What is Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com? And how does it work?
Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com, also known as the “Free Online Radio App” extension, is promoted as a search engine. Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com tries to look like a trusted and legitimate browser extension by providing not just option to listen to the radio but also by displaying quick links to popular websites like Amazon, Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, etc. However, despite its seemingly legitimate appearance, Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com is actually categorized as a browser hijacker and a PUP by security experts.
Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com makes modifications on the browsers installed in the computer. These modifications include changing the web page settings, set an unknown website as the default home page, as well as change the search provider. All these changes are made to make sure that users will have no choice but to use Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com every time they surf the web. Note that these changes are not authorized by the users and will be hard to revert once applied. When you browse the web after Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com hijacks your browser, you will notice the effects of the aforementioned modifications – for one, you will get redirected to suspicious websites and you will also see intrusive advertisements online. In addition, this browser hijacker could also collect your non-personal data related to your web browsing. The collected data will vary from IP addresses to web pages viewed. The data gathered might also be shared with third parties who will use them to create and display more personalized and targeted ads. If you are one of the users who installed this questionable program, you have to uninstall it immediately as it is not only a threat to your privacy but it also brings potential threats to your computer.
How does Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com spread over the web?
Just like other browser hijackers, Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com tends to hide within installers which are packed in a software bundle found on free sharing sites. These kinds of installers do not disclose that there are other programs included in the bundle as well. And since most users don’t give enough attention on the installation process, they end up installing other excess baggage in the bundle like Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com. Such cases can be avoided if users opt for the recommended installation setup which is the Custom or Advanced. With this installation setup, users like you can get to deselect extra programs in the bundle and prevent them from getting installed along with the program you really want in your computer.
You can delete Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com from your browser and computer by following the removal instructions provided below as well as the advanced steps that follow.
Step 1: First, you have to close the browser infected with the browser hijacker. And if you can’t close it manually, you can close it using the Task Manager instead. Tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and open the Task Manager.
Step 2: Next, look for the process of your browser, right click on it and select End task or End process to close it.
Step 3: Afterwards, tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “appwiz.cpl” in the field and press Enter to open the Programs and Features in Control Panel.
Step 4: From the list of programs installed, look for any programs that could be related to Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com or any suspicious program you don’t remember installing under the list of installed programs and once you’ve found it, uninstall 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 hosts file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Search.hfreeonlineradioapp2.com.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Now you have to flush the DNS cache of your computer. To do so, right click on the Start button and click on Command Prompt (administrator). From there, type the “ipconfig /flushdns” command and hit Enter to flush the DNS.
Step 7: Next, hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated to the browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Close the File Explorer and empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Step 10: After that, restart your computer and then open your browsers and reset them back to their default state.
- Open Google Chrome, then tap the Alt + F keys.
- After that, click on Settings.
- Next, scroll down until you see the Advanced option, once you see it, click on it.
- After clicking the Advanced option, go to the “Restore and clean up option and click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults” option to reset Google Chrome.
- Now restart Google Chrome.
- Open Mozilla Firefox 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.
- Next, click the wrench icon for Settings.
- Then click Internet Options.
- After that, go to the Advanced tab.
- From there, click the Reset button. This will reset Internet Explorer’s settings to their default condition.
- Now click OK to save the changes made.
- Restart your computer.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of this browser hijacker from your computer as well as all the file residues it left behind.
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 it.
- 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 Safe Mode 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.