StreamingSearch browser hijacker (virus) - Free Instructions

StreamingSearch browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is StreamingSearch browser hijacker?

StreamingSearch takes over your browser to show you ads and promo links

StreamingSearchBrowser hijackers take over your searches and insert ads

If you have been wondering why your homepage and new tab URL changed to streaming-search.com, you have a potentially unwanted program[1] in the form of an extension installed on your browser. You are unaware of its installation because it uses deceptive practices for propagation, although you could have installed it intentionally without knowing its true purpose.

StreamingSearch is a browser hijacker that comes from a broader family, members of which have been spreading around the web for several years now (just recently, we discussed SocialSearchConverter, GreatSearchSport, and ProMusicSearch). In fact, all of these are basically identical, with no differentiation in function or operation.

Just as with previous versions of the hijacker, it is implied that it has the function of providing video stream search. However, the main goal of the developers is not to provide any exclusive features to users but rather alter their browsing experience in a way that would benefit only them.

Precisely for this reason, the web browser settings are changed, and users are forced to browse via an alternative search engine and/or search provider. In most cases, all the search queries are redirected to Yahoo, Bing, or nearbyme.io (based on the location). Unsurprisingly, the results are littered with sponsored links and ads, which are all placed at the top, making people more likely to click on them.

Name StreamingSearch
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Distribution Software bundles, ads, fake update prompts
Symptoms An extension is installed on the browser; homepage and new tab address are set to streaming-search.com; a customized search engine is appended to the homepage; search results are filled with sponsored links and ads
Risks Due to information gathering practices, users' privacy might be at risk; installation of useless potentially unwanted programs/malware; financial losses
Removal To get rid of the unwanted browser extension, you should access the settings section of your browser. You should also check for other PUPs or malware with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or another powerful security tool
Optional steps Cleaning your browsers is just as important as removing the extension that caused the unwanted activities. For that, check the instructions below or employ ReimageIntego

Looking for a useful streaming add-on? Don't rely on StreamingSearch to help you

We have mentioned several previous creations of the same developer, and you should have noticed the pattern in the naming of these apps. Typically it includes the alleged function, such as “streaming,” “finding maps, “Ad-blocking,” and similar. This is a mere illusion created to trick users into believing that the app is somehow useful – it is a play of words. In reality, that app is much more primitive and simple than that.

Besides the general search function, this app has little to offer. Instead of helping to allegedly find streams online, it exposes users to an increased number of ads at the top of the search results and also changes the provider altogether – and most people aren't happy about that.

The layer of these ads is not shown by the provider itself (Yahoo, for example) but rather the hijacker. If you want to use Yahoo or another provider, you can simply set it as your homepage without any additional programs or extensions. It is unlikely you want to separate from your regular provider, likely, Google, however, in the first place.

StreamingSearch virusStreamingSearch gathers information about users as long as the extension are installed

To seem relevant, StreamingSearch would provide several “features” that may seem useful:

  • PDF converter
  • Calculator
  • Currency converter, etc.

Besides, it would also show your local time at the top right corner of the screen. All these functions are already embedded in your current browser or can be reached with just a few clicks. Thus, even these features are rather useless.

In the meantime, all the time while you have this browser extension installed, you have to deal with altered settings and search provider, increased number of ads, as well as background information tracking. Do not hesitate and remove StreamingSearch by accessing the settings section of your browser.

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the window's top-right).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select the unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

After you get rid of the hijacker, we strongly recommend you scan your device with powerful anti-malware software, for example, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. These apps can check your system fully and ensure that no malicious programs, processes, or files are present. Besides, they can also aid with potentially unwanted program elimination if there are additional ones installed.

Browser hijackers and how to avoid them

Evidently, browser hijackers are not considered malicious and are never marked by security software as malware but rather as a potentially unwanted program (PUP). The main trait that separates these apps from regular apps is their distribution methods, as users commonly are tricked into installing them or overlook an optional component within a freeware bundle,[2] typically downloaded from a third-party website.

That does not change the fact that users install them themselves, regardless of whether they were tricked into it. This is the main reason why people should be more careful with various sources that distribute free software: they commonly bundle apps in order to obtain revenue from certain parties. While the nature of such actions remains controversial, it is still a legal practice.

To avoid unintentional installation of apps, we recommend visiting official stores and websites and download software from there. Also, during the installation process, you should always rely on Advanced or Custom settings, which would allow you to get rid of the tricks from pre-ticked checkboxes. That being said, some serious threats, such as Efdc ransomware, can also be spread in a similar manner, especially on pirated software websites (torrents, cracks).[3]

Final step: clean your browsers

If you have completed StreamingSearch removal via your browser settings, your job is only halfway done. As we already mentioned, browser hijackers are known to gather information about users. When looking at the Privacy Policy of this app, the information gathering practices were clearly explained:

Non-Personal Information may be automatically transmitted by the user's device. When using our Service, we assign your device with a log file, a cookie (session or persistent), web beacons or other related technologies, to collect Non-Personal Information with respect to your activity in connection with our Service.

While the PUP does not collect personal data unless provided, it is important to note that there is no reason for you to expose the information about your browsing habits to more third parties. Unfortunately, this activity will not stop unless you clean your web browsers accordingly.

To do that quickly and efficiently, we recommend using ReimageIntego repair and maintenance utility. It could clean your browsers and the system from junk, get rid of the problematic items on your device, and fix virus damage if such was sustained. Alternatively, proceed with the below solution.

Clean Google Chrome

  • Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  • Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  • Select Browsing history, Cookies, and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  • Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Clean Mozilla Firefox

  • Click Menu and pick Options.
  • Go to Privacy & Security section.
  • Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  • Click on Clear Data…
  • Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content, and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Clean MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  • Select Privacy and services.
  • Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  • Under Time range, pick All time.
  • Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Clean Safari

  • Click Safari > Clear History…
  • From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  • Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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