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How to remove the My Office Tools browser hijacker

Also Known As: hmyofficetools.co redirect
Damage level: Medium

What is My Office Tools browser hijacker?

My Office Tools is dubious software categorized as a browser hijacker. It operates by making modifications to browser settings to promote hmyofficetools.co (a fake search engine). Additionally, My Office Tools has data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing habits.

Due to the dubious techniques used to proliferate My Office Tools, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). Note that My Office Tools is often proliferated together with the Hide My History PUA.

hmyofficetools.co browser hijacker

Browser hijackers mainly target Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and other popular browsers. This rogue software assigns the addresses of fake search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs.

Therefore, with My Office Tools installed, each new browser tab/window opened and web search made redirects to hmyofficetools.co. Rogue search engines have no real value to regular users, as they are rarely capable of providing unique results.

In such cases, these web search tools tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) legitimate search engines - hmyofficetools.co is no exception to this, and simply redirects to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com). Browser hijackers can also deny access to the browser settings and/or reset any permitted changes made.

Therefore, recovering the affected browser is impossible without removing the software hijacking it. As mentioned, My Office Tools can track data. It can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details).

The gathered data typically contains personally identifiable information. Furthermore, developers monetize this information by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, the presence of data-tracking content on systems can lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft.

To ensure device integrity and user safety all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name My Office Tools
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.
Browser Extension(s) My Office Tools
Promoted URL hmyofficetools.co
Serving IP Address (hmyofficetools.co) 54.210.111.68
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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Access TV Streaming4KSportSearch and TopStreamsSearch are some examples of other browser hijackers. They may seem normal and innocuous, and users are enticed into download/installation with offers of "useful" functionality. The features promised are seldom operational, and even if they do work, it is not as advertised.

In fact, this is typical of most PUAs. The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs can hijack browsers, force-open untrusted/malicious websites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns and collect private information.

How did My Office Tools install on my computer?

Certain PUAs (including My Office Tools) have "official" download web pages. These apps can also be downloaded/installed with other software. This deceptive marketing method of packing regular products with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".

By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.), many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive ads proliferate these applications as well. When clicked, they can execute scripts, designed to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All products must be researched before download/installation and/or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels, since untrusted sources including unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content.

Download and installation processes must be treated with caution. Therefore, when downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features, and so on.

Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious websites (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, and others). If you encounter ads and/or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins.

If your computer is already infected with My Office Tools, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

My Office Tools browser hijacker asking for various permissions:

My Office Tools browser hijacker asking for permissions

Website promoting My Office Tools browser hijacker:

Website used to promote My Office Tools browser hijacker

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Quick menu:

My Office Tools browser hijacker removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

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.

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.

macOS (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.

hmyofficetools.co browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

My Office Tools browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing hmyofficetools.co 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 hmyofficetools.co 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://hmyofficetools.co 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 hmyofficetools.co 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 "My Office Tools".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the hmyofficetools.co 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 hmyofficetools.co 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 "My Office Tools" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing hmyofficetools.co 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 "My Office Tools", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.hmyofficetools.co) 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 hmyofficetools.co 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 "hmyofficetools.co", 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 hmyofficetools.co 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 hmyofficetools.co 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 "My Office Tools", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing hmyofficetools.co 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 "My Office Tools", remove hxxp://hmyofficetools.co and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing hmyofficetools.co 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 hmyofficetools.co 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 hmyofficetools.co 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.

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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.

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