Can VirtualDeskSearch affect your browser? Is VirtualDeskSearch a redirect? Does VirtualDeskSearch spam you with ads? How to remove VirtualDeskSearch browser hijacker?
VirtualDeskSearch Browser Hijacker Redirect
VirtualDeskSearch is a adware redirect. The app looks like a normal update for the Adobe Flash Player. However, a pop-up shows up making redirects and landing Mac users on different pages where they are presented with a notification. The notification states that they need to update their Flash player (which is not true).
Additionally, your search engine might be switched and the redirect pop-up could push different advertisements, generating revenue for its authors. While using its services, you can find yourself on unfamiliar pages with lots of pop-ups and sponsored content stemming from the files that the fake update will put on your machine. The threat might change the start page, new tab, and search settings for the browser applications you have on your computer device.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||Each browser application on your computer could get affected. The hijacker can redirect you and will display lots of advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Browser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and the new tab.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss VirtualDeskSearch.|
VirtualDeskSearch Redirect – How I Got It and What It Affects?
VirtualDeskSearch might be delivered through different ways. One of those ways is through third-party installations. Those installer setups come from bundled applications and freeware that could be set to install additional content by default on your computer system. Usually, that could happen without any notification.
You might have tried installing a media player or free software and got your browser settings modified by the hijacker. To avoid unwanted programs from affecting your computer system is doable if you find Custom or Advanced settings. There you should be able to deselect what you don’t want.
This is how one of the pages spreading the VirtualDeskSearch pop-up look:
VirtualDeskSearch will show up in your browsers’ home page immediately after you have installed an unwanted software bundle. The bundle will most likely contain VirtualDeskSearch as a redirect in your browsers and also other malware.
Mac systems have other, similar threats that are circling the Web:
The VirtualDeskSearch browser hijacker will redirect you if you use its services and interact with Web links, advertisements and other content from its search pages. Be aware that each search that you do on its pages will be sending information to servers connected to this browser hijacker. The pages displayed in an image further below can replace the homepage, new tab and default search of every browser that you have installed.
The website can push advertisements and lots of redirects that can put browser cookies on your Mac system, and they can track your online activity. Other, more advanced tracking technologies could have been used, too. Be wary of the information you provide on such search pages, especially on ones, associated with the VirtualDeskSearch browser hijacker. Refrain from clicking on suspicious advertisements and links that can pop up.
Uninstall VirtualDeskSearch Browser Hijacker
To uninstall and remove VirtualDeskSearch manually from your computer or any unwanted software from your Mac device we recommend that you use a specific anti-malware for Mac machines. The main goal of such a program is to scan your machine and uninstall or terminate the files with malicious behavior and also clean up any malicious code in your repositories. In addition, with a specific anti-malware program, your machine will remain with a better protection and stay healthy performance-wise in the future.
About the VirtualDeskSearch Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this VirtualDeskSearch 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 VirtualDeskSearch?
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 VirtualDeskSearch 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 VirtualDeskSearch 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 VirtualDeskSearch:
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 VirtualDeskSearch. 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 VirtualDeskSearch. 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 VirtualDeskSearch 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 VirtualDeskSearch. 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 VirtualDeskSearch – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove VirtualDeskSearch files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as VirtualDeskSearch, 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 VirtualDeskSearch 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 VirtualDeskSearch 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 VirtualDeskSearch?
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 VirtualDeskSearch?
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.