Stopping Quick Local Weather from hijacking your browser

Also Known As: search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Quick Local Weather browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Quick Local Weather?

Quick Local Weather is a browser hijacker, endorsed as a tool for quick access to weather forecasts and other weather-related content. This rogue application operates by changing browser settings in order to promote its fake search engine - search.hquicklocalweather.com. It also has data tracking abilities. Quick Local Weather is additionally categorized as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application), due to most users installing it inadvertently.

search.hquicklocalweather.com browser hijacker

Commonly, browser hijackers target popular browsers (e.g. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.). After successful infiltration, these apps change browser's default search engine, new tab/window URL and homepage. Quick Local Weather changes them to search.hquicklocalweather.com. While these alterations may seem easy to undo, any changes users make are simply reset, if access to the settings is at all permitted. By attempting to use a hijacked browser users are bound to experience an abysmal browsing experience. To elaborate, every new tab/window opened and every search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to search.hquicklocalweather.com. Most fake search engines are unable to generate search results, therefore they redirect to legitimate search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). This is also the case with search.hquicklocalweather.com, it redirects to search.yahoo.com. As mentioned, Quick Local Weather has data tracking abilities. By monitoring browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.), it gathers users' personal information (IP address, geolocation and personal details). Users should note, that this information is then passed onto third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), intent on misusing it to generate revenue. Therefore, presence of data tracking applications on devices can cause various browser and system invasions/infections, as well as lead to serious privacy issues (even culminate in identity theft). Quick Local Weather is often distributed alongside another PUA called Hide My Searches. To ensure device and user safety, all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Quick Local Weather
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Detection Names Avast (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), DrWeb (Adware.Spigot.145), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/WinWrapper.V Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.WebSearch.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Browser Extension(s) Quick Local Weather, Weather
Supposed Functionality Weather forecasting.
Promoted URL search.hquicklocalweather.com
Serving IP Address (search.hquicklocalweather.com) 34.195.214.115
Affected Browser Settings Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
Symptoms Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.
Additional Information Quick Local Weather is distributed alongside with another browser hijacker called Hide My Searches.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.
Removal

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Developers of Quick Local Weather have released dozens of identical browser hijackers (e.g. Transit SchedulesYour Online Speed TestYour Online Speed Test, etc.). In fact, most applications of this kind are very similar. Usually, these unwanted apps appear legitimate and offer various "useful" features. However, these features are rarely operational and instead cause a variety of issues. The only purpose of PUAs is to generate revenue for their developers; to users they have no genuine value. PUAs hijack browsers, cause redirects to sale-based, untrustworthy and malicious websites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, etc.) and gather sensitive data.

How did Quick Local Weather install on my computer?

Quick Local Weather has an official website, where it is free to download. However, PUAs can also be installed alongside wanted software. The deceptive marketing method of packing regular programs with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes  (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, used pre-set options, etc.) - increase the risk of PUA invasions. These applications can also be downloaded/installed by intrusive advertisements. Once clicked, they can execute scripts designed to make such rogue downloads/installs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is highly recommended to only use official and verified download sources. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), free file-hosting and unofficial websites, third party downloaders and similar channels - are considered to be untrustworthy, therefore are advised against use. Software downloaded from such sources is more likely to be bundled with undesirable or malicious content. Download/Installation processes should be treated with care. Therefore, it is advised to explore terms and all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from downloading/installing supplementary applications/features. If users are interested in installing these additions, they should conclude good research to verify the legitimacy of the offer. Intrusive ads typically appear ordinary and innocuous. However, these advertisements redirect to untrustworthy sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and etc.). Should users experience redirects to untrustworthy websites and/or unwanted ads - it is recommended to inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins.

Quick Local Weather asking for browser permissions:

Quick Local Weather asking for browser permission

Quick Local Weather browser hijacker installer set-up:

Official Quick Local Weather browser hijacker installation setup

Website promoting Quick Local Weather browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Quick Local Weather browser hijacker

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Quick menu:

Quick Local Weather 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.

search.hquicklocalweather.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Quick Local Weather"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the search.hquicklocalweather.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Quick Local Weather browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing search.hquicklocalweather.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 search.hquicklocalweather.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://search.hquicklocalweather.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 search.hquicklocalweather.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 "Quick Local Weather".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect, 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

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing search.hquicklocalweather.com related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Quick Local Weather" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons (e.g., "Hide My Searches"), and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing search.hquicklocalweather.com from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Quick Local Weather" or "Hide My Searches", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://search.hquicklocalweather.com or hxxps://hidemysearches.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:

Removing search.hquicklocalweather.com from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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 "hxxp://search.hquicklocalweather.com" and "hxxp://hidemysearches.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

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

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing search.hquicklocalweather.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 on "Extensions" and remove "Quick Local Weather" (or simply "Weather"), as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins (e.g., "Hide My Searches").

Change your homepage:

Removing search.hquicklocalweather.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 disable "Quick Local Weather" (or simply "Weather") or "Hide My Searches", remove hxxp://search.hquicklocalweather.com or hxxp://hidemysearches.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing search.hquicklocalweather.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: "moz-extension"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect 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 Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

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

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

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

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

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

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of search.hquicklocalweather.com redirect on your mobile device.
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