MapsGalaxy Adware

Also Known As: MapsGalaxy Toolbar
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: <strong>Medium</strong>

MapsGalaxy Toolbar - how to remove browser redirects to home.mywebsearch.com?

What is MapGalaxy?

The MapsGalaxy browser toolbar promises to enhance users' Internet browsing experience by displaying maps, traffic conditions, and directions. This browser extension is developed by Mindspark and installs on Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox. Whilst some Internet users find this toolbar useful, it is categorized as adware, since when installed, this browser add-on modifies Internet browser settings causing redirects to home.mywebsearch.com Note that the mywebsearch.com website is owned by Mindspark, a developer of toolbars, which employs deceptive strategies to promote the aforementioned website. The home.mywebsearch.com website uses a customized Google search engine, and while the search results are legitimate, there is no valid reason to use this website for your daily Internet searches.

The main reason for the imposition of redirects to mywebsearch.com is monetization. Mindspark generates revenue when users click on the sponsored search results. The MapsGalaxy toolbar can be downloaded from its homepage, however, it is also commonly bundled with free software. If you see this toolbar in your Internet browsers, and have not willingly installed it, there is a strong likelihood that it was installed together with free software that you downloaded from the Internet.

mapsgalaxy adware

The MapsGalaxy toolbar is not directly related to virus or malware infections, however, redirects caused by this browser extension categorize it as an unwanted application. This toolbar adds no real value for Internet users - it is merely a collection of links to various traffic-related websites resolved into a single toolbar. If you have willingly installed this browser toolbar, and  are aware of the browser redirects to home.mywebsearch.com, you need take no further action. If, however, you feel that MapsGalaxy was installed on your Internet browser without your consent, use these removal instructions to eliminate this plug-in and related redirects from your PC.

Quick menu: Quick solution to remove MapsGalaxy Toolbar

MapsGalaxy toolbar removal:

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 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.

MapsGalaxy toolbar uninstall

In the uninstall programs window, look for "MapsGalaxy toolbar", select this entry and click " Uninstall" or "Remove"

After uninstalling MapsGalaxy Toolbar, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.

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MapsGalaxy toolbar removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

MapsGalaxy toolbar Internet Explorer

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for Mindspark Interactive Network related entries (MapsGalaxy, Toolbar BHO, Search Assistant BHO) and disable them.

To change your homepage from home.mywebsearch.com to your preferred domain, click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove home.mywebsearch.com  and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the mapsgalaxy , 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

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

MapsGalaxy Mozilla FireFox

Click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable add-ons and remove "MapsGalaxy".

To reset your homepage click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) then select "Options", in the opened window remove home.mywebsearch.com and enter your preferred domain.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with mapsgalaxy removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click the Open Help Menu icon, firefox help menu

Resettings Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing settings window

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing

In the opened window, click the Reset Firefox button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - clicking the

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

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - confirming settings reset

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

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

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

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

Summary:
declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sample 1A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.

A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacydeclining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sample 2 and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. To avoid installation of mapsgalaxy toolbar be very attentive when downloading and installing free software.

If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine. Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.

Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker: your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed, appearance of new toolbars, slow performance of Internet browsers, new Bookmarks or Favorites added, you can't change your homepage or default search engine, you see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website, you get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove mapsgalaxy toolbar from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

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I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Google+ to stay informed about the latest online security threats.

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