How to uninstall the Maps Assist browser hijacker

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

Maps Assist browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Maps Assist?

The Maps Assist application supposedly allows users to search for maps, however, it actually changes certain browser settings to promote mapsassist.com (a fake search engine). Therefore, Maps Assist is classified as a browser hijacker. These apps also collect various user-system information. Many users tend to download and install browser hijackers inadvertently, and for this reason they are classified as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

mapsassist.com browser hijacker

Generally, browser hijackers promote the addresses of fake search engines by assigning them to the homepage, new tab and default search engine URLs. Maps Assist assigns the settings to mapsassist.com, and thus users are forced to visit mapsassist.com when they open a browser, new tab or enter search queries into the URL bar. In most cases, users who wish to remove the address of the fake search engine from browser settings must uninstall the browser hijacker that originally assigned it (browser hijackers do not allow users to make changes to the settings as long as they are installed). In this case, mapsassist.com can be stopped from being opened on certain occasions by uninstalling Maps Assist. Note that mapsassist.com redirects users to search.yahoo.com and, therefore, provides results generated by the Yahoo search engine. This renders mapsassist.com redundant and useless. Furthermore, most browser hijackers gather browsing-related information. For example, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses, and other browsing data, however, some of these apps record personal, sensitive information as well. Developers of PUAs sell the information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse in other ways. Therefore, browser hijackers such as Maps Assist and other PUAs should never be downloaded or installed, since users risk experiencing problems relating to privacy, browsing safety or they might even become victims of identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Maps Assist
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.
Browser Extension(s) Maps Assist
Supposed Functionality Quick access to various maps.
Promoted URL mapsassist.com
Serving IP Address (mapsassist.com) 172.64.140.23
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)

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SearchZilla, Twisted Search and Booster Search are PUAs that are also classified as browser hijackers. Unfortunately, there are many other apps of this type on the internet, and the number is growing daily. Generally, browser hijackers promote fake search engines and/or collect user-system information. They deliver no useful features or any other value, and simply cause problems. Therefore, never download or install these PUAs.

How did Maps Assist install on my computer?

Potentially unwanted applications are distributed by including them into the download/installation set-ups of other (usually free) programs. This distribution method is known as "bundling". These PUAs are usually presented as "additional offers" and can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings of the set-ups. Many users download and install software without checking these settings, thereby often agreeing by default with offers to download and install additionally-included apps. In some cases, unwanted downloads and installations are caused by clicking deceptive ads that execute certain scripts (this cannot happen, unless the deceptive ads are clicked).

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Software and files should be downloaded through official, trustworthy websites and direct download links. Other sources and tools such as third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (for example, torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites should not be trusted. Unwanted downloads and installations can be prevented by checking settings such as "Custom" and "Advanced" of the download/installation setups and declining offers to download or install additionally-included apps. Do not click intrusive advertisements, since they often cause redirects to potentially malicious websites or download/installations of unwanted applications. Typically, ads of this kind are displayed on dubious websites, however, they might also appear on legitimate sites. Remove any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the browser, and programs of this kind installed on the computer, and remove them immediately. If your computer is already infected with Maps Assist, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Notification stating that Maps Assist can read and change various data on Chrome:

maps assist browser hijacker asks for a permission to be installed on chrome

 Notification stating that Maps Assist can access various data on Firefox:

maps assist browser hijacker asks for a permission to be installed on firefox

Website promoting Maps Assist browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Maps Assist browser hijacker

IMPORTANT NOTE! This website asks for a permission 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)

Disable pop-up' notifications in Google Chrome web browser

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"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Android Google Chrome web browser

Mozilla Firefox:

  • 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"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Mozilla Firefox web browser

Internet Explorer:

  • 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

Disable pop-up' notifications in Internet Explorer web browser

Microsoft Edge:

  • Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
  • Scroll down, find and click "Settings"
  • Scroll down again and click "View advanced settings"
  • Click "Manage" under "Website permissions"
  • Click the switch under each suspicious website

Disable pop-up' notifications in Microsoft Edge web browser

Safari (Mac):

  • 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

Disable pop-up' notifications in Safari web browser

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Quick menu:

Maps Assist 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.

mapsassist.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the mapsassist.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Maps Assist browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing mapsassist.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 mapsassist.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://mapsassist.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 mapsassist.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 "Maps Assist".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the mapsassist.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 mapsassist.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 "Maps Assist" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing mapsassist.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 "Maps Assist", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.mapsassist.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 mapsassist.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 "mapsassist.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 mapsassist.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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing mapsassist.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 "Maps Assist", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing mapsassist.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 "Maps Assist", remove hxxp://mapsassist.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing mapsassist.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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with mapsassist.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 mapsassist.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 mapsassist.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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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.

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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
mapsassist.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 mapsassist.com redirect on your mobile device.
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