Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
How to eliminate browser redirects to tf.org?
What is tf.org?
Developers present tf.org as an Internet search engine that enhances the web browsing experience by generating improved results. On initial inspection, tf.org may appear legitimate and useful, however, developers promote this site using rogue download/installation set-ups that hijack web browsers and modify various options. In addition, tf.org continually records information relating to users' Internet browsing activity.
Following infiltration, set-ups hijack Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily assigning the default search engine, new tab URL, and homepage options to tf.org. In addition, they modify targets of browser shortcuts. These changes may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert them - set-ups stealthily install a number of "helper objects" (third party browser extensions and/or applications) to automatically reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users are automatically redirected to tf.org when they attempt to search via the URL bar or simply open a browser/new browser tab. This significantly diminishes the web browsing experience. Another downside is information tracking. Be aware that tf.org (and "helper objects") continually records IP addresses, search queries, URLs visited, pages viewed, and other similar information that might contain personal details. This data is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private details. Thus, information tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. We strongly advise you to ignore all requests to pay or contact these people.
The Internet is full of fake search engines virtually identical to tf.org. The list of examples includes searchlock.com, searchencrypt.com, and www-searches.net. All claim to enhance the web browsing experience by generating improved search results and providing other so-called 'useful features' (for example, weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, shortcuts to popular websites, etc.) These are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. In fact, fake search engines are useless for regular users - they cause unwanted redirects and continually record various user-system information.
How did tf.org install on my computer?
As mentioned above, tf.org is promoted via rogue download/installation set-ups. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling". Developers hide information regarding modification of web browser settings within the "Custom/Advanced" options of the download or installation processes. Rushing and skipping this section inadvertently grants set-ups permission to modify browser settings.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Installation of potentially unwanted programs can be prevented by taking two simple steps. Firstly, never rush when downloading and installing software. Select the "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each step. Secondly, decline offers to download/install additional applications and cancel those already included.
Quick menu: Quick solution to remove tf.org
- What is tf.org?
- STEP 1. Uninstall potentially unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove tf.org redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove tf.org browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove tf.org homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove tf.org redirect from Safari.
tf.org redirect removal:
Windows 7 users:
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:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
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:
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.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed potentially unwanted applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes browser redirects to the tf.org website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
tf.org homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser hijackers:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Remove tf.org-related Internet Explorer add-ons:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select such entries and click "Remove".
Fix Internet Explorer shortcut target:
This browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Internet Explorer shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and replace the whole text with browser's location (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe").
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://www.tf.org and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" 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, then remove "tf".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the tf.org , 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Remove tf.org-related Google Chrome extensions:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
Fix Google Chrome shortcut target:
This browser hijacker modifies the "Target" field of the Google Chrome shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and replace whole text with browser's location (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe").
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, click "set pages", hover your mouse over hxxp://www.tf.org and click the x symbol. Now, you can add your preferred website as your homepage.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in "Search" section, click "Manage Search Engines...", remove "tf" and add or select your preferred Internet search engine.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the tf.org , reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset browser settings button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Remove tf.org related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove any recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Fix Mozilla Firefox shortcut target:
This browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Mozilla Firefox shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and replace whole text with browser's location (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe").
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://www.tf.org and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change 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: "tf.org"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with tf.org removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click the Open Help Menu icon,
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Reset Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
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.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History 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. To avoid installation of tf.org 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 tf.org from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
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