THREAT REMOVAL

Wondering what Search Pulse virus is, and how to remove it from Safari or Chrome browsers and Mac systems? Follow the detailed guide at the end to see how to get rid of Search Pulse undesired program.

What Is Search Pulse?

Search Pulse is an app that could find a way to run on your system without your knowledge. Even though this program claims to be a search manager that improves your browsing experience it is a bogus app that attempts to harvest specific data from affected Safari, Chrome or another preferred web browser so it can then provide the data to its unknown owners. Along with this, it could be used for the delivery of many annoying ads directly in the browser. The Search Pulse browser hijacker also changes browser search provider to Search Pulse. This hoax search engine is designed to redirect affected users to search result pages from http://search.yahoo.com. This way the undesired program is probably generating advertising revenue to its operators by using Yahoo Search for its search results. To sum up, Search Pulse is a potentially unwanted program that should be removed from the affected Mac system and web browsers as soon as possible.

Threat Summary

NameSearch Pulse
TypeBrowser Hijacker for MacOS
Search Pulse on WindowsSearchpulse.net Windows PC Removal Guide
Short DescriptionSearch Pulse aims to heavily modify the settings of installed web browsers so that it can start pushing all sorts of third-party ads. The app can steal sensitive data from the affected system and browser.
SymptomsYou may start noticing system performance issues as well as many redirects to bogus web pages pushed by Search Pulse.
Distribution MethodVia software bundling or downloading a PUA (Potetially Unwanted Application)
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Combo Cleaner

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Search Pulse.

Why is Search Pulse on Mac?

If your Mac is constantly being redirected to the suspicious websites and your browser homepage and search engine have been changed to Search Pulse (home.searchpulse.net) search engine without your consent, then your Mac is infected with an unwanted/malicious program installed.

how to get rid of search pulse on mac

A reddit user shared the following complaint about Search Pulse virus on his Mac:

Posted byu/calciumlithium_
1 month ago
How do I get rid of Search Pulse from Mac?

Is anyone familiar with the search pulse virus? My Macbook acquired it last week. Whenever I open Safari, Search Pulse pops up (search.searchpulse.net). It also pops up when I open a new tab/window. I downloaded a malware software when I first noticed that I got it. The software detected it, I followed the steps provided to delete it, and I then restarted my computer. But search pulse still popped up when I opened Safari. I then ran the malware program a second time but it came back as my computer being clean. I downloaded a second virus program and that one, too, showed my computer as being clean. I made sure the search pulse was not set as my homepage, it isn’t listed as an extension, and I deleted all caches and cookies. But this search pulse website continues to open up in each Safari window. Does anyone know how to remove this malware for good? Any help would be very, very much appreciated!

Another user on Apple Community Forums had the following to share about Search Pulse Virus:

Search Pulse Malware

I have tried everything to remove Search Pulse from my MacBook.
On my Safari, no extensions show up at all. I tried to change my homepage, but it’s showing up as what I set it to and won’t let me make any changes to it.

As an unwanted application Search Pulse is being distributed via shady techniques that trick you into installing it without noticing it. It is most likely that freeware installers and bundled packages are used for its spread. So you may have unnoticeably installed it on your Mac along with another desired app. This nasty side effect usually happens due to the fact that the presence of potentially undesired extra apps is not disclosed properly in the installers of freeware apps. Sometimes the unnoticed installation of unwanted apps like Search Pulse can be avoided with a thorough read of the information listed under the Advanced or Custom configuration option. There you may find out apps you don’t need and opt-out their installation.

Suspicious websites are another approach for the distribution of PUPs like Search Pulse. By visiting such a website you can let the undesired app infiltrate your macOS on the back of your browser. For the installation process, the rogue app may trigger a pop-up that forces you to install a fake software update or follow certain steps that will help it bypass active security measures.

Yet another online place where the deceptive Search Pulse app (searchpulse.net) is offered it its official website.

search pulse virus mac

As of November 2019, the Search Pulse Mac virus is propagated with the help of fake Adobe Flash Player updates. And in February 2020 this technique is still in use for the propagation of this nasty application.

What else do you need to know about the Search Pulse virus on Mac?

Many users whose systems get infected with Search Pulse consider the app as a Mac virus. But is Search Pulse a virus? In fact, Search Pulse is a browser hijacker that aims to alter browser settings, spy on users’ online behavior and display intrusive ads in an attempt to monetize its presence on an affected system. Hence, Search Pulse is classified as a potentially unwanted program.

Once started on your Mac the undesired app Search Pulse modifies main settings of installed browsers. To investigate the behavior of Search Pulse virus we installed it as an extension on a Chrome browser. In fact, it became clear that the potentially unwanted program wants to be authorized to perform all of the following actions in order to be installed:

  • Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
  • Replace the page you see when opening a new tab
  • Read and change your browsing history
  • Communicate with cooperating websites
  • Change your search engine to: search.searchpulse.net
  • Manage your apps, extensions, and themes

search pulse permissions in affected browser

After all these issues occur Search Pulse virus becomes able to collect various sensitive details from the affected browser. It keeps a record of collected data on its servers. To record certain details the undesired app activates tracking technologies like cookies, javascript, web beacons and other. All of the following details may be collected by the app and used by its unknown owners:

  • Browsing history
  • Browser’s home page
  • Search queries
  • Type of used browser
  • Operating system type
  • Internet protocol (IP) address
  • Geographic location
  • The domain name of current Internet service provider (ISP)

As it appears the nasty Search Pulse virus app replaces your default search engine with search.searchpulse.net or home.searchpulse.net. These domains host hoax search engines that affect trustworthy browsers with the goal to obtain search queries, track browsing history and generate sponsored results. The homepage box in the preferenced of an affected Safari can appear as an unclickable blank. Hence, you may be unable to add a preferred homepage.

After entering a search query in an affected browser, the hijacker redirects users to search.yahoo.com results. This issue is related to the so-called Yahoo virus. By redirecting affected browsers to Yahoo search the Search Pulse virus app aims to generate revenue for its operators. Beware as the searching results generated by the hijacker may present misleading content and links to hacked websites. The results are also likely to be flooded with lots of sponsored content.

As long as Search Pulse virus app is running on your Mac and has access to your Safari/Chrome or another installed web browser, it may be generating other types of ads in the browser including pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, redirects, and in-text links. This issue is caused for the purposes of money revenue too. Apps like Serch Pulse are designed to spy on users’ online behavior, provide data to their owners and generate ads based on the collected data. Their owners often bet on the pay-per-click advertising model as it enables them to get paid for every click on an ad generated by their tool. What may be the consequences? Do these ads pose a certain risk to your online security?

On the one hand, the performance of your system and browser may be slowed down. On the other hand, the security of your system is at high risk of infection with serious malware like is the Shlayer Trojan. Hence, the data stored on system drives may be endangered too.

If you want to keep your system protected against malware and your personal data private, you need to remove Search Pulse virus from Safari and Mac as soon as possible.

How to Remove Search Pulse Virus from Mac

In order to remove Search Pulse virus from Mac make sure to complete all the steps listed in the removal that follows. It will help you to remove Search Pulse from Safari and Chrome too. Unfortunately, Search Pulse is not always in the extensions list. Hence, its associated files cannot be uninstalled by simply closing the browser and dragging the undesired app to the Trash. This nasty program creates “profiles” in the system preferences and you have to delete them. If you want to remove the Search Pulse from your Mac OS in full we recommend that you use a specific anti-malware for Mac. The program will scan your operating system and terminate files with malicious patterns. It will also clean up any malicious code in your repositories. With a specific anti-malware program, youр Mac will be protected better in the future.

In case you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with Combo Cleaner

We recommend you to download Combo Cleaner and run free scan to remove virus files on your Mac. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
Combo Cleaner’s scanner is free but the paid version is needed to remove the malware threats. Read Combo Cleaner’s EULA and Privacy Policy


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Search Pulse from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Search Pulse and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


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 Search Pulse:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


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 Search Pulse. 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 Search Pulse. 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 Search Pulse 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

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 Search Pulse. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Search Pulse from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Search Pulse from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Search Pulse from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Delete Search Pulse from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Search Pulse will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Search Pulse from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


Search Pulse FAQ

What is Search Pulse?

Search Pulse is classified as a potentially unwanted app for Mac. It appears like a normal app, but it may cause unpleasant pop-ups and redirects on your Mac.

Be aware, that Search Pulse may be able to affect the browsers Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge and Opera. It may they perform unwanted activities on your Mac.

Such can turn out to be showing advertisements of all types, slowing down your Mac's performance and even infecting your Mac with other viruses by showing you dangerous ads.

Is Search Pulse a Virus?

No, but it is just as risky. The Search Pulse object is not entirely a virus but it is still as dangerous as a virus for your Mac and your information. The main reason for that is because Search Pulse can use cookies and other tracking technologies that may obtain personal information from your Mac while you are browsing.

It may also cause dangers and may lead to risky websites, such as:

  • Phishing sites.
  • Web pages that are scam.
  • Sites that may contain viruses.

These are the main reasons why threatening is considered by experts to be indirectly dangerous to your Mac.

Can my Mac get virus?

The answer to this question is "yes". Unfortunately it opened happens that Mac devices become infected with different types of malware, adware and other threats. This causes a lot of problems for both companies and users.

How did I get Search Pulse?

Search Pulse could be spread to Mac computers via several methods. One of those methods is via the installers of third party apps. This technique is called software bundling.

Also, Search Pulse adware could be included in the installer steps of an app you may have downloaded for your Mac from a third party website. Search app could be a media player or some other free software you may have tried to recently install.

You may have missed Search Pulse, because it could be hiding in one of the install steps or could be offered as a "free extra" or an "optional offer".

How to remove Search Pulse from my Mac?

By removing its core files. To get rid of Search Pulse from your Mac, security experts strongly advise to scan it with a professional anti-malware app for Mac.

An anti-malware security app has the capability of scanning all of the areas in your Mac were Search Pulse could be residing.

It will also make sure that Search Pulse is permanently gone from your Mac and that your Mac is safe in the future.

How to protect my Mac from viruses?

To protect your Mac from all sorts of virus threats, you can can minimize the risk of getting a virus in the first place. This is why we strongly recommend that you take the following steps for protection on your Mac below:

1. Register for a VPN service of your choice.
2. Clear the cookies that are on your web browsers and uninstall any browser extensions from them that you believe are suspicious.
3. Download and install reputable malware removal and protection software.
4. Always check if the website you're visiting has HTTPS instead of just HTTP in its address. This indicates that a site is secure.
5. Do not type any personal info on websites which are with low reputation or you can't trust.
6. Always check if the site you're visiting is the real web page at not a fake one by looking at the address bar. Many fishing websites that contain viruses change one or two letters in the main domain name of the site they're trying to mimic.
7. Always link your cell phone phone to your Bank Accounts, PayPal, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram and other accounts. This will allow you to see notification if somebody else logged in from your account and makes account hijacking nearly impossible.
8. Always find a way to backup all your important files regularly. You can save them on a USB stick or use Cloud backup services, like Google Drive. iDrive, Onedrive and others.

4 Comments

  1. AvatarJohnson

    When I remove it from Safari, it keeps coming back. Can you assist ?

    Reply
    1. AvatarVentsislav Krastev

      After you download the removal tool – Combo Cleaner, make sure to scan your Mac. If the Combo Cleaner doesn’t detect SearchPulse virus, you should activate the full Combo Cleaner by purchasing it and then you should contact Combo Cleaner’s live support team – they will remove it manually from your computer so that you don’t have to deal with it anymore :). I hope this helped.

      Reply
  2. AvatarDiana

    What is you can’t find the file? I looked in my utilities and apps–nothing comes up that looks like it doesn’t belong there, necessarily.

    Reply
    1. Milena DimitrovaMilena Dimitrova

      Hi Diana,
      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. We have instructions for this as well, they are right under Step 1 (with a disclaimer you should read carefully). Hope this helps.

      Reply

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