What Is TheSearchMaps?
TheSearchMaps and thesearchmaps.com are names belonging to a potentially unwanted program of hijacking type. The unnoticed installation of this app on a computer leads to several unwanted changes that affect the performance as well as the security of installed web browsers.
Multiple types of advertisements may start to appear on your web browsers. These ads try to generate profit for fraudsters using pay-per-click or other types of online affiliate schemes. Sites these ads link to may appear to be extremely dangerous for the overall PC security.
It is strongly recommended to remove this risky program from your computer as soon as possible. Read this article to learn more about TheSearchMaps and find ways to get rid of it.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP, Scam Redirect|
|Short Description||Aims to modify the settings on your web browser in order to get it to cause browser redirects and display different advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Your web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your computer.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
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TheSearchMaps Hijacker – How Did I Get It?
TheSearchMaps is a potentially unwanted program that pushes its bogus search engine – TheSearchMaps.com.
Just like other PUPs (Lobvideo.ru, Ourcoolstories.com, Paymentsweb.org), the TheSearchMaps may end up on your computer without you even knowing it. Methods supporting this nasty issue are known to be:
- Suspicious sites advertising the PUP as a useful app.
- Software bundles.
- Other adware you have already added to your Mac or PC.
Software bundling is considered as the method preferred by fraudsters. It enables them to include undesired programs in the installation setups of other freeware. The example image below shows how it could work:
TheSearchMaps – What Does It Do?
When installed on your computer, the TheSearchMaps hijacker uses different approaches to add trackers, like cookies, pixels, tags and other such types that enable it to obtain information about what your device and online browsing. Such trackers could remain for years on your device if you miss noticing them and skip taking action to remove them in full.
The Non-Personal Information which is being collected may include technical information automatically transmitted by the user’s device (for example, type of browser, the type of the user’s device and technical information pertaining to the user’s device, language preferences, time stamps, clicks and visited pages, search logs, the operating system, utilized internet service provider and other similar information.
Personal information may also be acquired by the site and its services, respectively its associated files added to your computer system. Information may be automatically transmitted by your device.
As a result, the unwanted software that is pushing TheSearchMaps hijacker may deliver advertisements that match your online interests. The following adverts may originate from the presence of the unwanted app on your machine:
- Banner ads.
- Text ads, highlighted on the sites you visit.
- Redirect adverts.
- Push notification pop-ups.
- Pop-up ads.
- Ad-supported results when you search something.
These ads are one of the main risk factors that demand the full removal of TheSearchMaps PUP. Since they aim to generate revenue for fraudsters, they may show misleading statements and offers just to make you more prone to click on them. Then you may happen to visit pages that host online scams, malicious advertising landing pages, sites hacked to run dangerous scripts.
Is TheSearchMaps a Virus?
Even though the TheSearchMaps hijacker is not initially malicious, it does belong to the computer viruses category of apps. Potentially unwanted programs like TheSearchMaps lower system security levels by altering settings and hijacking online browsing. So, there should not be a second guess whether you have to remove this site and software from your browser and PC, or not.
How to Remove TheSearchMaps?
In order for you to get rid of this software, we would strongly suggest that you follow the removal instructions that have been posted underneath this article. They contain all the necessary steps to clean up your web browser and your computer system from this and other unwanted/harmful software. Security professionals often recommended the usage of advanced anti-malware software for best results. The anti-malware program shown below has been tested to detect and remove any traits data trackers, adware and malware. Then it keeps protecting the system against any future infections.
- Guide 1: How to Remove TheSearchMaps from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of TheSearchMaps on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove TheSearchMaps in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase TheSearchMaps from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall TheSearchMaps from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove TheSearchMaps from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate TheSearchMaps from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable TheSearchMaps Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
About the TheSearchMaps Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this TheSearchMaps how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on TheSearchMaps?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the TheSearchMaps threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates
How to Remove TheSearchMaps from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove TheSearchMaps
Step 2: Uninstall TheSearchMaps 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by TheSearchMaps on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by TheSearchMaps 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.
Step 4: Scan for TheSearchMaps with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.
2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.
3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.
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.
Video Removal Guide for TheSearchMaps (Windows).
Get rid of TheSearchMaps from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall TheSearchMaps and remove related files and objects
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 TheSearchMaps:
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 TheSearchMaps. 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 TheSearchMaps. 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 TheSearchMaps 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:
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 TheSearchMaps. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove TheSearchMaps files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as TheSearchMaps, 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.
Video Removal Guide for TheSearchMaps (Mac)
Remove TheSearchMaps 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.
Erase TheSearchMaps 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.
Uninstall TheSearchMaps 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.
Remove TheSearchMaps 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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the TheSearchMaps will be removed.
Eliminate TheSearchMaps 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.
Remove Push Notifications caused by TheSearchMaps from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings.
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".
What is TheSearchMaps?
The TheSearchMaps threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What are the symptoms of TheSearchMaps?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your computer for viruses.
What types of Unwanted Programs are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to do if I have a "virus" like TheSearchMaps?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted program threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the reccomended anti-malware apps, that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to secure my passwords and other data from TheSearchMaps?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.