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Remove WebSearch Toolbar (Removal Guide) - updated Dec 2019

removal by Julie Splinters - -   Also known as WebSearch virus, WebSearch Toolbar hijack | Type: Browser Hijackers

WebSearch – a browser hijacker that uses cookies for tracking users' online activities

WebSearch browser hijacker
WebSearch - a browser hijacker that collects non-personal information that is related to the user's browsing sessions

WebSearch Toolbar, released by Crawler Group, is a browser-hijacking app that interferes with browser settings such as the search engine, homepage, and new tab URL bar. The aim of this PUP is to set your search provider to its own and force you to perform search queries via the new engine. This way you might encounter misleading information while using the app's services. If you have WebSearch installed on your computer and web browser, many annoying activities are yet to come. Besides modifying your browser apps, the browser hijacker[1] can also get you involved in unwanted advertising activities, redirecting to affiliate sources, and collecting non-personal data that relates to your browsing sessions.

Name WebSearch
Type Potentially unwanted program
Sub-type Browser hijacker
Danger level Low. This product does not belong to the malware category
Tasks The browser hijacker can interact with major browser settings such as the homepage, search engine, and new tab URL. Also, the PUP can get the users involved in advertising campaigns, redirecting activities, collect information that is related to the users' browsing sessions and online experience
Spreading Software bundling is the main technique used to distribute these potentially unwanted programs. Also, they can arrive through infectious hyperlinks and advertisements that you meet online
Removal You can get rid of the PUP with the help of antimalware software or by using manual guidelines (look for the instructions at the end of this article)
Fix tip If the PUP has brought some type of corruption to your device, you can try fixing the damage with Reimage Reimage Cleaner

WebSearch virus is a term used to describe this intrusive app as it has a tendency to appear without the user's consent. The browser hijacker targets web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and appends changes to their major settings, fills them with bogus extensions and other objects.

WebSearch.com has its own Privacy Policy and Terms of Use which you should read before deciding to use this program's services. The developers claim that they use tracking technologies such as cookies[2] for identifying some data:

“Cookies” are small files that collect information that we use to track trends and patterns of how people search. We may send one or more cookies to your computer that uniquely identifies your user account or computer.

However, this is not all that WebSearch can collect. The browser hijacker can start recording information that is related to your surfing activities, habits, and experience. The developers might seek to know what types of websites you have recently visited, what offers are relevant for you the most, hyperlinks clicked, saved bookmarks, your IP.

Later on, WebSearch might use the collected information for getting you involved in targeted advertising campaigns where you will be provided with attractive-looking offers that relate to your search queries. Do not accept any of these deals as you might be encouraged to purchase a completely useless product or service.

WebSearch virus
WebSearch is a browser-hijacking app that can redirect the user to sponsored sources

Continuously, the developers of WebSearch might seek to redirect you to unknown locations that are also filled with various deals and offers. However, there is one thing potentially dangerous about redirecting. As a result, you might once end up on a malware-laden website that is filled with malicious content and get your device infected.

You should remove WebSearch from your computer and web browser to avoid all the potential risks that it brings. Also, you might not be able to use your web browser properly anymore, so if you want to reverse their settings and gain back full browsing quality, you will definitely have to get rid of the potentially unwanted program completely.

You can complete the WebSearch removal with the help of an antimalware tool or by using manual step-by-step guidelines. We have added some manual instructions at the end of the article if you are likely to see them.

Also, we cannot ignore the fact that WebSearch Toolbar might not come alone. It can be used as a source to distribute some type of malware or it can bring additional PUPs such as adware[3] to your computer system. If your machine has experienced some type of damage, you can try fixing the corruption with the help of a tool such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner

WebSearch

It is possible to avoid browser hijacking

If you want to avoid the unexpected appearance of browser hijackers on each of your web browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.), you should be very careful when installing free programs on your computer because there are hundreds that hold PUPs inside their software packages. Such programs can easily come from third-party downloading sources such as cnet.com, download.com, softonic.com, and similar ones.

Fortunately, you can do something to avoid browser hijackers and similar questionable applications. First of all, do not be impatient and read the Privacy Policy, End User's license agreement, and similar information that is provided about the app which you are looking forward to downloading. If you see that everything looks fine, then you should select Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware and avoid modes that are marked as Quick or Recommended.

This will help you to see all the “optional” components that may be trying to infiltrate your computer. Of course, you should opt-out of them if you want to avoid the secret installation process or browser-hijacking apps. Continuously, these products can get distributed via other locations such as unsecured ads and hyperlinks. For this purpose, be careful while browsing the web, do not click on anything that looks suspicious, and always have antimalware operating on your computer system so that you will be informed in case something rogue is trying to sneak into your device.

Remove WebSearch virus from your device and browsers

You can use the manual guiding steps that are provided below for the WebSearch removal process or you can employ reliable antimalware software. If you have been running into a lack of time or do not believe to have enough skills in the virus removal field, you can also choose to perform the process automatically.

According to security experts from Virusai.lt,[4] eliminating browser hijackers such as WebSearch virus with antimalware software is a safer and more effective option. However, if you are likely to, you still can try to get rid of the potentially unwanted program by completing steps by yourself.

Note that you will have to remove WebSearch from all of your infected web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. These locations might be filled with unwanted extensions and other objects, changes that also need to be eliminated for proper removal.

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 WebSearch Toolbar, follow these steps:

Eliminate WebSearch Toolbar from Windows systems

To get rid of browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted content from your Windows device, apply the following instructing 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 Toolbar and related programs
    Here, look for WebSearch Toolbar 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 Toolbar 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.

Delete WebSearch Toolbar 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 Toolbar 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'

Erase WebSearch Toolbar from Internet Explorer (IE)

To eliminate all suspicious add-ons and extensions from your Internet Explorer web browser app, you should follow the below-provided instructions.

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

Get rid of WebSearch Toolbar from Microsoft Edge

To clean Microsoft Edge from unwanted changes and get rid of all rogue content that was added by the browser hijacker, complete the following guide.

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 Toolbar should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall WebSearch Toolbar 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 Toolbar 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 Toolbar removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove WebSearch Toolbar from Google Chrome

To erase unexpected components from Google Chrome and restore all settings back to their primary positions, use these instructing steps.

  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 Toolbar 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 Toolbar removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate WebSearch Toolbar 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 Toolbar 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 Toolbar, 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 Toolbar removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References


  1. user says:
    May 24th, 2004 at 8:05 pm

    it sucks. No uninstall comes with it.

  2. syed says:
    June 5th, 2004 at 5:06 am

    man, my little sister accidently pressed accept and now I cant get rid of it, thank God for this site 😀

  3. charlie says:
    June 14th, 2004 at 10:06 am

    Glad you're here! This is what I have to do when I leave my computer on for my kids to play with. I guess we have to have a meeting.

  4. Guest says:
    October 17th, 2004 at 7:10 am

    No matter how often my Spysweeper software finds it, it come back immediately. Help!

  5. Guest says:
    October 30th, 2004 at 8:10 am

    I think I may have found a solution, just open up MS DOS Prompt and enter the following:-

    del {6A85D97D-665D-4825-8341-9501AD9F56A3}.*

    Click enter and there shouldnt be any error messages and Im pretty sure it goes away, I typed in del CWS_NS3.* in MS Dos Prompt and it never came up in Spy Sweeper again =D

  6. Guest says:
    December 20th, 2004 at 5:12 pm

    Websearch is a real pain. I mean a real pain!!!!!! Can not get rid of it.

    JB

  7. Guest says:
    December 14th, 2006 at 7:12 am

    What is Websearch Toolbar anyway. Will it screw up me going to any sites? So annoying all the spayware scans keep comeing up.

  8. Ethics says:
    January 28th, 2013 at 2:42 am

    Why isnt anybody upfront about their so called free or trial programs that wont fix the problem till you pay something? Im not complaining about paying for it but it would be nice to know that the trial version only detects and doesnt remove the problem before downloading and installing it. They wanted about $40 for me to register it so I uninstalled it and was sent to a web page where they offered it to me for $10. It saves not to jump at the 1st thing that comes along lol.

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