Severity scale:  
  (11/100)

Remove Maps Assist (Removal Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Maps Assist is a browser hijacker that redirects all search results to Yahoo

Maps AssistMaps Assist is a potentially unwanted application that tracks users' data in order to monetize on targeted advertisements

Maps Assist is a potentially unwanted application that users can encounter when downloading freeware from third-party websites, among others. While the installation can sometimes be intentional via Chrome Store, most find it on their Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or another browser, seemingly out of nowhere due to deceptive distribution techniques.

Once installed, Maps Assist will append an extension to the used browser and change other preferences, such as the new tab/homepage, which would be set to mapsassist.com. Additionally, a fake search engine is also presented to users – each time they search for something online, they will be redirected to Yahoo.

Unlike the original Yahoo engine, however, Maps Assist hijack would show alternative search results, most of which are filled with sponsored links that the top. In the background, the PUA collects a variety of information about users – the practice is very common and used for targeted advertising, as well as sharing of such details with affiliates, service providers, as well as third parties.

Name Maps Assist
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Developer Innover Group
Distribution The extension can be downloaded from official sources, although most users install it through software bundle packages downloaded from third-party sites
Symptoms 
  • Maps Assist extension installed on the web browser (in some cases, the hijack might be related to the installed application instead)
  • Homepage and new tab URL set to mapsassist.com
  • A customized search engine redirects all search results to Yahoo
  • Search results filled with sponsored links
Risks  Installation of other unwanted software/malware, information disclosure to unknown parties, monetary loss
Removal To uninstall the app, access the extension section of your web browser; in case the hijack is related to an installed application, follow the steps we provide in our instructions below
Additional steps  In case you can not eliminate the extension or an application, you should reset the installed browsers, and perform scans with powerful anti-malware, as well as repair software such as ReimageIntego 

Browser hijackers are extremely common and can be downloaded from many different places. While not considered as major security threats, these unwanted programs should not be ignored, especially if they showed up on the system without permission. 

Some browser hijackers, such as Mazy Search, Flare Search, or Search Marquis, are known to set “Managed by your organization” on the web browser, which may prevent an easy termination of these apps. Thus, if you fail to remove Maps Assist in a regular way through the extensions section, there might be that there is another PUP installed on your system, or your browser settings are not allowing you to do that.

Maps Assist is an extension that attempts to flaunt its functionality, in this case – directions and maps assistance. The maps function identically to Google Maps, however, so there is nothing unique about this functionality. Even if you choose to use this feature, keep in mind that it comes with a (hidden) cost that might not be so apparent straight away.

As soon as the hijacker gains access to the web browser, it changes the homepage, the new tab, and the search engine to a customized one. This way, users who search via these tools will be rerouted to a well-known provider Yahoo. Unlike regular Yahoo results, however, users will be presented with several Maps Assist ads at the top – these links are used for monetization by the hijacker authors.

While showing ads is a common practice, you should keep in mind that the top results are paid for and are not organic.[1] As a result, the web browsing experience can be completely altered, and relevant information hard to find. In some cases, users might not even notice the “Ads” notification, and they might believe that their searches are genuine.

Maps Assist hijackMaps Assist is a browser hijacker that typically comes in the form of a browser extension

If you still wonder whether you should perform Maps Assist removal, you should check the website's Privacy Policy section. It soon becomes evident that the developers gather a large portion of information about you, some of which might be shared with third parties for marketing purposes. Examples of such collected data include:

  • IP address and Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Geolocation
  • Browser and installed extension information
  • Links clicked
  • Sites visited
  • Wallpapers downloaded
  • Uploaded files
  • Flight routes, etc.

As evident, such extensive data harvesting might cause serious privacy issues in case these details end up in cybercriminals' hands. Therefore, experts[2] advise not risking and preventing third-parties from tracking you. As evident, the solution is to uninstall Maps Assist ASAP.

To do that, you should get rid of the Maps Assist extension – simply access browser settings. In some cases, the hijack could be related to another program installed on your system. In such a case, we recommend scanning the device with anti-malware such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and then fixing possible virus damage with ReimageIntego repair utility.

You can easily prevent unintentional installation of unwanted programs

Trojans[3] are known to be installed when users believe that they are installing a legitimate program on their computer. The best example is a pirated application installer that offers to bypass the program's licensing process, allowing it to be used for free. Similarly, browser hijackers end up on users' computers without permission, although the major difference is that they install PUPs themselves – although they are tricked into doing so in the first place.

Software bundling is one of the most common PUP distribution tactics used regularly by various freeware authors and software distribution sites. This tactic involves incorporating several applications into a single installer and then tricking users into installing them unintentionally. For that, several deceptive methods are used, including:

  • Hiding optional programs under the Advanced/Custom installation settings;
  • Providing misleading button placements during the installation;
  • Including relevant information within the fine print, most of which is never read by users;
  • Pre-ticking checkboxes so that users miss the agreement of the installation of optional apps.

Thus, you should be vigilant when you install software from third-party sources (we recommend staying away from pirated programs and software cracks altogether – your machine could easily be infected with malware) – always pick Advanced/Custom settings instead of Recommended ones, read the installation instructions/fine print, untick checkboxes, and install powerful anti-malware that would warn you about potentially unwanted programs.

Maps Assist virusMaps Assist can be installed via official sources, although it is spread via software bundles as well

Maps Assist removal instructions

As previously mentioned, there should not be too much trouble when trying to remove Maps Assist. This application typically comes as an extension and can be found either as an icon in the corner of the window or by accessing the settings of the web browser. However, there might be some difficulties when trying to uninstall the unwanted programs, as they might hijack the browser significantly (e.g., the “Managed by your organization” feature might prevent the elimination of the extension).

In such a case, Maps Assist removal can be performed with the help of browser reset – you can find the details below. Additionally, unwanted applications might also be installed on your system; you should check the installed program section via Control Panel (Windows) or Applications folder (Mac). Furthermore, you should also perform a full system scan with powerful anti-malware – it should also allow you to get rid of the invisible threats that could be present on your machine.

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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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Maps Assist, follow these steps:

Delete Maps Assist from Windows systems

To remove Maps Assist from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to Maps Assist (or any other recently installed 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.

Erase Maps Assist from Mac OS X system

To delete unwanted apps from a Mac, follow these steps:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Maps Assist from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Maps Assist-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 Maps Assist, 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 related to Maps Assist and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Maps Assist-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Maps Assist from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Maps Assist and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Maps Assist removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Maps Assist 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 Maps Assist-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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

Eliminate Maps Assist from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Firefox should be reset if you are unable to get rid of some extensions:

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 plugins that are related to Maps Assist and click Remove.Remove extensions from 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

In case Maps Assist did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete Maps Assist removal.Reset Firefox 2

Uninstall Maps Assist from Google Chrome

Some hijackers may leave unwanted components even after their uninstallation. In such a case, reset Google Chrome as explained below

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 Maps Assist 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Maps Assist-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 to complete Maps Assist removal.Reset Chrome 2

Delete Maps Assist from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Maps Assist 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 Maps Assist 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.

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About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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