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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,,, 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 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,[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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego utility might solve future problems due to overfilled registries. 

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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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 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 '' 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:

  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 Search Daemon 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'

Get rid of Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon 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 Search Daemon removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete Search Daemon 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, Search Daemon should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

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

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. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

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 server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

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. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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