If you’ve ever found your browser homepage inexplicably modifying to Web Search site, or notice that the default search engine in your web-browser has modified, then you could say that your machine has been a victim of the browser hijacker virus. The developers of the virus do so in order to make money via Google, Yahoo or Bing search provider. Thus, in order to force you to use Web Search services as often as possible the hijacker virus can change your internet browsers settings like newtab, homepage and search engine by default. So, every time, when you will open the internet browser, it will start to display an unwanted site called “Web Search” instead of your startpage. Moreover, this malicious software can block an option to restore your home page.
Besides the fact that Web Search hijacker virus replaces your start page, the “Web Search” unwanted site can set yourself as your search provider. But, obviously, it does not give you a good search results, as they will consist of lots of ads, links to unwanted and ad web pages and only the remaining part is search results for your query from the major search engines. Of course, the very fact that you encounter with the inability to properly search the Internet, is an unpleasant moment. Moreover, the Web Search hijacker virus may gather a wide variety of personal info, and in the future to transfer it to third parties. What creates the risk of theft of your personal data.
In addition to that, as was mentioned earlier, certain viruses like Web Search to also modify all browsers shortcuts which located on your Desktop or Start menu. So, every infected shortcut will try to redirect your web browser to annoying web-sites, some of which might be harmful. It can make the whole system more vulnerable to hacker attacks.
It’s important, do not use Web Search page and don’t click on advertisements placed on it, as they can lead you to a more harmful or misleading pages. The best option is to use the guidance posted below to free your PC of hijacker virus, get rid of the Web Search redirect virus, and thereby return your previous home page and search provider.
How to remove Web Search virus
In the guide below, we’ll try to cover the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and MS Edge and provide general help to get rid of Web Search redirect virus. You may find some minor differences in your Windows install. No matter, you should be okay if you follow the steps outlined below: delete all suspicious and unknown software, reset web-browsers settings, fix web browsers shortcuts, use free malware removal tools. Read this manual carefully, bookmark or print it, because you may need to exit your web-browser or reboot your PC.
Manual Web Search virus removal
The following instructions is a step-by-step guide, which will help you manually remove Web Search redirect virus from the Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge and IE.
Delete suspicious applications using MS Windows Control Panel
We recommend that you begin the system cleaning procedure by checking the list of installed applications and uninstall all unknown or suspicious applications. This is a very important step, as mentioned above, very often the harmful programs such as ad supported software and browser hijackers may be bundled with free applications. Remove the unwanted applications can delete the unwanted advertisements or browser redirect.
Press Windows button , then press Search . Type “Control panel”and press Enter. If you using Windows XP or Windows 7, then press “Start” and select “Control Panel”. It will show the Windows Control Panel as displayed below.
Further, click “Uninstall a program”
It will display a list of all software installed on your computer. Scroll through the all list, and uninstall any suspicious and unknown programs.
Disinfect the web browser’s shortcuts to get rid of Web Search virus
When installed, this browser virus may add an argument similar to “http://site.address” into the Target property of the desktop shortcut for the Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Due to this, every time you open the browser, it will show the unwanted homepage.
Open the properties of the internet browser shortcut. Right click on the shortcut of infected browser and select the “Properties” option and it will show the properties of the shortcut. Next, choose the “Shortcut” tab and have a look at the Target field as shown in the following example.
Normally, if the last word in the Target field is chrome.exe, iexplore.exe, firefox.exe. Be sure to pay attention to the extension, should be “exe”! All shortcuts that have been modified by browser virus such as Web Search usually point to .bat, .cmd or .url files instead of .exe as displayed on the screen below
Another variant, an address has been added at the end of the line. In this case the Target field looks like …Application\chrome.exe” http://site.address like below.
In order to fix a shortcut, you need to insert right path to the Target field or remove an address (if it has been added at the end). You can use the following information to fix your shortcuts which have been modified by hijacker virus.
|Google Chrome||C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe|
|Firefox||C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe|
|Microsoft Internet Explorer||C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|Opera||C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\launcher.exe|
Once is finished, click OK to save changes. Repeat the step for all internet browsers which are rerouted to the Web Search unwanted page.
Get rid of Web Search redirect virus from Internet Explorer
First, run the Microsoft Internet Explorer, then press ‘gear’ icon . It will open the Tools drop-down menu on the right part of the internet browser, then click the “Internet Options” like below.
In the “Internet Options” screen, select the “Advanced” tab, then click the “Reset” button. The Microsoft Internet Explorer will display the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” prompt. Further, click the “Delete personal settings” check box to select it. Next, click the “Reset” button as shown below.
Once the process is finished, click “Close” button. Close the Internet Explorer and restart your computer for the changes to take effect. This step will help you to restore your browser’s homepage, newtab page and search provider by default to default state.
Delete Web Search redirect virus from Mozilla Firefox
The Mozilla Firefox reset will keep your personal information such as bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill data and delete unwanted search provider and start page like Web Search, modified preferences, extensions and security settings.
Press the Menu button (looks like three horizontal lines), and click the blue Help icon located at the bottom of the drop down menu as displayed on the image below.
A small menu will appear, press the “Troubleshooting Information”. On this page, press “Refresh Firefox” button as displayed below.
Follow the onscreen procedure to revert back your Firefox internet browser settings to its original state.
Remove Web Search virus from Chrome
In order to be sure that there is nothing left behind, we advise you to reset Google Chrome web-browser. It will return Chrome settings including new tab page, homepage and search engine by default to defaults.
- First, launch the Google Chrome and press the Menu icon (icon in the form of three horizontal stripes).
- It will display the Chrome main menu, click the “Settings” menu.
- Next, click “Show advanced settings” link, which located at the bottom of the Settings page.
- On the bottom of the “Advanced settings” page, press the “Reset settings” button.
- The Chrome will show the reset settings dialog box as shown on the screen above.
- Confirm the web-browser’s reset by clicking on the “Reset” button.
- To learn more, read the blog post How to reset Chrome settings to default.
How to get rid of Web Search virus with free applications
Manual removal is not always as effective as you might think. Often, even the most experienced users may not completely remove browser virus from the infected personal computer. So, we advise to scan your machine for any remaining malicious components with free virus removal software below.
How to delete Web Search with Zemana Free
We suggest you to use the Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) which are completely clean your PC. Moreover, the utility will allow you to remove PUPs, malicious software, toolbars and ‘ad supported’ software that your computer may be infected too.
Now you can install and run Zemana to delete Web Search redirect virus from your web browser by following the steps below:
Click the following link to download Zemana installation package called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup on your computer.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Start the installer after it has been downloaded successfully and then follow the prompts to install this utility on your PC system.
During install you can change some settings, but we recommend you do not make any changes to default settings.
When setup is finished, this malware removal utility will automatically run and update itself. You will see its main window like below.
Now press the “Scan” button to perform a system scan with this tool for the hijacker that changes web browser settings to replace your newtab page, home page and search provider by default with Web Search page. Depending on your computer, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. While the tool is checking, you can see count of objects and files has already scanned.
Once the scan get finished, Zemana Anti-Malware will open a list of detected items. All found items will be marked. You can delete them all by simply press “Next” button.
The Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) will get rid of hijacker infection that modifies internet browser settings to replace your home page, new tab and default search engine with Web Search site and add items to the Quarantine. When the task is complete, you can be prompted to restart your machine to make the change take effect.
Automatically get rid of Web Search redirect virus with Malwarebytes
We recommend using the Malwarebytes Free which are completely clean your personal computer of the virus. The free tool is an advanced malware removal application developed by (c) Malwarebytes lab. This program uses the world’s most popular anti-malware technology. It’s able to help you remove browser viruses, PUPs, malicious software, ad-supported software, toolbars, ransomware and other security threats from your personal computer for free.
- Download MalwareBytes Anti Malware (MBAM) by clicking on the link below and save it directly to your Windows Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- When downloading is finished, close all programs and windows on your PC system. Open a folder in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named mb3-setup.
- Further, press Next button and follow the prompts.
- Once installation is finished, click the “Scan Now” button to perform a system scan for the Web Search hijacker infection and other web browser’s harmful plugins. During the scan MalwareBytes Free will detect all threats present on your system.
- When MalwareBytes Free has finished scanning your machine, MalwareBytes will show a list of detected threats. Review the results once the tool has finished the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply press “Quarantine Selected”. Once that process is complete, you can be prompted to restart your computer.
The following video offers a few simple steps on how to remove hijacker infections, adware and other malware with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Use AdwCleaner to get rid of Web Search from the personal computer
AdwCleaner is a free removal tool that may be downloaded and use to delete hijackers, ad-supported software, malware, potentially unwanted applications, toolbars and other threats from your computer. You can run this tool to find threats even if you have an antivirus or any other security program.
Download AdwCleaner on your computer by clicking on the following link.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: April 28, 2022
When the download is complete, open the directory in which you saved it. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the AdwCleaner desktop icon. After the tool is started, you will see a screen as shown on the image below.
Further, click “Scan” button for checking your machine for the hijacker infection which cause Web Search site to appear. Depending on your PC system, the scan may take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. When the scan get completed, AdwCleaner will display a list of all items found by the scan as shown in the following example.
Make sure all items have ‘checkmark’ and click “Clean” button. It will open a prompt as shown in the following example.
You need to click “OK”. When disinfection is complete, the AdwCleaner may ask you to restart your PC system. When your PC system is started, you will see an AdwCleaner log.
These steps are shown in detail in the following video guide.
How to stop Web Search redirect virus
Use an ad-blocking utility like AdGuard will protect you from malicious ads and content. Moreover, you can find that the AdGuard have an option to protect your privacy and block phishing and spam web pages. Additionally, ad-blocker software will help you to avoid undesired pop ups and unverified links that also a good way to stay safe online.
- Download AdGuard program from the link below. Save it to your Desktop so that you can access the file easily.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
- After downloading is complete, start the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” program window. Follow the prompts.
- When the setup is done, press “Skip” to close the installation program and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick tutorial that will help 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 personal computer, AdGuard will start automatically and block pop ups, sites such Web Search, as well as other harmful or misleading sites. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the icon named AdGuard, that can be found on your desktop.
Where the Web Search browser virus comes from
Most commonly, the free programs setup file includes the optional adware or potentially unwanted programs such as this browser hijacker virus. So, be very careful when you agree to install anything. The best way – is to select a Custom, Advanced or Manual install mode. Here disable (uncheck) all third-party applications in which you are unsure or that causes even a slightest suspicion. The main thing you should remember, you do not need to install the third-party programs which you do not trust! The only thing I want to add. Once the free programs is installed, if you uninstall this software, the start page, newtab and default search provider of your favorite browser will not be restored. This must be done by yourself. Just follow the step by step instructions above.
Now your computer should be clean of the hijacker that changes web browser settings to replace your homepage, new tab page and default search provider with Web Search site. Uninstall AdwCleaner. We suggest that you keep Zemana (to periodically scan your PC system for new browser hijacker viruses and other malware) and AdGuard (to help you stop annoying pop-ups and harmful pages). Moreover, to prevent viruss, please stay clear of unknown and third party software, make sure that your antivirus program, turn on the option to find PUPs (potentially unwanted programs).
If you need more help with Web Search virus related issues, go to our Spyware/Malware removal forum.