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Remove Tab Recovery virus (Easy Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Tab Recovery is a minor security threat that will display annoying ads and engage in browser redirect activities

Tab Recovery
Tab Recovery is a suspicious browser hijacker that displays advertisements on all visited sites and might lead to dangerous pages

Tab Recovery, otherwise known as Tab Recovery – Save & Organize Your Tabs, is a potentially unwanted application that users might install unintentionally via third-party software bundles. Once inside, the hijacker will change the homepage of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or another browser to hxxps://tabrecovery.com and will redirect all searchers performed to Google. Despite that, due to the presence of Tab Recovery hijack, users will see several sponsored links and ads in the search results – this is one of the main symptoms of the infection.

Behind the scenes, Tab Recovery virus will also collect various information about users' web browsing habits to feed their browsers with targeted ads. As a result, they will often encounter redirects, pop-ups, auto-play, banners, and other kinds of advertisements on sites that they visit. To get rid of this unwanted activity, Tab Recovery removal should be performed – find out how below.

Name Tab Recovery, Tab Recovery – Save & Organize Your Tabs
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Infiltration In most cases, users install PUPs after being tricked by attractive ad/fake update, of after downloading freeware/shareware from third-party sites that use software bundling scheme
Related domains tabrecovery.com, explormatrix.com
Symptoms  New tab address, homepage, and the search engine altered; all search results are injected with sponsored links at the top; ads are more frequently encountered on all visited websites; web browser fails to load certain pages or does that slowly; unwanted browser extensions and apps installed on the computer
Risks  Installation of other potentially unwanted programs or malware, personal information disclosure to unknown parties (potentially, cybercriminals), financial losses 
Removal  To get rid of potentially unwanted application and the browser extension, follow the guide provided below 
Optimization  In case your computer does not work as well as it did before the infection, perform a scan with a repair tool like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

Unlike many other browser hijackers like Shipment TrackersMy Login HelperProtect My Search Daily, and many others, Tab Recovery uses a different web address for a new tab. While users will see tabrecovery.com as their homepage, the new tab address will be explormatrix.com – another untrustworthy search engine that delivers ad-filled search results and sponsored links and is not related to any reputable search providers like Google.

The problem with fake search engines like Tab Recovery is that they provide allegedly useful functionality, although the main goal of PUPs is to deliver commercial content to users, sometimes even compromising their online safety. Due to web browser changes and links to sponsored sites, users might expose themselves to dangers, such as:

  • A fake alert that prompts to download (an update for) Adobe Flash Player that would allow accessing the contents of the site. Such installations may end up in malware infection, such as ransomware or a banking trojan;[1]
  • A message which claims that visitors' computer is infected with malware, and needs cleaning. Users will download scamware[2] or similar malicious program that will try to make them pay for the licensed version;
  • Spoofing website that may look like original, despite using a different domain name. After entering sensitive information into provided fields, users send it directly to malicious actors;
  • Notification prompt may ask users to allow notifications to be shown directly to desktops, later bombarding them with intrusive, inappropriate, scam, and similar ads.

However, this is not all suspicious activity that is related to Tab Recovery – it also performs information gathering behind users' backs, as this activity becomes evident only if they access the Privacy Policy of the app. Unfortunately, this is done very rarely, as users mostly miss the installation of the app in the first place, since deceptive practices are used to spread it.

Note that you can remove Tab Recovery functionality before it even manages to penetrate your web browsers – simply do not press the “Keep changes” prompt. This functionality has been implemented by most modern browsers in order to avoid unsolicited changes being made by browser hijackers.

Tab Recovery hijack
Tab Recovery is a browser hijacker that shows sponsored links in search results

Even if you do not apply the changes, the Tab Recovery PUP and Tab Recovery – Save & Organize Your Tabs might still be present on your machine. To get rid of these, you can either follow our manual instructions below or scan the machine with reputable anti-malware software. Finally, reset the installed browsers and perform a scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for the best results.

Stay away from potentially unwanted programs – they might be much more sneaky and dangerous than it may seem

While browser hijackers are considered to be minor computer infections, they should never be ignored. The installation of such programs might not destroy your computer functions or harvest your credit card data, but it may serve as a link to sites that are less than secure. The main issue with PUPs is that users are sometimes forced to visit scam sites, claiming that their machines are infected and that they need to fix them with some alleged “security tool.” These fake programs are compiled in a way that act like malware and deliver false-positives[3] in order to make users believe that their computers are in grave dangers. Such scenario is not unique, and can be thousands of others, resulting in infiltration of other PUPs/malware, financial losses, and many more negative consequences.

Thus, stay away from apps that do not bring anything to the table – the functionality that many programs offer is often misleading and generally useless. For example, links that are often inserted into the homepage of the hijacked browser can be created manually based on every person's preferences, instead of having a preset template that displays intrusive ads, disturbing the online web time.

To avoid getting infected with browser hijackers and other PUPs, users should pay close attention to the installation process of freeware apps. In general, official sources should be preferred if possible, as these have set measures to prevent deception used by some developers. Nonetheless, if you choose to go for third-parties, make sure you watch over the installation process carefully and always opt for Advanced/Custom settings (instead of Recommended/Quick) when prompted. This will allow you to unckeck the pre-ticked boxes and get rid of browser extensions, fake system optimizers, file converters, and other deceptive software that could put your online privacy and safety at risk.

Tab Recovery virus
Although Tab Recovery can be downloaded from official sources, users typically install if unintentionally while obtaining freeware

Get rid of Tab Recovery browser hijacker

There are several parts to Tab Recovery removal, as there are several components that are involved in the infection routine. A browser extension can usually be eliminated relatively easily – simply by right-clicking on it and selecting “Remove from Chrome” or “Remove extension” (depending on your web browser used). However, do not forget that the unwanted app might have modified several settings of the browser, so resetting it is sometimes the only way to remove Tab Recovery redirects, ads, and other suspicious activity.

Finally, Tab Recovery virus can also be installed as a standalone application and it needs to be uninstalled. For that, you should check our detailed removal guide below for macOS and Windows systems. Additionally, you could also employ anti-malware software and perform a full computer scan to ensure that no malicious software managed to infiltrate it during the operation of the browser hijacker.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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.

To remove Tab Recovery virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Tab Recovery from Windows systems

Get rid of Tab Recovery from Windows by follow these instructions:

  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 Tab Recovery and related programs
    Here, look for Tab Recovery 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 Tab Recovery 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.

Eliminate Tab Recovery from Mac OS X system

In order to uninstall unwanted apps on macOS systems, users should put them to Trash as follows:

  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 Tab Recovery 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'

Remove Tab Recovery from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 Tab Recovery 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 Tab Recovery removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete Tab Recovery virus from Microsoft Edge

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, Tab Recovery should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of Tab Recovery from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

In case you are unable to remove Tab Recovery – Save & Organize Your Tabs extension in a regular way, you can reset Mozilla Firefox as explained below:

  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 Tab Recovery 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 Tab Recovery removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Tab Recovery from Google Chrome

  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 Tab Recovery 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 Tab Recovery removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Tab Recovery 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 Tab Recovery 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 Tab Recovery, 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 Tab Recovery removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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