What is Watch Online Streams App?
Watch Online Streams App is a rogue application classified as a browser hijacker. It is advertised as an app designed to allow quick access to various video streaming websites. In fact, it modifies browser settings to promote search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com, a bogus search engine.
Additionally, Watch Online Streams App has data tracking capabilities, which are employed to record information relating to browsing activity. Due to this app's dubious proliferation methods (most users install it inadvertently), it is also categorized as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). Note that this app is often distributed alongside Hide My Searches, another PUA.
Popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer are common targets of browser hijackers. Following successful infiltration, these rogue applications assign the addresses of their fake search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URL.
Watch Online Streams App promotes search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com in this fashion. To elaborate on how these modifications affect browsers, each new tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com.
Few fake search engines are able to generate unique results, and so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) legitimate sites. In the case of search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com, it redirects to search.yahoo.com.
These changes may seem minor and relatively easy to undo, however, it is impossible without removal of the browser hijacker - any changes users attempt to make to browsers are automatically reset, if indeed access to settings is allowed at all.
Watch Online Streams App can track data such as users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This private data can then be shared with third parties seeking to misuse it for profit - potentially, by putting it to criminal use.
The presence of data-tracking software on systems can lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, you are advised to remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Watch Online Streams App|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), GData (Win32.Application.Agent.04S4T2), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/WinWrapper.V Potentially Unw), Fortinet (Riskware/WinWrapper), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Browser Extension(s)||Watch Online Streams App|
|Supposed Functionality||Quick access to video streaming websites.|
|Serving IP Address (search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com)||126.96.36.199|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated internet browser settings (homepage, default internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the internet using their search engines.|
|Additional Information||Watch Online Streams App is distributed with another browser hijacker called Hide My Searches.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Browser hijackers may seem legitimate and often tempt users to install with offers of "useful" features, however, these functions are rarely operational. Easy Internet Speed Test, My Maps Homepage, and Free Streaming Radio are examples of these unwanted apps.
PUAs simply generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive no genuine value. Rather than delivering any useful features, PUAs hijack browsers, force-open untrusted and malicious websites, deliver intrusive advertisements (pop-ups, banners, surveys, etc.) and gather sensitive data.
How did Watch Online Streams App install on my computer?
Some PUAs (including Watch Online Streams App) have "official" download pages. They can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs via a deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular content with unwanted or malicious software called "bundling".
Rushing download and installation processes (e.g. skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content onto devices. Intrusive ads proliferate these applications as well. When clicked, they can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all products, prior download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources (such as free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks [BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.] and other third party downloaders) can offer deceptive or bundled content.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads typically seem normal and harmless, however, they can redirect to highly dubious websites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you encounter these advertisements/redirects, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. If your computer is already infected with Watch Online Streams App, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Watch Online Streams App browser hijacker installer set-up:
Watch Online Streams App browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Website promoting Watch Online Streams App browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Watch Online Streams App?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Watch Online Streams App application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Watch Online Streams App browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Watch Online Streams App browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Watch Online Streams App"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Watch Online Streams App browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "Watch Online Streams App".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com redirect, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Watch Online Streams App" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons (e.g., "Hide My Searches"), and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Watch Online Streams App" or "Hide My Searches", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com or hxxps://hidemysearches.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "hxxp://search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com" and "hxxp://hidemysearches.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Watch Online Streams App", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins (e.g., "Hide My Searches").
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window disable "Watch Online Streams App" or "Hide My Searches", remove hxxp://search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com or hxxp://hidemysearches.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.watchonlinestreamsapp.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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