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Remove Lkysearchex (Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

Lkysearchex is a redirect virus that may inject unwanted ads and fake search results into your web browsing routine

Lkysearchex is adware app that hijacks all the installed browsers on macOS and displays intrusive ads, gathers various browsing-related data, as well as performs other unwanted activities

Lkysearchex is an adware-type infection that might be present on Mac users' computers, although in some cases, the threat can reside within Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another browser. This is because the adware can get installed on the targeted system as a browser extension or as a standalone application. In most cases, these programs arrive at the system without users' permission, as they are often bundled with other software that is distributed on third-party websites.

Once installed, the Lkysearchex virus changes the settings of the web browser, and might also drop several files onto macOS without warning. In worse cases, the extension might also grant itself elevated permissions and be able to read personal details on all websites (such as banking or online payment checkouts). There is no need for Lkysearchex to have such permissions, so the prescience of this Mac malware might result in money loss or sensitive data exposure to cybercriminals. Besides, Lkysearchex can also show intrusive pop-ups, pop-unders, in-text links, auto-play, and other forms of advertisements, and redirect users to insecure websites.

Name Lkysearchex
Type Mac virus, adware, potentially unwanted application
Targeted OS macOS
Infection means  Potentially unwanted applications get installed after users install programs from unapproved stores (third-party sources) or when they get tricked by fake ads or fake updates
Symptoms  Redirects to unknown websites that ask to download suspicious software or claim virus infections, intrusive pop-up, and another type of ads on all visited websites, sponsored links at the top of search results, etc.
Dangers Personal data disclosure to unknown parties, money loss, installation of other PUPs or malware 
Termination  Get rid of potentially unwanted applications as per our instructions below or scan the machine with anti-virus software 
Optimization If your Mac is slow and laggy, you should check out optimization software like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Lkysearchex removal might depend on many different factors, although the easiest way to terminate the potentially unwanted program that causes browser redirects is by scanning the machine with reputable anti-malware. In other cases, getting rid of the threat can be as easy as removing the unwanted extension from the browser.

It is possible that Lkysearchex will redirect you to websites that claim fake virus infections – one of the best scam examples which adware-infected users encounter is “Your system is infected with 3 viruses.” Visitors are informed that allegedly the macOS is infected with various malware and that they might lose sensitive information unless they download and install a remedy application.

Typically, shady apps are promoted in such a way, including Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Tonic, Smart Mac Booster, and countless of others. These apps are absolutely useless for macOS, as they do not fix any problems but rather show fake scan results to make users buy licensed versions. In fact, some of these scareware[1] apps were involved in malicious campaigns like Shlayer Trojan (if you need an app that can clean and speed up your Mac, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego instead).

Therefore, Lkysearchex redirects and ads might indicate a much bigger problem than initially thought. To remove Lkysearchex from your machine, along with the other unwanted software, you should follow the instructions below. For the best results, you should also reset all the installed browsers.

Lkysearchex virus
Lkysearchex is a redirect virus that takes over users' searches and displays alternative (non-organic) search results

Opt for official sources when it comes to new application installation

In general, there should be no need to download applications from third-parties, as official sources have many apps to choose from. For example, the App Store hosts almost two millions application that you could choose from.[2] Besides, there are other options available, such as Amazon Appstore. In other words, as long as the source is legitimate and approved by Apple, downloading apps should be safe. Nevertheless, be aware that even legitimate stores sometimes get tricked by clever cybercriminals, as they insert malicious apps that bypass initial security checks.[3]

If you still decide to go for third-party sites, you should acknowledge the risks, as software bundles are often hosted in unofficial sources. First of all, you should equip your machine with reputable anti-malware, as it could stop many threats before they can even enter. Secondly, you should always take a close look at the installation process, as this is when most are tricked. Always opt for Advanced/Custom installation settings and watch out for pre-ticked boxes, fine print text, deceptive offers, etc.

Additionally, never download anything from websites that claim virus infections or indicate that your personal information is in danger – it is merely a scam that seeks your money and nothing else. Also, fake Flash and Java updates are often used to install potentially unwanted applications, as well as malware on users' computers, so always download updates from official sources only.

Lkysearchex distribution
Potentially unwanted programs like Lkysearchex are often installed via software bundles or fake updates (Flash, Java, etc.)

Get rid of Lkysearchex virus on your Mac

As previously mentioned, you can remove Lkysearchex virus in two different ways: manual and automatic. Both can work just as well as each other, although it highly depends on many factors. For example, if an extension causes the intrusive browser behavior, you should be able to get rid of it via the browser in just a few clicks. However, some extensions might prevent Lkysearchex removal in the first place – the same goes for standalone apps.

For example, Lkysearchex might have inserted a new Profile which would be launched with every computer boot-up. Additionally, suspicious entries can be placed in the following folders:

  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents;
  • ~/Library/Application Support;
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons

Thus, if you opt for manual Lkysearchex virus uninstallation, you should check these folders and delete files related to it. If you are unsure about your actions, rather install a reputable anti-malware that specializes in PUP removal, and perform a full system scan. Finally, resetting all the installed browsers would also get rid of the malicious app if it is the extension that is causing unwanted activities on your device.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Lkysearchex, follow these steps:

Get rid of Lkysearchex from Mac OS X system

To remove Lkysearchex redirects and other unwanted activities, locate the PUP and move it to Trash:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Lkysearchex or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Uninstall Lkysearchex from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Lkysearchex and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Lkysearchex removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Lkysearchex from Google Chrome

You should reset Google Chrome as explained below to get rid of unwanted browser extensions:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Lkysearchex and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Lkysearchex removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Lkysearchex from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Lkysearchex or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Lkysearchex removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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