What is WebSearchStreams?
WebSearchStreams is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that hijacks a browser by changing its settings. The main purpose of this application is to promote a fake search engine, the websearchstreams.com address. WebSearchStreams is a PUA because users often download and install apps of this type inadvertently.
WebSearchStreams in detail
WebSearchStreams promotes a fake search engine (websearchstreams.com) by changing the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Websearchstreams.com can show results generated by Yahoo, searchlee.com and probably some other search engines (websearchstreams.com does not generate its own results).
Fake search engines can show results generated by shady search engines (like searchlee.com). Their results can include links to untrustworthy websites. It is strongly recommended not to trust fake search engines or have any browser hijacker installed.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (websearchstreams.com)||220.127.116.11|
|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
WebSearchStreams and other browser hijackers modify settings to promote a fake search engine. Apps of this type can be designed to collect various information. That information might be misused to generate revenue in different ways. More examples of browser hijackers are SportSearchNow, Key Tab, and WebMusicSearch.
How did WebSearchStreams install on my computer?
Most users download or install PUAs together with other programs, through fake installers or by clicking ads designed to run certain scripts. It is common for PUAs to be included in downloaders or installers as optional downloads or installations.
Users allow for PUAs to be downloaded or installed when they do not change "Custom", "Advanced," or other settings in downloaders or installers. Fake installers and advertisements that can cause unwanted downloads or installations are promoted through untrustworthy pages.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Applications and files should not be downloaded via questionable channels like Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial websites, third-party downloaders, or other sources or installed via third-party installers. They should be downloaded from official pages.
Downloaders and installers with settings like "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or ticked checkboxes should be checked for optional downloads or installations. Advertisements appearing on dubious pages should not be trusted (clicked).
If your computer is already infected with WebSearchStreams, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Websearchstreams.com redirects to searchlee.com (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 WebSearchStreams?
- STEP 1. Uninstall WebSearchStreams application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove WebSearchStreams browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove websearchstreams.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove websearchstreams.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
WebSearchStreams 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, "WebSearchStreams"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the websearchstreams.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
WebSearchStreams 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 "WebSearchStreams" 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 "WebSearchStreams", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.websearchstreams.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 "websearchstreams.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 websearchstreams.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 "WebSearchStreams", 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 "WebSearchStreams", remove hxxp://websearchstreams.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 websearchstreams.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 websearchstreams.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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit websearchstreams.com website?
The more times websearchstreams.com is visited, the more revenue individuals behind this page generate.
Is visiting websearchstreams.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like websearchstreams.com can be designed to gather various information about their visitors. Gathered information can be misused for malicious purposes.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using social engineering tactics (like browser notifications, intrusive advertisements). Also, they are distributed by bundling them together with other programs.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove WebSearchStreams browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate WebSearchStreams or other browser hijackers. Manual removal may not work since there are cases when multiple browser hijackers are present and they reinstall one another after every attempt to get rid of them. Also, some settings cannot be modified until a browser hijacker is no longer present. For this reason, all browser hijackers have to be removed at once.