SearchForWords Adware on Mac
An adware program named SearchForWords has been detected to infect Mac devices. Such a program aims to land on macOS without informing people. Adware programs like SearchForWords can modify various settings and this way causes an impact on the system and the apps installed on it.
The program may try to reach installed web browsers and then force them to load sponsored content. This issue enables it to generate revenue for its owners. The bad news is such an impact lowers the overall macOS security. Sometimes adware applications are misused for the distribution of online scams and rogue apps.
Although this adware is not a malicious program, you should remove it from the affected Mac device.
SearchForWords Adware Summary
|Type||Adware, Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||A questionable application that appears in the Applications list on your Mac. It performs browser modifications without your knowledge. The program may hijack Safari, Chrome and other browsers installed on your Mac.|
|Symptoms||The homepage, new tab page and search engine in preferred web browser may be set to display a hoax search engine. Browser slowdowns may occur due to increased number of online ads. The program may start every time you start the affected Mac.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Corrupted Websites, Fake Flash Player Updates|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss SearchForWords Adware.|
SearchForWords on Mac – What Does It Do?
SearchForWords is a potentially unwanted, on the one hand and a kind of a Mac virus on the other hand.
Anti-malware programs flag SearchForWords as a potentially undesired program (PUP) or adware which means that it is not a malicious app. Still, its presence on a macOS hides some serious security risks that are better to be avoided with its complete removal.
Adware apps tend to get installed on computer operating systems without users’ knowledge. This odd issue occurs with the help of shady propagation methods. Some of these methods include software packages, malicious advertisements, and hacked websites.
Yet another issue that confirms the need of the complete removal of SearchForWords adware from a Mac it its functionality to present you with ads that promote other rogue programs or push online scams. Furthermore, the adware may push some of the most persistent Mac malware threats such as Search Baron and Search Marquis as well.
In addition, browsers affected by SearchForWords may display lots of suspicious ads. Those ads may be of the following types:
- Browser redirects.
- Push notifications.
- Highlighted text ads.
- Ad-supported search results.
As long as SearchForWords adware is running on your Mac, it lowers the overall system security. It is highly recommendable that you remove the undesired app from your affected Mac.
How to Remove SearchForWords Mac Adware
To remove SearchForWords and all its entries from the affected system, you should complete several removal steps in a precise order. The guide below presents you with both manual and automatic removal approaches. To fully get rid of files installed by undesired programs like SearchForWords and strengthen macOS security, we recommend that you combine the steps.
The manual SearchForWords removal might be quite a complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps, navigate the guide’s automatic part.
In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.
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 SearchForWords Adware 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.
- 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 SearchForWords Adware 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:
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 SearchForWords Adware – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove SearchForWords Adware files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as SearchForWords Adware, 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.
SearchForWords Adware FAQ
What is SearchForWords Adware on your Mac?
The SearchForWords Adware 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:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of SearchForWords Adware 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 SearchForWords Adware?
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 SearchForWords Adware?
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.