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Creative Search Adware Mac – How to Remove It

What Is Creative Search?

This article has been created to explain what is the Creative Search and how you can try and remove it from your Mac and hence stop advertisements coming from it.

The Creative Search is the type of infection, whose primary purpose is to get users to download and install its Creative Search software, promising an improvement in how you browse the web. In reality however, things are quite different, because Creative Search runs processes, like com.sysd.launchserviced and others that may be responsible for unwanted activities on your Mac. Such can be random browser redirects, pop-ups and other types of ads to appear, leading users to various third-party websites of unknown origin. The outcome of this is that your Mac may become affected with other adware and may even become a victim of malware.

Creative Search Mac

The primary method of replication used by this browser hijacker is to be spread as a result of software bundling. This basically means that you may find Creative Search to be added to the installation setup of another program or App you may have downloaded from third-party site other than the AppStore. These third-party installers usually include ad-supported programs, like Creative Search and their main idea is to slither them as a part of an advertising scheme.

Creative Search Virus

Another way by which you may have added Creative Search is via your web browser. This method is believed to be conducted when you have visited an advertisement or Creative Search’s website and have added Creative Search as a browser extension or an add-on for your web browser.

Creative Search Summary

Name Creative Search
Type Mac virus redirect
Short Description Aims to modify the settings on your Mac and browsers 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 Mac.
Distribution Method Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Creative Search.

Creative Search Virus Mac – Main Activity

Once on your Mac, Creative Search may immediately begin modifying the web browsers installed on it and by those web browsers. The outcome of this is that websites, like Creative Search may be added as a default search engine and home page as well as new tab page on your browsers. Creative Search is very similar to other PUP’s like My Sweeps Tab, QuericsSearch and Recognitionassist on Mac.

The search engine is not the one you want seeing on your Mac, because it uses different types of tracking technologies to monitor your browsing acivity:

  • Geo-locators.
  • Cookies.
  • Ad-supported search results.
  • Pixels.
  • Tags.

Once Creative Search has been installed, it may track your activities with different purposes. The main actions tracked by Creative Search may be focused on:

  • Your search queries.
  • Your browsing history.
  • Data from the sites you have visited.
  • Data on the ads you’ve clicked.
  • Your bookmarked sites.

Based on these, Creative Search may display different ads on your Mac, which sometimes tend to become very annoying and quite frankly, unwanted. But the main risk of this is that these ads may also lead you to dangerous websites, like:

  • URLs of phishing nature that pretend to be login pages of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and others.
  • Malicious URLs that may infect your Mac with viruses.
  • Tech Support Scam sites, that may attempt to scam you over the phone.
  • Sites that may insert cryptocurrency miner scripts which may use the CPU of your Mac to mine for coins.

This is the main reason to consider removing Creative Search since it may not be directly harmful for your browser or your Mac, but it’s activities point out to Creative Search being a potentially unwanted program on your Mac and it may lead to malicious sites.

Remove Creative Search “Virus” from Your Mac

Before beginning the removal process of Creative Search from your Mac, we recommend that you backup all the files, just in case.

To try and remove Creative Search from your Mac, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions that are underneath this article. They have been created with the main idea to help you out with the removal process of Creative Search from your Mac. With their aid you can remove Creative Search either manually or automatically from your Mac, based on your preferences and experience with malware removal. For maximum effectiveness, security experts always advise that the best way of removing Creative Search from your Mac is to do it automatically with the aid of an advanced malware removal tool, which can be able to help you to remove Creative Search by scanning for it’s files and objects.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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OFFER
REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with SpyHunter for Mac
Creative 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 Creative Search and remove related files and objects

OFFER
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 Creative 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 Creative 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 Creative 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 Creative 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 Creative 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
/Library/LaunchDaemons

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


Step 2: Remove Creative 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

stf-safari-extensions

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 Creative 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 Creative Search files from your Mac

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


Download

SpyHunter for Mac




Creative Search FAQ

What is Creative Search on your Mac?

The Creative Search threat is a potentially unwanted app or likely a Mac virus. It may slow your Mac down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear 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:

  • iMac
  • Mac Mini
  • Macbook Air
  • Macbook Pro
  • iPhone
  • iPad

What are the symptoms of Creative 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 Creative 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 Creative 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 website, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.

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