How to Remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com

By | Posted on April 9, 2019 |

If homepage is showing an infamous URL like Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com, it only implies that browser is infected with potentially unwanted program (PUP). This threat is a multi-browser adware so it can compromise popular applications like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Due to this trait by Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com, computer security professionals warn of its possible attack on both PC and Mac systems.

User’s daily internet surfing can lead to browser hijacker infection because this threat typically spreads by means of misleading online marketing campaign that shows up on different websites. Makers of this PUP also employ deceitful software bundling method where the main adware called Fast Template Finder is integrated to a number of freeware. Host executable file can be attractive media player, download manager, utilities, games, or software update.

Unknown to web users, downloading and installing this kind of malicious software bundle is harmful and may lead to identity theft. During installation of freeware, other bundled product discretely loads in the background and it includes Fast Template Finder browser extension. Consequently, pages of infected internet programs are set to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com (or relevant sites like fasttemplatefinder.com) and this does not require permission from user because the adware was made to dominate the browser.

Aside from overriding the setup on homepage and new tab window, Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com is also capable of monitoring web user’s interaction while online. It records visited websites, search keywords, and other data that are vital in its advertising scheme. After collecting sufficient information, Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com will engage in displaying personalized ads that intends to generate revenue through paid clicks and online sales.

Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com claims to enhance user’s online search experience, hence, what we have discovered are very different. It is a nuisance and causes nothing but troubles. So, it is highly advice to remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com from the computer. Please follow the procedures below to effective eliminate this threat.

Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com Removal Procedure for PC

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the browser hijacker from compromised computer.

In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Stage 1: Delete Browser Extension

Most homepage hijacker and redirects are using a program called browser extension to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend to check and remove the extension that is closely related to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

Remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com Chrome Extension

3. Find Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Uninstall Extension from Firefox

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com Firefox Extension

3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.

4. Look for object that is pertaining to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com and remove it from the browser.

Delete Extension from Safari

1. Run Safari browser application.

2. Click on Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the window.

3. Choose Preferences from the drop-down list.

4. On Extension window, select Extensions tab.

5. Select Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com or relevant entry and remove it from Safari.

Remove Add-ons from Internet Explorer

1. Open Internet Explorer program.

2. Go to top Menu and click Tools. Then, select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down list.

Internet Explorer Add-ons

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com is still present on the IE browser, another option is to remove the adware from Windows Control Panel.

5. Press Windows Key + R and then, type appwiz.cpl command.

6. Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in chronological manner with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on ‘Installed On‘ column.

Add-Remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com

7. Select Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.

Stage 2: Scan and Delete Adware with AdwCleaner

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.
Click here to download AdwCleaner (this will open a new window)

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on Scan button.

AdwCleaner

4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

5. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

6. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.

Stage 3: Scan the Computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool

Lastly, we will scan the computer with a multi-function security program. This will inspect the computer for possible presence of virus, malware, rootkit, adware as well as unwanted homepage like Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
Sophos Virus Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

sophos_exe

3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed.

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove malicious program like Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

6. Click the  button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

sophos-startscan

Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com

Not all browser hijackers are the same. Some cannot be removed by deleting relevant extensions and codes. On this instances, resetting the browser to default configuration is the only best solution. If Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com is still bothering you after completing all the steps above, please execute the procedures below to reset the settings of affected browser program.

Remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome application.

2. Type this strings in the address box: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter on keyboard.

3. Scroll down to expand Advanced settings area.

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see Reset and Cleanup section.

5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults. If it prompts for confirmation, please click Reset Settings button to proceed.

Google Chrome Reset

This function will reset Google Chrome’s home page, new tab page, search engine, and other areas affected by Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com. Unwanted extensions will also be removed from the browser. This will not affect your bookmarks, history, and other saved data. You may also use Chrome Cleanup feature for advance scanning. See more details on this page.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

If Mozilla Firefox is affected by Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com and procedures above were not helpful, we suggest that you carry out these steps. This process can fix the issue by restoring Firefox browser to default factory state. Most browser data will be affected but not bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and internet cookies. Extensions and other installed plug-ins maybe deleted by this function. Therefore, if you wish to remove specific extension only, please see manual add-on removal from this link.

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and type the following in the address bar: about:support

2. Browser will be directed to a page of Troubleshooting Information. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating ‘Give Firefox a Tune Up‘. Click the Refresh Firefox button.

FF Reset

3. Confirmation window will pop-up, click Refresh Firefox to continue.

4. The reset process will automatically close the browser and proceed with the restoration. Next, it will display a list of restored data. Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.

Reset Safari Browser to Normal Settings

1. Open Safari browser.

2. Click on the Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the browser window.

3. Select Reset Safari from the drop-down list.

4. Pop-up window will appear. You may select all boxes for total reset or follow the options below if you only want to remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com from Safari browser.

5. Please restart Safari browser for changes to take effect.

Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings

1. Open Internet Explorer browser.

2. On top menu, click Tools, and then Internet Options. It will open a new window.

3. Select Advanced tab. See image below.

IE Reset

4. On Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button to start the restoration procedures.

This process will not affect browsing history, bookmarks, and favorites. Add-ons and other integrated codes will be deleted including those that are linked to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com. If you choose to perform the procedure manually, please view instructions here.

Procedures to Remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide to help you remove malicious browser hijacker from internet application.

Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

Step 1 : Quick Fix - Scan the System with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker like Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

Click here to Download Combo Cleaner

2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.

3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

Start Combo Scan

6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com

1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the hijacker. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.

Safari - Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.

Chrome - Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.

Firefox - Choose Add-ons from the Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plugins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com or Fast Template Finder, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...

3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist
  • com.unknown

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:

- Fast Template Finder

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.

Option + Command + 4

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.

5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

6. Please restart the computer.

7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.

9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support
/Library/Preferences

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

Force Quit Locked Files

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com homepage hijacker.

Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:

Click here to download MBAM for Mac

2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.

4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 5 : Remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com from Homepage and Search

Safari

- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Google Chrome

- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.

Mozilla Firefox

- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.

Step 6 : Delete Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com Login Items

Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com during user log in.

1. Go to Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

2. Select Users & Groups from the preferences window.

3. You may need to Unlock this area in order to make changes. Click on the Lock icon on lower left corner of the window.

4. Next, select user account that runs Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com, Fast Template Finder, or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.

Login Items

Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:

Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:

1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.

2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.

3. Select Fast Template Finder, Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.

Remove Profile

4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.

5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with Search.hfasttemplatefinder1.com.

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