The software product that is to blame for their maybe aggressive appearance is famous under the name Websearch. In the article you are about to read, we have discussed its characteristics, the most common means of distribution, all the possible negative effects it might have on your computer, as well as some removal instructions and prevention tips. Hopefully, the advice and tips given here will be very helpful to you!
The Websearch Virus
The Websearch Virus is a typical example of an Adware-based product. You may have noticed some of its typical features and ways of behaving but down here I am going to explain them in details. First of all, the Websearch Virus program is any software that has been created with the purpose of generating as many advertisements as possible. Most Adware-like products work with the Pay-Per-Click scheme in order to earn substantial additional profits.
Actually, each pop-up that gets clicked on matters – all of them generate profit. Sometimes those ads may appear in the browser window when you attempt to load a website. However, it is also possible that they may be shown inside some installed on your PC programs as well. All in all, most users find them extremely disturbing and want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
How has it contaminated your computer?
The possible ways in which Adware becomes a part of your system might be very diverse. Sometimes it could come from a torrent, other times – from an infected website that you have recently visited. Nevertheless, the method Adware-like programs prefer to use when it comes to distribution is the following: software bundling. If that term doesn’t ring a bell, continue reading.
Software bundling is the process when programmers create a mixture of different software – their own programs and, most often, Adware-type products. Logically, they do so to make money as we have mentioned above. In fact, your problem is not that you have downloaded and incorporated a software bundle into your system. Your actual issue is that you haven’t installed those programs carefully and with the necessary attention and the Adware from inside them has been installed as well.
Important Prevention Tip:
The features of any program installer are there for a reason. In case you choose the Quick (or Easy, or Default) one, you are agreeing to install everything from the given bundle on your PC. In this way you are refusing to be informed about what such a bundle may contain.
Alternatively, you have the other possibility: the Custom (or Advanced) feature gives you all the details about the bundle content and you are allowed to incorporate into your machine only the software you really need and to opt out of possible Adware .exe files.
However, is Websearch an actual virus?
It is indeed not even close to any type of virus. Adware’s purpose is simple – to use ads in exchange for money. It has NO ability to steal any files from your system, to destroy them or to lock them up. What’s more, it is NOT able to spy on you through your webcam or copy and use any personal banking details.
Of course, its reputation is rather bipolar because it may show some shady characteristics. It is possible that some Adware-like programs could do a research about your personal tastes, using your habitual surfing requests. Such research might then be used to determine what ads you could be interested in; and sold to 3rd parties, letting them know what you may or may not like.
Sometimes it is even possible that some of the shown ads may redirect you to potentially suspicious websites with potentially hazardous content like Ransomware. However, such a turn of the events is not very likely. Another possible negative side of Adware might be a probable slow-down in the performance of your PC. Displaying so many advertisements might normally take up big amounts of resources and that may affect your machine.
More prevention tips
While the most important prevention tip has already been mentioned above, there are still a few more that might be useful to you:
- The anti-virus program you use DOES matter – choose yours carefully and it will enhance your security greatly;
- It is always good to install a reliable pop-up blocker – it might not help against Websearch, but will certainly come in handy with the website-hosted pop-ups and banners;
- Use only trustworthy sources of software. It is very important to be careful with the web pages from where you download torrents and programs;
- Keep your whole OS updated and your Firewall ON. It can only help you.
The process of removing Websearch
We are happy to tell you that the removal guide at the end of this article has been assembled with the single purpose to help you get rid of this Adware program. We hope that you will find it easy to implement and it will put an end to your unpleasant issues with pop-ups and other ads.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Probably slower overall performance due to the constantly appearing ads that may make your system freeze or your online experience unpleasant.|
|Distribution Method||Via software bundling (most often). Inside already infected web pages, torrents or spam emails.|
|Detection Tool||Websearch may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter – a professional parasite scanner – to make sure you find all files related to the infection.|
Remove Websearch Virus
To try and remove Websearch quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the Websearch extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove Websearch by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of Websearch and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Websearch removal guide below.
If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.
If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide
Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.
Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous.
Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders.
Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.
Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.
You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.
Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:
Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:
If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.
Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.
- After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.
Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.
NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).
Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.
Remove Websearch from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove Websearch from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Websearch from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.
Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!