Actively Search Mac App Step-by-Step Removal Guide

Having troubles to remove Actively Search app on Mac? Use this removal guide and stay safe. We created this article to help Mac users get rid of Actively Search and protect affected systems from new attacks.

Remove Actively Search mac app

Actively Search

Many users consider Actively Search as a virus. Is it really dangerous for your Mac system? The good news is that the so-called app Actively Search is a potentially unwanted program that aims to harvest data and generate revenue for its developers by delivering various ads. It is being spread via shady techniques like software packages, malicious advertising and hacked websites. Its behavior suggests that it is an adware program. However, it may also perform certain changes in main browser settings just like a browser hijacker. Once the program is loaded on your Mac, it may stealthily replace the homepage of your preferred web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) with a hoax search engine like Security experts advise affected users to remove Actively Search from their affected Macs as soon as they detect its impact.

Threat Summary

NameActively Search
Short DescriptionA questionable application that hijacks Safari and Chrome browsers installed on macOS. Performs browser modifications without your knowledge. Generates annoying ads.
Symptoms The homepage, new tab page and search engine in preferred web browser may be set to display a hoax search engine. Browser slowdowns may occur due to increased number of online ads. The program may start every time you start the affected Mac.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Fake Flash Updates
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Actively Search.

Actively Search Mac

Actively Search Mac app is supposed to be created with the goal to improve browsing experience. However, its primary purpose is to generate revenue for its developers. For the purpose, it affects Macs and starts serving advertisements. In other words, Actively Search is adware. Adware apps belong to the potentially unwanted type of applications (PUAs). Users often download and install PUAs unintentionally. It is good to know that adware is a type of software that usually is designed to collect various information.

As soon as Actively Search manages to run its configuration files on your Mac, it implements a sequence of operations that alter essential system and browser settings. The undesired app can also create a new user profile in order to hide its files and make its removal a more complicated process.

Actively Search can create specific entries that enable its automatic start whenever the affected system is started. Then the PUP can alter certain browser preferences in popular browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. By doing this, it becomes able to push various types of online ads in affected browsers. The advertisements that may be displayed by Actively Search may be of the following types:

  • Pop-ups.
  • Browser redirects.
  • Push notifications.
  • Banners.
  • Highlighted text ads.
  • Ad-supported search results.

As we mentioned, another issue that is likely to occur after your Mac gets affected by the so-called Actively Search is a privacy violation. Since the majority of PUPs for Mac aim to trick you into visiting sponsored websites, they attempt to spy on your online behavior and identify better what content you are more likely to be interested in. To collect data apps like Actively Search activate different tracking technologies like cookies, scripts, web beacons, etc. Once the owners of the apps receive harvested details they can configure their advertising campaigns and set their nasty apps to deliver targeted ads in the affected browsers.

ActivelySearch App on Mac

You probably have missed the moment when the unwanted ActivelySearch got installed on your Mac. This is one of the main reasons why apps like ActivelySearch are called potentially undesired programs. Such type of programs is usually delivered with the help of shady techniques like software bundling, corrupted freeware installers, fake software update notifications, various torrent files and other. All these techniques aim to trick you into installing unwanted programs without noticing the installation process. Here is an example of a fake Flash Player update pop-up that may stealthily install an undesired app on a Mac:


It is very likely that you installed ActivelySearch undesired app while installing another supposedly useful app. Unfortunately, the installers of many freeware available across the web feature extra apps that get installed by default. The tricky moment is that the installers of these apps do not disclose properly the details about additional apps. Without noticing their presence you agree with their installation. To prevent such troublesome situations you should always read thoroughly the information presented in the installers of newly downloaded apps, especially if you have obtained these apps from a torrent website or any other source different than the official Apple Mac App Store.

For the sake of your online and macOS security, it’s best to consider the complete removal of ActivelySearch from the affected browsers and the system.

How to Remove Actively Search from Affected Mac

In order to remove Actively Search along with all entries it created on the Mac system, you should complete several removal steps in a precise order. The guide below presents manual and automatic removal approaches. In order to fully get rid of files installed by undesired programs and strengthen macOS security, we recommend that you combine the steps. The manual Actively Search removal might be quite a complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps, navigate to the automatic part of the guide.

Notice: Before manually removing files or folders on your Mac, make sure to identify the accurate components of Actively Search, because deleting other apps’ files (or system settings files) by mistake may trigger malfunction of installed apps or even your system.

In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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with SpyHunter for Mac
Actively Search may remain persistent on your system and may re-infect it. We recommend you to download SpyHunter for Mac and run free scan to remove all virus files on your Mac. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
Free Remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

Preparation Phase:

Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:

  • Backup your files in case the worst happens.
  • Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
  • Arm yourself with patience.

Step 1: Uninstall Actively Search and remove related files and objects

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 Actively Search:

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 Actively Search. 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 Actively Search. 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 Actively Search 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 Actively Search. 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

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

Step 2: Remove Actively Search – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox

Remove an extension from Safari and reset it.Remove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Mozilla Firefox

1. Start Safari

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

3. From the menu, click on "Preferences"

stf-safari preferences

4. After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab


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

6. Click 'Uninstall'

stf-safari uninstall

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

1. Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu

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

3. From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the add-on and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.

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

1. Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window

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

3. Select the Extension and click "Remove"

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

Step 3: Scan for and remove Actively Search files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Actively Search, 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 Actively Search:


SpyHunter for Mac

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