WebExplorer virus

WebExplorer is an untrustworthy Chromium-based browser that can replace Chrome and hijack browser’s settings aggressively

WebExplorer is a Chromium-based[1] browser developed by Better Cloud Solutions LTD aiming to simplify people’s browsing experience. However, it has been classified as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware that needs to be removed from the system without a delay. Scanning the system with a professional anti-malware tool will show that the Click HERE to start the WebExplorerBrowser Installer_22732y-0F_.exe file is a malicious bundler.

WebExplorer application removal is one of the most common topics escalated on security-related forums since both Mac OS and Windows OS users find this browser difficult to eliminate. According to people, looking at the design the browser impersonates Google Chrome browser, however, it looks rather fishy due to loads of commercial content (pop-ups, ads, banners, hyperlinks within texts, etc.) and redirects to search.webexplorer.co search no matter what website the user attempts to visit. Note that this doubtful browser has been developed for advertising purposes, so it can hardly improve the web browsing experience. All it does  – replaces a default browser, its start page, search engine, new tab window, alters extensions, and other settings to take full control over people’s browsing activities. 

Name WebExplorer
Developer Better Cloud Solutions LTD
Classification  Potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Compatibility Mac OS and Windows OS
Distribution This malware has an official website. However, it can hardly be found on the Internet by accident. It turns out that this browser is most actively distributed by bundling. Besides, people may be redirected to its download website regularly if affiliate adware is already installed on the system
  • Clicking on any link by default opens the WebExplorer browser;
  • Browsing the web ends up with redirects to search.webexplorer.co search;
  • Default start page and search engine replaced;
  • Start page and random websites display many ads;
  • Most of the search results are sponsored;
  • You cannot get rid of WebExplorer as it keeps resetting itself as a default browser;
  • “Please Update WebExplorer” pop-up emerges while browsing;
Related files WebExplorerBrowser Installer_22732y-0F_.exe 
Danger This PUP is not as dangerous as a virus. However, it is primarily used to promote third parties and misleading websites, thus posing a risk of redirects to malware download sites
Elimination Automated removal with a professional anti-malware tool is recommended to ensure full elimination of PUP and the bundle that it may have been installed with. For manual removal, you can follow a guide submitted below. 
After all, scan the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool to ensure that the malware damage to the system directly has been successful fixed

WebExplorer is not a dangerous cyber infection if we compare it to Djvu, Remcos, Zeus Trojan, or another cyber threat that can lock files, steal credentials, or crash the machine. Some of the users may find it useful and not interfering with the web browsing experience. However, we want to stress the fact that this third-party browser has been primarily developed for monetization processes. It’s may be involved in shady marketing campaigns and try to popularize insecure third-party websites, malware, or record people’s browsing with an intention to share gathered information with affiliated parties. 

Typically, people end up with WebExplorer virus on the system by clicking on suspicious ads or downloading bundled freeware. The click-to-download installer drops a WebExplorerBrowser Installer_22732y-0F_.exe file as an installer, which when opened alters Windows or Mac OS settings and sets the unwanted browser as a default. Please note that this file is flagged as potentially dangerous by reputable AV programs, so having one installed can help you to stay safe from suchlike PUPs. 

The most common WebExplorer malware AV detection names are the following[2]:

  • Application.Bundler.CHL
  • Application.Bundler.CHL (B)
  • Generic/Application.0fb
  • Malicious (high Confidence)
  • Malware (ai Score=89)
  • Adware.Generic

The developer of this Chromium-based browser Better Cloud Solutions LTD is trying to convince people that it is a great solution for a simplified web browsing experience. The alleged features include quick access to bookmarks, daily weather and news tabs, fast re-opening, and similar. Unfortunately, as soon as the user downloads and installs the browser, he or she starts encountering loads of WebExplorer ads and redirects to search.webexplorer.co. 

Moreover, the dubious third-party browser may display sponsored search results that redirect the browser to irrelevant websites. Such behavior not only disrupts web browsing activities but also poses a risk of being exposed to phishing websites or x-rated sites used for malware distribution. The only way to prevent this happening is to remove WebExplorer virus completely.  

Experts from zondervirus.nl[3] stress the need to remove WebExplorer due to potential privacy violations. As stated in the Privacy Policy of this PUP, the browser automatically collects and stores browser-based information, including IP address, geographic location, search queries, ads clicked on, views on landing pages, etc. Moreover, such data is also intended for sharing with affiliate parties:

We may share your data with our services providers who process your personal data to provide services to us or on our behalf. We have contracts with our service providers that prohibit them from sharing the information about you that they collect or that we provide to them with anyone else or using it for other purposes.

Having all pros and cons, we recommend you perform WebExplorer removal using a professional anti-malware tool. our recommended programs are Malwarebytes and SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Besides, upon malware removal it’s vital to optimize the system to restore damaged registries and other core system files. For this purpose, you can use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego utility. 

The biggest risk of getting infected with malware is to download freeware from shady sources

The hijack by malware is a very unpleasant experience that can later require loads of time and effort to fix the system. Therefore, it’s imminent to mind precautionary measures that cybersecurity experts share every day. First of all, make sure that your machine is armed with a professional anti-malware suit and keep the software up-to-date. 

Besides, keep in mind that PUPs are usually distributed as hidden installers of freeware. The so-called “bundling”[4] distribution technique is a method employed by freeware developers to monetize the free service. Thus, each time you download a free application, pick the “Advanced” or “Custom” installation option to see additional downloads (browser extensions, add-ons, toolbars, or apps). 

Lastly, do not blindly trust third-party download managers and installers, especially if they are already condemned for distributing software bundles. Otherwise, you may end up with unwanted applications on the system every time you finish the installation of free software. 

The methods applicable to WebExplorer removal 

WebExplorer browser won’t uninstall easily as it typically does not have a direct uninstaller. It may be disguised under a different name or installed in an alternative system’s folder. In this case, the best solution would be to use an automated tool, such as anti-malware or anti-virus software. 

If, however, you prefer manual WebExplorer removal, you can check the Programs and Features folder for unknown or suspicious applications and remove each of them. In case of elimination is distributed by an error message, open Task Manager, and disable the webexplorer.exe process. 

Anyway, if you are struggling to remove WebExplorer virus from the system, do not leave it present in the system. Download a professional anti-malware, for instance SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, and run a full scan with it while in Safe Mode. After all, experts recommend resetting each of your web browsers as this malware might have triggered changes in the start page and search provider. 

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.

Eliminate WebExplorer from Windows systems

The WebExplorer virus can settle down on Windows upon freeware installation. If you have installed it accidentally and now encounter problems in terms of its removal, follow the guide below to end the life of this malware on your machine.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features’ (if you are ‘Windows XP’ user, click on ‘Add/Remove Programs’).” title=”Click ‘Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features’ (if you are ‘Windows XP’ user, click on ‘Add/Remove Programs’).”></li>
<li>If you are <span class=Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  2. Uninstall WebExplorer and related programs
    Here, look for WebExplorer or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  3. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  4. Remove WebExplorer from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  5. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers’ shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Remove WebExplorer from Mac OS X system

Mac OS is not immune to the WebExplorer malware attack. If your machine is redirecting to this browser all the time, get rid of it without a delay.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for WebExplorer or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Uninstall WebExplorer from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for WebExplorer and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete WebExplorer removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Get rid of WebExplorer virus from Microsoft Edge

WebExplorer mimics Google Chrome, so if you are using Mozilla Firefox, you will immediately notice unwanted changes. To reset your browser’s settings, follow these steps.

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details'Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}

    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, WebExplorer should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete WebExplorer from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select WebExplorer and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete WebExplorer removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase WebExplorer from Google Chrome

Do not get confused by the similarity between Chrome and WebExplorer browsers. If you experience redirects, see multiple ads on random websites, it’s a sign that something went wrong.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select WebExplorer and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines…, remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete WebExplorer removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate WebExplorer from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for WebExplorer or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by WebExplorer, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the “http://” before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari…. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete WebExplorer removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button