What is WebSearchSport browser hijacker?
WebSearchSport hijacks a browser by changing some of its settings to websearchsport.com - the address of a fake search engine. Also, it collects browsing-related information. Typically, users install browser hijackers unknowingly. For this reason, WebSearchSport and other programs of this type are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
WebSearchSport browser hijacker in detail
WebSearchSport changes the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab to websearchsport.com. As mentioned in the introduction paragraph, websearchsport.com is a fake search engine - it shows results generated by nearbyme.io (another untrustworthy search engine).
It is strongly recommended not to use fake search engines (including websearchsport.com). They often show results containing links to various scam websites, deceptive websites designed to trick users into installing unwanted software, etc. To be able to remove websearchsport.com from the browser's settings, users need to uninstall WebSearchSport first.
Another reason not to have WebSearchSport installed on a browser is that this app may be designed to collect not only IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, and other browsing data, but also personal details such as credit card details, passwords, email addresses, and so on.
Users who have a browser hijacker installed on a browser (or the operating system) may lose access to personal accounts, become victims of identity theft, suffer monetary loss, encounter issues related to online privacy, browsing safety, or other problems. Therefore, WebSearchSport and other apps of this type cannot be trusted.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Detection Names (websearchsport.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|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
As a rule, the main purpose of browser hijackers is to promote some fake search engine by opening its address on certain occasion. Browsers are considered to be hijacked when installed unwanted apps change their settings and do not allow to modify them. More examples of browser hijackers are BestStreamSearch, ProVideoSearch, and BestGameSearch.
How did WebSearchSport install on my computer?
More often than not, PUAs are distributed by bundling them together with other (free) programs. In such cases, apps of this type can be found in downloaders and installers for other programs as optional offers. Users agree to download or install PUAs when they leave "Manual", "Advanced", "Custom", and other similar settings unchanged.
In some cases, users cause unwanted downloads or installations by clicking deceptive advertisements designed to run certain scripts. Also, users download or install PUAs through fake installers. It is noteworthy that fake installers can be used to trick users into installing malicious programs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Files downloaded from unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), third-party downloaders, or other sources may be designed to install unwanted software. The same applies to third-party installers. Therefore, files and programs should be downloaded from legitimate, official pages and via direct links.
Downloads and installations should not be finished without checking "Custom", "Advanced", or other settings. It is common for downloaders and installers that have those settings to include optional offers. Advertisements on shady pages should not be clicked as well. Pretty often, they are designed to open questionable websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations.
If a browser has unwanted extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed, those apps should be removed. The same should be done with programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with WebSearchSport, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Websearchsport.com redirects to nearbyme.io (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 WebSearchSport?
- STEP 1. Uninstall WebSearchSport application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove WebSearchSport browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove websearchsport.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove websearchsport.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
WebSearchSport 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, "WebSearchSport"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the websearchsport.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
WebSearchSport 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 "WebSearchSport" 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 "WebSearchSport", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.websearchsport.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 "websearchsport.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 websearchsport.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 "WebSearchSport", 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 "WebSearchSport", remove hxxp://websearchsport.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 websearchsport.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 websearchsport.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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