Remove Smilebox (Removal Guide) - Feb 2018 update

Smilebox Removal Guide

What is Smilebox?

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.

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 ReimageIntego to clean other suspicious applications from the device.

The image of SmileBoxSmileBox is legitimate program; however, it might spread in the software bundles and change browsers' settings.

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 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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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Smilebox. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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 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.

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

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

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 Smilebox 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 stealing programs

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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