What is Search For Directions?
As its name suggests, Search For Directions supposedly provides easy access to maps and directions. In fact, Search For Directions is a browser hijacker that promotes s.searchfordirections-serp.com (the address of a fake search engine) by modifying browser settings.
These apps often collect various user-system information. Note that most users download Search For Directions and similar apps inadvertently. Therefore, browser hijackers are also classified as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
After installation, browser hijackers modify settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. In this case, Search For Directions sets them to s.searchfordirections-serp.com and prevents users from removing this address as long as the hijacker is installed.
Therefore, people are forced to visit s.searchfordirections-serp.com when they open a browser, new tab or enter search queries into the URL bar. This fake search engine does not generate unique results - it displays results generated by Yahoo (it redirects to search.yahoo.com) or Google (it redirects to google.com).
To stop browsers from opening s.searchfordirections-serp.com, users must uninstall Search For Directions, however, there is another reason to uninstall this PUA. Browser hijackers commonly access and collect browsing data. They target details such as IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of opened/visited pages, entered search queries, and so on.
In some cases, they record personal, confidential information. People behind these apps sell the data to third parties who misuse it to generate revenue.
It is possible that gathered information might be sold to cyber criminals. With these apps installed, users risk becoming victims of identity theft, experiencing problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, and other issues. Therefore, remove browser hijackers (including Search For Directions) immediately and never download or install them in future.
|Name||Search For Directions|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Search For Directions|
|Supposed Functionality||Quick access to maps and directions.|
|Serving IP Address (s.searchfordirections-serp.com)||188.8.131.52|
|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.
Most promote addresses of fake search engines by changing browser settings and collecting user-system information. They simply perform actions to help the developers to generate revenue - they do not operate as advertised or deliver any useful features. Browser hijackers can be the reason behind serious problems.
How did Search For Directions install on my computer?
Typically, users download and install PUAs inadvertently: by intentionally or accidentally clicking certain deceptive ads or when they download and/or install programs that have PUAs included in the set-ups. This latter distribution method is called "bundling".
Commonly, it is used to trick users into downloading and installing PUAs with other software. Information about the inclusion of PUAs in the set-ups can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings, however, many people leave these unchecked and unchanged - this allows PUAs to infiltrate.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
It is important to download all software from official, trustworthy websites. Do not to use third party downloaders, installers, unofficial web pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule) or other channels of this kind - they are often used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious apps.
Check all download/installation settings (such as "Custom", "Advanced", etc.) and decline offers to download or install unwanted software. Do not trust or click ads that are displayed on dubious web pages (e.g, adult dating, gambling, pornography pages) - they can open untrusted websites or cause download/installation of unwanted, potentially malicious apps.
Browsers can be prevented from displaying ads, opening dubious pages, and opening fake search engines by removing unwanted/suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons.
Also remove programs of this kind from operating systems. If your computer is already infected with Search For Directions, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting Search For Directions browser hijacker:
Notification stating that Search For Directions can access various data:
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 Search For Directions?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Search For Directions application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove s.searchfordirections-serp.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Search For Directions browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove s.searchfordirections-serp.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove s.searchfordirections-serp.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search For Directions 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, "Search For Directions"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that 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:
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://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:
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 "Search For Directions".
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.
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 "Search For 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 "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:
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 "s.searchfordirections-serp.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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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 "Search For Directions", 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 "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:
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 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, 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 s.searchfordirections-serp.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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