Remove FreeForms (Jul 2019 update) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser hijacker

FreeForms Removal Guide

What is FreeForms?

FreeForms – a browser hijacker that pretends to be a useful browser extension

FreeForms virusFreeForms - a suspicious browser extension that causes various browsing-related problems.

FreeForms is claimed to belong to the browser hijacker[1] family. This hijacker affects your browser’s settings by changing the start page, search provider, and new tab URL, to its own. It offers free access to popular forms sites and other websites such as weather broadcasting, the latest news, and other pages. This kind of feature may seem useful, but actually – it is not.

Summary of the cyber threat
Name FreeForms
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium. Might hijack web browsers and redirect to potentially dangerous websites
Affected OS Windows, Mac OS X
Targeted browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.
Symptoms Replaced homepage and search engine to unknown domains, installation of toolbars, redirects to questionable sites and an increased amount of ads.
To uninstall Free Forms, install ReimageIntego and run a full system scan

Free Forms is available to download on the official website hxxp://freeforms.co/. However, users rarely encounter this website themselves. They are usually redirected to it when visiting high-risk websites, clicking on questionable ads or after infiltration of other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). There the hijacker is advertised as a great tool that enhances browsing experience:

Finding forms online could not be easier, don’t waste time looking for forms when you can install Free Forms and enjoy quick access to popular forms providers directly from your New Tab Page. Free Forms also offers convenient Web Search and easy access to trending news and the weather forecast

However, this browser extension might get installed to the computer without your knowledge too. Security researchers from NoVirus.uk[2] noticed it actively being spread via freeware and shareware. Hence, during the careless installation, this unwanted add-on might be installed to Chrome, Firefox or another browser you use. Due to the silent infiltration, people often call the hijacker as FreeForms virus.

The term “virus” is not suitable to describe this cyber infection. It’s a potentially unwanted program that is very similar to My Forms Finder. After the infiltration, it does a negative effect on your web browsing history by causing these issues:

  • Replacing the main page, new tab URL, and search provider to Search.yahoo.com, Search.hfreeformsnow.com, or similar domain.
  • Installing various browser extensions, toolbars, and add-ons without your permission;
  • Collecting various data about you e.g., sites you visited, login details you have entered, bookmarks, etc.
  • Delivering numerous irritative and suspicious ads;
  • Redirects to unknown websites when clicking links or other content on the web.

However, all of this activity is done in order for the developers to gain profit. The more advertisements are clicked while surfing the Internet, the bigger the revenue is. So, if you have this browser hijacker installed into your computer system, you can do the FreeForms removal by using an anti-malware program like ReimageIntego.

You should not delay hijacker’s elimination due to the unknown data tracking activities. Researchers tell that such cyber threats usually collect non-personally identifiable information and often shares or sells to third-party advertising networks.

However, the main download page of the program does not provide links Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.[3] These links are broken, so you cannot know how developers treat your information. To avoid privacy-related issues, you need to remove FreeForms from the device immediately.

FreeForms browser hijackerFreeForms is a browser hijacker that can sneak into the system unnoticed.

Browser hijacker distribution methods and avoiding techniques

As we have mentioned in the beginning, this shady browser extension has an official website. However, direct downloads are not the main distribution techniques used by the PUP.

Browser hijackers get into your computer unnoticed, but remember, they cannot invade into the system without any permission. People let the virus access their computer due to the lack of attention while browsing the web or doing downloading/installing steps.

Pages and programs which people consider useful usually are misleading and may harm the computer. That kind of software might hide a PUP ready to install. Thus, a website can provide a downloading link which directs you to a harmful program.

Steps due to avoid the browser hijacker infection:

  • Surf the Internet cautiously and pay attention while visiting numerous sites (especially less known ones);
  • Download/install your software only from trusted sites, avoid using third-party downloaders/installers;
  • Go to “Custom/Advanced” section and decline all offers to install dubious software;
  • If you have visited a suspicious site, leave it immediately and do not return to it again;
  • Install and keep up-to-date an anti-malware tool which will inform you if something harmful is invading into your computer system.

Free Forms removal guidance

Delete all suspicious apps, browser extensions, and other components if you want to remove FreeForms. Below are some guiding steps which will let you get rid of the browser hijacker right away from your browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Edge).

Besides, you can proceed with the FreeForms removal by installing and using an anti-malware program. After the elimination is done, we recommend to reset the affected browsers and check if the system is clear from all potentially unwanted programs.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of FreeForms. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

To eliminate browser hijacker from Windows OS manually, follow this guide:

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash) Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall FreeForms and similar add-ons you do not remember installing, and reset Mozilla Firefox:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

Follow this guide to get rid of the browser hijacker from Google Chrome:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of FreeForms registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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