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Smart Search virus. Mac removal guide for 2019

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Smart Search virus is a browser hijacker which has mostly been targeting MacOS

SmartSearch The Smart Search is a browser hijacker which targets to hijack most widely used browsers and display commercial content.

Questions about The Smart Search

Smart Search virus is a browser hijacker designed to hijack MacOS by altering most popular browsers, including Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. This questionable application spreads as a browser extension which immediately alters browser settings and redirects to search-smart.work or other sites. In other terms, users are forced to browse through a fraudulent search engine which delivers modified query results. Additionally, people are actively searching for effective ways to remove Smart Search from Mac as this PUP can be exceptionally persistent. Thus, users are advised to be cautious and protect their systems from this browser hijacker[1].

Name The Smart Search
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium. Performs browser modifications to persist on the system, redirects to sponsored websites, displays sponsored content
sites users are redirected to search-smart.work, smartsearch.pw, thesmartsearch.net
Potential dangers
  • The PUP can redirect to the malicious website
  • The user receives only altered search results and information
  • Search results are filled with sponsored ads
  • Browsing experience decreases
  • Computer's work becomes sluggish
Distribution
  • Misleading marketing technique, e.g. the virus is presented as a useful browser extension
  • Bundling
Removal As this browser hijacker may be persistent, we recommend getting Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to uninstall Smart Search

Smart Search promises “A Faster And Cleaner Search.” Developers of this browser hijacker are trying to convince users that the app is useful. However, the only goal of authors is to gain monetary benefit at the expense of compromised victims’ browsers. Therefore, users should remove Smart Search redirect and extension from their computers as soon as they notice it.

The Smart Search typically sets the tab URL, search engine and homepage to search-smart.work which then reroutes users to yahoo.com. This is done so to track users’ browsing habits and then manipulate search results accordingly. This way, users are exposed to third-party content on every web browsing session.

Smart Search Mac virus

This potentially unwanted program records a variety of non-personally identifiable information[2], including the following:

  • Search queries;
  • IP address;
  • ISP used;
  • Geo-location;
  • Etc.

Continual spying is conducted to investigate victims' browsing habits further and possibly share this information with third-parties. Such data is valuable for marketing purposes as customized ads help increase traffic to the affiliate websites and generate pay-per-click[3] revenue for The Smart Search developers.

The Smart SearchUsers are not advised to trust The Smart Search as it might redirect to misleading content and unsafe websites online.

The most dangerous feature Smart Search virus is that it advertises or redirects users to malicious web pages. These domains might host malware and infect victims’ PCs with deadly viruses, such as ransomware. Keep in mind that the latest research showed that this browser hijacker actively targets Mac OS X users. Thus, we have attached detailed instructions helping to remove Smart Search from Mac. You can find them below.

If the activity by The Smart Search mentioned above is not enough, be aware that users might obtain a keylogger[4] which records every keystroke and might steal personal information, such as social media, bank, and other passwords. This activity is hazardous as you never know who will obtain your personal details. It can be used for a variety of illegal activities, such as identity theft.

Smart Search browser hijackerSmart Search - a virus which alters browser settings to persist on the system and is closely related to thesmartsearch.net.

Furthermore, Smart Search redirect is closely related to thesmartsearch.net. Previously it was used as a search engine for the extension. However, in its current state it merely instantaneously reroutes users to suspicious websites. We urge users to refrain from using this webpage or close down the browser if they get redirected to it.

All in all, this extension is not worth anybody’s time. It will not grant you “A Faster And Cleaner Search,” and it will not enhance your browsing experience. Since all the searches are redirected to yahoo.com, you might as well use the official search engine which does not reroute you to suspicious domains. Therefore, do not delay The Smart Search removal. You can uninstall the unwanted application using a robust security tool, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Smart Search virusSmart Search - redirect virus which modifies browser settings and reroutes all search queries to Yahoo or other well-known search providers.

Rogue browser extensions reside inside the installers of freeware

While many might wonder, how browser hijackers enter the system, the answer is more than simple — unreliable browser extensions are appended as optional components to third-party applications. Developers bundle them together and offer as one. Thus, many users fail to identify an attempt to infiltrate a potentially unwanted program on their computers. 

If you want to avoid browser hijackers, the most important thing is to monitor the installation of the freeware by opting for Advanced or Custom installation option and declining installation of additional components. Otherwise, you can find questionable applications on your computer and have to take actions to get rid of them.

Experts explain two ways how to uninstall Smart Search virus

The majority of users did not install this potentially unwanted program by themselves. Since the infection might be persistent, people struggle with The Smart Search removal. Luckily, cybersecurity experts[5] have two ways how you can get rid of the browser hijacker easily. 

The first method requires you to download a professional malware removal software and install in on your computer. Later, scan the system for potentially unwanted programs and let the antivirus remove Smart Search virus safely. This elimination method merely takes several minutes before your PC is clean from browser hijackers.

Another way is to remove The Smart Search from Mac or Windows by yourself. However, some users might not be experienced enough to do it without any assistance. Therefore, we highly suggest following the manual elimination instructions which are presented at the end of this article. 

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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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 The Smart Search, follow these steps:

Uninstall The Smart Search from Mac OS X system

You can remove The Smart Search from Mac by following these steps:

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

Remove The Smart Search from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search-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

Erase The Smart Search from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Do not forget to reset Firefox settings to default.

  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 The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search 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 The Smart Search, 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 The Smart Search removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References
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