Remove WebSearches browser hijacker (Removal Guide)

What is “WebSearches” ?

WebSearches – http://istart.webssearches.com/is a browser hijacker because it is usually installed on common Internet browsers without user knowledge and it modifies browser settings in order to redirect browsing results to ads from unknown publishers.

websearches removal guide

Why you should remove it?

The WebSearches hijacker was most probably installed on your computer without your knowledge and it hijacks your browser settings in order to redirect your web searches to advertisements to earn money for its publishers. Programs like this are quite often bundled in the installation files of other legitimate programs (software tools and other stuff). People go through the installation (of the legitimate software) without noticing that they are also installing additional software (like toolbars) that is not necessary for the legitimate software to run.

You MUST remove WebSearches – istart.webssearches.com – hijacker A.S.A.P. Your computer is at a great risk! Never underestimate the power that browser hijackers can have on your life.

How to uninstall WebSearches – istart.webssearches.com – from your computer?

You can easily get rid of “WebSearches.com” hijacker infection by following the steps given below:

Step 1: Uninstall WebSearches.com software from your Control Panel

  • Open Windows Control Panel. In case you don’t know how to do that, here is what you have to do:
    • For Windows 8/7/Vista click at: Start > Control Panel >Programs and Features.
    • For Windows XP click at: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs.
  • From the program list find and remove/uninstall the following applications:
      • webssearches uninstaller (By: webssearches)
      • WPM17.8.0.3442 (By: Cherished Technology LIMITED)

Attention: Also remove any other unknown or unwanted program like NewPlayer, Fortunitas, etc.

 

Step 2. Remove WebSearches.com Adware infection with AdwCleaner.

  • Download “AdwCleaner”  utility to your computer (e.g. your desktop).
  • After you download it, close all open programs and run AdwCleaner.
  • At the main window, press the “Scan” button and wait until the scan is completed.
  • Finally press the “Clean” button to remove all the entries it has found and restart your computer.

 

Step 3: Modify Internet browser shortcut properties.

Conduit” hijacker also modifies all your Internet shortcuts in order to display the “istart.webssearches.com” homepage when you open your Internet browser. So you must revert all your Internet browser shortcuts properties to their default values. To do that:

  • Right-click on your Internet browser shortcut (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) &  choose “Properties”.
  • Press the “Shortcut” tab (at the top).
  • Look at the “Target” field & delete the “http://istart.webssearches.com” argument found at the end of  the “Target” command.

Attention: You have to perform the same operation to all Internet shortcuts, including those on your taskbar and your programs list.

 

Step 4: Ensure that all “WebSearches – istart.webssearches.com” settings and extensions are removed from your Internet browser.

Now that you have done that, you must clean your internet browsers from toolbars, plugins and extensions that are still in there, and also change the default search engine back to Google or to whatever you like to use. The instructions on how to do that are different for each browser. Here are detailed instructions for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.

Internet Explorer – WebSearches.com search Removal

  • From Internet Explorer’s main menu, click: the “gear” icon image_thumb3_thumb_thumb at the top right corner and choose “Internet Options”.
  • At “General” tab, delete the WebSearcheshttp://istart.webssearches.com” homepage from “Home page” box &  type your preferred homepage.
  • Then at the “Search” section, press the “Settings” button.
  • Click “Search Providers”:
    • Choose and “Set as default” the search provider you want (e.g. Google).
    • Then select the “WebSearches” search provider and click “Remove“.
  • Click “Toolbars and Extensions” options at the left pane.
    • Select the following extensions that exists there and click “Disable“.
      • Fortunitas
      • IETabPage Class
  • Close all Internet Explorer windows and restart your browser.

 

Mozilla Firefox – WebSearches.com Search settings – Removal

  • From Firefox Main menu image_thumb4_thumb_thumb choose “Options”.
  • At “General” tab:
    • Delete the “http://istart.webssearches.com” homepage from the “Home Page” box and type your preferred homepage.
  • Close Firefox options and then go again to FF main menu & choose “Add-ons”.
  • Click “Extensions” on the left pane.
    • Remove the following extension(s) from here:
      • Fortunitas
      • Quick Start 3.1.9
  • Close all open Firefox windows and restart Firefox.

 

Google Chrome – WebSearches.com Search settings Removal

  • Click on Chrome’s menu image_thumb_thumb_thumb icon at the upper right corner) and choose “Settings“.
  • Look on “Startup” section and choose “Set Pages“.
    • Delete the unwanted home page http://istart.webssearches.comby pressing the “X” symbol on the right.
    • Then set your preferred startup page (for example http://www.google.com) and press “OK“.
  • Under “Appearance” section, check the “Show Home button” checkbox.
    • Click “Change”.
    • Delete the unwanted WebSearches search page (New Tab) (e.g. “http://istart.webssearches.com“) from “Open this page” box.
    • Set your preferred webpage to open when you press the “Home page” button & press “OK”.
  • Under “Search” section press the “Manage Search Engines” button.
    • Choose and “Make Default” a different search engine (e.g. “Google”) than the “WebSearches”.
    • Now select the WebSearches” search engine and press the “X” symbol to delete it.
  • Finally, click at “Extensions” on the left pane.
    • Remove any of the following unwanted extensions by pressing the “recycle iconimage_thumb5_thumb_thumb at the right:
      • Fortunitas
      • QuickStart

Step 5: Remove remaining malicious registry entries and files.

    • Download and install “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free“. (Beware: at the last screen of installation, uncheck the box next to “Enable free Trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO” in order to use the free version of this GREAT software).
    • Run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    • Update the Database.
    • Press the “Scan Now” button and then wait until the scan process is finished.
    • When the scan is completed select all items found and then press “Quarantine All”.
    • Restart your computer if needed and you ‘re done.

One final step: Restart your computer and perform a full scan with your antivirus program.

That’s all folks! It might sound like a lot of work, but in reality you’ll be free from the “WebSearches” infection in less than 20 minutes, if you follow these instructions. Did it work for you? Please leave a comment in the comment section below or even better: like and share this blog post in the social networks to help spread the word about these really annoying crap Windows infections.

If this article was useful for you, please consider supporting us by making a donation. Even $1 can a make a huge difference for us in our effort to continue fighting spam while keeping this site free:

59 Comments

  1. Manuel Teixeira
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 02:41:28

    When I try to remove Websearches, I get the message waiting… uninstaller is preparing the necessary data and lasts for hours without remove it. It seems impossible to remove it.

    Reply

    • Hmmam Mo
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 16:04:10

      I have the perfect solution, this happend to me too. All you have to do is Download Revo Uninstaller Pro. It once you Launch and Open it, you will see all the Programs. Simply right click Websearchers and click uninstall. It will Immediately uninstall. Then if you want, you can scan for any leftovers and Clean. ;3 Hope this helped.

      Reply

    • John
      Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:34:30

      This is nothing serious, it happened to me aswell. Just wait till the bar is fully loaded and in the right down corner of the window is the button continue – you have to click on that, then tick shortcut to remove it and click on continue again. Problem solved 😉

      Reply

      • Sally
        Sep 13, 2014 @ 18:01:39

        Thank you, John, this worked for me. I was panicking for a second, so thanks again.

        Reply

      • katherine
        Sep 24, 2014 @ 09:01:37

        can i click continue even its still on waiting but the bar is fully loaded?

        Reply

        • lakonst2012
          Sep 24, 2014 @ 15:30:04

          Yes you can.

          Reply

  2. Manuel Teixeira
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 03:17:35

    Now I have worked out the problem, downloading and running AdwCleaner.

    Reply

  3. alex
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 13:20:08

    Hi! I have a problem. I did deleted it from program files and add ons but it still pops up when I open a new tab in mozilla firefox. Is there any solution?

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Jul 09, 2014 @ 14:33:55

      1. Enter “about:config” (without the quotes) in the Firefox location bar and press Enter.
      2. Click the I’ll be careful, I promise button to continue.
      3. In the Search box at the top, enter “webssearches” (without the quotes).
      4. Right-click on every ‘webssearches’ value and select ‘Reset’ from the drop-down menu.

      Reply

  4. rexasaurus
    Jul 15, 2014 @ 10:54:57

    I run the Adware cleaner and it discovers the istart.websearches.com and deletes it but then it reboots and its back again. Even if I manually delete it in the IE settings as the home page and replace it with the default google.com its back as soon as I go off that tab.

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Jul 17, 2014 @ 20:47:26

      1. From Internet Explorer’s main menu, click: the “gear” icon at the top right corner and choose “Internet Options”.
      2. Go to “Advanced Tab”.
      3. Click the “Reset” button > Check to enable the “Delete Personal Settings”.
      4. Press “Reset”.
      5. Restart IE.
      Also “Right-click” on all Internet browser shortcuts (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) and choose “Properties”.
      Press the “Shortcut” tab and at the “Target” field, delete the “http:\\websearches\…” argument at the end of “Target” command.

      Reply

      • Cristiano
        Jan 13, 2015 @ 03:56:30

        YOU ARE THE BEST…YOU PROVIDE US THE BEST ANSWER…THANK YOU A LOT…!!!

        Reply

      • ana
        Jun 14, 2015 @ 08:41:27

        i’m sorry. i don’t get about “at the “target” field, delete …..”
        what should i to do? just write “http:\\websearches\…” ? that’s all? then what?

        Reply

        • lakonst2012
          Jun 14, 2015 @ 13:54:57

          Delete the “http://istart.webssearches.com…” if it is there…

          Reply

    • Hmmam Mo
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 16:05:48

      You have to be Signed into Chrome, so it saves and try Uninstalling it from Revo Uninstaller Pro. ;3 Hope the Helped

      Reply

  5. Hmmam Mo
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 16:08:09

    Im having trouble with my Wifi Connection ;L Im not sure if it’s because of Websearchers or its just a problem with my Home wifi.
    Help?

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Jul 30, 2014 @ 12:14:24

      Try to remove your saved wireless network and then connect to it again.

      Reply

  6. varun
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 23:51:06

    Hi, I tried to uninstall form control panel, it asked some code to enter (being shown in a box there). It doesn’t matter enter or not, it not getting uninstalled what do I do? Please suggest me. I’m afraid that should I have to change my OS.

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Jul 30, 2014 @ 12:11:39

      Run AdwCleaner to get rid of this nasty hijacker.

      Reply

  7. Usagi
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 21:46:39

    Thank youuuuuu!
    After many days of attempts to remove irritating WebSearch, I have finally achieved it by the help of AdwCleaner.
    Thank you again.

    Reply

    • Stefano Cornia
      Sep 16, 2014 @ 11:47:55

      I also confirm You that I have solved this problem with the help of AdwCleaner! 🙂

      Stefano Cornia
      from Italy

      Reply

  8. Daniela
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 02:46:32

    Muchas gracias por sus comentarios, fueron muy utiles.

    Reply

  9. whatever
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 21:51:59

    Great article.
    Thanks

    Reply

  10. Maria
    Aug 13, 2014 @ 02:22:37

    Thank you. I used AdwCleaner.

    Reply

  11. sumit
    Aug 23, 2014 @ 13:27:45

    thanks for the wonderful website

    Reply

  12. Beer Pong
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 08:43:56

    Your style is unique in comparison to other people I’ve
    read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just
    bookmark this site.

    Reply

  13. Bright
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 13:43:12

    Thanks really.. It was simply effective in ridding off webssearches (http://istart.webssearches,com) from my program files.

    Reply

  14. Slavador
    Aug 30, 2014 @ 06:59:06

    Thanks a lot 🙂

    Reply

  15. felix
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 09:11:20

    Yss it works wonders esl using the adwcleaner becz the progrsmme aas uninstalled from comp but it still remained in google //

    Reply

  16. afif
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:59:56

    Hey I have a problem, I got this at my chrome, I already cleaned it from the browser. But I still have it in the control panel/program features. When I want to uninstall it, dialog box with chinese language appear, I don’t know what is that mean. Is there anyone got the same problem with me? And what should I do?

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 08:39:41

      Just continue to the rest steps.

      Reply

  17. tedy
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 13:47:59

    Thanks for this sharing
    It has worked, using adwcleaner
    And of course with following your step
    A

    Reply

  18. Papy
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 16:44:31

    What I thought would be a simple ‘change back my home page’.. proved to be much more than that 😀

    Thanks a lot for the fix!

    Reply

  19. Saranya
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 16:37:36

    Thank u So Much! It’s Awesome!

    Reply

  20. William Siew
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 21:20:32

    Thank you so Much~~!! I just follow the whole steps, It’s helpful!

    Reply

  21. Ninie
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 18:36:47

    Thank you so much. I really panicked and your step by step solutions really helped me! Thank you so much again.

    Reply

  22. Mats Eriksson
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 20:11:01

    Thanks. But if I make shortcuts in the quick launch bar, it comes back. If starting both IE and FF from there. Starting IE or FF from the desktop is ok. Something is “left” and hidden when doing them startups from the Quick Launch bar. Mind you, this is Win XP (yes yes, I know… but).

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Oct 07, 2014 @ 19:57:23

      Delete and re-create the quick launch bar shortcuts.

      Reply

  23. rajaa
    Oct 09, 2014 @ 04:11:48

    thanks for ur solution,

    Reply

  24. taneth
    Oct 12, 2014 @ 09:00:44

    thank you so much this was so helpful. the adwcleaner worked a charm.. now virus free. 🙂

    Reply

  25. retnug
    Nov 12, 2014 @ 18:36:01

    Aftes remove the problems from the computer will be convenient to edit the HOSTS file of the computers adding this lines at the end

    127.0.0.1 http://www.webssearches.com
    127.0.0.1 *.webssearches.com
    127.0.0.1 istart.webssearches.com
    127.0.0.1 69.28.57.22

    It prevents that the computer and softwares link the websearchers site again.

    Reply

  26. nick
    Nov 14, 2014 @ 16:27:43

    Wow!This really works!!!

    Reply

  27. insights
    Nov 19, 2014 @ 09:01:13

    Its not working. Its pretty annoying this search engines popping up my desktop

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Nov 19, 2014 @ 13:24:01

      @insights: 1. Download and run RogueKiller. 2. Press the “Scan” button (when pre-scan operation is complete). 3. Be patient until Rogue Killer scans your system. 4. When the scan is finished select all items found at “Registry” & “Web Browsers” tabs. 5. Press the “Delete” button to clean them.
      Continue to rest steps.

      Reply

  28. Snezana
    Nov 23, 2014 @ 18:17:45

    This is great! Thank you very much!

    Reply

  29. Zabzi
    Dec 06, 2014 @ 08:28:04

    adwcleaner worked !!!!!!!!! Thanks a lot guys. . This is a great relief.

    Reply

  30. Samson
    Dec 10, 2014 @ 06:26:03

    great! its wonderfully worked! I am so tired of this from many days but following the instructions here finally I am out of that problem. Thankyou very much.

    Reply

  31. Kira
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 12:35:07

    Do we have to install adwcleaner to remove webssearches?

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Dec 31, 2014 @ 14:18:50

      Yes

      Reply

      • Kira
        Jan 01, 2015 @ 05:55:47

        What I mean is, is it possible to remove webssearches without adwcleaner?

        Reply

        • Kira
          Jan 02, 2015 @ 12:33:29

          N-nevermind, but does adwcleaner get rid of all adware? (e.g box rock ads, goforfiles)

          Reply

          • mak
            Jan 02, 2015 @ 17:06:36

            hello kira.
            how did u get rid of websearches?

  32. mak
    Jan 02, 2015 @ 17:05:20

    help please.
    how do i uninstall websearches from control panel?

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Jan 03, 2015 @ 13:30:20

      If you don’t find ‘Websearches’ in control panel, then uninstall any other unknown or unwanted program and then continue to other steps.

      Reply

    • Kira
      Jan 07, 2015 @ 11:59:17

      No, not yet, I should have done it, I have trojan now. :'(

      Reply

      • Kira
        Jan 07, 2015 @ 12:01:25

        I was talking about mak’s other comment, wrong comment. XD

        Reply

  33. Kira
    Jan 11, 2015 @ 14:11:24

    Is Adwcleaner compatible with my current anti-virus program?

    Reply

    • lakonst2012
      Jan 11, 2015 @ 15:32:42

      Yes, it is.

      Reply

  34. Maey
    May 03, 2015 @ 21:26:46

    Thank you for the advice. The Adwcleaner worked well for me !!!

    Reply

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