Find My Directions browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Find My Directions?
Find My Directions is a browser hijacker, promoted as a tool kit, consisting of quick access to maps and an enhanced web searcher. It is supposedly capable of providing various route maps, local traffic information and driving directions. However, it actually modifies browsers to redirect to its fake search engine (search.hfindmydirections.net) and it gathers intel on users' browsing activity. As most users install Find My Directions inadvertently, it is categorized as a PUA (potentially unwanted application).
Browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer are typical targets of browser hijackers. Once successfully infiltrated into their victim's devices, these rogue applications modify browsers. They change homepage, new tab/window URLs and default search engines in order to promote their fake web searching tools. For example, when Find My Directions is installed, every new tab/window opened and every search query typed into the URL bar within the affected browser - they all redirect to search.hfindmydirections.net. As most fraudulent web searchers are unable to provide results, they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) a legitimate search engine. In case of search.hfindmydirections.net, it redirects to search.yahoo.com. Attempting to use a hijacked browser is an exasperating experience. While it may seem that recovering the affected browser is easy, without removing the hijacking app - it is impossible. As every change users make is simply reset, if access to the settings is at all allowed. The data tracking abilities of Find My Directions are especially hazardous to user safety. Through monitored browsing activity (search engine and browsing histories), personal information can be inferred (IP address, geolocation and personal details). This sensitive data is then used to generate revenue by being sold to third parties, possibly even to cyber criminals. Therefore, presence of data tracking content can lead to severe privacy issues, even culminate in identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all dubious applications and/or browser extensions must be removed immediately upon detection.
|Name||Find My Directions|
|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)||Find My Directions, Maps|
|Supposed Functionality||GPS-relating functionality|
|Serving IP Address (search.hfindmydirections.net)||184.108.40.206|
|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.|
|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 Malwarebytes.
Most PUAs (browser hijackers included) are very similar. Those released by the same developers can even be identical. Earth & Satellite View, Maps And Directions App, Maps Utility and Maps Directions Home are good examples of hijacking applications similar to Find My Directions. PUAs are often advertised as highly functional and advantageous, luring users with a variety of useful features. It must be stressed however, that the only purpose of PUAs is to create profit for their designers. Therefore, all advertised abilities/features tend to be nonoperational, listed there only as bait. Instead of delivering on any promises, undesirable apps overtake browsers, generate redirects to untrustworthy/malicious sites, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns and track data.
How did Find My Directions install on my computer?
Intrusive adverts can spread PUAs by executing scripts, designed to make such rogue downloads/installs. These applications can also be downloaded/installed by users themselves. Some unwanted apps have official pages (as does Find My Directions), where they are often endorsed as "free". They can also be inadvertently allowed into devices, through download/install setups of other software. "Bundling" is a deceptive marketing technique, by which ordinary programs are packed together with undesirable content. Rushed download/installation processes (skipped steps, used pre-set options and etc.) - increase the risk of PUA invasions.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Researching desired content is key to avoiding downloading/installing deceptive and/or malicious material. It is highly recommended to use only official and verified download sources, preferably via direct download links. It is against advisement to use P2P (peer-to-peer) sharing networks and other third party downloaders, as they are more likely to offer bundled software. When downloading/installing users are encouraged to read terms and explore possible options, as well as use "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out/decline additional offers (supplementary applications, features and etc.). Invasive advertisements usually appear ordinary and harmless, however they redirect to various questionable websites, such as gambling, pornography, adult-dating and similar. Should users encounter such adverts/redirects, they are strongly advised to inspect their systems and remove all dubious apps and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Find My Directions, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Find My Directions browser hijacker installer set-up:
Website promoting Find My Directions browser hijacker:
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 Find My Directions?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Find My Directions application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.hfindmydirections.net redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Find My Directions browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.hfindmydirections.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.hfindmydirections.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Find My Directions 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, "Find My Directions"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the search.hfindmydirections.net website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Find My Directions 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.hfindmydirections.net 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 "Find My Directions".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.hfindmydirections.net 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 "Find My Directions" 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 "Find My Directions", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.hfindmydirections.net) 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 "search.hfindmydirections.net", 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.hfindmydirections.net 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 "Find My Directions" (or simply "Maps"), 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 "Find My Directions" (or simply "Maps"), remove hxxp://search.hfindmydirections.net 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.hfindmydirections.net 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.hfindmydirections.net 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.hfindmydirections.net redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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