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.
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 Akamaihd.net. Security experts advise affected users to remove Actively Search from their affected Macs as soon as they detect its impact.
|Short Description||A 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 Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Fake Flash Updates|
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|User Experience||Join 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:
- Browser redirects.
- Push notifications.
- 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.
About the Actively Search Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Actively Search how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on Actively Search?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the Actively Search threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021
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
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:
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:
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:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove Actively Search – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
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.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Step 4: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
Actively Search FAQ
What is Actively Search on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac 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 MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of Actively Search on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac 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 Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like Actively Search?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. 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 Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from Actively Search?
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 Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.