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Remove websearch.fastsearchings.info (Virus Removal Instructions) - Feb 2020 update

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Websearch.fastsearchings.info – a browser hijacker that can include the “Fast Searching” extension into the web browser settings

websearch.fastsearchings.info virus
websearch.fastsearchings.info is considered to be a browser hijacker that travels with freeware and shareware installations from third-party websites such as cnet.com, download.com, softonic.com, and soft32.com

Websearch.fastsearchings.info is a potentially unwanted program[1] that converts the default search provider, homepage, and new tab URL to http://search.smartaddressbar.com. This app is not an evil one like ransomware or spyware, however, it still brings unpleasant functionality and interrupts users' activities. Also categorized as a browser hijacker,  websearch.fastsearchings.info virus can make the beforementioned changes on different types of web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. The PUP can settle on all of these browser apps but it usually picks one, for example, Google Chrome. Afterward, you are likely to find the “Fast Searching” plug-in added into the web browser settings.

Furthermore, websearch.fastsearchings.info often is bundled with freeware and shareware such as PDF converters, download managers, and various players that come from third-party downloading sources such as softonic.com, soft32.com, cnet.com, and download.com. This type of PUP distribution technique is widespread through third-party developers and has been named as “software bundling”.[2] Keep reading and learn more about all the annoying features that websearch.fastsearchings.info includes as a browser hijacker.

Name websearch.fastsearchings.info
Type Potentially unwanted program
Sub-type Browser hijacker
Extension This suspicious program can add the “Fast Searching” extension to the hijacked web browser settings
Changes Once the browser hijacker appears on the targeted web browser, it initiates some modifications on the default search provider, new tab URL, and homepage sections and sets them to http://search.smartaddressbar.com
Targets The potentially unwanted program can appear on any type of web browser app such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari
Elimination You can permanently erase the browser hijacker with the help of antimalware software or by using the manual step-by-step guidelines that have been included to the end of this page
Fix tool Some system alterings might have shown up after the browser hijacker made a mess on your PC and browsers. If necessary, fix the affected areas by trying out software such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

According to cybersecurity experts from NoVirus.uk,[3] the main sign that a browser hijacker has appeared is a different search engine than you had in the past. Legitimate and reliable search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo are used by a big variety of people but any other type of search provider can signify about a browser hijacker such as  websearch.fastsearchings.info.

Beware that when websearch.fastsearchings.info sets your search provider to a new one and modifies other settings such as the homepage and new tab URL bar, you will not be able to reverse these changes unless you get rid of the potentially unwanted program completely. Plus, you will be forced to complete search queries via the new search engine that might lead you to unknown directories all over the web and provide you with misleading search results.

If websearch.fastsearchings.info arrives together with the “Fast Searching” browser extension,[4] you might experience some types of other changes in some of your web browser apps. For example, the new plug-in can disable the Content Security Policy in Mozilla Firefox and also include a lock component to prevent other similar products from modifying its main settings. If it is Explorer that got hijacked, the browser might receive the modification of the load time threshold. 

If it is a Windows computer on which websearch.fastsearchings.info lands, you might see that your Task Manager is filled with bogus processes that you have never encountered and some random content has appeared in the C:\ProgramFiles\ or C:\ProgramData folders. If the browser hijacker appears on a Mac computer, it might include random folders and apps in the Applications directory.

websearch.fastsearchings.info browser hijacker
websearch.fastsearchings.info is a browser-hijacking application that can redirect the affected user to websites such as lifeimpressions.net
Furthermore, websearch.fastsearchings.info can redirect the user to odd websites such as lifeimpressions.net that can start spamming you with various offers and deals. Nevertheless, all the redirecting activity might not look that important or intrusive at first but note that the longer you keep the browser hijacker on your computer, the worse this process will get. Also, you might not notice when you land on a location that is filled with malicious software.

Websearch.fastsearchings.info can also load the user with interruptive advertising content. The browser hijacker might start pushing annoying pop-up ads straight to the computer screen when the user is completing browser sessions. These advertisements might come filled with bogus offers of fake security utilities, encourage the user to subscribe to useless services and try to lure the person in various scams. 

If you have spotted the first symptoms of browser hijacking lately, you should look for ways to remove  websearch.fastsearchings.info from your computer system and web browser apps. The potentially unwanted program can get successfully eliminated with the help of a malware removal tool.

Furthermore, you can do the websearch.fastsearchings.info removal yourself. Our security experts have added a detailed step-by-step guide to the end of this article where the entire process is explained. Note: do not forget to clean and refresh the web browsers as these apps are particularly filled with suspicious content after the hijack. If you do not get rid of all the bogus objects, the browser hijacker might return the next time you launch your browser.

websearch.fastsearchings.info potentially unwanted program

Factors that increase the risk of getting infected by a browser hijacker

There are many unsecured downloading sources such as cnet.com, download.com, softonic.com, and soft32.com that suggest downloading various PDF converters, download managers, and players for free. Regarding the fact that this type of software is free, a lot of users decided to get it instead from the official developers. However, this is a mistake to make because it increases the chances of receiving a browser hijacker on your device and web browser.

Developers often hide such potentially unwanted programs in software packages that come from secondary downloading networks. If you still decide to use the same pages for completing your downloads, you can at least be extra careful while dealing with the download/installation yourself. Do not skip any steps, select the Custom or Advanced downloading mode and make sure to opt-out of content that looks suspicious to you and raises some types of concerns. 

To add, browser hijackers can get hidden in various advertisements and hyperlinks that you should be aware of while browsing the web. If you have ever entered a website that was previously marked as unsafe by your web browser or antivirus software, you should exit it immediately. Nevertheless, do not think about stepping on unknown content that is provided in such web pages as some of it might hide the potentially unwanted program.

Remove Websearch.fastsearchings.info in an effective way

Technically, Websearch.fastsearchings.info is not a virus but it still requires elimination as it triggers the natural operating process of the computer system and web browser apps. As we have already discussed, the browser hijacker initiates many unknown changes on your web browser and acts very annoyingly. These are the main reasons why we suggest to perform the Websearch.fastsearchings.info removal as soon as you discover the PUP on your computer.

To remove Websearch.fastsearchings.info effectively, you will need to use reliable malware removal software that is capable of dealing with such programs in a few minutes and cleaning the entire operating system from the browser hijacker and all the additional apps that it might have brought to it.

Furthermore, there is also a way to uninstall Websearch.fastsearchings.info virus by putting in your own effort only. However, you need to be at least a little bit experienced in manual elimination for this. If you are, follow the cleaning instructions at the end that are written for both Windows and Mac operating systems and web browser apps such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and others.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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 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.

To remove websearch.fastsearchings.info, follow these steps:

Uninstall websearch.fastsearchings.info from Windows systems

To erase potentially unwanted applications from Windows and get rid of the browser hijacker permanently, complete the following guidelines.

  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 websearch.fastsearchings.info and related programs
    Here, look for websearch.fastsearchings.info 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'
  5. Remove websearch.fastsearchings.info from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Erase websearch.fastsearchings.info from Mac OS X system

  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 websearch.fastsearchings.info 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'

Eliminate websearch.fastsearchings.info from Internet Explorer (IE)

To make sure that the browser hijacker never returns and that all suspicious changes are reversed on Internet Explorer, initiate the below-provided steps.

  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 websearch.fastsearchings.info 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 websearch.fastsearchings.info removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete websearch.fastsearchings.info from Microsoft Edge

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, websearch.fastsearchings.info should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove websearch.fastsearchings.info from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 websearch.fastsearchings.info 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete websearch.fastsearchings.info removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of websearch.fastsearchings.info from Google Chrome

To reverse all of the suspicious changes on Google Chrome and terminate the rogue extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons that have been added to this browser, use these instructions.

  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 websearch.fastsearchings.info 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete websearch.fastsearchings.info removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall websearch.fastsearchings.info from Safari

  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 websearch.fastsearchings.info or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by websearch.fastsearchings.info, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 websearch.fastsearchings.info removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References

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