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WebDiscover removal guide (Chromium virus version)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Adware

WebDiscover is a Chromium-based web browser which has been categorized as a PUP

WebDiscover
WebDiscover is a fake browser that collects information about its users, including your online browsing habits

Questions about WebDiscover Browser

WebDiscover is a Chromium virus which is promoted as a replacement for a famous Chrome browser. However, detailed research revealed that, next to its promises to provide VPN connection, weather forecasts, and similar help, it also has such capability as affecting the performance of users' browsing, tracking their time online and so on. Due to stealthy distribution methods and removal problems, it has been classified as a browser hijacker. This application is designed to use Bing as a default search provider, which has been actively misused by scammers. Unfortunately, no matter that Bing is a legitimate search engine, WebDiscover virus fills its search results with sponsored links to redirect its victims to websites which are paying for such traffic. 

Name WebDiscover
Classified as Potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Symptoms
  • Clicking on any link by default opens the WebDiscover browser
  • The PUP displays an excessive amount of ads on most of the websites
  • The most of search results are sponsored
  • You cannot get rid of WebDiscover completely as it keeps resetting itself as a default browser
The main danger The browser can be used to promote suspicious third parties and redirect its victims to potentially dangerous websites
Distribution Bundling, misleading download websites, owner's site
Files to avoid
  • WebDiscoverHelper_net40.exe (Windows 10)
  • WebDiscoverHelper_net35.exe (Windows 7, 8)
The easiest way to get rid of unwanted software is to run a scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner . This way, the system will be successfully cleaned from malware. Do NOT install uninstall helper utility offered by the developer!

WebDiscover is not a severe cyber infection. Some people may even find it useful and can use it as much as they like. However, we feel a responsibility to warn people that it can be used for the implementation of shady marketing campaigns. It means that it may be filled with commercial content. 

Additionally, to leave the system, the app is offering downloading the uninstall helper utility (WebDiscoverHelper_net40.exe or WebDiscoverHelper_net35.exe). If you don't want to end up with more unwanted activities on the system, follow the guide given at the end of this post instead of downloading related components.

Main functionality of WebDiscover

According to people's reports, it starts displaying intrusive advertisements once installed. It is capable of generating all kinds of ads, including pop-ups, full-page, and in-text. All of them are, indeed, intrusive and should not be ignored. Therefore, if you keep seeing “Ads by WebDiscover,” “Powered by WebDiscover” or similar pop-ups as well as experiencing redirects to Safestsearches.com, take corresponding actions to delete the virus[1] from the system. 

The developers of this PUP have been trying to introduce this program as an alternative web browser which supposedly improves users’ browsing experience by providing useful features. These alleged WebDiscover features include quick links to social media and news sites as well as an integrated search bar which gets pinned to the top of the desktop for convenient access.

In reality, this toolbar can become annoying right after it starts staying on top of every application and prevents you from using them properly. Unfortunately, that’s not the only undesirable feature that this alternative web browser trigger when installed on the PC. The main problems are associated with the constant redirects and never-ending pop-up ads that are caused by the browser while you surf the net. To eliminate them, you need to remove WebDiscover.

Usually, these ads are intended to grasp the internet user’s attention. Some specific keywords may be hyperlinked; you may also be offered coupons for your visited sites, etc. These ads can get really intrusive and, perhaps, this is the reason why so many users begin looking for WebDiscover removal tips just after a couple of days after its installation.

WebDiscover Browser
WebDiscover - a PUP that automatically assigns itself as a default search provider. It adds a search bar on top of the desktop and inserts shortcuts into the lower toolbar

Why does this browser look so legit and useful 

Looking at the design, Web Discover browser appears to be almost identical to Google Chrome. This is not a coincidence since this browser is based on the open-source Google Chromium custom builder.[2] Nevertheless, there are a few things that differ.

First of all, when trying to use your browser, it causes redirects to shady search engines, including safestsearches.com. This way, you will inevitably notice the already mentioned search bar attached to the top section of your desktop. If you tried searching anything through it, you will eventually land on Bing search engine. You should be very careful with WebDiscover redirect tendency[3].

In addition to that, you may also notice ads constantly popping up here and there, and sometimes even covering the original website’s content. These ads are not only annoying but can also slow down the loading speed and performance of your favorite sites. As a result, WebDiscover can also cause some further contamination of your computer since they usually promote some untrusted third party web pages, software, toolbars, and other products.

WebDiscover malware
WebDiscover removal requires eliminating entries related to WebDiscover Media

With the help of such aggressive advertising, WebDiscover virus only generates revenue[4] for its developers instead of offering any legitimately useful information. Malware creators often go as far as collecting data about users and their browsing habits. There is a high chance that this application has some tracking technology[5] integrated as well.

As various other websites and PUAs, WebDiscover collects and tracks information about your online habits, preferences, searches.[6] This information is stated in the Privacy Policy section of the official website:

To make the Site and the Browser more useful to you, our servers (which may be hosted by a third-party service provider) may collect Anonymous Data from you such as web browser type, operating system type and version, domain name, Browser version, Browser usage and statistics, and/or a date/time stamp of your visit. We may use cookies and navigational data like Uniform Resource Locators (URL) and referring URLs to gather information regarding the date and time of your visit. We may use Anonymous Data and Application Data for market research purposes and to improve our products and services, the Site and the Browser.

The second version of this infamous Web engine, WebDiscover 2, is based on Chromium builder, and, unfortunately, also gets installed on the computers against their owners’ will. The ad-based browser runs on the computer as WebDiscover Media application and modifies the computer's settings to launch it as a default browser.

A problematic thing about this browser is that antivirus utilities find it difficult to detect and eliminate, so the WebDiscover malware may continue making your Internet browsing experience miserable by overflowing your visited websites with numerous ads and sponsored links.

If you notice ads and banners on your visited pages or some random text on the web pages get turned into hyperlinks, and if you keep receiving recommendations to update or download some suspicious software, it may indicate that you have been infected with WebDiscover or a similar virus.

So, if you want to browse safely and uninterrupted, we recommend you to remove WebDiscover from your computer. To do that, you can simply scan your system with some reputable anti-malware system, like Reimage Reimage Cleaner , and this professional antivirus tool will take care of the problem for you. 

WebDiscover virus

You can install WebDiscover unknowingly, along with freeware

The hijack is initiated by employing various methods. The most frequent one, however, is called “bundling.” In such a scenario, the user must download free software which is bundled with some potentially unwanted programs, such as add-ons, toolbars, extensions, and similar. 

These PUPs are hidden in “Advanced” and “Custom” options frequently omitted by users who skip most of the steps in the installation process. This, however, should not be done. It will save you a lot of time and nerves as detecting and deselecting programs hidden here guarantee installation of the sole program you intended to download.

Another important thing to remember is that you should avoid using all sorts of download managers and installers which are infamous for distributing bundled software for users who want to install some PDF converters or other free software. Therefore, if possible, you should always download programs from official websites.

Main ways to remove WebDiscover from the system

Web Discover browser won't uninstall simply by removing it from the Add/remove programs list. As we have already mentioned in the previous sections of the article, the WebDiscover virus should be deleted by using some reputable and trustworthy anti-spyware which becomes very handy for the inspection of your system and checking if it has been infected.

However, since the virus is good at obfuscating itself, it might be necessary to remove WebDiscovery manually. In such a case, you should be ready to use some of your time and apply technical skills.

If you do not feel overwhelmed by a longer and more complex procedure and instead of leaving the WebDiscover removal for the automatic antivirus utilities would like to delete it yourself, you can check out detailed removal instructions presented below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove WebDiscover Browser, follow these steps:

Uninstall WebDiscover Browser from Windows systems

To uninstall WebDiscover from Windows, keep in mind that the virus may try to postpone its removal by hiding on your computer. Thus, it is important to know where to look for it. Most likely, you will find the files of this virus located in these directories:

C:\Program Files\WebDiscoverBrowser\
C:\Documents and Settings\Application DataChromium\.

Also, if you are infected, uninstall all entries related to WebDiscover Media.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall WebDiscover Browser and related programs
    Here, look for WebDiscover Browser or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Get rid of WebDiscover Browser from Mac OS X system

To get rid of this hijacker from MacOS, follow the instructions indicated below.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for WebDiscover Browser or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Remove WebDiscover Browser from Internet Explorer (IE)

To fix IE, make sure you remove all suspicious toolbars, add-ons and other data related to this PUP. You should also delete all additional components and reset your browser to immobilize the malware and win back control.

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for WebDiscover Browser and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete WebDiscover Browser removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete WebDiscover Browser from Microsoft Edge

To uninstall this virus from Microsoft Edge browser, you should go through the list of your browser extensions and add-ons, and remove suspicious components you cannot remember installing or which seem related to your virus.

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, WebDiscover Browser should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase WebDiscover Browser from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To get rid of WebDiscover and WebDiscover Browser 2 from Firefox, look for suspicious add-ons or extensions that might have been added to your web browser. Any unfamiliar applications should be investigated and removed in case they are found to be suspicious.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select WebDiscover Browser and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete WebDiscover Browser removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate WebDiscover Browser from Google Chrome

ITo fix Chrome, you need to find WebDiscover or WebDiscover Browser 2-related add-ons. Nevertheless, you should also investigate your other browsers and delete software which has been stealthily installed on your computer as well.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select WebDiscover Browser and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete WebDiscover Browser removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall WebDiscover Browser from Safari

In case your Safari browser suffers problems related to this browser, make sure you fix it following the recommendations below:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for WebDiscover Browser or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete WebDiscover Browser removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References

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  1. Helen J. says:
    March 1st, 2016 at 5:49 am

    WebDiscover is an adware! DO NOT install it!!

  2. Pan91 says:
    March 1st, 2016 at 5:51 am

    so glad SpyHunter worked. I was already getting tired of these ads.
    THANKS

  3. Moises Bek says:
    March 1st, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Found this article very helpful. It is nice to know how to get rid of such viruses, IF I ever get infected

Your opinion regarding WebDiscover Browser