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.
|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 |
Malware Removal Tool
|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.
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
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- 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:
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 searchmaster.net – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
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.