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TaxCenterNow Toolbar. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker

TaxCenterNow is a misleading toolbar used to promote MyWay search

TaxCenterNow Toolbar

TaxCenterNow is a toolbar developed by Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc in 2016. It is promoted on legitimate sources, including Chrome Web Store,[1] but that does not prove its trustfulness. Most professional security vendors included it into PUP and browser hijacker categories due to alternative distribution method (namely bundling) and tendency to take control over user's web browsing activities. If the user agrees to the installation of TaxCenterNow Toolbar, he or she unconsciously permit browser's startup page and search engine replacement with MySearch.

Name TaxCenterNow Toolbar
Developer Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc
Classification Browser hijacker
Distribution Software bundling
Symptoms

Search engine replaced with MySearch
Start page set to https://hp.myway.com/myway/index.html?trs=org;
TaxCenterNow Toolbar installed;
Excessive amount of commercial and non-commercial ads generated;
Continuous web browser's redirects to doubtful websites. 

Download Reimage and run a full system scan with it to get rid of malware. 

As we have already pointed out, the TaxCenterNow toolbar can be found in Google Play Store as a legitimate web browser's extension. It is promoted as a tool allowing people to learn about new tax reform laws. The official download does inform about a “convenient web search, homepage and default search” that are going to be installed along with a toolbar. People are warned that clicking the “Add to Chrome” button will lead to web browser's changes and explains how to revert them.

However, TaxCenterNow virus is being distributed along freeware as well. In fact, free programs are the primary distributors of this PUP. In this case, people are not informed about the presence of this toolbar, as well as MySearch and other unwanted components. Therefore, if a potential victim falls for installing freeware bundle,[2] he gets negatively surprised the next time he or she starts web browsing session. These are the most apparent change:

  • Start page replaced with https://hp.myway.com/myway/index.html?trs=org;
  • Search engine set to MyWay;
  • Web browser initiates continuous redirects to affiliate websites;
  • An excessive amount of commercial ads show up on random pages;
  • TaxCenterNow toolbar removal cannot be performed in a standard way.

These are the prominent changes. Despite the fact that they are more intrusive than dangerous, there's a handful of reasons why we do not recommend using it anyway.

First of all, TaxCenterNow removal would allow you to replace MyWay search with the one that you prefer, be it Google or Bing. You won't be able to do so when malware is installed on the system.

Second of all, you would protect yourself from being exposed to irrelevant or even dangerous websites. Search engines are usually closely related to third parties that seek to boost traffic to their sites, promote items, services or software. Unfortunately, the content that they seek to spread is seldom or never verified before publishing, thus leaving hackers and scammers freedom of choice what they want to spread or promote.

Last, but not least, the usage of tracking cookies should be considered. A virusi.hr[3] team has analyzed the Privacy Policy of the TaxCenterNow virus and claims that the following lines raise suspicions to them:

We may collect and store any information you provide when using the MS Services (e.g., when registering on the MyWay Site) or that you provide in some other manner. This information may include your name, email address, telephone number, username and password or information provided when you log-in to the MS Services via Facebook or any other social media site (you should review the privacy policy of Facebook or any other social media site through which you choose to log into certain MS Services). We also collect and store information and other content you post to the MS Services, where such features are made available (e.g., MyScrapNook).

It's a fact that the TaxCenterNow toolbar is going to use cookies to track you. However, it's not clear what kind of information it's going to accumulate and then share with third parties. Thus, to protect your privacy, we recommend you to remove TaxCenterNow Toolbar from Chrome web browser without a consideration.

There are two ways to initiate TaxCenterNow removal. One of them is manual, while the other automatic. While both of them do not require deep IT skills, we would strongly recommend eliminating the toolbar automatically, especially if it has been installed by bundling. For this purpose, our recommended programs are Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes or another security software that you prefer.

Third-party toolbars tend to spread in a software bundle

Sometimes infamous toolbars do not leave their position and keep spreading as “useful” browser helpers via reputable download sources, such as Google Play Store. Thus, you should be cautious and check each software utility that you are about to install even if it's promoted on trusted sources. Read reviews, comments on various forums, check databases of security vendors, etc. If it's classified as PUP, adware, browser hijacker or features high-rate of adverse reports, we would recommend you to restrain from downloading it.

Also, people should be more cautious when installing freeware. Various managers, converters, players, etc. are bundled with additional component (add-ons, toolbars, extensions, etc.). Note that they tend to spread pre-checked, thus if you select Quick or Recommended installation setup, each of them gets the place on the system by default.

To prevent this from happening, opt for Advanced or Custom installation method and monitor the entire installation process. Read the terms carefully and deselect optional components by removing a check mark next to them.

TaxCenterNow Toolbar removal guide

TaxCenterNow Toolbar is not a good choice to have on the system. It may initiate multiple tasks on the system without authorization, which eventually slow the system down and make it more vulnerable.

To protect your web browser from being redirected to unrelated websites, we strongly recommend you to remove TaxCenterNow using a professional security tool. If nevertheless, you prefer manual malware elimination, you can use the guide submitted below.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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?
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Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove TaxCenterNow Toolbar, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall TaxCenterNow Toolbar from Windows systems

If you have installed a software bundle, which turned out to be stuffed with malware, take needed actions and clean your PC. That's what you should do:

  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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar and related programs
    Here, look for TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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

Erase TaxCenterNow Toolbar from Mac OS X system

Mac OS X is not immune to browser hijacking. If you fall victim to TaxCenterNow malware, do not wait until it redirects to to phishing website. Follow the below give steps and get rid of it permanently.

  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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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

Delete TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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

Remove TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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, TaxCenterNow Toolbar should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate TaxCenterNow Toolbar from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

Get rid of TaxCenterNow Toolbar from Google Chrome

To get rid of unwanted toolbars, extensions, and search engines from Chrome, you should reset its settings to default. If you don't know how to do that, the belong-given instructions will help you:

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

Uninstall TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar 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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar, 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 TaxCenterNow Toolbar removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References