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Remove Search.hfreeforms.co virus (Free Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.hfreeforms.co should not be left as your browser’s startup page

The screenshot of Search.hfreeforms.co

Search.hfreeforms.co is a search engine dedicated for taxes and form filling. It includes a toolbar with quick access to W-4,[1] W-9, 1040 and other forms. Nevertheless, this program seems useful and legitimate; it’s developed by Polarity Technologies that are famous for creating browser hijackers, and this program is not an exception.

The so-called Search.hfreeforms.co virus spreads with the help of Free Forms extension in software packages. After the hijack it might:

  • modify Windows Registry;
  • alter browser settings;
  • redirect searches to search.yahoo.com;
  • display intrusive ads;
  • track personally identifiable[2] and non-personally identifiable details about users.

Despite these undesired changes and activities, the biggest concerns are related to Search.hfreeforms.co redirect issues. The browser hijacker can display ads or initiate redirects to promotional, misleading or even malicious websites.

After the Search.hfreeforms.co hijack, you might be tricked to click on misleading “too good to be true” shopping offer, complete a fake survey or download a bogus software update. As a result, you may lead to malware attack or loss of the personal information.

However, while you are browsing through insecure online sources, developers generate pay-per-click revenue. Therefore, this application works as a shady money-making tool that might cause dangerous side effects to the users.

If you found changed browser’s homepage or search engine, you should employ ReimageIntego or another anti-malware. Scanning the system with an updated security software will quickly remove Search.hfreeforms.co with all its components from the system.

Additionally, you can opt for the manual Search.hfreeforms.co removal option and investigate the system on your own. The step-by-step guide at the end of the article will show the way how it’s done.

The picture of Search.hfreeforms.co virusSearch.hfreeforms.co is a questionable search engine that works as a browser hijacker and generates revenue from online advertising.

Incorrect freeware or shareware installation may lead to the hijacked browser

This potentially unwanted program (PUP) travels with the help of various programs that you can download for free from torrents or other file-sharing networks. The hijacker is attached as an optional program and usually presented as a useful tool.

However, if you rely on Standard/Quick installation settings or rush through Advanced/Custom setup without paying attention to the notifications, you might unintentionally agree to set Search.hfreeforms.co your default search engine.

Quick settings barely inform about additional software, so you should opt for the Advanced setup and monitor the process. Once you are offered third-party software, unmark pre-selected entries to stop their installation.

Eliminate Search.hfreeforms.co from Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer

Search.hfreeforms.co removal requires uninstalling programs and browser extensions that were installed on your PC and each of the browsers without your knowledge. The instructions below will explain to you how to do it manually.

However, you can speed up the process and remove Search.hfreeforms.co automatically. For that, you will need to obtain a reputable security software. Experts from Les Virus[3] notes that taking advantage of anti-malware is the best choice in order to avoid re-hijack.

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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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.

To remove Search.hfreeforms.co virus, follow these steps:

Remove Search.hfreeforms.co from Windows systems

Manual elimination requires uninstalling unknown programs from the Control Panel by following these steps:

  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 Search.hfreeforms.co and related programs
    Here, look for Search.hfreeforms.co 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 Search.hfreeforms.co 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.

Uninstall Search.hfreeforms.co from Mac OS X system

Once you find unexpected changes on the browser, you should make sure that any suspicious apps are not installed to your Mac.

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

Remove Search.hfreeforms.co virus from Applications folder:

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

Delete Search.hfreeforms.co from Internet Explorer (IE)

Internet Explorer reset is necessary for getting rid of hijacker-related entries.

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 Search.hfreeforms.co virus 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 Search.hfreeforms.co virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Search.hfreeforms.co virus 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 Search.hfreeforms.co virus-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

Erase Search.hfreeforms.co from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall Free Forms or other extensions created by Polarity Technologies. Then reset Mozilla Firefox a shown below.

  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 Search.hfreeforms.co 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 Search.hfreeforms.co removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of Search.hfreeforms.co from Google Chrome

In order to remove Search.hfreeforms.co from Chrome's startup page, you have to remove unknown extensions and reset the browser.

  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 Search.hfreeforms.co 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 Search.hfreeforms.co removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Search.hfreeforms.co from Safari

Follow the steps to fix Safari after the hijack:

  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 Search.hfreeforms.co 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 Search.hfreeforms.co, 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 Search.hfreeforms.co removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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