Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is search.searchfdd.com?
According to the developers, Free Driving Directions is a legitimate application helping users to find the best driving directions via provided maps. It is also stated that this app allows users to check local weather forecasts and search the Internet.
Initially, this functionality might appear legitimate and even useful, however, due to its rogue behavior, Free Driving Directions is categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware. Following successful installation without users' consent, Free Driving Directions stealthily modifies web browser settings, generates intrusive online ads, and tracks Internet browsing activity.
Free Driving Directions targets Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. After assigning the default search engine, new tab URL, and homepage settings to the search.searchfdd.com website, Free Driving Directions installs browser extensions and apps developed to prevent users from rolling back these changes (when users attempt to alter the settings, they are automatically assigned back to search.searchfdd.com).
Furthermore, this PUP often generates intrusive third party ads that do not originate from users' visited websites. Although search.searchfdd.com redirects users to yahoo.com (a legitimate Internet search engine), some of the generated ads may lead to malicious sites containing infectious content and, thus, clicking them is risky and might cause further adware or malware infections.
By generating content-overlaying ads and continually causing unwanted browser redirects, Free Driving Directions significantly diminishes the Internet browsing experience. Furthermore, Free Driving Directions tracks users' Internet browsing activity, collects information (that might be personally identifiable) and shares it with third parties.
Research shows that there is a high probability that this personal data will be misused to generate revenue. Free Driving Directions poses a direct threat to your privacy. For these reasons, you should uninstall this PUP immediately.
We may also collect, use and store information about your search activity when you use web search services (such as search queries) (“Search Data”). This information may be shared with third-party applications that use Search Data to function, or to offer you more customized information, advertising and services. Your Search Data is collected and stored and may include personally identifiable information, depending on your search query. For instance, if you search your own name, personally identifiable information would be included in the search query. BY USING THE SERVICES, YOU ARE CONSENTING TO GRANT Free Driving Directions PERMISSION TO COLLECT YOUR URLS AND SEARCH DATA, INCLUDING SEARCH QUERIES THAT MAY CONTAIN PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION, SHARE THEM WITH THIRD PARTIES, AND USE SEARCH-RELATED COOKIES.
This PUP is identical to Your Instant Weather, Fast Maps Now, and tens of other browser hijackers. All give fake promises of improving the Internet browsing experience to trick users to install. The purpose of Free Driving Directions, and other identical apps, is to generate revenue for the developers.
Rather than providing any significant value for users, these applications deliver intrusive online advertisements, collect personally identifiable information, and cause unwanted browser redirects.
How did search.searchfdd.com install on my computer?
Free Driving Directions is mostly distributed as a 'bundle' with other applications. Although it has an official download website, many users install this application inadvertently. Users commonly do not express enough caution when downloading and installing software.
Thus, bundled applications are intentionally hidden within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings (settings that are commonly skipped). Unaware that rogue apps will be concealed, users rush the download/installation processes, thereby inadvertently installing malicious apps.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
There are two main steps you should take to prevent installation of browser-hijacking programs. Firstly, perform the download and installation processes with the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings, since bundled software is mostly hidden. Furthermore, decline all offers to download or install additional apps - there is a high probability that third party software will be malicious.
Free Driving Directions browser hijacker installer set-up:
Website promoting Free Driving Directions browser hijacker:
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.searchfdd.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall search.searchfdd.com application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.searchfdd.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove search.searchfdd.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.searchfdd.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.searchfdd.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search.searchfdd.com 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, "Free Driving Directions"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the search.searchfdd.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Search.searchfdd.com 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://search.searchfdd.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 "OneSearch".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.searchfdd.com browser hijacker, 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 "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Free Driving Directions", and other recently-installed suspicious add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, click "set pages", hover your mouse over hxxp://home.searchfdd.com and click the x symbol. Now, you can add your preferred website as your homepage.
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" section, click "Manage Search Engines...", remove "searchfdd.com" and add or select your preferred domain.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.searchfdd.com browser hijacker, 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 "Extensions" and remove "Free Driving Directions", and 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, remove hxxp://search.searchfdd.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: "searchfdd.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with search.searchfdd.com browser hijacker 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 search.searchfdd.com browser hijacker, 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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