What is MapsGalaxy Toolbar? And how does it function?
MapsGalaxy Toolbar is a browser extension designed to provide users with maps, driving directions, world clocks and many more. It also promises to enhance users’ browsing experience by displaying traffic conditions and directions as well as improve search results. It is developed by Mindspark Interactive Network. Although this browser extension may seem useful, it is actually categorized as a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program or PUP.
Once installed, it will modify the settings of the browsers installed in your computer. These modifications involve changing the default home page and new tab page of your browsers without any permission. As a result, every time you browse the internet, you will be bombarded with tons of ads – you may see pop-ups, banners, in-text links and other sponsored content from third parties. And if you think that these ads are harmless, think again as some of them could reroute you to suspicious websites. Some of these websites may ask you to download an update or a software, while some might display some alarming alert telling you that your computer is infected with some harmful virus. Getting redirected to these sites is not uncommon for a browser hijacker like MapsGalaxy Toolbar. So if you want to avoid encounters with these kinds of sites, you need to get rid of this dubious toolbar.
“We may collect information from you that may identify you, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number and anonymous Information, such as the number of your page views, link clicks, and login times.
We may use information that we collect about you to […] Enable us and our search and advertising partners to develop and display content and advertising tailored to your interests when you use the MS Services, other websites and services, or mobile applications.”
How is the MapsGalaxy Toolbar distributed over the web?
MapsGalaxy Toolbar, just like any other browser hijackers, it spreads via software bundles where it is added as one of the optional components in a package. These optional components are not really visible so you could end up installing all of them once you install this kind of software package. This is why you need to use the Custom or Advanced installation setup rather than the standard or quick one when you install any freeware or shareware.
To uninstall MapsGalaxy Toolbar from your browser and computer, make sure to follow the removal guide provided below.
Step 1: You need 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 MapsGalaxy Toolbar 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 MapsGalaxy Toolbar.
- 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: 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.
Step 8: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 9: 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 10: Close the File Explorer and empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
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.