Remove WebSearch+ and websearch.brandthunder.com (Removal Guide)

Websearch+ by Brand Thunder is a potentially unwanted program, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will display pop-up advertisments, and change your browser homepage and your browser search engine to websearch.brandthunder.com.
[Image: Websearch+ homepage virus]

Websearch+ got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker.
For example, when you install Websearch+, you will also agree to change your default browser home page and default search engine to Websearch.brandthunder.com, and allow Brand Thunder to display ads from Save Valet, Kourl or PrestoSavings within your browser.
[Image: websearch.brandthunder.com virus]
However, when you uninstall Websearch+ from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove Websearch+ and Websearch.brandthunder.com from your favorite web browser manually.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Websearch+ adware. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

Websearch+ by Brand Thunder – Virus Removal Instructions

STEP 1 : Uninstall Websearch+ from your computer

  1. To uninstall Websearch+ Brand Thunder program from your computer, click the Start button, then select Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
    If you are a Windows 8 user, you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there, then select Uninstall a program.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  2. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and remove Save Valet, Kourl, PrestoSavings, Brand Thunder Theme Manager for Internet Explorer, KARA – Step, FB Theme Chrome Toolbar and any other programs developed by Brand Thunder from your computer.
    [Image: Uninstall Websearch+ programs]

STEP 2 : Remove the Websearch+ Brand Thunder residual damage from your browser

Websearch+ has installed a browser extensions, and has changed your homepage and your browser default search engine to Websearch.brandthunder.com

Remove Websearch+ and websearch.brandthunder.com from Internet Explorer

  1. Remove Websearch+ extension from Internet Explorer.
    Open Internet Explorer,then click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right) and then  select Manage add-ons.
    [Image: Manage Add-ons in Internet Explorer]
    From the Toolbars and Extensions tab, select Brand Thunder Theme Manager and any other extension from Brand Thunder LLC, then click on Disable.
    [Image: Websearch+ Internet Explorer extension]
    NOTE: Brand Thunder may have added additional add-ons which you will need to remove. We recommend that you remove any unwanted or unknown add-ons from Internet Explorer.
  2. Set Internet Explorer default search engine from websearch.brandthunder.com to Bing.
    To change your default search engine, click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] , select Manage Add-ons, and then, under Add-on Types, click Search Providers.
    Select Bing and on click the Set Default button.
    [Image: websearch.brandthunder Internet Explorer redirect]
    To remove Websearch.brandthunder.com from Internet Explorer, select Websearch+ and click on Remove.
    [Image: Websearch+ Internet Explorer redirect removal]
  3. Change your Internet Explorer homepage from home.brandthunder.com to its default
    To change your home page, click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] , select Internet Explore options, and in the General tab,under the Home page section, click on Use default to restore Internet Explorer default home page.
    [Image: Set Internet Explorer to its default homepage]

Remove Websearch+ and websearch.brandthunder.com from Mozilla Firefox

  1. Remove Websearch+ extensions from Firefox.
    At the top of the Firefox window, click the orange Firefox button, then select Add-ons.
    Firefox addon menu
    Select the Extensions tab, then remove Default Theme Engine – Personas Interactive and any other extension by Brand Thunder LLC from Mozilla Firefox.
    [Image: WebSearch+ Firefox extension
    NOTE: Brand Thunder may have added additional extensions which you will need to remove. We recommend that you remove any unwanted or unknown extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Reset your default search engine and homepage from Websearch.brandthunder.com to their default.
    To reset your search engine and homepage to their default, we will use the SearchReset extension.This add-on is very simple: on installation, it backs up and then resets your search preferences and home page to their default values, and then uninstalls itself. This affects the search bar, URL bar searches, and the home page.
    You can download SearchReset from the below link, and then we will just need to install it to revert Firefox to its default settings.
    SEARCHRESET DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open another web page from where you can download the SearchReset Firefox extension)
    [Image: SearchReset extension]

Remove Websearch+ and websearch.brandthunder.com from Google Chrome

  1. Remove Websearch+ extension from Google Chrome.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    Google Chrome Extensions
    In the Extensions tab, remove FB Theme and any other extension from Brand Thunder LLC by clicking on the Recycle Bin at the end of the row.
    [Image: Websearch+ Chrome extension]
    NOTE: Brand Thunder may have added additional extensions which you will need to remove. We recommend that you remove any unwanted or unknown extensions from Google Chrome.
  2. Set Google Chrome default search engine from Websearch.brandthunder.com to Google.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on Manage search engines in the Search section.
    In the Search Engines dialog that appears, select Google and click the Make Default button that appears in the row.
    [Image: websearch brand thunder Chrome redirect]
    Search for Websearch.brandthunder.com in the Search Engines list, and click the X button that appears at the end of the row.
    [Image: Websearch.brandthunder.com Chrome removal]
  3. Change Google Chrome homepage from home.brandthunder.com to its default.
    Websearch+ has modified your Google settings to open their webpage whenever you start your browser, so we will need to revert this change.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
    [Image: Change Google Chrome homepage to its default]

STEP 3: Remove Websearch+ registry keys with AdwCleaner.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK
     (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting this utility, close all open programs and internet browsers.
  3. Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
  4. Click on Delete, then confirm each time with Ok.
    Adwcleaner utility
  5. Your computer will be rebooted automatically. A text file will open after the restart.
  6. NEXT, double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
  7. Click on Uninstall, then confirm with yes to remove this utility from your computer.

STEP 4: Run a computer scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double click on it to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process. DO NOT make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware checked, then click on the Finish button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for Websearch+ virus]
  5. When the Malwarebytes scan will be completed, click on Show Result.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected.Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked) and click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image:Malwarebytes removing Websearch+ virus]

STEP 5: Run a computer scan with HitmanPro

  1. Download HitmanPro from the below link, then double click on it to start this program.
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for malware, as seen in the image below.
    HitmanPro scans for Websearch+ virus
  4. Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove these malicious files.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click Activate free license to start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    HitmanPro 30 days activation button

If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Websearch+ by Brand Thunder from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com.
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

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