The WM Search is an malicious Google Chrome browser extension. If you have found this add-on in the list of Chrome’s extensions then your system is infected with ‘ad-supported’ software (also known as adware). It is a type of harmful software that designed to show a large count of undesired pop-up ads. Unlike viruses, the ad supported software will not delete or infect your files, but its actions will cause some problems with your web browser. This is because, it will infect your computer, get full access to your web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, IE and MS Edge and be able to alter their settings. Of course, it did not ask you for permission and do it secretly as possible. Once your browser settings will be modified, you will be re-directed to annoying ads, some of which can lead to harmful or misleading web-pages. For this reason, we recommend that you start the clean up of your PC of WM Search adware as quickly as possible and thereby remove all unwanted ads from your web-browser.
The adware is the part of the software that is used as an online promotional tool. It’s created with the sole purpose to display dozens of ads, and thus to promote the goods and services in an open internet browser window. So, the WM Search is just one of the many programs of the so-called ‘ad-support’ type. It’s designed to fill the web browser’s constant stream of advertisements, or redirect the browser to not expected and intrusive advertising web-pages. Moreover, the adware can substitute the legitimate advertising links on misleading or even banners that can offer to visit malicious web-pages. The reason is simple, many advertisers agree on any ways to attract users to their web sites, so the creators of ‘ad supported’ software, often forcing users to click on an advertising link. For each click on a link, the authors of the ‘ad supported’ software receive income. It is the so-called ‘Pay-Per-Click’ method.
Table of contents
- What is WM Search
- WM Search virus removal steps
- Delete WM Search adware without any tools
- Run free malware removal utilities to completely remove WM Search virus
- How to block browser redirects
- Method of WM Search intrusion into your PC
- Final words
The malicious programs from the adware family that changes the settings of web browsers usually affects only the Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Edge. However, possible situations, when any other browsers will be affected too. The ‘ad supported’ software may change the Target property of a web-browser’s shortcut, so every time you run the browser, instead of your homepage, you will see the intrusive ads.
We recommend to remove the WM Search software that redirects your web-browser on various undesired pages, as soon as you found this problem, as it can direct you to web-resources which may load other malicious software on your system.
WM Search virus removal steps
The answer is right here on this page. We have put together simplicity and efficiency. It will allow you easily to clean your system of WM Search adware that designed to redirect your internet browser to various ad web-sites. Moreover, you can select manual or automatic removal method. If you’re familiar with the computer then use manual removal, otherwise use the free antimalware tool developed specifically to get rid of virus. Of course, you may combine both methods. Read it once, after doing so, please print this page as you may need to exit your web browser or restart your personal computer.
Delete WM Search adware without any tools
The useful removal instructions for the WM Search adware virus. The detailed procedure can be followed by anyone as it really does take you step-by-step. If you follow this process to remove WM Search adware let us know how you managed by sending us your comments please.
Remove all ad-supported software and other PUPs through the MS Windows Control Panel
First, you should try to identify and remove the program that causes the appearance of intrusive ads or web browser redirect, using the ‘Uninstall a program’ which is located in the ‘Control panel’.
Windows 8, 8.1, 10
Once the ‘Control Panel’ opens, press the ‘Uninstall a program’ link under Programs category as shown on the image below.
You will see the ‘Uninstall a program’ panel as shown below.
Very carefully look around the entire list of software installed on your PC. Most likely, one or more of them are responsible for the appearance of popup advertisements and internet browser redirect to the intrusive ad pages. If you have many programs installed, you can help simplify the search of malicious applications by sort the list by date of installation. Once you have found a suspicious, unwanted or unused program, right click to it, after that click ‘Uninstall’.
Windows XP, Vista, 7
Once the Windows ‘Control Panel’ opens, you need to click ‘Uninstall a program’ under ‘Programs’ as shown below.
You will see a list of applications installed on your computer. We recommend to sort the list by date of installation to quickly find the programs that were installed last. Most likely they responsibility for the appearance of ads and internet browser redirect. If you are in doubt, you can always check the program by doing a search for her name in Google, Yahoo or Bing. Once the application which you need to remove is found, simply click on its name, and then click ‘Uninstall’ as shown in the figure below.
Disinfect the web-browser’s shortcuts to delete WM Search redirect
When the adware virus is started, it can also change the browser’s shortcuts, adding an argument like “http://site.address” into the Target field. Due to this, every time you open the web browser, it will open an annoying web-site.
To clear the browser shortcut, right-click to it and select Properties. On the Shortcut tab, locate the Target field. Click inside, you will see a vertical line – arrow pointer, move it (using -> arrow key on your keyboard) to the right as possible. You will see a text similar “http://site.address” that has been added here. You need to delete it.
When the text is removed, press the OK button. You need to clean all shortcuts of all your browsers, as they may be infected too.
Remove WM Search from Chrome
If your Google Chrome web-browser is infected WM Search malicious extension, it may be necessary to completely reset your internet browser program to its default settings.
First launch the Google Chrome. Next, press the button in the form of three horizontal stripes (). It will show the main menu. Further, click the option named “Settings”. Another way to display the Google Chrome’s settings – type chrome://settings in the browser adress bar and press Enter.
The web-browser will open the settings screen. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Show advanced settings” link. Now scroll down until the “Reset settings” section is visible, as shown below and press the “Reset settings” button.
The Chrome will show the confirmation dialog box. You need to confirm your action, press the “Reset” button. The internet browser will launch the procedure of cleaning. When it is complete, the web browser’s settings including startpage, newtab and default search engine back to the values that have been when the Chrome was first installed on your machine.
Get rid of unwanted Scheduled Tasks
Once installed, the ad-supported software can add a task in to the Windows Task Scheduler Library. Due to this, every time when you launch your PC, it will show an undesired web site. So, you need to check the Task Scheduler Library and get rid of all malicious tasks that have been created by ‘ad-supported’ applications.
Press Windows and R keys on your keyboard at the same time. It will show a dialog box that called Run. In the text field, type “taskschd.msc” (without the quotes) and click OK. Task Scheduler window opens. In the left-hand side, press “Task Scheduler Library”, as on the image below.
In the middle part you will see a list of installed tasks. Select the first task, its properties will be show just below automatically. Next, press the Actions tab. Necessary to look at the text which is written under Details. Found something such as “explorer.exe http://site.address” or “chrome.exe http://site.address” or “firefox.exe http://site.address”, then you need delete this task. If you are not sure that executes the task, then google it. If it is a component of the adware, then this task also should be removed.
Further click on it with the right mouse button and select Delete like below.
Repeat this step, if you have found a few tasks that have been created by ‘ad-supported’ applications. Once is finished, close the Task Scheduler window.
Run free malware removal utilities to completely remove WM Search virus
There are not many good free anti-malware applications with high detection ratio. The effectiveness of malicious software removal utilities depends on various factors, mostly on how often their virus/malware signatures DB are updated in order to effectively detect modern malware, adware, browser hijackers and other PUPs. We suggest to use several programs, not just one. These programs that listed below will allow you get rid of all components of the adware from your disk and Windows registry and thereby remove WM Search virus.
How to get rid of WM Search with Zemana Anti-malware
We recommend using the Zemana Anti-malware which are completely clean your computer of the adware. The utility is an advanced malicious software removal application created by (c) Zemana lab. It is able to help you remove PUPs, hijackers, malicious software, toolbars, ransomware and WM Search adware virus that developed to redirect your web browser to various ad web-pages.
Download Zemana antimalware from the link below.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Once downloading is complete, close all applications and windows on your PC. Open a directory in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup like below.
When the installation starts, you will see the “Setup wizard” that will allow you install Zemana anti-malware on your PC.
Once installation is complete, you will see window as on the image below.
Now click the “Scan” button to begin checking your machine for the WM Search adware that causes web browsers to display annoying pop ups. Depending on your computer, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. When a threat is detected, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the scanning is finished.
Once the system scan is finished, the results are displayed in the scan report. Next, you need to click “Next” button.
The Zemana Anti-malware will begin removing ‘ad supported’ software related files, folders and registry keys.
Use Malwarebytes to get rid of WM Search virus
Manual WM Search virus removal requires some computer skills. Some files and registry entries that created by the adware virus can be not completely removed. We recommend that run the Malwarebytes Free that are completely clean your personal computer of adware virus. Moreover, the free program will help you to get rid of malicious software, potentially unwanted software, browser hijacker infections and toolbars that your system can be infected too.
- Download Malwarebytes (MBAM) from the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- Once the download is finished, close all programs and windows on your personal computer. Open a file location. Double-click on the icon that’s named mb3-setup.
- Further, click Next button and follow the prompts.
- Once install is finished, click the “Scan Now” button . This will start scanning the whole PC system to find out WM Search adware virus that developed to reroute your internet browser to various ad pages. During the scan it’ll detect all threats exist on your computer.
- Once the system scan is complete, you’ll be displayed the list of all detected threats on your system. Review the scan results and then click “Quarantine Selected”. Once disinfection is finished, you may be prompted to restart your system.
The following video offers a step-by-step guide on how to remove browser hijacker with Malwarebytes.
Double-check for potentially unwanted applications with AdwCleaner
If MalwareBytes anti-malware or Zemana anti malware cannot get rid of this virus, then we suggests to use the AdwCleaner. AdwCleaner is a free removal tool for hijackers, PUPs, toolbars and WM Search virus that causes a large amount of undesired advertisements.
- Download AdwCleaner from the link below.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: April 3, 2020
- Once downloading is finished, double click the AdwCleaner icon. Once this utility is started, click “Scan” button for scanning your PC system for the WM Search virus which cause annoying popup advertisements to appear. A system scan can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your PC. When a malware, ‘ad supported’ software or PUPs are detected, the number of the security threats will change accordingly.
- Once the system scan is complete, you can check all items found on your personal computer. In order to remove all threats, simply press “Clean” button. It will open a prompt, press “OK”.
These few simple steps are shown in detail in the following video guide.
How to block ads and browser redirects
Run an ad blocker tool like AdGuard will protect you from malicious advertisements and content. Moreover, you can find that the AdGuard have an option to protect your privacy and stop phishing and spam web sites. Additionally, ad-blocker applications will help you to avoid unwanted pop-up ads and unverified links that also a good way to stay safe online.
Download AdGuard application from the following link.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After downloading is done, launch the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” screen as shown on the screen below.
Follow the prompts. Once the install is finished, you will see a window like below.
You can click “Skip” to close the setup application and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” button to see an quick tutorial that will assist you get to know AdGuard better.
In most cases, the default settings are enough and you don’t need to change anything. Each time, when you start your PC, AdGuard will start automatically and stop pop-up ads, as well as other malicious or misleading web-sites. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, that is located on your desktop.
Method of WM Search intrusion into your PC
Many programs created to display lots of annoying advertisements within your personal computer’s internet browser. So, when you installing freeware, carefully read the disclaimers, select the Custom or Advanced setup mode to watch for optional programs that are being installed, because some of the applications are potentially unwanted programs such as this WM Search adware virus that cause intrusive popup ads to appear.
Once you have complete the steps shown above, your machine should be clean from malware, browser hijackers and WM Search adware. The Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Internet Explorer will no longer display intrusive ad web sites when you surf the Internet. Unfortunately, if the step by step guidance does not help you, then you have caught a new adware, and then the best way – ask for help.
- Download HijackThis from the link below and save it to your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: November 7, 2015
- Double-click on the HijackThis icon. Next click “Do a system scan only” button.
- When it has finished scanning your PC system, the scan button will read “Save log”, press it. Save this log to your desktop.
- Create a Myantispyware account here. Once you’ve registered, check your e-mail for a confirmation link, and confirm your account. After that, login.
- Copy and paste the contents of the HijackThis log into your post. If you are posting for the first time, please start a new thread by using the “New Topic” button in the Spyware Removal forum. When posting your HJT log, try to give us some details about your problems, so we can try to help you more accurately.
- Wait for one of our trained “Security Team” or Site Administrator to provide you with knowledgeable assistance tailored to your problem with the annoying WM Search adware.