What is OptimalHelper on Mac?
OptimalHelper is the name of a browser hijacker configured to affect web applications installed on macOS. The unwanted application pushes the hoax search engine Search.optimalhelper.com.
Such an application affected your Mac with the main goal to monetize its presence. Therefore, it is likely to produce an enormous amount of pop-ups, banners, browser redirects, and other types of adverts.
All behavioural traits of OptimalHelper indicate that this application has no place on your Mac. How to get rid of OptimalHelper and prevent such unwanted applications from infecting your Mac in the future? How to prevent advertisements from such programs on your Mac? Discover in this removal guide.
OptimalHelper Hijacker Summary
|Name||OptimalHelper Hijacker also known as Optimal Helper, Search.optimalhelper.com, Browser.MacOS.Search.optimalhelper.com (SpyHunter for Mac)|
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||Aims to modify the settings on your web browser 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 machine.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
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OptimalHelper Hijacker on Mac – Distribution and Description
The primary technique which might have delivered OptimalHelper on your Mac is software bundling also known as packing. Therefore, the unwanted browser hijacker might have entered your Mac as an optional free app added to the installer of a free third-party application that you’ve recently installed. Such apps are hosted on questionable third-party sites that seem as if they are legitimate but are dangerous instead.
Bundling may not be the only technique that installs OptimalHelper hijacker on Mac. The undesired app might end up on your computer after an installation of a fake software update. Some fake Flash Player updates, for example, were noticed to add bogus applications on Mac operating systems.
Once set up on your Mac, the OptimalHelper has the chance to transform the way you use your Mac for the worse. Claiming to be a useful application is something that is common for such pesky applications but the facts indicate that they lower macOS security by forcing victims to use hoax search engines. Sometimes hijackers are the reason for the very persistent issue Google redirects to Yahoo.
In the case of OptimalHelper, the app was registered to add its own bogus search engine. So, if it has infected your Mac, you might see the domain Search.optimalhelper.com to be placed on the homepage, new tab page, and default search engine in the installed web browser.
In addition, the OptimalHelper hijacker on Mac might act as adware too. Once it has been added to the system, it may also begin to deliver the following promotions and ads:
- Ad-supported search results showing up on a hoax search engine in your web browser.
- Redirects to third-party sites.
- Push ads.
The ads might leave cookies and other trackers that record specific data. They might additionally be dangerous for your online security if linking to high-risk internet sites like:
- Phishing sites.
- Scam websites.
- Sites that may be phony tech support rip-offs.
- Risky sites.
Even if OptimalHelper is not a typical Mac virus, it is still indirectly harmful to your computer and must be removed from it.
Remove OptimalHelper from Your Mac
To make sure that you delete all files of OptimalHelper from your Mac, we strongly recommend that you take a look at the steps listed below. They are developed to assist you to isolate and delete this risky app from your Mac. For best results, we advise that you download and run a scan of your Mac, using reputable anti-malware for Mac. Such an application will check for all threats and malware on your Mac and also make sure it is clean from viruses in the future.
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.
What is OptimalHelper Hijacker on your Mac?
The OptimalHelper Hijacker threat is probably a potentially unwanted app. There is also a chance it could be related to Mac malware.
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 Macs Get Viruses?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get malware. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a threat:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What Are The Symptoms of OptimalHelper Hijacker On 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 OptimalHelper Hijacker?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One recommended 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. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to Secure My Data from OptimalHelper Hijacker?
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 OptimalHelper Hijacker Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this OptimalHelper Hijacker 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 OptimalHelper Hijacker?
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 OptimalHelper Hijacker threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.