Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Medium
MapsGalaxy Toolbar - how to remove browser redirects to home.mywebsearch.com?
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.
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.
MapsGalaxy toolbar removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" in the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel". Locate "Programs and Features". Look for Mindspark Interactive Network related entries: "MapsGalaxy Toolbar", select this entry and click Uninstall.
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs". Locate "Programs and Features". Look for Mindspark Interactive Network related entries: "MapsGalaxy Toolbar", select this entry and click Remove.
After uninstalling MapsGalaxy Toolbar, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.
MapsGalaxy Toolbar removal from browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove MapsGalaxy Toolbar from Internet Explorer:
Click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), 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 "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), 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.
If you continue to have problems with redirects to home.mywebsearch.com, 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 on "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
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 on "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Remove MapsGalaxy Toolbar from FireFox:
Click "Tools" (at the top of the window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable add-ons and remove "MapsGalaxy". To reset your homepage click "Tools", then select "Options", in the opened window remove home.mywebsearch.com and enter your preferred domain.
If you continue to have problems with redirects to home.mywebsearch.com, reset your Mozilla FireFox settings to default.
Open Mozilla FireFox, at the top left corner of the main window click "FireFox", in the opened drop down menu choose Help and then click on Troubleshooting Information, in the opened window click on "Reset FireFox" button.
A 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 privacy and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. Here are some examples of free software download clients that are used in MapsGalaxy Adware distribution:
To avoid installation of MapsGalaxy Adware 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove MapsGalaxy Adware from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.