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Remove FreeShoppingTool Browser Hijacker

The article will aid you to remove FreeShoppingTool completely. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions provided at the bottom of this article.

FreeShoppingTool is a browser hijacker redirect developed by the MindSpark. Its website will redirect you to its search engine or another malicious site. While using its services, you can find yourself on pages with lots of adverts and sponsored content that go through this hijacker. The hijacker will change the start page, new tab, and search settings for the browser applications you have on your computer machine.

Threat Summary

Name FreeShoppingTool
Type Browser Hijacker, PUP
Short Description Each browser application on your computer could get affected. The hijacker can redirect you and will display lots of advertisements.
Symptoms Browser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and the new tab.
Distribution Method Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss FreeShoppingTool.

FreeShoppingTool Hijacker – Methods of Distribution

The FreeShoppingTool browser hijacker can be installed using various ways. The security reports indicate that most infections are caused through interactions with the fake download sites. There are multiple domains and design layouts used to persuade users into downloading and installing it.

To further increase the number of infected users the hackers behind the targeted attacks can utilize SPAM email messages that may appear as being sent by a legitimate service or site. In most cases the FreeShoppingTool browser hijacker setup files can be linked, a download site placed or directly attached to the messages.

A very popular way of spreading malware is the use of infected software installers. They are prepared by taking the legitimate installers of famous end-user software and adding the virus code into them. Examples include system utilities, creativity suites and productivity apps.

The FreeShoppingTool browser hijacker can also be downloaded via the relevant browser extension repositories. The developers are uploading them to the various repositories using fake accounts or customer user reviews. Typically when the installation is executed this will trigger a built-in behavior pattern will be started. It will redirect the users to a specific hacker-controlled page and modify the settings of the client browsers. Examples include the default home page, search engine and new tabs page.

File-sharing networks are a popular place where virus files can be found. BitTorrent is one of the most commonly used applications which is both used to share pirate and legitimate content.

FreeShoppingTool Hijacker – In-Depth Description

The FreeShoppingTool browser hijacker once installed will run the built-in code. Depending on the exact version and criminal instructions a different behavior pattern may be started.

The typical case will start with the data gathering module. It seeks to search for sensitive data that can be exploited by the hackers for various crimes. This is done by automating the strings collection by a special module. The harvested information can be grouped in two main groups:

  • Machine Information — A large part of the collected information is used to generate an unique machine ID. It is usually made up of data such as a report of the installed hardware components, regional settings and user settings.
  • Personal Information — The other group of data that is collected can identify the owners of the machines. The module will scan the local files and data to find out information such as their name, address, phone number, location and interests. Many of them can also acquire any stored account credentials and passwords. Most infections can also access the installed third-party applications: browsers, remote desktop clients and etc.

The collected information can be then be fed to another module called stealth protection. It is used to protect the virus from any security software that can interfere with it. As such it can be used to counter anti-virus engines, virtual machine hosts and debug environments. This information is then reported to the hacker-controlled server. In certain situations this can also trigger a Trojan module. It will automatically set up a secure connection to a specific server in order to communicate the acquired information. Using it the hackers can hijack user files, spy on the victims and also plant other threats to the infected machines. This is a very dangerous case as the use of Trojans can also lead to infection with malware such as the following:

  • Cryptocurrency Miners — They are stand-alone programs or scripts that will take advantage of the available system resources in order to execute complex calculations. When the individual tasks are complete and reported to the specialist servers the criminal operators will receive digital assets in the form of cryptocurrency.
  • Ransomware Viruses — Ransomware infections can be caused by such threats. They will scan the files and search for data with specific extenstions that is to be encrypted. The most common method is the use of a built-in list of target file type extensions.
  • Intrusive Ads — The presentation of intrusive ads, pop-ups and banners can be caused by the FreeShoppingTool browser hijacker.

The usual signs of infections are the manipulation of the browser settings. The users will find that once they launch them the associated FreeShoppingTool browser hijacker will be shown. This is done by changing the default settings that are typically set up by the users — default home page ,new tabs page and search engine. The main goal is to cause a redirect leading to the loading of this page. It contains a multitude of scripts that can track the users by acquiring information about their actions in real-time. A familiar looking design is used in order not to raise any concerns or warnings. If the infection has been able to bypass the installed security software then all kinds of dangerous actions can follow.

The design follows the well-known design elements of using several main elements resembling a legitimate search engine. The top menu bar lists a search engine box along with links to various sites and services, along with popular social networks, that are well-known to the users.

What follows is the main section that displays the main search engine showing a larger search box. Depending on the acquired version and configuration the logo image can be changed to reflect different well-known companies. Underneath it there are placed links to common sites and online services that the users might access. The bottom bar lists the links to service pages such as the privacy policy.

Coming in contact with the FreeShoppingTool browser hijacker may lead to several dangerous instances. One of the most common malicious behavior is the display of various pop-ups, banners and redirects leading to SPAM or dangerous sites. In most case hijackers like this one can also display non-relevant information when the search engine is used. Instead of the best possible results it will return sponsored links and may even lead to virus infections.

WARNING! Accessing any sites and entering personal account credentials through the links or via the search engine results can lead to them being automatically sent to the malicious operators.

FreeShoppingTool Hijacker – Privacy Policy

The FreeShoppingTool redirect and its associated website is operated by MindSpark which is a well-known creator of similar software. They are known for creating hundreds of services that are linked between themselves. Their privacy policy and terms of use reveals that it pervasively tracks the users identity and creates a database containing a profile of each victim. The use of various web tracking technologies captures additional information such as the following:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Email address
  • Number of your page views
  • What links you clicked
  • Telephone number
  • Your login times

As stated in the Privacy Policy, Mindspark allows third-parties, including their authorized service providers, FreeShoppingTool affiliates, advertising companies, and ad networks, to display advertisements or place ad tags or beacons on or via their Services. Thus, these companies could also obtain information about you and your online behavior. In case you do not want your private space to be invaded in this or any similar way, you should remove the unwanted software.

Remove FreeShoppingTool Browser Hijacker

To remove FreeShoppingTool manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker redirect and its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such a program can keep your computer safe in the future.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove FreeShoppingTool from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove FreeShoppingTool

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall FreeShoppingTool and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by FreeShoppingTool on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by FreeShoppingTool there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for FreeShoppingTool with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of FreeShoppingTool from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall FreeShoppingTool and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to FreeShoppingTool:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to FreeShoppingTool. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to FreeShoppingTool. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove FreeShoppingTool via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as FreeShoppingTool. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove FreeShoppingTool files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as FreeShoppingTool, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for FreeShoppingTool:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove FreeShoppingTool from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase FreeShoppingTool from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall FreeShoppingTool from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove FreeShoppingTool from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the FreeShoppingTool will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate FreeShoppingTool from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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