ExpertSearchModule, also known as Adware.MacOS.ExpertSearchModule, is an ad-supported and potentially unwanted app targeting Mac users. The app may promise to improve your searching but instead it may simply flood you with various intrusive advertising content.
The app may have sneaked into your Mac in a bundled download triggered by a suspicious page. This could happen if you have agreed to receive push notifications or clicked an ad on a suspicious page. The very first sign of this unwanted installation could be observed in your browser – if its default search engine and new tab page are changed without your consent. Your browser’s settings could also be altered to display various advertisements.
Other examples of similar apps targeting macOS include GeneralSearchBoard and SmartResultsNavigation.
It is also possible that potentially unwanted apps have their own websites where they are advertised as useful, offering various functionalities. It is best for your security to avoid downloading anything from unverified, suspicious pages. Also, it is a good idea to closely inspect such sites and look for signs that could confirm their suspicious origin, such as the lack of encrypted (HTTPS) connection, multiple typos and spelling mistakes, and an outdated design.
|Short Description||A questionable application that hijacks 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|
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ExpertSearchModule -Why Is It Installed on My Mac?
In many cases, adware programs appear after you have clicked on a fake update, like the ones for Adobe Flash Player. The pop-up may have suggested that your Flash Player is out of date, making you install a supposed update. Instead of getting any update, however, you got the ExtendedService adware.
Below you will find the most popular ways adware such as ExpertSearchModule gets distributed across the web.
A well-known method for adware distribution is called software bundling. It happens via various supposedly useful apps. Thanks to bundling, shady companies can promote potentially unwanted applications as additional downloads in freeware installers. These apps may not be malicious but they can be very irritating and difficult to remove. Furthermore, the longer an unwanted app is running on your system, the more vulnerable it becomes to other, more severe threats.
NB. It should be noted that bundling is not illegal but it often causes unwanted, additional downloads, even of legitimate products. To avoid it from happening, you should be more careful during the installation steps of freeware applications.
The moment ExpertSearchModule adware obtains access to your Mac, it covertly modifies crucial system and browser settings. Changes aim to enable the app to generate intrusive ads on the affected device.
Adware developers monetize their shady apps through ads. Ads generated by ExpertSearchModule may be hazardos, though, as some of them may open corrupted websites. Such sites may host online scams, rogue applications, and even malware.
You should better ensure that your system is secured by removing the adware from your Mac now.
Another possible installation method that could have brought ExpertSearchModule to your Mac is unsafe browsing. If you tend to visit dubious websites, your browser may be flooded with ads promoting various shady products. If you are tricked by such an ad, you may end up downloading a product that you believe is useful. However, the program turns out to be ad-supported, or adware, as you start seeing various ads, banners, and pop-ups.
How to Remove ExpertSearchModule Mac Adware
To rid of ExpertSearchModule along with all entries created on your Mac system, you should complete several removal steps in a precise order. The guide below presents manual and automatic removal approaches. To fully remove any files installed by undesired programs and improve your macOS security, we recommend that you combine the steps. The manual removal might be quite a complicated process that requires advanced technical skills. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps, navigate to the automatic part of the guide.
Steps to Prepare Before Removal:
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 ExpertSearchModule 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 ExpertSearchModule:
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 ExpertSearchModule. 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 ExpertSearchModule. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7. Remove any leftover 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 ExpertSearchModule 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 ExpertSearchModule. 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 ExpertSearchModule – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove ExpertSearchModule files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as ExpertSearchModule, 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
Bonus Step: 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.
What is ExpertSearchModule 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 ExpertSearchModule 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 ExpertSearchModule?
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 ExpertSearchModule?
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.
About the ExpertSearchModule Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this ExpertSearchModule 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 ExpertSearchModule?
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 ExpertSearchModule 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