Remove Macsafesearch.net (Virus Removal Guide) - Tutorial

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Stealing programs

Macsafesearch.net Removal Guide

What is Macsafesearch.net?

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 ReimageIntego 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 ReimageIntego.

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 ReimageIntego. 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 Compatible with macOS
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.

Getting rid of Macsafesearch.net. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

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

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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 from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove 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:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Macsafesearch.net registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting stealing programs

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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