Free Forms Online browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Free Forms Online?
Free Forms Online is but one of many browser hijackers out there. It is endorsed as a free multiple tool pack, consisting of quick access to various forms and a fake search engine. Due to few users ever installing this rogue application intentionally, it is categorized as a PUA (potentially unwanted application). As a browser hijacker, it alters certain browser settings in order to promote search.freeformsonlinetab.com, its fake search engine. It must also be known, that Free Forms Online has data tracking abilities.
Common browser hijacker targets are the most popular browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. These malignant applications change browsers' homepages, default search engines and new tab/window URLs. Therefore, every single web search typed into the URL bar and every new tab/window opened - all redirect to their promoted fraudulent search engines. Few of these are capable of providing search results, therefore they either redirect to legitimate ones instantly (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing and etc.) or cause redirection chains ending in one. Free Forms Online alters browsers to redirect to search.freeformsonlinetab.com, which in turn redirects to search.yahoo.com - an actual search engine. Due to these alterations, using a hijacked browser is an exceedingly vexing experience. Without removal of the hijacking app, recovering the affected browser is impossible. Any changes users attempt to make can simply be reset, if access to the settings is at all allowed. It worthy of noting, that Free Forms Online is often distributed alongside the Hide My Searches potentially unwanted application. As mentioned previously, Free Forms Online (like most browser hijackers) can track data. By spying on users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search engine history), they can gather their personal details (IP address, geolocation and real-life identity details). This data is then sold to third parties and may end up being used for criminal purposes. Data tracking content can lead to serious privacy issues and even culminate in identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately.
|Name||Free Forms Online|
|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)||Free Forms Online, Forms|
|Supposed Functionality||Access to forms of various documents.|
|Serving IP Address (search.freeformsonlinetab.com)||18.104.22.168|
|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||Free Forms Online 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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
There are countless PUAs out there, browser hijackers are in no way a minority. Most undesirable applications share certain traits, some are utterly identical. Ones analogous to Free Forms Online are Local Classifieds Hub, Forms Hub App and Your Template Finder, and many others. These apps tempt users into allowing them onto their devices by offering a wide variety of "useful" and "beneficial" features. However, it must be stated, that these features are rarely operational. PUAs are designed for one purpose only - to generate revenue for their developers; to users they have no genuine value. These applications overtake browsers, cause unauthorized redirects to sale-based and untrustworthy/malignant websites, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns and gather intel.
How did Free Forms Online install on my computer?
Some PUAs have "official" websites (like Free Forms Online), where they are offered to download (usually for "free"). They can also invade devices through install pack/bundles. "Bundling" is a deceptive marketing tactic, by which ordinary software is packed together with unwanted content. Rushed installations (ignored terms, skipped steps, used pre-set options and etc.) heighten the risk of PUA infiltrations. Intrusive advertisements are also known proliferators of undesirable apps. They often look legitimate and harmless, and when users click them - they execute scripts, designed to make autonomous download/installs of PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is strongly advised to use only official and verified download sources (preferably, direct download links). Using third party downloaders is ill-advised, as they are more likely to offer programs bundled with undesirable content. Installation recommendations include: reading terms, exploring possible options, using "Custom/Advanced" settings and opting-out or declining additional applications/features. Prudent browsing is encouraged; i.e. avoiding suspicious sites, ads and other. Telltale signs of intrusive ads can be the dubious sites they often redirect to, e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and similar. Should users encounter such advertisements/redirects, they are recommended to perform a system check and remove all questionable apps and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Free Forms Online, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Free Forms Online browser hijacker installer set-up:
Website promoting Free Forms Online browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Free Forms Online?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Free Forms Online application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.freeformsonlinetab.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Free Forms Online browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.freeformsonlinetab.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.freeformsonlinetab.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Free Forms Online 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 Forms Online"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the search.freeformsonlinetab.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Free Forms Online 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://search.freeformsonlinetab.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 Forms Online".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.freeformsonlinetab.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.
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 Forms Online" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons (e.g., "Hide My Searches"), 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 Forms Online" or "Hide My Searches", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://search.freeformsonlinetab.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:
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 "hxxp://search.freeformsonlinetab.com" and "hxxp://hidemysearches.com", 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 search.freeformsonlinetab.com redirect, 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 plugins 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 Forms Online" (or simply "Forms"), as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins (e.g., "Hide My Searches").
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 Forms Online" (or simply "Forms") or "Hide My Searches", remove hxxp://search.freeformsonlinetab.com or hxxp://hidemysearches.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: "moz-extension"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with search.freeformsonlinetab.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, 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 search.freeformsonlinetab.com redirect, 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 search.freeformsonlinetab.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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