NeedWebSearch is software that should supposedly enhance browsing by providing better searching services. Many users think that NeedWebSearch is a virus primarily because they find out that the app has been installed on their Macs without their permission. Hence, the program is categorized as a potentially unwanted program for Macs. Undesired programs like NeedWebSearch are spread via shady techniques that trick users into executing them on their Mac systems. The moment such a program is started on the machine, it may alter primary settings of installed web browsers like Safari, Chrome, etc. Then it may activate tracking technologies to spy on certain online activities.
We recommend that you consider the removal of NeedWebSearch and all files related to this Mac virus. In our guide, you will find instructions on how to remove NeedWebSearch and how to restore the security of the affected system.
|Short Description||A questionable application that hijacks Safari and Chrome browsers for Mac. Performs browser modifications without your knowledge.|
|Symptoms||The homepage, new tab page and search engine in preferred web browser may be set to display 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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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss NeedWebSearch.|
NeedWebSearch Unwanted Mac App – Spreading Techniques and Impact
NeedWebSearch is categorized as a potentially unwanted program due to the fact that it tends to appear on Mac devices without users’ knowledge or permission. The sudden and unexpected appearance of this program makes many users believe that NeedWebSearch is a virus. In fact, the app is not developed with the intent to corrupt Mac systems or personal files so it cannot be classified as a malicious app.
However, when NeedWebSearch manages to infect a Mac operating system, an issue that usually occurs after the installation of another free software, it becomes able to apply some changes that expose the system at risk of serious malware infections. Once started on your Mac, NeedWebSearch “virus” alters some main browser settings in order to become able to spy on your online activities and send harvested data to its servers.
This is often realized with the help of tracking technologies like cookies, web beacons, scripts, and others. Therefore, the NeedWebSearch undesired program may obtain details like:
- Visited URLs and websites
- Browser’s home page
- Search queries
- Search queries on the visited web pages
- Type of used browser
- Operating system type
- Internet protocol (IP) address
- Geographic location
- The domain name of current Internet service provider (ISP)
Purposes of data collection are not quite clear. On the one hand, the owners of this undesired program may use data records for the launch of targeted advertising campaigns. If this happens, your affected browser may be inundated with a large number of annoying ads that attempt to trick you to click them. On the other hand, the owners of NeedWebSearch Mac “virus” program may release harvested details on dark web markets for financial income.
The presence of NeedWebSearch on your Mac may lead to some serious system security and privacy-related issues. To avoid all unpleasant issues that may come as a result of having the NeedWebSearch program on your Mac, navigate to the removal instructions below and get rid of this undesired and potentially harmful program.
How to Remove NeedWebSearch from Affected Browser and macOS
In order to remove NeedWebSearch along with all entries it created on the system, you should complete several removal steps in a precise order. The guide below presents you manual and automatic removal approach. 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 NeedWebSearch 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.
In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.
About the NeedWebSearch Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this NeedWebSearch 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 NeedWebSearch?
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 NeedWebSearch 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 NeedWebSearch 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 NeedWebSearch:
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 NeedWebSearch. 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 NeedWebSearch. 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 NeedWebSearch 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 NeedWebSearch. 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 NeedWebSearch – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove NeedWebSearch files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as NeedWebSearch, 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.
What is NeedWebSearch 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 NeedWebSearch 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 NeedWebSearch?
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 NeedWebSearch?
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.