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Websearch+

Also Known As: Websearch.brandthunder.com Redirect
Damage level: Medium

Websearch+ - how to remove browser redirects to websearch.brandthunder.com?

What is Websearch+?

The Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com) website was created by Brand Thunder LLC and promoted using free browser themes (compatible with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, and Safari). This website uses the Bing search engine to return search results for entered search queries, and therefore, using this website should not cause computer security related issues. Whilst this website appears legitimate, many computer users report that they are redirected to this site unwillingly. This situation may occur if you do not pay close enough attention to the installation steps of free software (in this case, free browser themes). Internet users who choose to install Brand Thunder browser themes agree to change their Internet browser default search engine to Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com).

WebSearch+ browser redirect

Redirects to this website are applied in order to monetize incoming web traffic. Note that installation of Brand Thunder themes will cause browser redirects to websearch.brandthunder.com and you will observe Save Valet and Kourl ads in any search results. Furthermore, installation of these browser themes causes SuperFish ads (“See Similar” button) when visiting online shopping websites. Although these redirect issues and unwanted ads are not related to malware infections, Brand Thunder templates can be categorized as adware.

Internet Browser redirects to Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com) are a consequence of Brand Thunder free browser templates installation. To avoid redirect issues such as these, express caution when installing free software downloaded from the Internet. When installing freeware, ensure that you choose the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation option, rather than 'Typical' or 'Quick'. Also, opt-out of installation of additional software (browser add-ons, toolbars, etc.) and disallow any suggested changes to your Internet browser settings (homepage, default search engine). If you want to remove browser redirects to Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com), use the removal guide provided.

Deceptive free software installer used in Websearch+ browser hijacker distribution:

websearch+ browser hijacker installer

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Quick menu:

Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com) redirect removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

Websearch+ uninstall

Look for entries which show the "Brand Thunder" name in the "Publisher" field. Examples: Brand Thunder Theme Manager for Internet Explorer, FB Theme Chrome Toolbar and Theme, Seven Horses, etc. Select these entries and click Uninstall.

After uninstalling Brand Thunder themes (which cause browser redirects to websearch.brandthunder.com), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software. Remove all entries that this program detects to ensure your PC is clean from any possible spyware and malware infections.

Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com) redirect removal from browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com) removal from Internet Explorer

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for Brand Thunder LLC related entries (Brand Thunder Theme Manager) and disable them.

To change your homepage from websearch.brandthunder.com to your preferred domain, click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove websearch.brandthunder.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.

Change default search engine:

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing" or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "Websearch+".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the websearch.brandthunder.com redirect, 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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com) removal from Google Chrome

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions".  Locate "FB Theme" (and all other themes), select them and click on the trash can icon.

To change your homepage from websearch.brandthunder.com to you preferred domain, click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Settings". In "On startup" section click "set pages", hover your mouse over websearch.brandthunder.com and click the x symbol. Now you can add your preferred website as your homepage.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the websearch.brandthunder.com redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Websearch+ (websearch.brandthunder.com) removal from Mozilla FireFox

Click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable "Default Theme Engine - Personas Interactive".

To reset your homepage click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) then select "Options", in the opened window remove websearch.brandthunder.com and enter your preferred domain.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with websearch.brandthunder.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, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the websearch.brandthunder.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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