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FreeForms. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser hijacker

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

FreeForms virus
FreeForms - 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 Reimage 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 Reimage.

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 hijacker
FreeForms 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 can remove FreeForms automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove FreeForms you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with OS X
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall FreeForms. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage

To remove FreeForms, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete FreeForms from Windows systems

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

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall FreeForms and related programs
    Here, look for FreeForms or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove FreeForms from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase FreeForms from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for FreeForms or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove FreeForms from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for FreeForms and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete FreeForms removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall FreeForms from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, FreeForms should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate FreeForms from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select FreeForms and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete FreeForms removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of FreeForms from Google Chrome

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

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select FreeForms and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete FreeForms removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete FreeForms from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for FreeForms or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by FreeForms, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete FreeForms removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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