MapsGalaxy by MindSpark is a browser add-on, extension, and helper object that is recognized as adware by reputable security researchers and computer security software vendors. The MapsGalaxy extension is known to “hijack” your homepage, default search engine, and new tab, which causes affected browsers to start-up on and redirect to sponsored webpages when a new browser window is opened, a new tab is opened, or search is performed in the browser address bar. The adware also serves advertisements across Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, and other web browsers. The adware is not essentially considered malicious, but it may cause several issues and bundle with other unwanted programs and malware.
|Name||MapsGalaxy, Maps Galaxy, MapsGalaxy virus|
|Short Description||The adware is promoted as a free toolbar that displays quick links to maps and directions.|
|Symptoms||The user may experience unwanted advertisements and redirects in the web browser.|
|Distribution Method||It’s official page, freeware, third-party download managers, dubious advertisements and torrents.|
|Detection tool||Download Malware Removal Tool|
What is MapsGalaxy?
MapsGalaxy often uses very deceptive marketing tactics to get users to manually install it. Many times users may be tricked into installing this program and toolbar because they were under the impression that they were installing another tool. MapsGalaxy itself is promoted as a free toolbar that provides easy access to maps and driving directions. The toolbar also displays the weather, social media links, and has a radio. Even if MapsGalaxy does what it is supposed to do, the user can be affected because of its data collection policy and changes to existing internet browser settings.
Here are two quotes from a common third-party adware policy regarding the type of information collected while using the add-on.
Collection of Non-personally Identifiable Information
→Non-personally identifiable information, which can be gathered by User’s use of this program (“Non-personal Information”). The actual identity of the User, from which the Non-personal Information is collected, is not known. Non-personal Information consists of technical information and aggregated usage information, and may contain, among other things, the User’s activity on this program, User’s operating system (…).
Collection of Personally Identifiable Information:
→Personally identifiable information is information that identifies an individual User, and may or may not be private or sensitive (“Personal Information”). Personal Information may consist of the User’s IP address or other persistent User identifier, which is unique to your device and assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and used primarily to improve the User’s experience and for geographic personalization and security purposes (…).
If personal details are collected by or shared with a third party, the user may be endangered in several ways:
- Banking and credit card information may be accessible to hackers.
- Third party tracking technology may be applied to his browser.
- Excessive email spam, telephone calls from telemarketers and scam artists, and junk mail at home.
Furthermore, ad-supported software is known to:
- Generate intrusive or suspicious ads that redirect to predefined or compromised websites.
- Promote unwanted programs, malware, and rogue products that affect the system’s performance by altering the Registry, Scheduler, and other existing settings.
MapsGalaxy Removal Steps
MapsGalaxy can be uninstalled manually from your computer and internet browser. We have provided several steps below the article to show you how remove MapsGalaxy and other threats. However, if you have clicked on any random ads or have been redirected to suspicious websites, your system may have been exposed to malware and other threats. To make sure your PC is completely clean and your information is protected from cyber criminals, we recommend that you follow all the steps below.
Step 1: Uninstall MapsGalaxy from Windows
Follow the instructions to uninstall MapsGalaxy and other programs that it may bundle with from your Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 computer. If you do not find MapsGalaxy installed on your computer but still notice unwanted symptoms such as pop-up ads while you browse the web it is recommended to use Malwarebytes and HitmanPro to eradicate troublesome files.
1. Open Windows Start or Task menu and go to the Control Panel (or directly to Programs and Features).
2. In the “Programs” section click Uninstall a program (or Add and remove programs).
3. Search for MapsGalaxy, Chromium, and other programs in the list of installed programs and double click the program you want to remove to uninstall it. You can also select MapsGalaxy with your mouse and click the Uninstall button once it appears. Once you have uninstalled MapsGalaxy look for other unwanted programs in the list of installed programs and uninstall any if they are found. A general tip is to click “Installed On” to locate any programs that installed around the same time.
Step 2: Remove unwanted browser attachments
Follow the instructions to remove MapsGalaxy add-ons and extensions, as well as other attachments that it may bundle with from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer & Edge, and Apple Safari. If you do not find a MapsGalaxy attachments installed on your internet browser but still notice unwanted symptoms such as pop-up ads while you browse the web it is recommended to use Malwarebytes and HitmanPro to eradicate troublesome files. To remove MapsGalaxy from Microsoft internet browsers you must uninstall the program.
1. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon and go to More tools > Extensions.
2. Search for the MapsGalaxy extension in the list and click the trashcan icon.
1. Open the Menu and click Add-ons.
2. Search for the MapsGalaxy add-on and click Remove.
1. Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
2. Search for the MapsGalaxy extension in the list and click the Uninstall button.
Step 3: Remove MapsGalaxy with Malwarebytes
Follow the instructions to remove MapsGalaxy with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
1. Download and install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
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2. Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software once it has finished installing.
3. Make sure that Malwarebytes has been updated. To ensure it is updated click Update Now on the Dashboard.
4. Click the large Scan Now button on the dashboard to perform a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
5. When the scan is complete click the Remove Selected button and then click the Finish button or restart your computer if Malwarebytes suggests that you do so.
Step 4: Remove MapsGalaxy with HitmanPro
Follow the instructions to remove MapsGalaxy with HitmanPro second-opinion software.
1. Download and install HitmanPro second opinion scanner and removal tool.
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3. Once Hitman Pro is installed, open the program and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.
4. When the scan is complete, click the Next button again to delete any threats or traces on your system.
5. If you are initially using the free version, to activate it, enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.
6. Restart your computer by selecting Reboot.
Step 5: Clean and repair your computer with CCleaner
Follow the instructions to clean your computer and repair your computer’s settings.
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2. Once installed, open the program and go to the main Cleaner screen and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries. If you find any thing suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.
4. Finally, go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.