A domain, called Macsafesearch.net was reported to spread the Mac Safe Search browser extension. The browser extension has been classified as a potentially unwanted program, whose main purpose is to flood victimised computers with ads of all types, like redirects and other forms of advertisements. The Mac Safe Search “Virus” may also cause redirects and ads to sites that may be harmful for users and this is why its removal is strongly advisable. If you want to remove the Macsafesearch.net hijacker, we strongly suggest you to download the following types of files from your computer.
|Name||Mac Safe Search|
|Type||Browser Hijacker for Mac OS|
|Short Description||Aims to perform set of activities that lead to a lot of ads popping out and the victim PC slowing down.|
|Symptoms||Your default search page is changed to macsafesearch.net and your computer may slow down plus a lot of ads may appear.|
|Distribution Method||Via false advertising on sites or via software bundling.|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Mac Safe Search.|
Mac Safe Search -How Did I Get It
To get into your computer, Mac Safe Search may be advertised as a program that is seeming aiming to improve the way you search on your Mac. But instead of a “safe” search, you get a lot of ads and other types of third-party content that may turn to be the exact opposite of safe.
The Mac Safe Search may also come bundled into the installers of various third-party software installers. These installers are usually belonging to programs, that are usually downloaded from third-party software providing sites. Mac Safe Search may be advertised on those programs by being useful free extras coming along with the installers.
Mac Safe Search – More Information
When Mac Safe Search is added to your Mac, it may immediately change your home page to macsafesearch.net. The outcome of this is that Mac Safe Search could begin to display third-party search results on your computer that may lead to sites other than official Google results. The bad news here is that the website macsafesearch.net may not be encrypted and your connection to it is not secure:
In addition to this, the site may also employ multiple different cookies to track your information:
The data that may be tracked by Mac Safe Search could be information that is related to:
- Your browsing history.
- Sites you have bookmarked.
- Clicks you’ve made.
- Searches you’ve made.
This data may be used to show custom ads that are generated specifically so that you can click on them. The ads that may be shown by Mac Safe Search PUP could be of the following types:
- Ad-supported search results.
The outcome of these ads may be that you may get transferred to websites which you do not want visiting. Those sites may not only be unfamiliar sites, but they could also turn out to be sites with low reputation, scamming sites, phishing sites and even malicious sites that may furhter comrpomise your Mac by malware. This is the main reason to avoid such sites on your computer.
Remove Mac Safe Search from Your Mac
In order to remove the Mac Safe Search from your Mac, we suggest that you follow the removal steps underneath this article. They have been created with the main goal to help you delete this unwanted program either manually or help you save some time and download an advanced anti-malware software to remove Mac Safe Search automatically. Such software aims to detect and remove all files, belonging to unwanted apps, like Mac Safe Search and all malicious files from your Mac, plus ensure that your computer is protected against any future infections too.
About the Mac Safe Search Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe Search – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Mac Safe Search files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Mac Safe 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.
Mac Safe Search FAQ
What is Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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 Mac Safe 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.