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Remove Tapxchange.com (Removal Guide) - Nov 2015 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Tapxchange.com virus might take control over Chrome, Firefox, IE and other web browsers

The image of Tapxchange.com

Tapxchange.com is a search engine that belongs to the group of browser hijackers.[1] This potentially unwanted program (PUP) spreads in software bundles and alters targeted browser’s settings in order to cause suspicious activities, such as controlling search results, delivering ads, tracking information,[2] etc.

Due to the sneaky distribution technique, the hijacker might enter the system unnoticed. However, users can easily notice the signs of PUP. Once they open the affected browser, they might find the changed main page and default search engine.

Tapxchange.com looks safe, and it is similar to any other search engine – and an inexperienced PC user would never even think that there is something suspicious about this search engine. The issue is, this website does not provide relevant search outcomes. It provides altered search results, which lead to untrustworthy third-party databases.

It might redirect to websites that may try to convince you to install questionable programs or updates to your PC. Be cautious and reject such offers, because third-party sites sometimes promote infected programs. Of course, we cannot guarantee that every page you may be redirected to is entirely unsafe; but the bigger part of such redirections are unreliable.

Thus, we suggest scanning the computer with ReimageIntego or another anti-malware program that can remove Tapxchange.com from the device entirely. Once the hijacker is gone for good, you will be able to set your preferred homepage, search engine, and browse the web safer.

The virus might also redirect people to ai.tapxchange.com and other suspicious websites. Usually, they promote questionable content. However, you might also end up on tech support scam or phishing site.

Apart from these suspicious and annoying activities, this PUP might also collect particular information about users. Browsing-related information is useful for delivering targeted ads and gaining advertising-based revenue from the clicks. In order to achieve this goal he hijacker might collect:

  • IP address;
  • technical information about computer, OS, and browser;
  • search keywords;
  • browsing history;
  • clicked ads;
  • time spent on particular sites or pages;
  • etc.

Often developers of such programs share aggregated information with third parties. Who are they and what they are going to do with your profile is unknown. Most likely they will flood your browser with more commercial content. However, the worst scenario is identity theft. Thus, to avoid that you should start Tapxchange.com removal ASAP.

Browser hijacker spreads in an indirect way

Tapxchange.com is frequently being attached to other programs and spread together with them. Such pack of programs is called a software bundle. Bundling is a very popular method nowadays to spread potentially unwanted applications (browser hijackers, adware, plug-ins, add-ons, and browser extensions).[3]

The developers of PUPs use this distribution method because it is very efficient way to inject their products to users' computers' unnoticeably. Thus, the hijacker might easily become a problem for users all over the world, from Sweden[4] to Japan and United States.

The software bundle usually hides agreements to install such attachments by concealing them under “default” and “standard” installation modes. Instead of choosing these options, you should select the other option – either “advanced” or “custom.” By deselecting third-party apps, you can prevent not only Tapxchange.com hijack but the entrance of other PUPs too.

Questions about Tapxchange.com

The picture of Tapxchange.com hijackerTapxchange.com might hijack browser's homepage and force to use its suspicious search service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: I am terrified that some malicious program has infected my computer. My homepage has suddenly changed to Tapxchange.com, and it displays very suspicious results! What is wrong with my computer?

Answer: Please, calm down; there is nothing much to worry about. You have probably installed some freeware on your computer that contained Tapxchange.com PUP. It is not a malicious program because it does not cause harm itself. It only seeks to increase rates of its sponsors' websites' web traffic and redirects people who use Tapxchange.com to these sites every time as they click on a search result generated by this fake search engine. This program can be easily removed from your system.

Question: Tapxchange.com search results has been redirecting me to websites that are not associated with my search keywords. I want to remove this search engine from my browser. What should I do?

Answer: We assume that Tapxchange.com virus has hijacked your system without your knowledge. The only way to remove this website from your browser is to uninstall the Tapxchange.com browser hijacker. We have provided two removal methods below this article so that you can uninstall it either manually or automatically. Good luck and stay safe!

Removal instructions of the Tapxchange.com virus

To remove Tapxchange.com from the machine, you need to choose between automatic and manual elimination options. The instructions how to get rid of the virus manually you can find below. Keep in mind that this method requires patience and attentiveness. Thus, if you are in a rush, we suggest opting for the automatic method.

Automatic Tapxchange.com removal is performed using anti-malware or anti-spyware.[5] In order to delete hijacker and all its components, you need to install your preferred program, update it and scan the system. Once security tool finishes the scan, you will be able to set your preferred homepage, search engine and customize your browser.

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.

To remove Tapxchange.com, follow these steps:

Erase Tapxchange.com from Windows systems

Manual removal guidelines are presented below. Please follow them carefully in order to get rid of all hijacker-related components.

  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 Tapxchange.com and related programs
    Here, look for Tapxchange.com 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 Tapxchange.com 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.

Remove Tapxchange.com from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Tapxchange.com from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Tapxchange.com-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 Tapxchange.com, 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 related to Tapxchange.com and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Tapxchange.com-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall Tapxchange.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

This potentially unwanted application may have affected Internet Explorer. Thus, you should follow these steps to clean the browser.

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Tapxchange.com and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Tapxchange.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Tapxchange.com from Microsoft Edge

Follow the instructions below to delete the Tapxchange.com virus from the Edge entirely.

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 Tapxchange.com-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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

Get rid of Tapxchange.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

In order to get rid of all suspicious components related to the hijacker, you need to uninstall suspicious browser extensions and reset Mozilla Firefox.

  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 Tapxchange.com 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 Tapxchange.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Tapxchange.com from Google Chrome

In order to eliminate Tapxchange.com entirely, you need to follow the guidelines below:

  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 Tapxchange.com 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 Tapxchange.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase Tapxchange.com 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 Tapxchange.com 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 Tapxchange.com, 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 Tapxchange.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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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References

  1. Zoya-melany89 says:
    November 4th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I was really looking forward to using this website cause I thought it is a regular search engine..

  2. NoyuPo says:
    November 4th, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Well, havent you noticed that it wasnt your default homepage before? I noticed it right away and I thought that it is a bit suspicious. Then I looked up for information online and found lots of articles about this search engine. 2-spyware seemed to be the most reliable-looking website. I was very pleased when I saw illustrated instructions, it easied my work twice. Ty 🙂

  3. Zoya-melany89 says:
    November 5th, 2015 at 3:49 am

    No, actually I did not. These search engines look very similar to each other. How can I know that it is unreliable? I am not a wizard and I do not decide whether it is harmful or not judging from a blank page with a search box. Cmon…

  4. Qwer says:
    November 5th, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I have also been attacked by this browser hijacker. It does not seem to be that dangerous though. However, this app is nothing what is worth keeping, too.

Your opinion regarding Tapxchange.com