Freeonlinepdftools.com redirect removal instructions
What is freeonlinepdftools.com?
freeonlinepdftools.com is the address of a fake search engine. Typically, search engines of this type are advertised as tools that provide an enhanced browsing experience and various extra features. Typically, fake search engines are promoted via potentially unwanted apps (PUAs), browser hijackers. In this case, freeonlinepdftools.com is promoted via a browser app called Free Online PDF Tools, which supposedly creates, converts, merges, and protects PDF documents directly from the browser. Typically, people download and install these PUAs inadvertently. After installation, they change browser settings and collect information relating to users' browsing habits.
Generally, browser hijackers can be installed on popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. When installed, Free Online PDF Tools changes browser settings by assigning the default search engine, homepage, and new tab URL to freeonlinepdftools.com. To subsequently change these settings, the browser hijacker must first be uninstalled. When installed, PUAs of this type prevent users from reverting or changing the settings. If a browser is hijacked by Free Online PDF Tools, users cannot open browsers, new browser tabs, or enter search queries into the URL bar without being forced to visit freeonlinepdftools.com (a fake search engine). Furthermore, most browser hijackers (and fake search engines that they promote) gather users' browsing data such as, for example, IP addresses, addresses of visited pages, URLs visited, geolocations, etc. In some cases, they record personal, sensitive details that developers share with other parties, who might include cyber criminals. These people misuse browsing (and other) data to generate revenue. Data tracking and sharing can cause privacy/browsing safety issues or other problems. Apps such as Free Online PDF Tools and fake search engines should never be used or installed.
|Name||defaultsearch.co and freeonlinepdftools.com redirects|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Free Online PDF Tools|
|Supposed Functionality||This browser app supposedly creates, converts, merges, and protects PDF documents.|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Detection Names (freeonlinepdftools.com)||Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (freeonlinepdftools.com)||188.8.131.52|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
There are many fake search engines that are similar to freeonlinepdftools.com including, for example, smartpackagetracker.com, mystreamingtab.com, and feed.convertowiz.com. Generally, they are promoted via PUAs, browser hijackers. Developers present them as legitimate and useful search engines, however, most cause unwanted redirects, deliver misleading results, and so on. Their main purpose is to help developers to generate revenue.
How did Free Online PDF Tools install on my computer?
In most cases, people download and install unwanted apps such as Free Online PDF Tools unintentionally. This usually happens when they click untrustworthy, deceptive advertisements or when software developers use the "bundling" method, which is employed to trick people into downloading and installing various potentially unwanted apps with regular software. To achieve it, they hide information about the inclusion of bundled apps in download/installation set-ups (settings such as "Advanced", "Custom", and so on). Furthermore, many people leave these settings unchanged, thereby causing additional, unwanted installations and downloads of unwanted apps.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Use official sources (websites) when downloading software. Download channels such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial websites and other sources of this kind should not be trusted, since they are often used to distribute PUAs or even malicious software. Check "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of any setup when downloading and installing programs, especially when they are free. Avoid clicking intrusive advertisements displayed on dubious websites. For example, those relating to adult dating, gambling, and so on. They often redirect to deceptive, dubious websites (or trigger unwanted downloads/installations). If you experience intrusive ads or redirects to dubious sites, it is possible that unwanted apps are causing them. Remove all unwanted/unknown apps (extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins) from the browser and programs of this type from the computer. If your computer is already infected with Free Online PDF Tools, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting Free Online PDF Tools browser hijacker:
Free Online PDF Tools on Chrome Store:
Screenshot of Free Online PDF Tools app asking for various permissions:
freeonlinepdftools.com asking for permission to show notifications:
IMPORTANT NOTE! This site asks to enable web browser notifications.
Therefore, before commencing, perform these steps:
Google Chrome (PC):
- Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Settings", scroll down to the bottom and click "Advanced"
- Scroll down to the "Privacy and security" section, select "Content settings" and then "Notifications"
- Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)
Google Chrome (Android):
- Click on the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and click "Settings"
- Scroll down, click on "Site settings" and then "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and click on them one-by-one
- Select "Notifications" in the "Permissions" section and set the toggle button to "OFF"
- Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Options" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen
- Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select "Block"
- Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
- Select "Internet options"
- Select the "Privacy" tab and click "Settings" under "Pop-up Blocker" section
- Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the "Remove" button
- Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
- Scroll down, find and click "Settings"
- Scroll down again and click "View advanced settings"
- Click "Manage" under "Website permissions"
- Click the switch under each suspicious website
- Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences..."
- Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane
- Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option for each
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is freeonlinepdftools.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Free Online PDF Tools application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove freeonlinepdftools.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Free Online PDF Tools browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove freeonlinepdftools.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove freeonlinepdftools.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Free Online PDF Tools browser hijacker 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 suspicious applications (for example, "Free Online PDF Tools"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the freeonlinepdftools.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Free Online PDF Tools browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://freeonlinepdftools.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:
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 and then remove "Free Online PDF Tools".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the defaultsearch.co and freeonlinepdftools.com redirects, 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:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Free Online PDF Tools" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Free Online PDF Tools", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.freeonlinepdftools.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
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 the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for "freeonlinepdftools.com", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the defaultsearch.co and freeonlinepdftools.com redirects, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) 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:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Free Online PDF Tools", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
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, disable "Free Online PDF Tools", remove hxxp://freeonlinepdftools.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your 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: "freeonlinepdftools.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with defaultsearch.co and freeonlinepdftools.com redirects 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 Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox 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.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the defaultsearch.co and freeonlinepdftools.com redirects, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove defaultsearch.co and freeonlinepdftools.com redirects from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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