SearchStreams browser hijacker removal instructions
What is SearchStreams?
SearchStreams is advertised as an application which supposed to improve browsing experience. Although, after installation it changes certain browsers settings to feed.searchstreams.com (address of a fake search engine) and attempts to gather various information. This app is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) which is categorized as a browser hijacker. Not many users download and install PUAs intentionally, knowingly.
SearchStreams promotes feed.searchstreams.com by making it as an address of a homepage, default search engine and new tab. Like most apps of this type, SearchStreams not only alters these browser's settings, but also makes sure that users could not modify, undo them unless they uninstall this browser hijacker. Simply said, SearchStreams's users are forced to visit feed.searchstreams.com when they open a browser, new tabs and search the web through URL bar as long as this app is installed. Feed.searchstreams.com redirects its users to search.yahoo.com, it provides results generated by a legitimate Yahoo search engine. In other words, feed.searchstreams.com does not generate individual results and is completely useless. Furthermore, apps like SearchStreams usually are designed to gather various browsing-related data, including information like IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, and so on. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility that a browser hijacker may be designed to record sensitive information as well. Also, it is common that people behind apps like SearchStreams sell gathered data to third parties. Data may be sold to some cyber criminals too. In one way or another, third parties tend to misuse received information to generate revenue in some other ways.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||SearchStreams supposed to improve web browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (feed.searchstreams.com)||18.104.22.168|
|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.|
|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.|
To eliminate malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
SearchStreams is just one of the many browser hijackers out there, a couple of more examples are Search For Directions, Stream Facts and Weather Waves. More often than not these apps are advertised as useful, legitimate tools that supposed to provide deliver features, improve browsing safety and/or be useful in some other way. Unfortunately, only a small part of apps of this type function as they supposed to. Very often browser hijackers are useless and designed only to gather data and promote fake search engines. Besides, their users are exposed at risk of problems related to browsing safety, online privacy or even identity theft. We recommend not to trust apps like SearchStreams. If this or some other PUA is already installed on a browser and/or operating system, then it should be removed from it as soon as possible.
How did SearchStreams install on my computer?
It is very common that PUAs get downloaded and/or installed through deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts or download, installation setups of other, usually free programs. The second distribution method is known as "bundling" and it is used to deceive users into unintentional downloads, installations of unwanted applications. As a rule, PUAs are included in setups as additional offers, they are being mentioned in their "Custom", "Advanced" or other similar settings. Users who download and install programs without checking (and changing) those settings often allow for included apps to be downloaded and/or installed too.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to use official and trustworthy websites and direct links to download software. Third party downloaders, questionable (unofficial) websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), and other similar channels should not be trusted. They can be used as tools to host, distribute unwanted, or even malicious files, programs. The same applies to third party installers. Also, setups with "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings often include offers to download and/or install potentially unwanted apps. Therefore, such settings should not be left unchecked. Intrusive advertisements that are being displayed on pages related to gambling, adult dating, pornography and other shady pages can open potentially malicious websites or download/install unwanted apps. Such ads should not be clicked. If there are any unwanted, dubious extensions, plug-ins or add-ons already installed on a browser or programs of this kind on a computer, then they should be uninstalled right away. If your computer is already infected with SearchStreams, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Websites promoting SearchStreams browser hijacker:
IMPORTANT NOTE! Some of the SearchStreams download pages ask for a permission to enable web browser notifications.
Therefore, before commencing, perform these steps:
Google Chrome (PC):
- Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Settings", scroll down to the bottom and click "Advanced"
- Scroll down to the "Privacy and security" section, select "Content settings" and then "Notifications"
- Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)
Google Chrome (Android):
- Click on the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and click "Settings"
- Scroll down, click on "Site settings" and then "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and click on them one-by-one
- Select "Notifications" in the "Permissions" section and set the toggle button to "OFF"
- Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Options" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen
- Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select "Block"
- Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
- Select "Internet options"
- Select the "Privacy" tab and click "Settings" under "Pop-up Blocker" section
- Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the "Remove" button
- Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
- Scroll down, find and click "Settings"
- Scroll down again and click "View advanced settings"
- Click "Manage" under "Website permissions"
- Click the switch under each suspicious website
- Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences..."
- Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane
- Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option for each
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is SearchStreams?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchStreams application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove feed.searchstreams.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove SearchStreams browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove feed.searchstreams.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove feed.searchstreams.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchStreams browser hijacker removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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, "SearchStreams"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the feed.searchstreams.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchStreams 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://feed.searchstreams.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 "SearchStreams".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the feed.searchstreams.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 "SearchStreams" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, 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 "SearchStreams", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.feed.searchstreams.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 "feed.searchstreams.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 feed.searchstreams.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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "SearchStreams", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
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 "SearchStreams", remove hxxp://feed.searchstreams.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 feed.searchstreams.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 feed.searchstreams.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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove feed.searchstreams.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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