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Smart Search Mac

What Is Smart Search Mac?

This article aims to inform you about the issues that could occur in case that your web browser has been affected by Smart Search Mac hijacker. It also provides a detailed guide that could help you with the removal process of this potentially undesired program from your Mac.

Smart Search Mac is website that acts like a typical browser hijacker. It applies unwanted changes of browser settings in order to lure users into using its deceptive services. It becomes able to apply all these changes immediately after its configuration files are started on your Mac. For the purpose, they are spread via shady techniques like software bundles, freeware installers and corrupted web pages. An affected web browser could be set to load the main page of the hijacker as a homepage, new tab page and default search engine.

Smart Search Mac

Since it is known that Smart Search Mac is a potentially unwanted program that aims to hijack commonly used web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Safari), we suppose that its creators aim to trick you into starting its configuration files on your Mac without noticing their presence. So the first spread technique that comes to our minds is software bundling. Since it allows app developers to inject unwanted extras into their installers it is often used for the distribution of undesired programs. Furthermore, they could set compromised installers to skip notifying you about the presence of the hijacker. Unfortunately, some of your favorite free third-party programs that seem useful and legit could be the reason why you keep seeing Smart Search Mac hijacker during each browsing session.

Usually, the installation code of such extra programs is incorporated and concealed into the installers of third-party apps. So you might have unnoticeably installed this annoying program on your computer during the installation process of any recently downloaded desired free app. Such side effect could be is prevented with the options presented in the Advanced or Custom configuration steps. They should inform you about the existence of any additional apps and let you opt out their installation.

Threat Summary

Name Smart Search Mac
Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, PUP
Short Description A questionable search engine that replaces essential browser destinations in order to obtain data and flood results with bogus advertisements.
Symptoms The homepage, new tab page and search enigne in a preferred web browser could be set to dislay the main page of Search.fastsearch.me hijacker. Browser slowdowns could occur due to increased number of online ads.
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 Smart Search Mac.

Smart Search Mac – More About It

Smart Search Mac is a website that provides a hoax search engine in an attempt to trick affected users into visiting as much sponsored content as possible. This could be explained by the fact that its owners gain revenue for each visit of an ad generated by their website respectively the program associated with it. So what you should notice once after the hijacker gains access to your system and browser is an increased number of aggressive online advertisements.

Their presence in the browser could be the reason of occurring browser slowdowns and sometimes even crashes. Furthermore, some of them could endanger the security of your computer by being set to land on corrupted web pages.

Among the changes that may take place soon after Smart Search Mac’s files are started on your device are related to basic browser settings including those of preferred homepage, new tab page and search engine. All those destinations may be configured to display the main page of the hijacker that is shown in the picture below:

Along with the search field on its main page are presented several logos of popular websites used by the majority of online users. When clicked they load the corresponding website in the same browser tab. At first, you may suppose that this search engine does not differ a lot from some of the most popular ones. However, its sudden and mysterious appearance in your browser should be the first signal to alert you that there is something wrong.

Unfortunately, as long as this deceptive website has access to your device it could use various tracking technologies to spy on your browser activities and harvest the details. Alike most browser hijackers it may be able to acquire the following:

  • The domain name of current Internet service provider (ISP)
  • Geographic location
  • Internet protocol (IP) address
  • Operating system type
  • Type of used browser
  • Search queries on the visited web pages
  • Search queries
  • Browser’s home page
  • Visited URLs and websites

In case that you want to stop Smart Search Mac from interrupting your regular and secure browsing, you should remove all associated files from your system and further reset the settings of your affected browsers.

How to Remove Smart Search Mac Hijacker

In order to remove Smart Search Mac hijacker and all associated files from your Mac, you should complete all the steps listed in the removal that follows. It presents both manual and automatic removal instructions that combined could help you to secure your device and keep it safe from future attacks. In case that you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with SpyHunter for Mac
Smart Search Mac 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 Smart Search Mac 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 Smart Search Mac:

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 Smart Search Mac. 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 Smart Search Mac. 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 Smart Search Mac 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 Smart Search Mac. 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 Smart Search Mac – 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 Smart Search Mac 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 Smart Search Mac files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Smart Search Mac, 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 Smart Search Mac:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac




Smart Search Mac FAQ

What is Smart Search Mac on your Mac?

The Smart Search Mac 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 Smart Search Mac 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 Smart Search Mac?

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 Smart Search Mac?

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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