What is ClickStreamSearch?
ClickStreamSearch is a piece of rogue software categorized as a browser hijacker. It operates by making alterations to browser settings in order to promote the clickstreamsearch.com fake search engine. Additionally, ClickStreamSearch likely has data tracking abilities. Due to the questionable methods used to distribute browser hijackers, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
ClickStreamSearch browser hijacker in detail
Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs - to fake web searcher addresses. ClickStreamSearch modifies browsers in this manner as well. Hence, with it installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - redirect to clickstreamsearch.com.
Fraudulent search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other genuine ones. This also applies to clickstreamsearch.com; it has been observed redirecting both to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) and the nearbyme.io fake search engine (possibly others). While nearbyme.io can provide search results, they are inaccurate and may endorse unreliable and malicious content.
Browser hijackers use persistence-ensuring techniques, e.g., they can reset any changes users try to make to their browsers and/or restrict/deny access to the browser settings. Therefore, restoring an affected browser is impossible without removing the software hijacking it.
What is more, browser hijackers typically have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, and so forth. Browser hijacker developers monetize the collected data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Browser hijackers in general
Secure Way, MovieSearchBox, Movie Right, GetGameSearch, and HDMusicStreamSearches are some examples of browser hijackers. They appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "handy" functionalities. However, the promised functions are seldom operational.
In fact, nearly all PUAs entice users into download/installation with fake features. The only goal of unwanted software is to generate profit for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can modify browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and collect private data.
How did ClickStreamSearch install on my computer?
PUAs are distributed via downloaders/installers of other programs. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive adverts are used to proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission. PUAs may also have "official" promotional sites from which they can be downloaded and/or purchased.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. Dubious download channels, e.g., Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware websites, and other third-party downloaders - ofter offer bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear ordinary and harmless; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., adult-dating, pornography, gambling, and so on).
Should users experience ads and/or redirects of this kind, they must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected. If your computer is already infected with ClickStreamSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of clickstreamsearch.com redirecting to the nearbyme.io fake search engine (GIF):
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 ClickStreamSearch?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ClickStreamSearch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove ClickStreamSearch browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove clickstreamsearch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove clickstreamsearch.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ClickStreamSearch 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, "ClickStreamSearch"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the clickstreamsearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
ClickStreamSearch browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
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 "ClickStreamSearch" 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 "ClickStreamSearch", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.clickstreamsearch.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 "clickstreamsearch.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 clickstreamsearch.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 "ClickStreamSearch", 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 "ClickStreamSearch", remove hxxp://clickstreamsearch.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 clickstreamsearch.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 clickstreamsearch.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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