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SwagBucks virus

How to remove the SwagBucks virus – Search.swagbucks.com redirect removal instructions

What is the SwagBucks virus (redirect)?

The SwagBucks virus, also referred to as the Swag Bucks virus, or SwagBucks Toolbar virus, are mistakenly used terms for a legitimate and very popular, but potentially unethical search engine and browser add-on and extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet explorer. Though SwagBucks is not primarily malicious, SwagBucks is categorized as malware, in particular a browser hijacker because SwagBucks.com has been reported to change internet browser settings including the home page and default search engine without permission, causing browsers to redirect to search.swagbucks.com as well as other web pages and domain names. SwagBucks also causes internet browser searches to target and ultimetly start up on search.swagbucks.com (pictured below).

SwagBucks virus

SwagBucks is promoted as a search engine and multiple use Toolbar (SBTV, SwagBucks Toolbar, SwagBucks codes) users can use to earn rewards, such as Starbucks gift cards and other “swag” for searching the internet. SwagBucks does gift their users with rewards, it is true but it should be noted that SwagBucks has been reported to have a low “payout” rate (for lack of a better term) compared to others and have been noted to ban users who search too much in attempt to earn money. Many also claim that SwagBucks prizes are very over-priced and are not worth the effort.

Remove SwagBucks Toolbar

An issue with SwagBucks and Reward and Redeem type websites is that they themselves primarily experience high payouts as opposed to their users because they may push users to click affiliate links and utilize sponsored search results that may not be relevant but payout SwagBucks by promising to give away prizes and rewards. SwagBucks may initiaillay seem like a scam, some even referr to SwagBucks.com as the SwagBucks scam, but please note, these types of deal websites are very common and it’s really up the the user to avoid falling victim.

Some SwagBucks users have claimed that SwagBucks Toolbar is difficult to uninstall, or claim that search.swagbucks.com will not eradicate from thier homepage and internal search engine. If this is the case, we have detailed several options to remove or stop the SwagBucks redirect and uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar, as well as remove third-party malware further below.

What is SwagBucks Toolbar (Swag Bucks Toolbar)?

The SwagBucks Toolbar, sometimes referred to as the SBTV Toolbar or Swag Code Toolbar is a browser helper object (BHO) or internet browser add-on and extension used to promote the SwagBucks search engine and services, including Swag Codes and SwagBucks Television (SBTV).

SwagBucks Toolbar

The SwagBucks Toolbar appears at the top of the internet browser and has buttons that state Search & Win, Check for Swag Code, SBTV, and list the amount Swag Bucks the user collected.

Is SwagBucks.com safe (Swagbucks.com review)?

SwagBucks is a safe website that does not contain malicious payloads, but does display very unethical third-party advertisements that may infect a computer with malware or promote unethical software.

search.swagbucks.com redirect removal

When searching for term “botcrawl” on http://search.swagbucks.com, SwagBucks search results displayed unethical search results (advertisements) that should be avoided.

How to remove SwagBucks malware (hijacker)

  1. Uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar – Use the correct procedures to uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar (2 options)
  2. Scan computer for malware – Scan for and remove additional malware infecting your computer
  3. Automatically repair browser settings – Automatically remove hijacked SwagBucks browser settings and automatically uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar
  4. Manually remove search.swagbucks.com homepage
  5. Manually remove search.swagbucks.com search engine


1. Uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar (2 options)

Option 1: Windows Uninstall (Manual Uninstall)

1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.

Uninstall a program

2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program (depending on your version of Windows).

3. In the list of installed programs search for SwagBucks Toolbar and other suspicious third party programs. Uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar and unwanted software by double clicking the program’s icon, or highlight the program in the list and click the Uninstall button/tab.

Option 2: CCleaner by Piriform (Automated Uninstall)

CCleaner by Piriform

CCleaner can be used to uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar if it’s difficult to remove. CCleaner is notorious for removing similar hijackers such as Conduit Search.

1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform and run the program.

Purchase CCleaner for $24.95*   Free Download

2. Once installed, navigate to ToolsUninstall tab and locate SwagBucks Toolbar in the list. To automatically uninstall SwagBucks Toolbar click Run Uninstaller.

2. Scan computer for malware (Automated removal)

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can be used to detect and remove additional and/or third-party malware from your computer system, including malware that may be responsible for symptoms of the SwagBucks virus.

1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.

Purchase Malwarebytes PRO   Free Download

2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, please do so.

3. Open the first tab labeled “Scanner” and select the Perform full scan option. Click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting your computer system.

Malwarebytes Perform Full Scan

4. Once the full system scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a message stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected).

Malwarebytes Gadgetbox

3. Automatically repair browser settings (Automated repair)

CCleaner by Piriform

CCleaner can also be used to repair internet browser settings and stop your browser from redirecting to http://search.swagbucks.com and other websites.

1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform and run the program.

Purchase CCleaner for $24.95*   Free Download

CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

2. Once installed, run the program and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

CCleaner Startup

3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found. Look for anything that may be suspicious or contain “SwagBucks” or simply “swag” (which happens to be my middle name) in the title or filename.

4. Manually remove search.swagbucks.com homepage

  • In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove search.swagbucks.com from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove search.swagbucks.com from the Home Page field and replace it with your preferred URL.
  • In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings.Click “Set pages” under the On startup option. Remove search.swagbucks.com and replace it with your preferred URL.

5. Manually remove search.swagbucks.com search engine

  • In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove the search.swagbucks.com search engine from the list of search providers by highlighting the selections and clicking remove.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons > Search Providers and remove the search.swagbucks.com search engine from the list.
  • In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to search.swagbucks.com to remove it as your search engine.

Please note, If www.search.swagbucks.com is set as Google Chrome’s default search engine, add (or select) a new search engine (such as Google.com) and select the new search engine as the default search engine, then remove www.search.swagbucks.com by clicking the X next to it.

Related links:

Sean Moran

Sean Moran is a distinguished tech author and entrepreneur with over 20 years of extensive experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and various other tech domains. His expertise and contributions to the industry have been recognized in numerous esteemed publications. Sean is widely acclaimed for his sharp intellect and innovative insights, solidifying his reputation as a leading figure in the tech community. His work not only advances the field but also helps businesses and individuals navigate the complexities of the digital world.

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