This article aims to help you with the removal of Weknow.start.me hijacker from affected browser and system. Follow the detailed guide at the end to get rid of this annoying website in full.
Weknow.start.me is a browser hijacker that affects popular browsers installed on Mac devices. Its purpose is to access main web browser settings so it can replace the start page, new tab page and default search engine with its domain address. By doing so, the hijacker becomes able to activate tracking technologies and start spying on your online activities. Collected details are automatically transferred to its server. As a result, its owners could start delivering you lots of annoying ads based on your interests.
|Short Description||A questionable search engine that occupies main browser settings in order to spy on search queries and other details.|
|Symptoms||Mian browser settings are altered without your permission. Generates lots of annoying ads during browsing sessions.|
|Distribution Method||Software Bundles, Corrupted Installers|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Weknow.start.me.|
Weknow.start.me – Spread Techniques
The most likely reason why you keep seeing the deceptive search engine Weknow.start.me in your preferred web browser is a potentially unwanted program that you have unnoticeably installed on your device. You may have installed such a program along with another desired and supposedly useful one.
Often times being hidden in the installers of free third-party applications, PUPs find their way for their configuration files to be activated on the system. However, you could easily miss their presence especially by installing new apps with the help of the regular setup process. This could be explained by the fact that compromised installers are usually designed in a way that hides the presence of any extras. Happily, in some cases, you could prevent unwanted programs from accessing your device by reviewing the Advanced/Custom configuration setup step. The information presented there may help you to catch the PUP on time and opt out its installation.
Popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari could be affected by Weknow.start.me hijacker.
Weknow.start.me – More Information
Weknow.start.me browser hijacker is a questionable search engine that alters main browser settings without your permission. Soon after configuration files associated with the hijacker are loaded on your macOS you could notice changes that affect your preferred web browser’s start page, new tab page and default search engine. As a result, the main page of Weknow.start.me is the first to load when you open the affected browser. As we see in the picture below, Weknow.start.me resembles a lot some trustworthy search engines like Google and Bing:
However, its dubious functionalities prove this perception false. In fact, Weknow.start.me is classified as a potentially undesired program which you should better remove from affected Mac as soon as possible. On one hand, by doing this you will prevent it from collecting a variety of both personally and non-personally details. On the other hand, you will stop all annoying ads that have recently become to appear on websites you visit.
In order to stop unsolicited data collection, avoid the load of all annoying ads and minimize the risk of severe malware infections, it is recommendable to remove Weknow.start.me from your affected browser and clean all associated files from your system.
Remove Weknow.start.me Browser Hijacker from Your Mac
In order to remove Weknow.start.me 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 approach. In order to fully get rid of this particular undesired program and strengthen the security of your device we recommend you to combine the steps. Have in mind that installed files associated with this hijacker may be detected with names different than Weknow.start.me.
In case you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.
About the Weknow.start.me Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.me – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Weknow.start.me files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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 Weknow.start.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.