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Remove Search.pollicare.com virus (Removal Guide) - Dec 2017 update

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Pollicare is yet another downloader that can hijack your system

Search.pollicare.com virus

Pollicare is a downloader that can alter your browser settings and Mac operating system. Besides, it can clutter your iOS with additional spyware[1] and similar potentially unwanted software, such as search.pollicare.com, without your knowledge. Thanks to these features, the virus was added to the “browser hijacker” category.

It turns out that Pollicare belongs to the same developer as Mogobiggy and Romandos virus. All of them can also sneak into the system unnoticed because it has been actively relying on bundling. When inside your computer, it performs modifications on each of available browsers and makes the discussed URL as a default search engine and a homepage.

Consequently, the victim starts experiencing redirects to this page daily and receives Genieo Yahoo Search results whenever trying to get some important information using Search.pollicare.com search engine.

If you haven’t heard about Genieo (by Genieo innovation, Ltd.), it is a highly annoying content recommendation software that might infiltrate your Mac all of a sudden.[2] It happens without user’s knowledge since the Pollicare employs sneaky distribution techniques to establish itself on victim’s computer. Please pay attention that “Genieo” next to Yahoo search results in the tab name is a warning sign that reveals Genieo’s existence in your computer.

Typically, Genieo injects ads in your search results to earn the money from advertising. These paid search results help the developers of Pollicare generate pay-per-click revenue. The scheme is very simple – by pushing sponsored offers to computer users and redirecting them to predefined sites, they can receive a commission fee.

However, external sites accessed via Pollicare can strongly disappoint the user and what is even worse, pose a threat to one’s security and privacy. No one has time to read Privacy Policies and user reviews online, which means users can face potential risks while exploring Genieo search results.

To prevent these dangers, we strongly advise you not to use the defined search tool and eliminate the browser-hijacking software immediately. For Pollicare removal, consider using ReimageIntego. Besides, if your web browsers are hacked, you are highly recommended to reset your web browser which is affected by this browser hijacker. Otherwise, it will continue redirecting you to sponsored sites. 

Search.pollicare.com hijackSearch.pollicare.com redirect virus is the cause of unwanted problems on Mac. Typically, it causes browser redirects, shows pop-up ads and slows down the entire system.

Distribution of the downloader

The suspicious Pollicate downloader is promoted via suspicious file sharing sites, but Zondervirus.nl experts say[3] that most of the time, it travels in unison with other Mac freeware such as games or system tools that promise to provide outstanding features. Let us provide a fact sheet that explains how potentially unwanted programs sneak into the system unnoticed:

  • The only mistake that guarantees installation of unwanted applications is the need to install new programs as quickly as possible.
  • People forget that information written in fine print is very important. Therefore, if they simply rush through the installation and ignore alternative installation options such as Custom or Advanced, they risk installing unwanted junkware instantly.
  • Do not be afraid of Custom or Advanced installation options. If possible, always customize the installation – it allows you to see extra items added to your download and deselect them to avoid their installation. That is exactly what you need to do in order to delete the described threat from your Mac.
  • Choosing Default or Standard options simply mean choosing installation options that grant installation of every possible extra you do not need in your life. That is the main reason to avoid these installation modes.

Removing Search.pollicare.com and other components from Mac

Can’t stand unwanted redirects and ads appearing on your screen? If so, rush to remove Pollicare virus today. Our experts have prepared comprehensive removal instructions for every computer user – professional or inexperienced. We hope that the provided guide will help you clean your OS X without encountering any problems. When in doubt, speed up Pollicare removal using anti-malware or anti-spyware software.

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.pollicare.com virus, follow these steps:

Erase Search.pollicare.com from Mac OS X system

To remove Pollicare downloader and Genieo virus, follow the provided instructions:

  1. In the Apple menu bar, find Genieo icon and click on it to choose Quit option.
  2. Now, open Finder and enter launchd.conf in the search box. Find the gear icon and choose Show Search Criteria.
  3. Now, select Kind and click Other. In the Select a search attribute window, you have to choose System files setting and select OK.
  4. Find launchd.conf and drag it to Trash.
  5. In the Apple menu bar, press Go. Here, click Go to folder… Use the search box to find the listed folders and files and delete them:
    • /Applications/Genieo

    • /Applications/InstallMac

    • /Applications/Uninstall Genieo
    • /Applications/Uninstall IM Completer.app

    • ~/Library/Application Support/Genieo/

    • ~/Library/Application Support/com.genieoinnovation.Installer/
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.genieo.completer.download.plist

    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.genieo.completer.update.plist

    • /Library/LaunchAgents/com.genieo.engine.plist

    • /Library/LaunchAgents/com.genieoinnovation.macextension.plist

    • /Library/LaunchAgents/com.genieo.completer.update.plist

    • /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.genieoinnovation.macextension.client

    • /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.genieoinnovation.macextension.client.plist
    • /usr/lib/libgenkit.dylib

    • /usr/lib/libgenkitsa.dylib

    • /usr/lib/libimckit.dylib
    • /usr/lib/libimckitsa.dylib

  6. Right-click on Trash bin and choose Empty Trash.
  7. Then follow the instructions provided below to eliminate the remaining Pollicare virus elements.

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

Remove Search.pollicare.com from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Search.pollicare.com 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.pollicare.com 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.pollicare.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Search.pollicare.com virus 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.pollicare.com-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

Delete Search.pollicare.com 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.pollicare.com 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.pollicare.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Search.pollicare.com from Google Chrome

  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.pollicare.com 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.pollicare.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

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

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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