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Remove Search Daemon (Simple Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Search Daemon is a browser hijacker targeting Mac users in particular

Search Daemon virus

Search Daemon is the name of a browser-injectable Mac malware[1] that is typically distributed via freeware. The misleading name should not be associated with the virtual drive and optical disc known as Daemon. In fact, some references can be traced since the browser hijacker might be distributed bundled with some of the Daemon versions that are accessible for free on third-party download sources. 

The Search Daemon Mac virus – that's the main reference to this tool that can be found on various cybersecurity blogs and forums. Although it's non-malicious, intrusive behavioral traits induce users to call it malicious. Upon installation, which, by the way, happens via freeware bundles and users are not aware of the upcoming browser's hijack, the start page and search engine on Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and others are replaced by an unknown search, such as search.anysearch.com, search.yahoo.com, searchmine.netSearch.myspeedtestxp.com, and others. 

Such a web browser's modifications are usually initiated for marketing purposes, i.e. pay-per-click revenue and traffic boosting. Therefore, the site aims at triggering continuous Search Daemon redirects to the sites of its affiliates. These redirects can be initiated in several ways, i.e. displaying sponsored ads on random sites, injecting scripts onto the browser's settings, which automatically reroutes the traffic once the user types in the search query or URL address. Anyway, these redirects are potentially dangerous due to the uncontrolled third-party content. 

Name Search Daemon
Type Browser hijacker
Sub-Type Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)
Compatibility Targeting Mac OS users
Distribution The browser-based malware is typically distributed via freeware downloads
Compatible web browsers  It can be injected onto Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and other browsers used on Macs. Nevertheless, it can be installed on Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and other Windows browsers as well
 Symptoms Altered start page, search engine, new tab URL, and other settings;
Unknown extensions installed on the web browser;
Intrusive ads generated on random websites;
Ongoing redirects via Search Daemon servers.
Danger The extension is not dangerous itself, though it can expose your machine to potentially dangerous third-party sites engaged in malware dissemination or phishing
 Elimination Manual and automatic removal options are possible. A free guide is given at the end of the article
Fixing malware damage Browser hijackers are potentially dangerous applications that are capable of initiating some system changes. To fix any unwanted changes, we recommend using ReimageIntego repair tool

Do not download the Search Daemon app for Mac no matter what features it claims to have. Note that it's a heavily ad-supported application that is capable of hijacking web browsers and initiating various advertising campaigns to gain revenue. 

Even though it may have a direct download on sources like Mac App Store[2], usually is spread bundled with freeware and shareware as an “optional download” that is supposed to provide additional features (faster web browsing experience, filtered web search results, handy quick access links, etc.). Unfortunately, upon the installation the Search Daemon virus may alter web browser's settings in an unwanted way and initiate pre-default commands without your permission:

  • This PUP may change a default start page, search engine, and new tab window;
  • Typing search queries into the search bar automatically redirect the browser to suspicious third-party sites;
  • Random websites display banner ads with the obviously sponsored content;
  • The web browser may load websites asking you to submit personally identifiable information (name, email address, home address, telephone number, etc.) to claim a prize or similar;
  • You may notice personalized ads (corresponding to your recent web searches). That's because this application may use tracking cookies to gain information about your browsing preferences and harvest browsing history. 

Search Daemon malwareSearch Daemon is a deceptive third-party app that seeks advertising revenue

Therefore, even though the application is not harmful, it's important to understand that it is used for affiliate marketing. It means that it's purpose – to promote third-party content and, thus, gain commission for that. For this reason, there's no reason to postpone Search Daemon removal. 

Those who have installed the app bundle with freeware, NoVirus.lt[3] experts recommend the automatic Search Daemon removal option. Freeware bundles usually consist of several constituents, so there's a risk that your machine contains more than one unwanted application. You can use any security software that is designed to protect and clean Macs. 

Once you remove Search Daemon from Mac, a thorough system scan with ReimageIntego is recommended as an additional precautionary measure ensuring that the system is fully optimized. PUPs tend to inject supporting objects into the system's libraries, which may cause slowdowns or crashes over time. 

Do not skip steps during the installation of free apps

Software bundling is a legitimate distribution method that is widely used by many app developers. However, this method is not entirely fair, especially when untrustworthy parties are misusing it. Bundling allows developers to disguise setup windows that inform users about the installation of additional apps. The problem is that these apps are pre-selected, so inadequate disclosure leads to the automatic installation of the whole bundle right after clicking the “Finish” button. 

Although bundling is useful in its nature as it allows people to use new apps for free, most of the promoted apps are ad-supported and used for their own purposes. Upon installation, these apps tend to hijack web browsers, generate intrusive third-party apps, trigger web-browser redirects, and other unwanted behavior. 

Search Daemon adsSearch Daemon may fill web browser's pages with intrusive ads that misled users into downloading malware

Therefore, to prevent this from happening, it's important to select the Advanced or Custom installation technique. Then carefully monitor the installation steps, paying attention to pre-selected and grayed out checkboxes. Deselect all additional applications before clicking the Next button, thus opting out of unwanted apps. 

Delete Search Daemon app or other potentially unwanted programs from Mac

The Search Daemon Mac virus is a term used by many people. However, its behavior is more like a potentially unwanted program as it cannot harm the machines itself, except display misleading content. Therefore, experts recommend removing this app to prevent redirect to dangerous websites that may be involved in malware distribution. 

For the Search Daemon removal, you can either use a professional anti-malware tool or rely on a manual removal guide that is listed at the end of this article. Make sure to perform all steps in the right order. Unwanted apps may be installed in various locations, so check all possible folders and delete each suspicious application. 

However, it might be slightly complicated to remove Search Daemon virus from the Mac system and web browsers as it may install various components within libraries and remain active even after the removal of the main installer. That's why automatic removal using an anti-malware tool is recommended. Besides, a scan with ReimageIntego utility might solve future problems due to overfilled registries. 

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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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 Search Daemon, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon and related programs
    Here, look for Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon 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.

Remove Search Daemon from Mac OS X system

Unwanted Mac apps can be eliminated by running these steps:

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

Remove Search Daemon from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon-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

Eliminate Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Search Daemon from Google Chrome

In case your web browser continuously displays Search Daemon ads and redirects, follow these steps to reset web browser's settings.

  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 Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon, 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 Search Daemon removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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