There is a growing concern among some Mac users receiving numerous WebSearchStride pop-ups asking them to either allow or deny access to incoming network communication to their devices. Based on the questions asked in Mac forums, it seems that several web users have been affected by this adware. You, too, have probably encountered WebSearchStride on your browser in the form of pop-ups and page redirects that appear on every page you visit.
Fortunately, in the next section of this guide, we will learn how to stop WebSearchStride pop-ups on your Mac. The key to managing these problems is uninstalling their source. But before you remove the adware, you have got to understand what it is and its main goal.
What is WebSearchStride on a Mac?
WebSearchStride is a bogus browser hijacker that injects itself into your browser, then changes its settings. In most cases, the hijacker installs a new search engine into the browser, then replaces the default homepage with its own, which redirects you to a target site as soon as you start the browser. The WebSearchStride adware displays all sorts of banners, pop-up notifications, and sponsored advertisements.
Generally, browser hijackers are no harmful viruses. Unlike ransomware, they might not restrict access to critical files. Its precise goal is to display ads. To implement its predetermined plan, the WebSearchStride hijacker pushes users into downloading the extension, which replaces the infected browser’s homepage with websites that promote affiliate products. Annoyingly, most of the ads being displayed hardly have anything behind them since they were designed to trick you into visiting the site. Some may have something for sale.
Type: Browser hijacker
Danger Level: It is a relatively hazardous threat, but it might not be as dangerous as ransomware. Nevertheless, WebSearchStride is still a security risk.
Main Signs: A lot of intrusive ads and pop-up messages that may interrupt your regular browsing activities.
Distribution Method: Cybercriminals often bundle the adware with free software. It can also be distributed through porn or torrent sites, ad-supported websites, spam emails, free download links, and automatic installers.
Why Remove WebSearchStride from Your Mac?
For this reason, browser redirect extensions or apps like WebSearchStride should be removed immediately. Some of the ads that are displayed by WebSearchStride are not only annoying, but they can lead you to malicious websites. Hackers tend to infect normal advertisements with malicious programs that can auto-download the moment you click on them. The danger is that there is no direct way to detect these threats. Most of the ads look very real, and you won’t know what they carry until you click on them.
That is why it is advisable to avoid clicking on random pop-up messages or unfamiliar advertisements. Otherwise, you will have to manage the problems caused by these messages when it is already too late. Here are just but a few harmful effects of the WebSearchStride adware:
- Alter System Settings: Browser hijackers like WebSearchStride will compromise your entire device by modifying critical system settings, causing the black screen of death or a total system crash.
- Disable Security Programs: It can also disable some applications to create the right environment for other similar infections.
- Gather Sensitive Data: The virus can steal your confidential information by monitoring your browsing habits like the pages you visit and any transaction you carry out online. This data is useful to advertisers, who analyze and use it to create targeted promotional campaigns.
- Malicious Code Injection: In some cases, it might generate malicious registry files or destroy crucial file systems.
- Backdoor Access: The developers of this virus can use it to access your system remotely, making you more vulnerable to attacks.
There are also other less obvious signs of the presence of a browser hijacker on your system, such as slugging performance, website crashes, and a browser response failure. All this causes annoyance and disrupts your normal work.
The best way to avoid interaction with any WebSearchStride component is to get rid of it by uninstalling the app from your system. So, let’s look at how to stop WebSearchStride pop-ups from appearing on your Mac.
How to Remove WebSearchStride from Your Mac?
The WebSearchStride Mac virus can be a real pain to manage. It is not only sneaky, but it is also good at hiding itself once it has entered your system. So, you may not be able to remove it entirely with your pre-installed antivirus program. In fact, it has capabilities of disabling the powers of antivirus programs. You should also be aware that the adware may have spread its copies in different places on your computer. Sometimes, the virus may interfere with registry entries, so you are likely to detect malicious codes meant to make it inaccessible.
It is also possible that some files associated with this virus may carry different names. So, you should clean the system thoroughly to remove the core files and all traces of the WebSearchStride Mac virus. Its prolonged presence in your computer can degrade system processing speed or even make it unusable. You can remove it using any of these options:
Option 1: Remove the WebSearchStride Popups Manually from Your Mac
This option might be ideal if you have some technical skills; it usually works best for computer geeks. So, if you are not so technically sound, it can prove challenging, time-consuming, and risky. With that said, we will take you through a series of steps to remove WebSearchStride from your Mac. Before we do that, remember to bookmark this page to follow through all the steps. It is also a wise idea to back up all your critical files and create restore points where you can revert to in case of any wrong operations.
Step 1: Close WebSearchStride from Activity Monitor
Here is how it goes:
- First, click on Go, and then select Utilities to open the folder.
- Now, look for the Activity Monitor and open it.
- Next, search for suspicious processes like WebSearchStride, then click on the cross button in the upper-left side corner to end them.
- When asked to confirm your action through a dialog box, click Force Quit.
Step 2: Remove the Virus from Applications
Besides closing the WebSearchStride process in the Activity Monitor, you will also need to delete it from Applications. To do that, follow the steps below:
- Open the Applications folder.
- Look for the WebSearchStride virus and any other suspicious programs, then delete them.
- Just right-click on the targeted programs and choose Move to Trash.
Step 3: Remove the WebSearchStride Virus from LaunchAgents
- Use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift +G to launch Go to Folder.
- Now, type /Library/LaunchAgents into it and click Go. It will open LaunchAgents.
- Once the LaunchAgents directory opens, look for all entries related to WebSearchStride or similar infections and remove them.
Step 4: Remove WebSearchStride from Application Support
- As in Step 3 above, press the Command, Shift, and G keys together to open Go to Folder.
- This time type /Library/Application Support into the search field and hit Go to open the Application Support directory.
- Once it opens, search for entries related to WebSearchStride and delete them.
Step 5: Remove the Virus from LaunchDaemons
- To open LaunchDaemons, open Go to Folder by pressing the Command+Shift+G shortcut.
- Type /Library/LaunchDaemons into it and press Enter or click Go.
- Once the directory opens, look for WebSearchStride-related files and delete them.
- That’s it.
Step 6: Remove WebSearchStride from Your Browsers
If you followed all the above steps, you have now gotten rid of the WebSearchStride core files. But you still need to remove it from your browsers. We will only cover the most popular ones among Mac users. Here is how to do it:
Remove from Safari
- Launch the Safari browser.
- Click on Safari > Preferences.
- Navigate to the Extensions tab, then select WebSearchStride and other similar programs and click the Uninstall button.
- After that, you need to reset Safari to its defaults. To do so, go to Safari > Reset Safari, then click the Reset button.
- Besides this, it is also a smart idea to change your Safari homepage and your default search engine. To change your homepage, click on the Safari menu, then choose Preferences > General. Once there, enter your preferred website URL in the Homepage field, then click Set to Current Page.
- To change your default search engine, click on Safari > Preferences > Search. After that, pick your preferred search engine.
Remove from Google Chrome
- Launch your Chrome browser.
- Click on Menu > More Tools > Extensions.
- Look for WebSearchStride and similar extensions, then remove them by checking the Enabled box, and then hit the Delete button.
- Just like we did with the Safari browser, you also need to reset your Chrome to its defaults. Go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Reset Settings. After that, restart the browser.
- On top of this, enable the dangerous sites protection setting. To do that, type chrome://settings into your Chrome browser, and then hit Enter. From here, choose Show advanced settings, and then navigate to the Privacy section where you will check the Protect you and your device from dangerous sites box.
Remove from Mozilla Firefox
- Once you have launched your Mozilla browser, click on Menu > Add-ons.
- Choose the nasty extensions and click the Remove button.
- After that, reset your Mozilla Firefox. To do so, click on Menu, then choose the Select (?) icon.
- Now, navigate to the Troubleshooting information section and click Refresh Firefox. When prompted, confirm your selection.
- Go back to the main Menu and choose Options.
- Next, highlight the Security icon and activate all the provided options under the General heading. This selection will block popular attack sites and web forgeries.
Option 2: Automatic Removal of the WebSearchStride Virus from Mac
If the manual option sounds too technical to you, then you can use a Mac cleaning software like TweakBit MacRepair to achieve the same results. TweakBit is a professional computer repair and optimization tool equipped with several powerful features to help you clean your Mac to keep it fast and healthy. The application can scan your entire Mac not only to identify hidden threats and infections like WebSearchStride, but also to look for junk. After the scan, TweakBit will repair the damaged section of your computer, including rectifying corrupted system files, removing unwanted programs, protecting your information, and tuning your computer for top performance.
For the best outcome, you can start with the manual removal first, then use the cleaner to delete the leftovers and restore the affected system files.
The WebSearchStride Mac virus is a moderately harmful infection, but it can be quite mischievous. It alters the default search engine and reroutes your results to malicious websites or show unwanted ads. If you are on a network, it may spread from one machine to another. So, you should remove it as soon as you spot any of its symptoms.
But keep in mind that it will keep coming back if you don’t erase its core files effectively. You should also be more aware of this kind of adware to stay safe online. Prevention is usually better than cure. Avoid clicking on fake advertisements, downloading programs from untrustworthy sources, and opening suspicious email attachments. And finally, remember to use a powerful antivirus program, clean up your computer regularly, and always keep your system updated.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.