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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How to remove MyWebSearch adware (Uninstall guide)

Tell your friends:
MyWebSearch is a toolbar for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome classified as an adware, search page hijacker by most anti-spyware programs. It's a part of Fun Web Products suite which also provides the following products:
  • SmileyCentral
  • PopSwatter
  • HistorySwatter
  • Incredimail free version
  • Popular Screen Savers
  • Cursor Mania
  • FunBuddyIcons
  • MyFunCards
  • MyMailStationary
  • MyMailSignature
  • MyMailStamps
  • MySpeedBar
  • MyWay Search Assistant
  • FunWebProducts


Some of the above products can be installed with your permission and consent. How rude! The authors of MyWebSearch claim that it's not spyware and that they don't collect any identifiable information. This product appears to be fun and useful, but actually it may be very annoying and even dangerous, potentially harmful. MyWebSearch may slow down your PC, display unwanted ads and pop-ups while browsing the web. Also if the page that you are looking for is not found or not available at the moment My Web Search will redirect you to MyWebSearch search page which is called My Total Search or home.mywebsearch.com.

Most potentially unwanted applications or adware get that label for installing toolbars on your system. It's common practice for freeware developers to bundle their programs with toolbars such as MyWebSearch and other applications in an effort to find an extra source of income, for example redirecting search results through search.mywebsearch.com.. The problem with this is that developers will often try to sneak these extras into your computer, and they usually succeed if you're the type of user who doesn't carefully read through every page of a program installer.

How can that be? Well, the next time you install freeware, pay attention to every page. You will eventually come to a page with a pre-checked prompt stating that you've agreed to install a toolbar or adware application. Aside from installing that application, it may even go further as to change your computer settings to make it the default application in association to some other program, usually a browser. It's a sneaky tactic, but you can't fault freeware developers for it because it can still be argued that you were given a chance to uncheck the box. Protection from these types of programs can be done simply by reading through each page of an installer and unchecking the applicable boxes.

Another useful tip is to avoid choosing the recommended option when installing programs. Opting for this usually lets users install programs faster but also makes them bypass the part where you can uncheck the installation of unnecessary extras. Other potentially unwanted applications, while not outright malware, may have one or two characteristics of such programs. The PUAs might actually have been installed because of these characteristics. A program that manages a computer's registry can be flagged down, for example, as a PUA, but if the user is aware and actively using application for that purpose, then all is well. To keep this program from being constantly flagged by an installed anti-virus or anti-malware program, just adjust the settings of the anti-virus to ignore it.

A relatively harmless yet unwanted program should uninstall easily through Control Panel. Just find the program in the computer's program list, and click Uninstall. A quick reboot of your system should be done to make sure that the program is completely removed. For programs that don't uninstall completely or won't uninstall through normal means, you may have to run malware scanner that will check to see if the program can be quarantined or removed. There are rare cases, however, in which the potentially unwanted application requires more drastic methods of removal. When worse comes to worst, it may even require you to reinstall Windows altogether. Before you go through this method, make sure that it really is the only option you have. Once you've confirmed that there's no other way, backup all your files to an external hard drive or optical media. This is because re-installing Windows will not only remove MyWebSearch adware, it will also delete all your files and computer settings.

We strongly recommend you to remove this toolbar from your PC as soon as possible. However, if you are happy with it, then it's up to you. Many people say that MyWebSearch removal is quite complicated and that's true. Usually it's not enough to use Add/Remove programs option from Control Panel in order to remove MyWebSearch. Full details on how to uninstall this unwanted toolbar are provided below. If you have any questions, don't hesitate and ask or just leave a comment. Good luck!


MyWebSearch removal instructions:

1. First of all, download recommended anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this infection from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this browser hijacker. Hopefully you won't have to do that.





2. Go to: Start->Control Panel
3. Double click on Add/Remove programs (Programs and Features icon in Windows Vista/7/8)
4. In the list of currently installed software find "My Web Search" and click on Change/Remove (Uninstall in Windows Vista) to uninstall it. Also look for any of the following programs from the Fun Web Products suite and uninstall them too:
  • SmileyCentral
  • PopSwatter
  • HistorySwatter
  • Incredimail free version
  • Popular Screen Savers
  • Cursor Mania
  • FunBuddyIcons
  • MyFunCards
  • MyMailStationary
  • MyMailSignature
  • MyMailStamps
  • MySpeedBar
  • MyWay Search Assistant
  • FunWebProducts
4. Reboot your computer
5. Download HijackThis. Launch the HijackThis and click "Do a system scan only" button. Select all such entries as shown bellow in blue color and click once on the "Fix checked" button. Close HijackThis tool.

R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {00A6FAF6-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
O2 - BHO: MyWebSearch Search Assistant BHO - {00A6FAF1-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
O2 - BHO: mwsBar BHO - {07B18EA1-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O3 - Toolbar: My &Web Search - {07B18EA9-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - Startup: MyWebSearch Email Plugin.lnk = C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSOEMON.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: MyWebSearch Email Plugin.lnk = C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSOEMON.EXE
O8 - Extra context menu item: &Search - http://bar.mywebsearch.com/menusearch.html?p=ZWYYYYYYYYUS
O16 - DPF: {1D4DB7D2-6EC9-47A3-BD87-1E41684E07BB} - http://ak.imgfarm.com/images/nocache/funwebproducts/ei/MyWebSearchInitialSetup1.0.0.8-2.cab

6. Open "My Computer" and go to C:\Program Files. Remove the following folders:
  • FunWebProducts
  • MyWebSearch
7. MyWebSearch should now be completely uninstalled from your computer.

If you have any questions don't hesitate and ask or just leave a comment. Good luck!

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33 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you do if you have a Mac?

Admin said...

Use iAntiVirus free version from PC Tools:
http://www.iantivirus.com/download/

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

It's not listed in add/remove programs. Is there another way to uninstall it?

Anonymous said...

I also do not have it listed in the add/remove programs. What to do??

Anonymous said...

I too also do not have it listed in the add/remove programs as also none of the others listed above are there either. Please help me remove this nagging thing!

Anonymous said...

not on my list either, help please

Unknown said...

Same Problem. It's not listed, and I tried searching for it everywhere, and can't find it. PLLLLLLLeeeeez help.

Anonymous said...

Go straight to step 5. If you cant see it listed in Add/remove

Anonymous said...

Same problem: not listed in add/remove. Tried to download Hijack. Got "Spyware Doctor" instead. It didn't find anything but a couple cookies, and wanted a paid subscription before it would say what they were.

Anonymous said...

i still cant delete my search from program files, says some remaining file in use still

Anonymous said...

When I searched for info about STOPzilla I found a bunch of hits that say STOPzilla is also a virus. What Gives?

Anonymous said...

If you're using firefox. Type "about:config" in the address bar. Then filter "myweb" right click both and "reset" then restart firefox as normal. I have been held hostage by mywebsearch for months and I finally found a way which removed it!

Admin said...

STOPzilla is not a virus. It's legitimate anti-malware software developed by is3.Inc, a privately held company headquartered in Florida.

Anonymous said...

i'm having the same problem as everyone else: i cant find anything related to mywebsearch or any of the other adware listed. when i followed the link to hijack this, i got an error message. any help would be greatly appreciated.

NoCouth said...

If a link is broken, as the above link for Hijack This, for pete's sake, SEARCH for it before posting that you can't find it!! Here is the link that's working at the moment:
http://free.antivirus.com/hijackthis/

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from 12/13/2011 6:09...This worked for me and it was a quick fix. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous from 12/13/2011 6:09 THANKS! the about:config in Firefox worked.

Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

What if you are using Chrome? Is there a way to do the about:config fix with that?

Anonymous said...

thanks this was very helpful

Dodi said...

I have absolutely no idea how this came about ... it is a nuisance ... I have tried the 'control panel/add-remove program/etc etc three times and it does not work. Is it Malware? How can I remove it safely?

Dianne C said...

Tried to follow the instructions for removing MyWebSearch to no avail. Can't find it in Add/Remove programs. Disabled System Restore, then downloaded HijackThis, & then removed 2 entries with "Fix Checked" button. Restarted System Restore, & rebooted my puter. My WebSearch is still there, & it pops up instead of my usual comcast home page. Maybe there are more entries that I need to delete in the HijackThis list - but if so, I can't identify them. I don't find either FunWebProducts or MyWebSearch under C:/Program Files.
Hope someone can help. Dianne C

Anonymous said...

How do you get rid off mystart when you cant find it in add/remove programs and cant find files in your local hardrive?

Anonymous said...

Same as everyone else, nothing is working because 1. can't find mywebsearch, or any of the others listed. 2. skipped to step 5, like suggested with no luck. IS THERE ANY HELP OUT THERE??????

Anonymous said...

I cannot find it in any of my files anywhere on my computer and this is aggrivating as heck please make a better uninstall guide without a virus attached to the links...

Anonymous said...

To answer everyone's questions:
If you don't have it in Add/Remove Programs, go to step 5.

If it persists after all steps, in Mozilla, type in about:config. Click 'I Understand'. Now, type keyword.url in the search bar. When you see the file, right click, and choose Reset. This will reset to default.

Anonymous said...

for chrome
go to setting and then extensions the disable 'new tab to chrome'. then its gone hope this helps like it did to me

Anonymous said...

If you cant remove it from start-up on chrome:

Go to Settings and the settings tab

On start-up option

Click "Set pages" on Open a specific page or set of pages.

Once entered you should see the My Start of watever above, go to its corner and hit X to remove.

Restart and its all good.

Anonymous said...

It's still there and I didn't
find any files name any of those

roke smith said...

I finally removed it from Chrome. Go to "tools", then "settings", then "extentions", and there it was, that freakin smilebox logo. I clicked on "delete" and swoooosh, gone. Aaaaahhh!!!

Anonymous said...

im trying to remove mywebsearch and inbox.com i tried to go into add remove program it not listed. and i tried to go into tools settings extentions its not listed there eaither.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from 12/13/2011 6:09, I love you.

Anonymous said...

Ok I also could not find "mywebsearch" or an other name for this file in uninstall. This is what I did to get rid of the program.

Open control panel - program files - uninstall.

Then click on each name one at a time. When you click on a name you should see further information for that program at the bottom of the screen. As I clicked through I came to a program that started with the name coupon (I can't remember the full program name). When i highlighted that program in the window on the bottom the http address for "mywebsearch" appeared. I uninstalled that program and it completely fixed my internet issues.

I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Best solution is to make sure you know all of your ID and PWD from the browser that has My Start and just remove the browser on Add/Delete Programs. Be sure to click the box to remove all settings, history , and passwords. Then just re-download the browsers latest version and that should take care of the problem.