What kind of application is FreeSearchStreams?
FreeSearchStreams is a browser hijacker designed to promote freesearchstreams.com, a fake search engine. It promotes this address by hijacking a web browser (by changing its settings). We have discovered FreeSearchStreams while inspecting various shady websites.
FreeSearchStreams in detail
We found that FreeSearchStreams hijacks a browser/promotes freesearchstreams.com by changing the homepage, default search engine, and new tab page. It forces users to browse the web with freesearchstreams.com. This fake search engine shows results generated by nearbyme.io (another questionable search engine), search.yahoo.com, and possibly other search engines.
It is not recommended to trust fake search engines. They can include shady websites in their results, redirect and show results generated by other untrustworthy search engines. Usually, it is necessary to remove a browser hijacker before removing a fake search engine from the settings of a browser.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Detection Names (freesearchstreams.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (freesearchstreams.com)||184.108.40.206|
|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.
More about browser hijackers
Most browser hijackers are promoted as legitimate and useful applications. Although, their primary goal is to promote fake search engines (even if they provide any features). Also, apps of this type and fake search engines can be used to gather information about their users.
How did FreeSearchStreams install on my computer?
A big part of browser-hijacking apps is distributed using deceptive pages (e.g., websites offering fake software updates). Also, they often are distributed by bundling them with other software and through deceptive advertisements.
When software is bundled with a browser hijacker, it has "Advanced", "Custom", or similar settings in its installer (or the downloader). A browser becomes hijacked after users complete the software installation process without changing the settings mentioned above.
How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?
Download applications from trustworthy websites and legitimate platforms. Do not trust apps and files downloaded from unofficial sites or via third-party downloaders, P2P networks, and other sources of this kind. Also, do not click on advertisements that appear while visiting questionable pages.
Do not forget to deselect unwanted apps included in downloaders and installers before downloading or installing programs. If your computer is already infected with FreeSearchStreams, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Freesearchstreams.com redirects to nearbyme.io (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 FreeSearchStreams?
- STEP 1. Uninstall FreeSearchStreams application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove FreeSearchStreams browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove freesearchstreams.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove freesearchstreams.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
FreeSearchStreams 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, "FreeSearchStreams"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the freesearchstreams.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
FreeSearchStreams 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 "FreeSearchStreams" 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 "FreeSearchStreams", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.freesearchstreams.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 "freesearchstreams.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 freesearchstreams.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 "FreeSearchStreams", 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 "FreeSearchStreams", remove hxxp://freesearchstreams.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 freesearchstreams.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 freesearchstreams.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 freesearchstreams.com website?
The more people visit this page, the more money its creators make. The revenue of a page creator depends on the number of visitors.
Is visiting freesearchstreams.com a threat to my privacy?
It is common for websites/fake search engines like freesearchstreams.com to be designed to gather various information about the visitors. Thus, they can pose a threat to online privacy.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using social engineering tactics like browser notifications and shady advertisements. Also, they tend to be bundled with other programs (included in downloaders and installers as extra offers).
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove FreeSearchStreams browser hijacker?
It can be challenging to remove multiple browser hijackers manually. Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and remove existing browser-hijacking applications. It will remove all of them at once to prevent them from reinstalling one another.