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Remove Macsafesearch.net (Virus Removal Guide) - Tutorial

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Mac Safe Search is a browser hijacker that targets Mac users

Macsafesearch.net download website

Mac Safe Search is Google Chrome browser extension that operates as a browser hijacker. This potentially unwanted program (PUP) aims at Mac OS X users and offers to improve search results. However, it can infiltrate the machine unnoticed and set Macsafesearch.net as default search provider without leaving a chance to get rid of it easily.

Summary
Name Mac Safe Search
Official website Macsafesearch.net
Targeted OS Mac OS X
Targeted browser Google Chrome
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium. Affects web browser to control browsing sessions and redirect to sponsored sites
Symptoms

Changed Chrome's homepage, default search engine or/and new tab address; redirects to affiliate sites, delivery of ads.

Distribution methods Software bundles
To uninstall Macsafesearch, install Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and run a full system scan

The main page of the Macsafesearch.net seems legitimate and barely differs from well-known search engines. However, the simple and fresh design is misleading. The browser hijacker is capable of controlling user’s browsing sessions and preferences.

However, legitimate programs and services always provide EULA[1] and Privacy Policy. Creators of Macsafesearch.net included End User’s License but forgot about Privacy Policy. Hence, it’s unknown whether it can track information about users, and if it does so, how these details are treated.

It’s extremely important to be aware of data tracking and sharing activities because faulty usage of these details can lead to privacy-related issues. Therefore, if you value your security you should remove Macsafesearch.net immediately.

The first and the most important task for Macsafesearch.net virus is to alter browser’s settings. It might change default homepage, built-in search engine, and new tab URL address. It might alter browser’s shortcuts and make some system changes to strengthen its presence and avoid elimination.

As soon as Mac Safe Search virus gets control over Chrome, it starts intervening browsing sessions by:

  • altering search results;
  • redirecting to sponsored websites;
  • displaying intrusive pop-ups, banners, in-text and other ads.

There’s no doubt that such activities complicate browsing the web. Additionally, they might be dangerous too. Despite the fact that this Chrome add-on is advertised as a tool that improves and secures searching the web, it’s not true. Specialists report about Macsafesearch.net redirect tendencies that might lead to malware attack or being scammed.

According to the research data and users’ reports, redirects to drive-downloads, tech support scam, and phishing sites[2] are common after browser hijacker. Though, these activities should not be accepted. We highly recommend quick and simple Macsafesearch.net removal with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Macsafesearch virus exampleMac Safe Search is a browser hijacker that targets Google Chrome browser installed on Mac OS X.

Suspicious Chrome extension cannot be downloaded directly

Nevertheless, the extension is available on MacSafeSearch website; the “Add To Chrome” button is not working. It redirects to the non-existent Chrome Web Store website. Inability to get the extension directly means that the hijacker can sneak into computers unnoticed.

Specialists from Viruset.no[3] tell that this kind of cyber threats spread bundled with freeware or shareware. This method allows adding suspicious extensions or other PUPs as optional programs. The biggest advantage of such distribution method is that it gives a chance to get installed silently.

Quick/Recommended installers of freeware do not disclose about third-party apps that are spreading together. However, they are still installed by default. Fortunately, using Custom/Advanced settings allows opting out third-party apps and avoid their negative features.

Uninstall Mac Safe Search

In order to remove Macsafesearch, you have to access Chrome’s extensions and click the trash can icon next to the extension. Then in the appeared Confirm Removal dialog box window click Remove option. The hijacker should be gone.

However, we highly recommend doing the same with other questionable extensions that may have been installed without your knowledge too. Moreover, reset the browser to stop tracking activities, and check if any suspicious apps haven’t appeared in your Applications list.

If you have some problems with Macsafesearch.net removal and the hijacker keeps coming back, we highly recommend switching to the automatic elimination mode. This method requires scanning the device with anti-malware software and delete hijacker-related components automatically.

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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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 Macsafesearch.net, follow these steps:

Get rid of Macsafesearch.net from Windows systems

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Macsafesearch.net and related programs
    Here, look for Macsafesearch.net or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Macsafesearch.net from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Erase Macsafesearch.net from Mac OS X system

Check the list of Applications and move to trash those that seem to be related to Macsafesearch virus.

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Macsafesearch.net from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Macsafesearch.net-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Macsafesearch.net, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Macsafesearch.net and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Macsafesearch.net-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Eliminate Macsafesearch.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Macsafesearch.net and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Macsafesearch.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Macsafesearch.net from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Macsafesearch.net-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Remove Macsafesearch.net 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 Macsafesearch.net 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Macsafesearch.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Macsafesearch.net from Google Chrome

Uninstall Mac Safe Search extension as well as other questionable add-ons that may have been installed without your knowledge as well. Also, reset the browser:

  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 Macsafesearch.net 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Macsafesearch.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Macsafesearch.net 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 Macsafesearch.net or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Macsafesearch.net, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Macsafesearch.net removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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