What is Smart Search

Smart Search is a browser hijacker presented as a useful browser extension. According to its name, developers wanted to instill that it can generate wiser searching queries based on users’ preferences. It has a relatively minimalistic interface likewise other legitimate search engines like Google, Yandex, and Yahoo. If your computer is infected, Smart Search will, therefore, alter browsing settings and change your homepage address to searchsmarters.online, search.hsearchsmart.co, smartsearch.pw or searchsmart.com which will be displayed each time you open the browser. There were also found a couple of similar domains like smartsearch.top and thesmartsearch.net that look pretty same. The set-ups of the browser allow hackers to collect browsing information. IP addresses, geolocations, passwords, and other valuable data can be transmitted and used by third parties for revenue purposes. Smart Search has been spotted on all popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, and Safari targeting its victims. Fake search engine extensions can also disturb your browsing experience by redirecting to other infectious pages and showing intrusive pop-ups that force you into inadvertently downloading adware. The presence of Smart Search can spread malicious content that can cause potential privacy issues. This is why we strongly recommend removing Smart Search from your computer by following the guide below.

How Smart Search infected your computer

Smart Search can be promoted via rogue installation set-ups that can be picked up from other malware-hosting resources. Because most users download programs from freeware hosting websites, Smart Search could come along with other intentionally downloaded software. This method is called bundling and has been very popular among extortionists. When people install a randomly downloaded program, there might be some other application offer concealed under “Advanced/Custom” sections that people tend to skip. By doing so, users inadvertently allow unknown software to be installed on their computers, therefore, changing the entire browser interface like Smart Search. Adware distribution can also be one of the infiltration ways. It is usually installed through fake notification pop-ups that can be stumbled on redirected pages from other questionable websites. Smart Search is a scamming tool that endangers your device and has to be deleted immediately. Read the step-by-step removal guide down below.

  1. Download Smart Search Removal Tool
  2. Stop Smart Search notifications in browsers
  3. Remove Smart Search from Control Panel and Applications
  4. Remove Smart Search extensions from browsers
  5. Reset browser search and homepage settings
  6. Alternative way to remove Smart Search search redirects
  7. Clean browser shortcuts from Smart Search
  8. How to protect from threats like Smart Search

Download Removal Tool for Windows

Download Removal Tool

compatible with microsoft

To remove Smart Search completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter 5. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of Smart Search and several millions of other adware, hijackers, toolbars. The trial version of SpyHunter 5 offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Download Removal Tool for Mac

Download SpyHunter for Mac

To remove Smart Search completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter for Mac. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of Smart Search and uninstall hijackers, toolbars, and unwanted add-ons from the Safari browser. The trial version of SpyHunter for Mac offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Disable push notifications from Smart Search in browsers

Remove searchsmarters.online from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Google Chrome

  1. Go to Google Chrome settings, by clicking 3-dots icon in the top-right corner and choosing Settings.
  2. On the left side choose Privacy and security menu.
  3. Under opened Privacy and security tab, choose Site Settings.
  4. Scroll down to Permissions section and click on Notifications (with the bell icon).
  5. Go to the bottom list of sites named Allowed to send notifications.
  6. Find searchsmarters.online in the list and click 3-dots icon near it. Click Remove button to delete the website permission.

Remove searchsmarters.online from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Mozilla Firefox

  1. Go to Mozilla Firefox options, by clicking 3-bars icon in the top-right corner and choosing Settings.
  2. On the left panel choose Privacy & Security menu.
  3. Scroll down to Permissions section.
  4. Near Notifications click Settings… button.
  5. Find searchsmarters.online in the list and click Remove Website to remove it.
  6. Click Save Changes button to confirm the action.

Remove searchsmarters.online from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Safari

  1. Open Safari, and in the top menu click Safari, choose Preferences.
  2. In the Preferences window, click on Websites tab.
  3. On the left side, choose Notifications. You will see the list of websites and their settings for showing notifications.
  4. Find searchsmarters.online in the list and click Remove button.

Remove searchsmarters.online from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Android (Chrome)

  1. Open Google Chrome app on Android, and tap on three dots to open main menu.
  2. In the drop-down menu choose Settings, scroll down and under Advanced section tap on Site Settings.
  3. In the Site Settings menu tap on Notifications.
  4. In the Allowed list of websites allowed to show notifications find searchsmarters.online, tap on it and in the bottom of the window tap on Clean & Reset button.
  5. Confirm your action by tapping on Clean & Reset again in opened dialog box.

Remove searchsmarters.online from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, and click on the three-dots menu, in the top-right corner.
  2. In the drop-down menu choose Settings.
  3. In the menu click Cookies and site permissions section, and scroll down to All permissions section.
  4. Click on Notifications.
  5. Find searchsmarters.online in the list under Allow, click on 3-dots icon and choose Remove.

Remove Smart Search manually for free

Here is a manual step-by-step tutorial for full Smart Search removal from your computer. This works 99% and was checked with the latest versions of the Smart Search installer on operating systems with the latest updates and browser versions.

Note: Smart Search can be installed as Google Chrome extension as Administrator (you may see Installed by enterprise policy inscription near it), and this will not allow removal. Therefore, before starting removal process, perform these actions:

  1. Start the Command Prompt by clicking the Start menu button and typing command prompt (or just searching for “command prompt” in Windows 10 search field). Right click on the Command Prompt result and choose Run as Administrator.
  2. start command prompt as administrator

  3. Type in and execute the following commands:


    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers"
    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy"
    gpupdate /force

  4. update group policy in windows

Remove Smart Search from Control Panel or Applications

To start removing Smart Search you should uninstall it using Control Panel. It can be present by different names – “Smart Search”. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use IObit Uninstaller to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11, or Mac.

Remove Smart Search from Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Choose Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Find Smart Search or other suspicious program.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove Smart Search from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find Smart Search or other suspicious program and click Uninstall.

Remove Smart Search from Windows 8:

  1. Hover mouse pointer to the bottom-right corner to see Menu.
  2. Click Search.
  3. After that click Apps.
  4. Then Control Panel.
  5. Click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  6. Find Smart Search or other suspicious program, click Uninstall.

Remove Smart Search from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall Smart Search from Windows 10

Way one
  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the System tile.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate Smart Search or other suspicious program in the list.
  5. Click on it and then click Uninstall button near it.
Way two (classic)
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Programs and Features.
  3. Locate Smart Search or other suspicious program in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Remove Smart Search from Windows 11:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the Apps tab on the left side.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate Smart Search or other recently installed suspicious program in the list.
  5. Click on 3-dots icon near it and then click Uninstall button near it.
  6. Depending on the type of application (Windows Store app or classic Win32 app) it will be removed immediately or you will need to confirm the action and go through standard uninstall procedure.
  7. Remove Smart Search from Mac:

    1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
    2. Smart Search might have an Uninstaller.
    3. Otherwise, drag Smart Search from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
    4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

    Cannot uninstall Smart Search in Windows

    In some cases, Smart Search won’t uninstall and gives you the message, that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall Smart Search. Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing the Smart Search folder and files. This happens because the process or service does not allow you to do it. In this case, I will recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes or uninstall Smart Search in Safe Mode. To boot in Safe Mode do the following:

    1. Reboot your computer.
    2. While it starts booting press F8 button.
    3. This will open Advanced Boot Options menu.
    4. Choose Safe Mode and wait until Windows loads.
    5. Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a program and remove Smart Search or other suspicious program

    >> See detailed instructions and video tutorial on how to boot in Safe Mode

    Cannot uninstall Smart Search in MacOS

    If you can’t uninstall Smart Search using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of Smart Search. Follow instructions below:

    1. Download free AppCleaner.
    2. Drag Smart Search from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
    3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with Smart Search.
    4. Click Delete button.

    Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

    Uninstalling Smart Search from Control Panel or Applications often does not bring the desired effect. It sometimes has a browser extension and it may still be active in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove the Smart Search extension from your browsers manually.

    Google Chrome:

    1. Start Google Chrome browser
    2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://extensions.
    3. Find Smart Search extension.
    4. Click the Remove button to remove them.
    5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

    Mozilla Firefox:

    1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
    2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:addons.
    3. Find Smart Search extension.
    4. Click three-dots icon near it and choose Remove in the menu.
    5. In opened dialog window click Remove button to confirm the action.
    6. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

    Safari:

    1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
    2. Click Extensions tab.
    3. Find Smart Search extension.
    4. Click Uninstall button to remove it.

    Microsoft Edge:

    1. Start Microsoft Edge browser.
    2. In address box type (or copy-paste) edge://extensions.
    3. Find Smart Search extension.
    4. Click Remove link under the name of extension.
    5. In opened dialog window click Remove button to confirm the action.
    6. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

    Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

    Note: There is no feature to remove browser extensions from browser in latest version of Internet Explorer. To remove Smart Search from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling the program from Control Panel. To disable Smart Search, please, do the following:

    1. Open Internet Explorer.
    2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
    3. In opened menu Manage Add-ons.
    4. Select Toolbars and Extensions.
    5. Click Disable Smart Search or other suspicious extensions.
    6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

    Opera Browser:

    Generally, Smart Search does not install in Opera browser however you can always double check. Do the following:

    1. Start Opera browser.
    2. Go to Tools > Extensions > Manage Extensions.
    3. Find Smart Search or other suspicious extensions.
    4. Click Uninstall button.
    5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

    Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

    Smart Search installs a search engine (searchsmarters.online), that hijacks your browsers. Here is the instruction to reset your browser’s homepage, new tab, and search engine to default values.

    Google Chrome:

    1. Start Google Chrome browser
    2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://settings.
    3. On the left panel expand Advanced options.
    4. Choose Reset and clean up.
    5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults link and confirm by clicking Reset button.

    Mozilla Firefox:

    1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
    2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:support.
    3. Click Refresh Firefox… button.
    4. Click Refresh Firefox button in opened dialog window to confirm.

    Reset Safari:

    1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
    2. Go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences.
    3. Click Remove All Website Data button.
    4. In opened window click Remove Now button to remove data stored by websites in Safari.
    5. Go to the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences.
    6. Click the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.
    7. In the menu click Develop and select Empty Caches from this menu.
    8. Again, go to Safari menu and choose Clear History….
    9. Choose to clear all history and click Clear History button.

    Microsoft Edge:

    1. Start Microsoft Edge browser
    2. Click on 3-dots icon in the top-right corner and choose Settings.
    3. On the left panel find and click Reset settings option.
    4. Click on Restore settings to their default values link and confirm by clicking Reset button.

    Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

    1. Start Internet Explorer.
    2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
    3. In opened menu choose Internet options.
    4. Click Advanced tab.
    5. Click Reset button.
    6. Choose Delete personal settings and click Reset.

    Opera Browser:

    1. Start Opera browser and click on Opera icon in the top-left corner.
    2. Choose Settings and click Advanced on the left side and choose Browser.
    3. Scroll down to the very bottom and click on Restore settings to their original defaults link.
    4. Confirm by clicking Reset button.

    Alternative way to remove adware browser extensions and reset browser settings

    avast browser cleanup For safe and effective browser extension removal use avast! Browser Cleanup utility. Run it with administrator privileges and remove all extensions with bad rating including related to Smart Search. You can also reset your browser settings for each of your browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.

    Download Avast Browser Cleanup

    Cleaning browsers shortcuts

    shortcut cleaner You can clean your browser shortcuts manually right-clicking on your browser icon, choosing “Properties” and removing hijacker address from “Target” field (leave just the path to your browser). However it is easier to use free Shortcut Cleaner from BleepingComputer. Download it here – its FREE:

    Download Shortcut Cleaner

    How to protect from threats, like Smart Search, in future

    Be careful surfing the internet and downloading software, as programs like Smart Search may become a real headache as they are hard to remove and break your privacy. To keep safe from such threats we recommend you always use antivirus and one of the anti-malware programs available on the market. One of the best anti-virus programs is SpyHunter 5. It can protect your PC from threats like Smart Search.

    Download SpyHunter for Windows Download SpyHunter for Mac
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