How to uninstall the WebFox rogue browser from your operating system
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is WebFox?
WebFox is a rogue browser, based on an open-source project called Chromium. It is endorsed as a browser that offers faster and safer browsing. In addition, it has a feature that allows users to access certain browser functions straight from the desktop.
In fact, WebFox is classified as adware. It runs intrusive advertisement campaigns and delivers various misleading, deceptive and possibly malicious ads. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate WebFox, it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). Furthermore, most PUAs have data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing activity.
Adware-type browsers create a "virtual layer" that enables the placement of third party graphical content on any visited website. This adware delivered material includes: pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, full-page and other intrusive advertisements. The ads do not originate from the sites visited and significantly diminish the browsing experience.
Intrusive ads limit web page visibility and browsing speed, however, they are more than just a nuisance, they also pose a threat to device/user safety. Once clicked, intrusive ads can redirect to various untrusted and malicious websites.
Furthermore, some of the ads can be triggered (when clicked) to execute scripts designed to stealthily download/install software. PUAs are a prime example of content infiltrated into systems in this manner.
Unwanted apps can have different dangerous functions, which can be in varied combinations. For example, they can deliver intrusive ad campaigns, cause redirects and hijack browsers.
Most PUAs can track data. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is likely to include personally identifiable information - PUA developers monetize this by sharing/selling the data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
In summary, the presence of unwanted software on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.
|Name||Ads by WebFox|
|Threat Type||PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application).|
|Supposed Functionality||Access to certain browser features from the desktop.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.GenericKD.43534864), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/UwS.WebDiscover.A), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:AdWare.Win32.WebDiscover.a), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).|
|Symptoms||A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution Methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Monetary loss (unnecessary purchase of fake software), unwanted warning pop-ups, slow computer performance.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Rogue browser examples
Chromium Shield, WebExplorer Browser, Email Assistant, WebShield and TappyTop are some examples of other rogue Chromium-based browsers. They may seem legitimate and typically offer a broad range of "useful" features, however, despite how good the advertised functionality may sound, they are rarely operational.
In fact, this is true of most PUAs. The only purpose of this software is to generate profit for the developers. PUAs run intrusive advertisement campaigns, force-open untrusted and malicious web pages, hijack browsers and collect private data.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs are often downloaded/installed together with other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". By rushing through download/installation of software (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using "Quick/Express" settings, etc.) many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. When clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without users' permission.
Some PUAs (including WebFox) have "official" download web pages from which they can be downloaded. Most users access such sites via redirects caused by intrusive ads, mistyped URLs, pages using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, or installed adware (with the ability to force-open browsers).
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all software before download/installation. Use only official and verified download channels. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule), and other third party downloaders commonly offer harmful and bundled content, and are therefore untrusted and should be avoided.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious and malicious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others). If you encounter ads or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately.
If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Screenshot of WebFox rogue browser installation setup:
Screenshot of WebFox browser desktop features:
Screenshot of the website promoting WebFox application:
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 WebFox?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove malicious plug-ins from Internet Explorer.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
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 "WebFox" and other suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:
At time of research, WebFox did not install any unwanted browser extensions, however, some unwanted applications can be installed together with adware and browser hijackers. If you experience unwanted ads or redirects when browsing the internet, continue with the removal guide below.
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
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 all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by webfox, 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", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with ads by webfox 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, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
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 upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by webfox, 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.
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 browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by webfox, 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.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of an unwanted application?
Unwanted applications are used to generate revenue for the developers. This is primarily achieved by requesting users to purchase activation keys to enable nonexistent functionalities, promoting in-app purchases, displaying advertisements (adware), causing redirects (browser hijackers), and/or collecting private data.
Is WebFox legal?
In most cases, rogue browsers like WebFox are considered legal, as their End User License Agreements (EULA) tend to inform users about any potential behavior.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove WebFox?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and remove threats. It is capable of scanning devices and eliminating unwanted and malicious applications. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be an ideal solution. In some cases, even after the software is manually removed - various components (files) stay hidden within the system. Furthermore, these remnants may continue to run and cause problems. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate software thoroughly.
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