This article presents information about Optimalsearch.me and provides a thorough Mac removal guide for the browser redirect.
Optimalsearch.me is questionable search engine that forces users into using its hoax services. It is classified as a browser hijacker. As a typical browser hijacker, it lands on the system without being noticed and then alters main browser settings. Essential settings including those of the homepage, new tab page and default search engine may be hijacked by this hoax search engine. As long as this undesired program has access to your Mac and preferred web browser (Chrome Safari, Firefox, etc.) it is likely to be able to spy on your online activities so it can easily make you a target of aggressive advertising campaigns.
|Type||Redirect, Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||A hoax search enigne that hijacks browser homepage, new tab page and default search engine without your knowledge and permission.|
|Symptoms||Main browser preferences are altered without your knowledge. Increased number of online ads cause significant browser slowdowns.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Optimalsearch.me.|
Optimalsearch.me Redirect – Spread and Impact
Optimalsearch.me is classified as a browser hijacker. It tends to affect popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari. Browser hijackers are potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that affect operating systems by altering some essential browser settings.
Typically, the spread of PUPs is realized via software bundles. Unfortunately, there are many free apps that feature potentially undesired extras in their installers. The tricky part is that you could easily miss noticing added extras as the installers are often designed to hide them in the Advanced/Custom configuration option. So a way to prevent your Mac from being affected by browser hijackers like Optimalsearch.me is practicing caution while installing new apps. Always read carefully all details in their installers and opt out the installation of any present unwanted additional apps.
As soon as Optimalsearch.me is installed, it accesses installed target browsers and changes your browser preferences. The process usually happens without your knowledge or permission. After the undesired program applies the changes, it becomes able to force you into using its deceptive services.
It starts to load as a homepage, appears in every new browser tab and hijacks the default search engine. Here is how Optimalsearch.me transforms the homepage of an affected Firefox browser:
It appears that Optimalsearch.me may be referred to the so-called [wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/remove-bing-redirect-virus-mac/”] Bing redirect virus as the hijacker is set to redirect all entered searches to Bing search engine.
Even though Optimalsearch.me is not malware as it does not cause severe damage to your Mac, once installed on it the undesired program may activate tracking technologies. As a result, it may become able to perform unsolicited data collection. Hence various online activities, as well as system characteristics, may be harvested and transferred to remote servers. As a consequence, the owners of this nasty program may misuse the data for their advertising and business purposes.
It is very likely that your affected browser will be flooded with numerous online ads as well. Since these ads could appear on every web page you visit, your browser may become slower than usual. Another thing you should know about these ads is that some of them pose a serious risk to your macOS security. Many cybercriminals inject their malicious code into online web pages and set them to trigger a background download process as soon as someone loads them in a web browser. So in the event that you happen to open such a page in your browser, it could deliver and activate a severe malware such as Trojan or ransomware directly on your Mac.
How to Remove Optimalsearch.me Redirect from Your Mac
In order to remove Optimalsearch.me redirect along with all associated files that enable its appearance in the browser, you should complete several removal steps. In the guide below you will find all removal steps in their precise order. You could choose between manual and automatic removal approaches. In order to fully get rid of present undesired programs and strengthen the security of your device, we recommend that you combine the steps. Have in mind that installed files associated with this redirect may be detected with names different than Optimalsearch.me.
In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us at our email.
About the Optimalsearch.me Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me?
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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me:
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 Optimalsearch.me. 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 Optimalsearch.me. 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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me. 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 Optimalsearch.me – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Optimalsearch.me files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Optimalsearch.me, 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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me?
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 Optimalsearch.me?
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.