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Remove searchmaster.net (SearchMaster) from Your Browser

Is searchmaster.net suddenly the default search engine and new tab page of your browser?

If so, your system has been compromised by a potentially unwanted application (PUA) with browser-hijacking capabilities, in this case SearchMaster. Such apps are also ad-supported, which often leads to the display of intrusive advertisements which interrupt the normal browsing experience.

There are specific outcomes of having such an application installed on your system; thus, the removal of unwanted apps such as SearchMaster is highly advisable.

Note. There are many browser hijackers similar to SearchMaster. They all change the settings of the affected browser to appear every time the system is restarded. Some examples include SearchAdditionally, Search Pulse, and Pizgetz.

Threat Summary

Name searchmaster.net
Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, PUP
Short Description A questionable search engine.
Symptoms The homepage, new tab page and search engine in your default web browser are set to display searchmaster.net.
Distribution Method Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss searchmaster.net.

SearchMaster (searchmaster.net) Browser Hijacker – Detailed Description

Because of its sudden, unexpected appearance and overall behavior, SearchMaster is classified as a browser hijacker which is designed to alter the settings of your default browser without your knowledge or permission. The browser hijacker will set the homepage to searchmaster.net. However, the search engine may in fact use results provided by Yahoo search or another legitimate search engine.

As a result of having the this hijacking app installed on your Mac, you may start witnessing intrusive pop-up ads unrelated to your browsing. These ads could contain information about questionable applications, virus alerts and detected system issues, or push notifications. Your searched could also be redirected to unwanted and suspicious pages.

It is crucial to keep in mind that unwanted apps such as SearchMaster may be able to collect various details about your browsing habits, such as:

  • 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)
  • Diagnostic information which describes how their Services are operating on the system

To avoid the installation of unwanted software and adware, you should play close attention during the installation of freeware apps. Freeware you recently downloaded from software download pages could have been bundled with SearchMaster. Third-party developers may support shady practices for monetization purposes, and may offer you to change your homepage or search provider. You can decline any of these additional offers only if you are careful enough to spot them during installation. In other words, paying attention to the installation setups of freeware could spare you from having to deal with searchmaster.net.

To avoid any further unwanted activities, it is highly advisable to eliminate SearchMaster/ searchmaster.net from your browsers and operating system. The next paragraph provides instructions on how to do so.

SearchMaster (searchmaster.net) – Removal

In order to remove searchmaster.net and the associated unwanted program, along with all its associated files, you should complete several removal steps. The instructions underneath offer both manual and automatic removal approaches. In order to fully get rid of the files installed by PUAs, we recommend that you combine the steps.

However, note that the manual removal may 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.

Milena Dimitrova

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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OFFER
REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with SpyHunter for Mac
searchmaster.net may remain persistent on your system and may re-infect it. We recommend you to download SpyHunter for Mac and run free scan to remove all virus files on your Mac. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
Free Remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

Preparation Phase:

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 searchmaster.net 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 searchmaster.net:

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 searchmaster.net. 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 searchmaster.net. 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 searchmaster.net 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 searchmaster.net. 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: Remove searchmaster.net – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox

Remove an extension from Safari and reset it.Remove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Mozilla Firefox

1. Start Safari

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

3. From the menu, click on "Preferences"

stf-safari preferences

4. After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab

stf-safari-extensions

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

6. Click 'Uninstall'

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the searchmaster.net 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.

1. Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu

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

3. From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the add-on and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.

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


1. Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window

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

3. Select the Extension and click "Remove"

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


Step 3: Scan for and remove searchmaster.net files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as searchmaster.net, 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for searchmaster.net:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac




searchmaster.net FAQ

What is searchmaster.net on your Mac?

The searchmaster.net threat is a potentially unwanted app or likely a Mac virus. It may slow your Mac down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear 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:

  • iMac
  • Mac Mini
  • Macbook Air
  • Macbook Pro
  • iPhone
  • iPad

What are the symptoms of searchmaster.net 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 searchmaster.net?

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 searchmaster.net?

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 website, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.

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