What is Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com? And how does it work?
Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com is a browser extension previously known as “SaferBrowser”. It is promoted as a tool that provides users with quick driving directions and offers them quick links to popular websites such as Google Maps, Amazon, Facebook, Gmail, YouTube as well as links to the Local Weather and News. It also offers users the option to enter a starting point and a destination which when they do, they’ll supposedly be given with directions. No matter how useful this browser extension may seem, you can ignore that fact that it is created by the infamous Polarity Technologies which has a reputation of developing many browser hijackers and unwanted programs. Aside from that, this browser extension is even categorized as a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program.
If installed, Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com will quickly make changes to the default settings of your web browser such as the default homepage, search engine, and new tab page. Take note that these changes are done without your permission which is why it is considered to be a browser hijacker in the first place. Following these changes, you will have no choice but to use Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com every time you browse the web. Upon its installation, you will notice the sudden appearance of sponsored content as you surf the internet. These sponsored contents are from the affiliated sites of Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com which means that it gains profit by delivering its users with tons of ads. What’s more is that it also monitors your web browsing in order to obtain several information such as:
- Email address
- IP address
- Device-specific data (hardware model and operating system)
- Data about crashes, system activity, hardware settings and browser language
- Search queries and all related search data
- Date and time of query request and referral URL
- Your Browser Type
- Source of traffic acquisition
- Your geographic location
- The domain name of your Internet Search Provider (ISP)
The harvested data may be used to deliver more customized and personalized ads and might even be shared with its affiliated sites. Clearly, Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com is a threat to your privacy. Thus, you have to get rid of it immediately.
How is Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com distributed over the web?
Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com is distributed using software bundles. This kind of software package are usually found on free sharing sites. Polarity Technologies is using this kind of distribution method as it makes it easier for their unwanted programs to infiltrate computers. This is why you need to use the Advanced or Custom setup when installing such package to prevent unwanted installation of unwanted programs like Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com.
Refer to the removal guide prepared below to get rid of Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com.
Step 1: The first thing you need to do to delete Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com is to open the Control Panel. To do so, tap the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 2: Look for any suspicious program that is affiliated with Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com and then Uninstall it.
Step 3: Close all the browsers infected with Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com. If you’re having a hard time closing them, you can close them using the Task Manager just tap on Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Step 4: After you open the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the infected browser’s process and end it.
Step 5: Edit your Hosts File
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the host’s file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries containing Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Reset all your browsers to default to their default state.
- Launch Google Chrome, press Alt + F, move to More tools, and click Extensions.
- Look for Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com or any other unwanted add-ons, click the Recycle Bin button, and choose Remove.
- Restart Google Chrome, then tap Alt + F, and select Settings.
- Navigate to the On Startup section at the bottom.
- Select “Open a specific page or set of pages”.
- Click the More actions button next to the hijacker and click Remove.
- Open the browser and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Tap Alt + T and select Internet options.
- Click the General tab and then overwrite the URL under the homepage section.
- Click OK to save the changes.
Step 7: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated to browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Close the File Explorer.
Step 10: Empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Follow the advanced instructions below to ensure the removal of Search.hquickdrivingdirections.com as well as all the file residues it left behind using a trusted program named [product-name].
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now”button.