Stop Find My Directions from hijacking your browser

Also Known As: search.hfindmydirections.net redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

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).

search.hfindmydirections.net browser hijacker

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.

Threat Summary:
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
Promoted URL search.hfindmydirections.net
Serving IP Address (search.hfindmydirections.net) 52.6.176.200
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.
Removal

To eliminate search.hfindmydirections.net redirect our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Most PUAs (browser hijackers included) are very similar. Those released by the same developers can even be identical. Earth & Satellite ViewMaps And Directions AppMaps 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 Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Find My Directions browser hijacker installer set-up:

Official Find My Directions browser hijacker installation setup

Website promoting Find My Directions browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Find My Directions browser hijacker

Instant automatic removal of search.hfindmydirections.net redirect: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of search.hfindmydirections.net redirect. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Find My Directions 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.hfindmydirections.net browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing search.hfindmydirections.net 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.hfindmydirections.net 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.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:

Removing search.hfindmydirections.net 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 "Find My Directions".

Optional method:

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.

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.hfindmydirections.net 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 "Find My Directions" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing search.hfindmydirections.net 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 "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:

Removing search.hfindmydirections.net 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 "search.hfindmydirections.net", 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.hfindmydirections.net 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.hfindmydirections.net 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 "Find My Directions" (or simply "Maps"), as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing search.hfindmydirections.net 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 "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:

Removing search.hfindmydirections.net 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.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, 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 logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Change your homepage:

Changing homepage in Microsoft Edge

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings", in the opened tab, click the "+ Add new page" link, after entering your preferred URL, remove the link of browser hijackers by clicking the "X" button next to the associated URL.

Change your default search engine:

Changing default Internet search engine in Microsoft Edge

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". Click the "View advanced settings" button and select "Change search engine". In the opened tab, select your preferred Internet search engine and click "Set as default".

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings 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.hfindmydirections.net redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on search.hfindmydirections.net 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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
search.hfindmydirections.net 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.hfindmydirections.net redirect on your mobile device.
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