How to remove Search.Tb.Ask.com virus (Removal Guide)

Search.Tb.Ask.com is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will change your browser homepage to home.tb.ask.com, set the default search engine to search.tb.ask.com, and install a toolbar.
[Image:  Search.Tb.Ask.com virus]
Search.tb.ask.com will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The Search.tb.ask.com hijack is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.

Search.tb.ask.com it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.

Search.tb.ask.com got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker.
For example, when you install RadioRage Toolbar, you will also agree to change your browser homepage to home.tb.ask.com, set the default search engine to search.tb.ask.com, and install this toolbar
[Image: Search.tb.ask.com installation options]
However when you uninstall RadioRage Toolbar from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove Search.tb.ask.com from your favorite web browser manually.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Search.tb.ask.com hijacker. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

Search.tb.ask.com – Virus Removal Guide

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Search.tb.ask.com from your Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
STEP 1: Uninstall Search.tb.ask.com malicious program from your computer
STEP 2: Remove Search.tb.ask.com redirect from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome
STEP 3: Remove Search.tb.ask.com hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner
STEP 4: Remove Search.tb.ask.com from your computer with Junkware Removal Tool
STEP 5: Remove Search.tb.ask.com malicious files with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 6: Double-check for the Search.tb.ask.com infection with HitmanPro

STEP 1 : Uninstall Search.tb.ask.com malicious program from your computer

Search.tb.ask.com is usually installed alongside with a toolbar from Mindspark or Ask.com. In our case this browser hijack was installed with the RadioRage Toolbar. In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. To uninstall Search.tb.ask.com program from your computer, click the Start button, then select Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
    If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel“. Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there, then select Uninstall a program.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  2. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall any toolbar from Mindspark Interactive Network or Ask.com
    [Image: Uninstall Search.tb.ask.com malicious program]

Depending on what program has installed the search.tb.ask.com hijack, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.


STEP 2: Remove Search.tb.ask.com redirect from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

Remove Search.tb.ask.com from Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon [Image: icongear.jpg] (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then click again on Internet Options.
    Internet Options in IE
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab, then click on the Reset button.
    Reset Internet Explorer
  3. In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, then click on Reset.
    Internet Explorer back to its default settings to remove Search.tb.ask.com redirect
  4. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
  5. Close and open Internet Explorer.

Remove Search.tb.ask.com from Mozilla Firefox

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the Help sub-menu (on Windows XP, click the Help menu at the top of the Firefox window), and select Troubleshooting Information.
    Firefox Troubleshooting Information
  2. Click the Reset Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
    Firefox default settings
  3. To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
  4. Firefox will close and be reset. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish

Remove Search.tb.ask.com from Google Chrome

  1. Remove Search.tb.ask.com extensions from Google Chrome.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    Google Chrome Extensions
    In the Extensions tab, remove any unknown extensions by clicking the trash can [Image: Remove an extension from Chrome] icon. Basically, if you not have installed an extension, you can safely remove it from your web browser.
    [Image: Search.tb.ask.com Chrome extension]
  2. Set Google Chrome default search engine from search.tb.ask.com to Google.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on Manage search engines in the Search section.
    In the Search Engines dialog that appears, select Google and click the Make Default button that appears in the row.
    [Image: Search.tb.ask.com Chrome redirect]
    Search for Ask Web Search in the Search Engines list, and click the X button that appears at the end of the row.
    [Image: Search.tb.ask.com Chrome removal]
  3. Change Google Chrome homepage from home.tb.ask.com to its default.
    GadgetBox has modified your Google settings to open their webpage whenever you start your browser, so we will need to revert this change.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
    [Image: Change Google Chrome homepage to its default]

STEP 3: Remove Search.tb.ask.com hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer for Search.tb.ask.com malicious files, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    [Image: AdwCleaner Icon]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Search button as shown below.
    [Image: AdwCleaner scanning for Search.Search.tb.ask.com]
    The program will now start to search for Search.tb.ask.com adware that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display a notepad screen that contains a log file of all the Search.Search.tb.ask.com extensions, files, and registry keys that have been detected. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed, please close the Notepad window and continue with the next step.
  4. To remove the Search.Search.tb.ask.com malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Delete button on the AdwCleaner screen.
    [Image: Adwcleaner removing Search.tb.ask.com virus]
    AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.

STEP 4: Remove Search.tb.ask.com from your web browser with Junkware Removal Tool

Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility, which will remove Search.Search.tb.ask.com from Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome, and will double-check for any other compromised Windows shortcuts.

  1. You can download the Junkware Removal Tool utility from the below link:
    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)
  2. Once Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon as seen below.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.
  3. Junkware Removal Tool will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to perform a scan for the Search.tb.ask.com virus.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool scanning for Search.tb.ask.com]
    Please be patient as this can take a while to complete (up to 10 minutes) depending on your system’s specifications.
  4. When the scan Junkware Removal Tool will be completed, this utility will display a log with the malicious files and registry keys that were removed from your computer.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool final log]

STEP 5: Remove Search.tb.ask.com malicious files from your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link,then double click on it to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process.
    Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, click on the Finish button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for Search.tb.ask.com virus
  5. When the Malwarebytes scan will be completed,click on Show Result.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected.Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked) and click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image:Malwarebytes removing malware]

STEP 6: Double check for the Search.tb.ask.com infection with HitmanPro

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link, then double click on it to start this program.
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for malware, as seen in the image below.
    HitmanPro scanning for Search.tb.ask.com virus
  4. Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove these malicious files.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click Activate free licenseto start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    HitmanPro 30 days activation button

Your computer should now be free of the Search.tb.ask.com infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Search.tb.ask.com hijacker from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

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