What is Directions Tab?
Directions Tab is a browser hijacker endorsed as a tool for easy access to various maps, routes and driving directions, however, following installation, it modifies browser settings to promote directionstab.com, a fake search engine. Additionally, Directions Tab can track browsing-related data and collect sensitive information derived from it.
Few users install this software intentionally. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate Directions Tab, it is also categorized as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). Note that Directions Tab is often distributed together with another PUA called Safeplex Search.
Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and other popular browsers with large user bases are typical targets of browser hijackers. After successful infiltration, they assign the addresses of their fake search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs.
These seemingly minor changes significantly affect the browsing experience. With Directions Tab installed, each search query typed into the URL bar and each new tab/window opened redirects to directionstab.com.
Most bogus search engines (including directionstab.com) cannot generate search results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirections chains ending with) genuine sites (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing and others). In the case of directionstab.com, it redirects to search.yahoo.com.
Furthermore, it is impossible to recover the affected browser without removing the hijacker, since any changes users attempt to make to their browsers are automatically reset (if access is permitted at all). As mentioned, Directions Tab has data tracking capabilities.
It can record users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other private details). This data is likely to contain personally-identifiable and other highly sensitive information and, most importantly, it can be shared with third parities seeking to misuse it for profit.
Therefore, the presence of data tracking software on systems can lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect device integrity and unsure user safety, you are advised to eliminate all suspicious applicants and/or browser extensions and plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Directions Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Quick access to directions, routes and maps.|
|Serving IP Address (directionstab.com)||22.214.171.124|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
TinyChill, Vista Search, MyDocsToPDF and Search by Live PDF Converter are some examples of other browser hijackers. They typically seem legitimate and tempt users to install with offers of "useful" features, however, the functions seldom work as promised and, in most cases, are nonoperational.
This applies to all PUAs in general. The only purpose of this unwanted content is to generate revenue for the developers at users' expense. PUAs hijack browsers, force-open untrusted and malicious sites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns and collect vulnerable data.
How did Directions Tab install on my computer?
Some PUAs (including Directions Tab) have "official" download web pages, however, they also proliferate via the download/install set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".
Rushing download and installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using presets, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content onto systems, thereby endangering them with potential infiltration and infections. When clicked, intrusive ads can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all products before downloading or installing them. All downloads should be performed from official and verified sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders are untrusted and can offer deceptive or bundled content.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" options and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive advertisements usually seem normal and innocuous, however, they can redirect to dubious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and so on).
If you encounter these ads/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Directions Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Directions Tab browser hijacker asking for various permissions on Mozilla Firefox:
Directions Tab browser hijacker asking for various permissions on Google Chrome:
Website promoting Directions Tab browser hijacker on Mozilla Firefox:
Website promoting Directions Tab browser hijacker on Google Chrome:
IMPORTANT NOTE! This deceptive 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 and select "Settings"
- Click on "Site permissions" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen and select "Notifications"
- Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL under "Allow" section and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)
- 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. 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 Directions Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Directions Tab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove directionstab.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Directions Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove directionstab.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove directionstab.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Directions Tab browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 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.
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.
macOS (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, "Directions Tab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the directionstab.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Directions Tab 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://directionstab.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 "Directions Tab".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the directionstab.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 "Directions Tab" 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 "Directions Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.directionstab.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 "directionstab.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 directionstab.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 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 "Directions Tab", 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 "Directions Tab", remove hxxp://directionstab.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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with directionstab.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 directionstab.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.
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