What is Search.funsocialtabsearch.com? And how does it function?
Search.funsocialtabsearch.com is a browser extension that functions as a search engine claiming to provide users with improved search results. It also has quick links to popular websites like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. And as you can see on the image above, its interface may seem to look like a typical search engine just like Google, Yahoo or Bing but don’t let its looks fool you for it is actually a browser hijacker that could hijack your browsers’ settings without your permission. Aside from that, it is also categorized as a PUP or potentially unwanted program as it brings potential harm to the computer it is installed in and to users.
Search.funsocialtabsearch.com will immediately change the settings of the browsers on the computer it is installed in. These changes involve the alteration of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab URL to hxxp://search.funsocialtabsearch.com. So when you open your browser, you will now see the interface of this browser hijacker rather than your usual homepage. And when you try to use this dubious search engine, don’t trust its search results as they are modified to cater to sponsored content by third parties. Meaning to say, you will mostly see sponsored content in the search results rather than information related to your search query.
Moreover, Search.funsocialtabsearch.com also has the ability to spy on your online activities to collect information like your IP address, browsing history, search queries, websites you often visit and so on. The information collected might be used and shared with its affiliated sites to generate more sponsored content so you need to be cautious while browsing the web until you’ve erased Search.funsocialtabsearch.com from your computer.
How is Search.funsocialtabsearch.com distributed online?
Search.funsocialtabsearch.com is distributed in software bundles as one of the optional components in the main software. In other words, it can get installed on your computer without your knowledge when you install a freeware or shareware using only the standard or quick setup. To prevent this from happening in the future, you need to opt for the Advanced or Custom setup so you can get rid of any optional component added in the software package before you proceed with the installation.
You can use the removal guide laid out below to erase Search.funsocialtabsearch.com from your computer.
Step 1: Start the removal process by closing all the browsers infected with Search.funsocialtabsearch.com. If you’re having a hard time closing them, you can close them using the Task Manager just tap on Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Step 2: After you open the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the infected browser’s process and end it.
Step 3: Then close the Task Manager and open Control Panel – to do so, tap the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 4: After pulling up Control Panel, from the list of installed programs, look for Search.funsocialtabsearch.com or any suspicious program you don’t remember installing and then Uninstall it.
Step 5: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the host’s file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Search.funsocialtabsearch.com.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Reset all your browsers to default to their default state.
- Launch Google Chrome, press Alt + F, move to More tools, and click Extensions.
- Look for Search.funsocialtabsearch.com or any other unwanted add-ons, click the Recycle Bin button, and choose Remove.
- Restart Google Chrome, then tap Alt + F, and select Settings.
- Navigate to the On Startup section at the bottom.
- Select “Open a specific page or set of pages”.
- Click the More actions button next to the hijacker and click Remove.
- Open the browser and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Tap Alt + T and select Internet options.
- Click the General tab and then overwrite the URL under the homepage section.
- Click OK to save the changes.
Step 7: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated with the browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Close the File Explorer.
Step 10: Empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of Search.funsocialtabsearch.com as well as all the file residues it left behind.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.