[toggle heading=”What is XTab?”]XTab (also called X Tab or XTab virus) is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that comes bundled with additional browser hijackers. XTab is essentially used by third-party browser hijackers to “lock” internet browser settings than have been affected by the program. Third-party hijackers are used to change existing internet browser settings, such as the homepage (start page) and default search engine. If a user is to manually change these settings, the XTab program will be notified and will change the settings back to what the third-party hijacker had set.
Third-party hijackers that bundle with potential XTab malware include Search Protect and others. These programs create and schedule several tasks on Windows Task Scheduler and Windows Start-up settings in order to start the unwanted program every time you log into Windows.
The most apparent symptoms of the XTab virus are browser redirects when a user opens a new browser window, opens a new browser tab, or searches the web using the browser address bar, and also unwanted pop-up advertisements.
The XTab virus is not technically defined as a computer virus, but the program is still a destructive threat and sign of a serious computer infection. Potential XTab malware has been identified to positively download and install alongside third-party malware, malicious files, and additional potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), including Browse Pax and MediaPlayerVid1. This means that it will be necessary to uninstall multiple programs and remove multiple browser add-ons and extensions to stop all unwanted activities. Apart from manually eradicating the program and others that it bundles with, files may remain undetected to the average computer user. That is why it is recommended to use a reputable anti-malware product to remove XTab and malicious files that it installs alongside with.
Advertisements displayed by this adware arrive in a variety of forms, including pop-under ads that take up an entire browser window and say “This ad is brought to you by XTab.”
The XTab extension and browser attachments that it may bundle with have ‘permissions’ set allowing them to perform tasks users may find undesirable. These permissions are listed below.
- Read and change all your data on the websites you visit.
- Read and change your browsing history.
- Manage your apps, extensions, and themes.
- Manage your downloads.
[toggle heading=”How does XTab get onto a computer?”]XTab adware is usually contracted without user knowledge alongside free downloadable content from a variety of locations on the web. Free downloadable content includes freeware, shareware, torrents, email attachments, and more. The image below shows that it was advertised by popular freeware.
Users who wish to install freeware may be given a “custom installation” option to accept or decline an offer to install XTab adware and similar products during the installation; However, the user request to decline the adware from installing can be ignored by the program or presented in a confusing manner.
In some cases, XTab and other unwanted programs are deceptively promoted through questionable advertisements. These advertisements may be dishonest, misleading, and cause the program to automatically download and install once clicked on.[/toggle]
XTab (Removal Guide)
- Step 1: Remove unwanted add-ons and extensions
- Step 2: Uninstall XTab
- Step 3: Scan your computer for malware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- Step 4: Cleanup and repair settings with CCleaner by Piriform
- For Tech Support Call: 1-888-879-0084
Step 1: Remove XTab add-ons and extensions
1. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon on the top menu and navigate to More tools > Extensions.
2. Search for suspicious extensions in the list. Remove unwanted browser extensions individually by clicking the trashcan icon next to each one.
1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.
2. Search for suspicious add-ons on the Extensions and Plugin tab. Highlight each one individually and click remove.
Step 2: Uninstall XTab
1. Open Windows Start Menu and go to the Control Panel.
2. On Windows Control Panel, click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program in the Programs section.
3. Search for XTab and other unwanted programs in the list of installed programs. Once an unwanted program is located, double click the item or select it with your mouse and click the Uninstall button.
4. Restart your computer.
Step 3: Scan your computer for malware
1. Download and install the free or full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. The full version enables real-time protection to block malware and unwanted programs from infecting your computer, while the free version is just a free scan and removal tool.
2. Open the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
3. Click the large Scan Now button or visit the “Scan” tab to manually run a scan.
4. Once the malware scan is complete, click the Remove Selected button and reboot your computer.
Step 4: Cleanup and repair settings
1. Download and install the free or full version of CCleaner by Piriform.
2. Once installed, open 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.
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.
4. To automatically uninstall unwanted programs using CCleaner, navigate to the Uninstall tab and search for the program in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the unwanted software as selected by clicking the Run Uninstaller button.