Remove Smartsearchnow.io Browser Hijacker

Computer security analysts dubbed Smart Search Now adware. It is ad-supported software that was primarily made to distract web user’s browsing activities with different forms of advertisements, including pop-ups, banners, push notifications, and redirects. The default search engine is also the target of Smart Search Now, where it will replace the current settings with Smartsearchnow.io. This URL is also destined to be the default homepage and new tab address.

Where did it come from?

Smart Search Now adware infections commonly originate from two main sources: unintentional downloads and deceptive advertising practices. Users may inadvertently install adware when downloading free software or media from untrusted sources, as some programs bundle adware with their installation packages without clear disclosure. Additionally, deceptive advertising tactics, such as misleading pop-up ads or fake system alerts, can trick users into clicking on them, leading to the installation of Smart Search Now. These ads often masquerade as legitimate notifications, enticing users to interact with them, thus facilitating the infiltration of adware onto their devices.

Moreover, visiting compromised websites or clicking on malicious links can also expose users to Smart Search Now adware infections. Some websites host malicious code that automatically triggers adware downloads or redirects users to deceptive pages where they are prompted to install seemingly harmless software that is actually adware. Furthermore, phishing emails or messages containing links to malicious websites can deceive users into unwittingly installing Smart Search Now on their systems.

Screenshot of Smartsearchnow.io

About the Smart Search Now extension

At first, web users may find Smart Search Now a useful app because of its clean interface and homepage. Actually, it is promoted as a browser extension that provides quick access to useful and accurate search results. At the same time, Smart Search Now claims that by being part of the browser, it is able to improve the online browsing and searching experiences of users. However, while Smart Search Now continues to operate on the internet browser program, several disturbances become visible one at a time. At first, Smart Search Now will exhibit a couple of ads from time to time that become too persistent as time passes. It can also initiate a series of redirects on infected browser applications that could land browser pages on websites that are known as adware repositories.

Smartsearchnow.io is a homepage and search hijacker

As a search tool, Smartsearchnow.io is an unreliable kind of application. Compared to legitimate search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, Smartsearchnow.io cannot be an alternative because it is unstable and often serves unreliable search outcomes. In addition, search result pages are filled with paid links that, if the user decides to click on them, the browser may redirect to malicious pages that were designed to automatically download malware on the visitor’s computer.

To sum up, Smart Search Now is adware and also a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Usually, this kind of application causes privacy and security risks on the computer. Therefore, the immediate removal of Smart Search Now is highly suggested. A full guide to eliminating the threat is outlined in the next segment, along with a virus and malware scanner that are useful in locating hidden objects linked to the Smartsearchnow.io hijacker.

Smartsearchnow.io Removal Procedure

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of unwanted programs from compromised Windows computers. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting browser hijackers and pop-ups. In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process exactly.

Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of browser hijacker like Smartsearchnow.io through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

CC for Windows Installation

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the signature file, please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like Smartsearchnow.io, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

CC for Windows Start Scan

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Smartsearchnow.io hijacker including all malicious objects from the computer.

Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows includes Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if your are comfortable to manually get rid of the threat and malicious items linked with it.

Step 1 : Delete Smartsearchnow.io Browser Extension

Most adware and unwanted programs use an application called a "browser extension" to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to Smartsearchnow.io. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Remove the Smartsearchnow.io Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open your Google Chrome browser.

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

Chrome URL

3. Find Smartsearchnow.io or any relevant entry and remove it from the Google Chrome browser.

Uninstall the Smartsearchnow.io Extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

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

Firefox URL

3. Choose Extensions from the sidebar menu.

4. Look for an object that pertains to Smartsearchnow.io and remove it from the browser.

After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that pop-ups and other troubles will be gone from the internet browser.

Remove Smartsearchnow.io from Microsoft Windows and Edge Browser

1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key + R and then, type the appwiz.cpl command.

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

Add-Remove Malware

3. Select Smartsearchnow.io or a recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.

If Smartsearchnow.io is still present on the browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups, another option is to remove the browser hijacker from the browser settings.

4. Open the Microsoft Edge program.

5. Input edge://extensions/ in the URL bar and press Enter on the keyboard.

6. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for Smartsearchnow.io from the Installed Extensions area. Additionally, delete the same object from the Search Providers section by executing the Hijacker Removal Procedure for Edge.

7. Close the window and restart Microsoft Edge.

Step 2 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus

To remove Smartsearchnow.io automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-virus tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like Smartsearchnow.io that slows down online browsing activities.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove malicious program like Smartsearchnow.io.

6. Click the  button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Smartsearchnow.io and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Smartsearchnow.io browser hijacker. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

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 Smartsearchnow.io on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications as well as invalid browser entries that produces hijacking, redirects, and pop-ups.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.

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

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.

Image of AdwCleaner Dashboard

4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Smartsearchnow.io. It will also check for suspicious entries on browser settings that is associated with the hijacker.

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.

Check if your internet browser application is no longer being bothered by Smartsearchnow.io. If the browser hijacker still persists, please continue with the steps below to reset internet programs to default settings.

Optional : Reset Internet Browser Program

Cleaning your internet browser from clutter and unwanted add-on/extension is a must when dealing with Smartsearchnow.io. The procedure below discusses on resetting various browsers to their default state.

Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings

Resetting Google Chrome to its default settings is helpful in deleting hard-to-remove extensions, such as Smartsearchnow.io. This method is highly advisable to perform if you have difficulty removing unwanted extensions.

1. Open the Google Chrome internet browser.
2. On the address bar, type chrome://settings/reset and press the Enter key.
3. Click on Reset Settings on the sidebar and choose Restore settings to their original defaults.
4. On the confirmation window, click the Reset settings button to clear all entries for Smartsearchnow.io.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed the Smartsearchnow.io extension and associated objects.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

This section describes how to remove unwanted extensions from Firefox that may be related to Smartsearchnow.io. This process can fix many browser issues by restoring Firefox to factory settings without affecting your essential information (bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and Internet cookies) on the browser. If you desire to remove only a specific extension, please see the manual removal of add-ons from Firefox.

1. Input the string about:support on the Firefox web address and press Enter on the keyboard.
2. You will now see the Troubleshooting Information page of Mozilla Firefox.
3. You will notice a section in the upper-right corner of the screen stating, Give Firefox a tune-up. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
4. If a confirmation window appears, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
5. Firefox browser will close and start the resetting process. When done, it will display a list of restored data. Smartsearchnow.io should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.

Restore Microsoft Edge to Default Settings

1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
2. On the address bar, please input edge://settings/reset and press Enter on the keyboard.
3. Once you are on the Reset Settings page, click on Restore settings to their default values.
4. A confirmation window will appear; click on the Reset button to continue.

Your data, like favorites, bookmarks, and history, will remain in the browser. However, this process will delete add-ons by Smartsearchnow.io and other unknown objects.

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