Web Companion removal instructions

What is Web Companion?

Developed by Adaware (previously known as Lavasoft), the Web Companion application is antivirus-type software designed to protect computers from malware infections and privacy breaches. In fact, it is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) due to the way developers distribute it. Apps of this type are often installed by users inadvertently, thus allowing the software to make changes to browser settings.

Web Companion unwanted application

During installation of Web Companion, the installer demands permission to make changes to browser settings. Many users skip software installation steps and agree to everything, unaware of the risks. At time of research, Web Companion’s installer promoted the Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo search engines. Therefore, giving permission to change browser settings will result in the default search engine, new tab URL, and homepage options being assigned to one of these websites. As mentioned above, this app is classified as a PUA, since developers promote it using deceptive methods such as “bundling”. Therefore, it is often installed unintentionally. Do not trust applications distributed using deceptive methods. Although Web Companion is not a malicious program, many PUAs are distributed in packs that might include adware and browser hijackers.

NameWeb Companion potentially unwanted application
Threat TypePUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)
Detection NamesDrWeb (Program.Unwanted.3914), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/WebCompanion.C Potentially Unwanted), Fortinet (Riskware/WebCompanion), Sophos AV (Generic PUA BJ (PUA)), Full List (VirusTotal)
SymptomsA program that you don’t recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. New application is performing computer scans and displays warning messages about found issues. Asks for payment in order to eliminate the supposedly found errors.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
DamageMonetary loss (unnecessary purchase of fake software), unwanted warning pop-ups, slow computer performance.
Malware Removal (Windows)To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Many apps are distributed using “bundling” and other similar methods. Examples include Lowe Registry CleanerPower PC Care 2018, and Advance PC Protector. Generally, these apps are promoted as providing ‘useful’ tools, features, and so on, however, few provide the functionality promised. Most cause problems and diminish browsing quality, cause unwanted redirects, deliver ads, etc.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

The official website can be used to download Web Companion, however, if it was installed unintentionally, this probably happened when software developers employed the “bundling” method (mentioned above). Bundling is a deceptive marketing method used to trick people into installing potentially unwanted apps together with other software. Developers hide these apps in “Custom”, “Advanced”, and other similar settings/options of the download or installation set-ups. Information about the inclusion of PUAs within set-ups is not properly disclosed. They can easily go unnoticed, especially if the installation/download steps are skipped and all settings left unchanged.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

When installing or downloading software, check all “Advanced”, “Custom” and other similar settings/options, deselect (opt-out of) unwanted applications and only then finish the download/installation process. Avoid using third party software downloaders, torrents or other peer-to-peer networks, and unofficial or/and untrustworthy sources to download software. Use only official channels (websites) and direct links. Bear in mind that cyber criminals invest time and money into ad design and, therefore, most intrusive advertisements will seem legitimate. Once clicked, however, they often redirect to unwanted/untrustworthy websites such as pornography, gambling, adult dating, and so on. If you experience these redirects, or ads that cause them, check for unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins installed on your browser. Also check the list of installed programs on your computer. Remove any suspicious/unwanted entries. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Screenshot of Web Companion unwanted application:

Web Companion unwanted application

Web Companion installation setup:

Web Companion installation setup

Web Companion installer offering to change browser settings:

webcompanion installer offering to change browser settings

Deceptive free software installer bundling Web Companion unwanted application:

Rogue installer used to promote Web Companion PUA

Web Companion process in Windows Task Manager:

web companion process in task manager

Example of an ad that is used to promote Web Companion extension:

Website used to promote Web Companion extension

Instant automatic malware removal:Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Web Companion adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for “Web Companion” and other suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click “Uninstall” or “Remove“.

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.▼ DOWNLOAD remover for
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Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

At time of research, Web Companion did not install any unwanted browser extensions, however, some unwanted applications are installed together with adware and browser hijackers. If you experience unwanted ads or unwanted redirects when browsing the internet, continue with the removal guide below.

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ty7rs9bK5w8?rel=0&fs=1&wmode=transparentInternet ExplorerChromeFirefoxSafariEdge

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the “gear” icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select “Manage Add-ons”. Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click “Remove”.

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the web companion potentially unwanted application, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Internet ExplorerChromeFirefoxSafariEdge

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select “More tools” and click “Extensions”. Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the web companion potentially unwanted application, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Internet ExplorerChromeFirefoxSafariEdge

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select “Add-ons”. Click on “Extensions”, in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with web companion potentially unwanted application removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menufirefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

Internet ExplorerChromeFirefoxSafariEdge

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences….

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data…

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Internet ExplorerChromeFirefoxSafariEdge

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select “Extensions“. Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click “Remove” below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the web companion potentially unwanted application, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3
  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers’ websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove web companion potentially unwanted application from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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