HowToSimplified Toolbar

Also Known As: HowToSimplified browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: <strong>Medium</strong>

Description Removal Prevention

Hp.myway.com redirect removal instructions

What is hp.myway.com?

HowToSimplified is a potentially unwanted application developed by Mindspark Interactive Network. By offering hundreds of tutorials, this app attempts to give the impression of legitimacy, however, HowToSimplified is categorized as a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program. There are three main reasons for these negative associations: 1) modification of web browser settings; 2) tracking of users' Internet browsing activity, and; 3) stealth installation without users' consent.

hp.myway.com browser hijacker

Research shows that HowToSimplified hijacks Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, assigning the new tab URL/homepage/default search engine options to hp.myway.com. These changes may not seem significant, however, users are unable to revert them - HowToSimplified reassigns browser settings when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users continually encounter unwanted redirects to hp.myway.com. This significantly diminishes the web browsing experience. Furthermore, web browsing activity is continually monitored, since HowToSimplified gathers IP addresses, websites visited, pages viewed, search queries, and other similar information that might be personally identifiable. Mindspark Interactive Network shares this collected data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse personal details to generate revenue. This behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. You are strongly advised to remove the HowToSimplified browser hijacker from your computer immediately.

Mindspark Interactive Network has developed dozens of potentially unwanted programs, all of which are virtually identical. As with HowToSimplified, apps such as GetCouponsFast, PackageTracer, HeadlineAlley, and many others, also offer a variety of 'useful features'. Although the functionality offered differs, these applications have identical behavior. By delivering promises to enable useful functions, PUPs attempt to trick users to install. Their only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive no significant value. These applications cause unwanted redirects and gather various user/system data.

How did HowToSimplified install on my computer?

Although HowToSimplified has an official download website, many users install this application inadvertently, without their consent. This is due to a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", which developers use to distribute HowToSimplified. Bundling is stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs with regular software. They hide bundled programs within the "Custom/Advanced" settings of the download or installation processes. Many users rush these procedures and skip steps, thus exposing their systems to risk of various infections and compromising their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

As mentioned above, PUPs are distributed using the bundling method. Therefore, never rush the download or installation processes. Select the "Custom/Advanced" settings, study each step, and cancel all third party applications listed for download/installation.

HowToSimplified browser hijacker installer set-up:

Official HowToSimplified browser hijacker installation setup

Website promoting HowToSimplified browser hijacker:

Website used to promote HowToSimplified browser hijacker

Quick menu: Quick solution to remove HowToSimplified

HowToSimplified browser hijacker 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 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.

hp.myway.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed suspicious applications (for example, "HowToSimplified Internet Explorer..."), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the hp.myway.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.


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HowToSimplified browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing hp.myway.com related Internet Explorer extensions

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 extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing hp.myway.com from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://hp.myway.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing hp.myway.com from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "myway".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the howtosimplified toolbar, 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 Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing hp.myway.com related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "HowToSimplified", and other recently-installed suspicious add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Change your homepage:

Removing hp.myway.com from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, click "set pages", hover your mouse over hp.myway.com and click the x symbol. Now, you can add your preferred website as your homepage.

Change your default search engine:

Removing hp.myway.com from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search" section, click "Manage Search Engines...", remove "myway" and add or select your preferred domain.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the howtosimplified toolbar, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Tools. From the opened menu, select Extensions. In the opened window, select Settings (at the left corner of the screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Show advanced settings… link.

Resetting Google Chrome setting to default - accessing settings

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset browser settings button.

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - advanced settings

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

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - confirm that you want to reset Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing hp.myway.com related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" and remove "HowToSimplified", and all other recently-installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing hp.myway.com from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://hp.myway.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing hp.myway.com from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "myway"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with howtosimplified toolbar 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

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

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 howtosimplified 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 howtosimplified from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

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About the author:

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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