Remove NiceTab StartPage (Mac and PC)

By | Posted on February 7, 2020 |

The NiceTab StartPage is an unwanted application that infiltrates the computer without the knowledge of users. This is the main reason why it was considered as PUP or Potentially Unwanted Program. NiceTab StartPage may appear like a useful application but how it behaves is just like a typical browser hijacker.

NiceTab StartPage make alterations to main web browser settings. The homepage, new tab page, and search engine will be set to a new default setting that is associated to Searchmine.net. NiceTab StartPage will input their own start page and search tool and forces web users to utilize it when browsing or searching the internet. NiceTab StartPage modifications can lead to annoyances and issues on targeted internet software. While browsing, unwanted app like NiceTab StartPage can trigger pop-ups that can redirect internet users to other web pages. Such websites can be risky to web visitors since it can be dubious sites presenting malicious contents. NiceTab StartPage can also run persistent and disturbing advertisements on infected browser program. Unfortunately, these ads can also link web users into web pages it promotes, but often, the destination page reveals false or incorrect contents when visited.

It is too risky to have adware or PUP on the computer because it has the ability to track data from browser and steal sensitive information that attackers may utilize for online fraud. Privacy and security of online users can be exploited for cyber crimes.

NiceTab StartPage

NiceTab StartPage browser hijacker normally targets well-known browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox. Hence, as of this writing, it is compatible to Google Chrome only. NiceTab StartPage developers get to spread their malicious programs through bundle software available from different suspicious servers. Usually, it is offered free of charge in order to convince web users into downloading and installing it on Mac or PC systems.

In addition to its deployment tactics, NiceTab StartPage associated ads can sometimes execute scripts to download or install a similar-dangerous application, which can infect system more. Removing unwanted software running on computer can prevent web users to face serious issues in the future. Guide to remove this specific type of threat is outlined below.

NiceTab StartPage Removal Procedure for PC

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised computer.

In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Step 1: Delete Browser Extension

Most adware and unwanted programs are using a program called browser extension to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend to check and remove the extension that is closely related to NiceTab StartPage.

Remove NiceTab StartPage Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

NiceTab StartPage Chrome Extension

3. Find NiceTab StartPage or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Uninstall NiceTab StartPage Extension from Firefox

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Firefox Extensions

3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.

4. Look for object that is pertaining to NiceTab StartPage and remove it from the browser.

Delete NiceTab StartPage Extension from Safari

1. Run Safari browser application.

2. Click on Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the window.

3. Choose Preferences from the drop-down list.

4. On Extension window, select Extensions tab.

5. Select NiceTab StartPage or relevant entry and remove it from Safari.

6. Lastly, go to Safari Settings once again and select Downloads from the drop down list.

7. If Nicetabstartpage.safariextz is present, click on Clear button to remove the unwanted extension.

Remove NiceTab StartPage Add-ons from Internet Explorer and Edge Browser

1. Open Internet Explorer program.

2. Go to top Menu and click Tools. Then, select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down list.

Internet Explorer Add-ons

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of NiceTab StartPage from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If NiceTab StartPage is still present on the IE browser, another option is to remove the adware from Windows Control Panel.

5. Press Windows Key + R and then, type appwiz.cpl command.

6. Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in chronological manner with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on ‘Installed On‘ column.

Add-Remove Adware

7. Select NiceTab StartPage or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.

Step 2: Scan the computer with Anti-malware Program

1. Download the free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)

2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MB3-Setup.exe.

3. Proceed with the installation using only the default setup. If you need the complete setup procedure, it is available on the download page.

4. At the last stage of installation process, click Finish to run the program.

MBAM-finish5. On Malwarebytes Anti-Malware console, select Scan from the menu to see available Scan Method.

6. Next, click on Threat Scan. This is the most comprehensive scan method that will surely find any hidden items linked to NiceTab StartPage.

7. Click Start Scan button to begin checking the computer.

MBAM-threatscan

8. When scanning is done, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will display the list of identified threats. Remove all identified threats and restart the computer to finalized the scan process.

Step 3: Scan and Delete Adware with AdwCleaner

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of NiceTab StartPage on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.
Click here to download AdwCleaner (this will open a new window)

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by NiceTab StartPage.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on Scan button.

AdwCleaner

4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to NiceTab StartPage.

5. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

6. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.

Procedures to Remove NiceTab StartPage from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide to help you remove malicious browser hijacker from internet application.

Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

Step 1 : Quick Fix - Scan the System with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker like NiceTab StartPage. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

Click here to Download Combo Cleaner

2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.

3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing NiceTab StartPage.

Start Combo Scan

6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to NiceTab StartPage

1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the hijacker. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.

Safari - Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.

Chrome - Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.

Firefox - Choose Add-ons from the Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plugins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located NiceTab StartPage or Adext, Troyan, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed NiceTab StartPage

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...

3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist
  • com.unknown

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:

- Adext, Troyan

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing NiceTab StartPage to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.

Option + Command + 4

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.

5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

6. Please restart the computer.

7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.

9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support
/Library/Preferences

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

Force Quit Locked Files

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to NiceTab StartPage homepage hijacker.

Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:

Click here to download MBAM for Mac

2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including NiceTab StartPage.

3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.

4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, NiceTab StartPage is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 5 : Remove NiceTab StartPage from Homepage and Search

Safari

- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove NiceTab StartPage from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Google Chrome

- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing NiceTab StartPage. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.

Mozilla Firefox

- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace NiceTab StartPage settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.

Step 6 : Delete NiceTab StartPage Login Items

Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs NiceTab StartPage during user log in.

1. Go to Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

2. Select Users & Groups from the preferences window.

3. You may need to Unlock this area in order to make changes. Click on the Lock icon on lower left corner of the window.

4. Next, select user account that runs NiceTab StartPage.

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select NiceTab StartPage, Adext, Troyan, or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.

Login Items

Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:

Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by NiceTab StartPage. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:

1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.

2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.

3. Select Adext, Troyan, NiceTab StartPage or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.

Remove Profile

4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.

5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with NiceTab StartPage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *