display modified search results.

Using this search tool, you can notice that search sessions are interrupted by various redirects. Thus, you may end up on unknown and even insecure third-party websites. Also, Smile box can also initiate annoying pop-up ads, in-text links, banner ads and other notifications that are mostly used for affiliate marketing.[3] While developers generate revenue from your clicks, you have to deal with inconveniences and potential threats. [4]

Moreover, Smilebox can start collecting particular information about its users. Collected data includes technical details about your computer, web browser and other software installed on your PC, browsing-related information, visited websites, search queries, clicked ads, interactions on social media, IP address, and in some cases email address, phone number, etc.

Thus, if you do not want that all this information would be used against you, you should perform SmileBox removal right now. Aggregated information usually is used to update, improve and maintain the application, provide interesting online ads, and might be shared with third-parties.
How partners, advertisers or advertising networks might use information about you is unknown.

Questions about Smilebox

In most cases, information is used for marketing purposes.[5] Though, you can even imagine what might happen if this data gets in the hands of cyber criminals. Thus, you should remove SmileBox from the computer to prevent all possible problems. Also, we recommend scanning the computer with Reimage to clean other suspicious applications from the device.

The PUP might be distributed in software packages

Though in most of the cases this program is downloaded by people from its official website. However, it can also infiltrate computers behind people's back because it has been actively promoted with the help of bundling. To avoid system hijack, you need to monitor installation of the freeware:

  1. Opt only for Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware.
  2. Uncheck pre-checked check marks that say that you want to install browser add-ons, extensions, plugins, toolbars and similar components on your computer.

Security experts from Bedynet warn that skipping the latter step might lead you to additional problems, like the loss of your personally non-identifiable information, slowdowns on each of your web browsers, redirects, annoying pop-up ads, and similar issues.

Learn how to uninstall Smilebox from your device

In the article, we have explained what is Smilebox and what problems it might cause. We assume you want to get back full control over your browser, avoid suspicious redirects and ads, and access your favorite search engine from the main page.

Thus, after the hijack, you should waste no time and remove SmileBox from the system. To do it manually, please have a look at detailed instructions that are listed below. Please, follow them carefully to be sure that all hijacker-related components are gone. Otherwise, you may experience another hijack.

However, if you want to be 100% sure that SmileBox removal is successful, opt for automatic removal option. This method requires scanning the computer with an updated anti-malware tool.

You can remove Smilebox 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 Smilebox 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 Smilebox. 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.

Note: Manual assistance required means that one or all of removers were unable to remove parasite without some manual intervention, please read manual removal instructions below.

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 Smilebox (2018-02-19)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Smilebox (2018-02-19)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing Smilebox (2018-02-19)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Smilebox (2018-02-19)

Smilebox manual removal:

Kill processes:
smileboxtray.exe

To remove Smilebox, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Smilebox from Windows systems

Guidelines that are listed below will help you remove SmileBox via Control Panel. If you haven't installed this program yourself, please look for other unknown applications and uninstall them as well.

  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 Smilebox and related programs
    Here, look for Smilebox 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 Smilebox 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

Eliminate Smilebox from Mac OS X system

To get rid of this virus from Mac OS X, follow these steps. Make sure you double-check all suspicious components that could be related to this browser hijacking program.

  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 Smilebox 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

Uninstall Smilebox from Internet Explorer (IE)

To remove SmileBox from IE, you have to reset the browser or remove EVERY suspicious add-on by following these steps:

  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 Smilebox 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 Smilebox 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

Get rid of Smilebox from Microsoft Edge

Remove the browser hijacker from Edge with the help of the guide given below.

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, Smilebox should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Smilebox from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To fix Firefox, check the list of extensions and remove suspicious ones. Follow the steps below to reset this web browser as well.

  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 Smilebox 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 Smilebox removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Smilebox from Google Chrome

To uninstall Smilebox from Chrome, check browser extensions and uninstall unknown entries that might be related to this virus. You can also reset browser's settings.

  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 Smilebox 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 Smilebox removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Smilebox from Safari

If you need to recover Safari to its previous state, fix it by following these steps.

  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 Smilebox 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 Smilebox, 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 Smilebox removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References

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