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Search.hfreeformsnow.com. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.hfreeformsnow.com browser hijacker compromises web browser's settings to display altered search results

Showing Search.hfreeformsnow.com hijack

Search.hfreeformsnow.com by Polarity Technologies Ltd is a fake search engine, which delivers compromised Yahoo search results and trick people into visiting websites of affiliated third-parties.[1] Due to suspicious intentions and questionable activities initiated on the infected system, it has already been included into the categories of browser hijackers and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). It is already known that Search.hfreeformsnow.com virus can cause the following changes:

  • Install to the system along with freeware and drop multiple extensions onto each web browser;
  • Upon successful installation, it injects a Search.hfreeformsnow.com URL as a default start page, search provider, and new tab window;
  • Install Free Form Now browser's toolbar;
  • Initiate continuous web browser's redirects;
  • Diminish web browser's performance;
  • Generate intrusive ads;[2]
  • Inject software used for data collection;
  • Leak sensitive information;

Search.hfreeformsnow.com virus initiates multiple changes within Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge, and other web browser's once installed. However, not these modifications but rather the content that it may expose you to cause concern. This dubious search engine is closely related to third-parties that seek to increase traffic to their websites, sell products for inadequate prices or foist useless programs for a considerable amount of money. In the worst case scenario, some of the links provided by Free Forms Now virus may be infected with JavaScripts and used for malware distribution.

Polarity Technologies is also infamous for injection of third-party ads into the search results that its search engines display. Search.hfreeformsnow.com redirect virus is not an exception. Staring from pop-ups, banners, hyperlinks, and finishing with video ads, full-page graphics, audio ads, etc. This search site is capable of displaying all forms of intrusive ads, which can make your web browsing activities unbearable. Moreover, some of the ads may be linked to doubtful websites, so you'd better restrain from clicking on any of them.

The GUI of this search engine does not resemble Google, Bing or Yahoo, but it does look professional and reliable. Search tab, various quick access links (News, local Weather, W-4 form, W-9 form, Amazon, YouTube, etc.), Terms, and Privacy sections are just a trick used to make the search engine look legitimate. Instead of having any interaction with this dubious search, we would recommend you to remove Search.hfreeformsnow.com instead.

You can do that by following our step-by-step guide at the end of this article or proceed with an automatic removal option, which requires the installation of a professional anti-malware tool, such as Reimage.

If potentially dangerous redirects and ads are not a sufficient ground for Search.hfreeformsnow.com removal, then we must cite some lines from its Privacy Policy:

we may collect personally-identifiable information through the use of our Services upon your contacting us so that we may respond to your questions or comments, such as your name, email or mailing address, or other information you include when contacting us. […]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.

Getting acquainted with “Bundling”

To prevent accidental installation of potentially unwanted programs, each Internet user has to be aware of the “bundling” distribution strategy. Although legitimate, it's a tricky way to transfer unwanted web browser's add-ons, toolbars, extensions, and similar components as optional components of various free programs.

Software packages can be downloaded from various download sources, but infamous domains like Download, CNET, Softonic, etc. contain the biggest amount of unwanted components. Freeware is installed with all optional components if the PC's owner selects Quick/Basic installation option and rushes the installation by simply hitting “Next.” That's a mistake that may result in web browser's violation.

Such scenario can be prevented quite easily. Experts from udenvirus.dk[3] recommend people to opt for Advanced or Custom installation method for freeware installation and read all the terms carefully. You should reject all offers to install useful additional components by removing the tick next to them.

Remove Search.hfreeformsnow.com virus from your PC

Seeing Search.hfreeformsnow.com virus set as your web browser's start page and the search engine is the first sign of hijacked web browser. In this case, it's advisable to avoid searching the web due to a risk of potentially dangerous content delivered as long as PUPs are not eliminated from the system.

You can remove Search.hfreeformsnow.com from your PC in two ways. You can run a full system scan with a reputable anti-virus and eliminate all malicious or potentially dangerous entries that it detects. Also, Search.hfreeformsnow.com removal can be initiated manually by following these steps:

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search.hfreeformsnow.com, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Search.hfreeformsnow.com from Windows systems

Get rid of browser hijacker from Windows:

  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.hfreeformsnow.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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.hfreeformsnow.com 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

Get rid of Search.hfreeformsnow.com from Mac OS X system

Eliminate Search.hfreeformsnow.com virus from Mac with the help of this guide:

  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 Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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

Uninstall Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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 Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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 Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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

Eliminate Search.hfreeformsnow.com from Microsoft Edge

The removal of PUP from Control Panel or libraries as explained above is not sufficient to get rid of misleading search engine. In addition to that, you will also have to reset your web browser's settings:

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, Search.hfreeformsnow.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search.hfreeformsnow.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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.hfreeformsnow.com 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.hfreeformsnow.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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 Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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.hfreeformsnow.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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 Search.hfreeformsnow.com 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.hfreeformsnow.com, 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.hfreeformsnow.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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