Severity scale:  
  (9/100)

Macsafesearch.net. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

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 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.

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 can remove Macsafesearch.net automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Macsafesearch.net you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Macsafesearch.net. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual Macsafesearch.net Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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.

  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 Macsafesearch.net 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Macsafesearch.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Macsafesearch.net and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Macsafesearch.net removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Macsafesearch.net from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Macsafesearch.net should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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