How to uninstall Search For Directions unwanted app?

Also Known As: s.searchfordirections-serp.com redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Search For Directions browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Search For Directions?

As its name suggests, Search For Directions supposed to provide users with an easy access to maps and directions. Although, Search For Directions is a browser hijacker which is designed to promote s.searchfordirections-serp.com (address of a fake search engine) by modifying browser's settings. Also, very often apps of this type are designed to collect various information as well. It is worthwhile to mention that most users download apps like Search For Directions accidentally, unknowingly. That is why browser hijackers are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

s.searchfordirections-serp.com browser hijacker

After installation browser hijackers modify settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. In this case Search For Directions sets them to s.searchfordirections-serp.com and does not allow users to remove this address as long as it is installed. It means that users are forced to visit s.searchfordirections-serp.com every time they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. This fake search engine does not generate any individual results. It either displays results generated by Yahoo (redirects to search.yahoo.com) or by Google (redirects to google.com). In order to stop browsers from opening s.searchfordirections-serp.com users have to uninstall Search For Directions. However, there is another reason to uninstall this PUA. It is very common that browser hijackers are designed to access and collect browsing data. Usually they target details like IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of opened/visited pages, entered search queries, and so on. In some cases such apps can be used as tools to record personal, confidential information. People behind such apps tend to sell collected data to third parties who misuse it to generate revenue too. It is possible that gathered information may be sold to some cyber criminals. By having apps of this type installed users risk to become victims of identity theft, experience problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, and/or other issues. Therefore, any installed browser hijacker (including Search For Directions) should be uninstalled as soon as possible and never downloaded, installed in the future.

Threat Summary:
Name Search For Directions
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Search For Directions
Supposed Functionality This app is supposed to deliver a quick access to maps and directions
Promoted URL s.searchfordirections-serp.com
Serving IP Address (s.searchfordirections-serp.com) 216.239.32.21
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.
Removal

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More examples of apps that are classified as browser hijackers too are RollingSearch, Radio Hub Online and Quick Photo Editor. What most of them have in common is that they are designed to promote address some fake search engine by changing browser's settings and collect various information. In one way or another, they perform actions that could help their developers to generate revenue but do not operate as they were advertised (do not deliver any features). Besides, browser hijackers can be the reason behind various problems.

How did Search For Directions install on my computer?

Typically, users download and/or install PUAs unknowingly: by intentionally or accidentally clicking certain deceptive ads or when they download and/or install programs that have them included in their setups. The second distribution method is called "bundling". It is common that it is being used with a purpose to trick users into downloading and/or installing PUAs alobgside with some other software. Typically, information about PUAs being included in setups can be found in their "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings. Nevertheless, users often leave those settings unchecked, unchanged, which means they allow for any included PUA (or PUAs) to be downloaded and/or installed through too.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to download all software from official, trustworthy websites and not to use third party downloaders, installers, unofficial web pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule) and other channels of this kind. It is known that they often are used as tools to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious apps. Also, it is not recommended to complete any download or installation without checking setup's settings (such as "Custom", "Advanced", etc.). Quite often those settings mention offers to download and/or install unwanted software. Ads that are displayed on shady pages (e.g, adult dating, gambling, pornography pages) should not be clicked. Typically, they open untrustworthy websites or cause downloads and/or installations of some unwanted, potentially malicious apps. Usually browsers can be stopped from displaying ads and/or causing opening shady pages, addresses of fake search engines by removing unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, add-ons from them and programs of this kind from operating systems. If your computer is already infected with Search For Directions, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Website promoting Search For Directions browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Search For Directions browser hijacker

Notification saying that Search For Directions can access various data:

search for directions browser hijacker asks for a permission to be installed

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Quick menu:

Search For 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.

s.searchfordirections-serp.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the s.searchfordirections-serp.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Search For Directions browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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://s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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 "Search For Directions".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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 "Search For Directions" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing s.searchfordirections-serp.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 "Search For Directions", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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 "s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing s.searchfordirections-serp.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 "Search For Directions", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing s.searchfordirections-serp.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 "Search For Directions", remove hxxp://s.searchfordirections-serp.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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
s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.com redirect on your mobile device.
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