Discovery Engine Mac

Discovery Engine

Discovery Engine is a Mac application of the browser hijacker type. Browser hijacker apps like Discovery Engine are infamous for the unwanted changes they impose on the user’s browser. Though not inherently malicious, a hijacker may make your Mac more vulnerable to virus attacks.

Discovery Engine Mac

Discovery Engine on Mac

The following article explains everything you need to know about Discovery Engine and other browser-hijacker-type programs. We’ll not only explain the origin of the annoyance you’re dealing with but will also give you detailed instructions on how to remove it from your system along with all the pop-up ads, page-redirect links, banners, and new features it has probably introduced to your browser.

The first thing you’ve probably noticed when you opened your browser (be it Safari,Chrome, Firefox, or another one) is a change in the homepage or the default search engine. Another, even more obvious sign of having a browser hijacker such as Discovery Engine on your computer are the numerous ads that are constantly present on your screen, regardless of the websites you visit. These can range from random pop-ups and banners to colorful box message in different shapes and sizes. But the most irritating thing of all is that no matter how hard you try to remove them, your attempts would likely only results in more pop-ups appearing or your screen. The same applies for the imposed homepage or the newly set search engine – you can’t uninstall them no matter how many times you try to reset the browser’s settings.

Discovery Engine on Mac

Discovery Engine for Mac is an intrusive browser add-on that triggers unwanted browser changes and obstructive page-redirects during each online session. Although Discovery Engine for Mac isn’t an inherently malicious app, its uncontrolled activities might lead to issues with your Mac’s security.

Well, the truth is browser hijackers are used as marketing tools that help online advertisers to promote their products and services online. The marketers use programs like Discovery Engine to place specific sponsored advertisements on the user’s screen with the hopes to get more clicks on said ads. This is because they earn money based on the number of clicks the ads get from the users. This explains the strange positioning of the numerous advertisements and their intrusiveness, which leaves the users without an option to ignore them.

What is Discovery Engine?

Discovery Engine is a browser hijacker that installs in popular browsers on macOS computers. Junkware apps like Discovery Engine are known for opening new browser windows and tabs without permission with the aim to boost the traffic to certain websites.

If you have had Discovery Engine on your system for long enough, you may also notice that a lot of the displayed ads mysteriously match your recent search queries. This is because such programs, apart from spamming you with random ads, typically have the ability to track your browsing activity and use this information to determine what kind of products and services you are most interested in. The idea is to display ads that are matching your latest searches so that you eventually click on them. This activity is a common online marketing tactic but is often considered as potentially unwanted since there are many people who are worried about the fact that a program can track their web searches and frequently visited sites.

The DiscoveryEngine App

The DiscoveryEnggine app is a form of unwanted browser extension programmed to generate ads in macOS browsers. To complete its task, the DiscoveryEngine app will install helper elements in the infected browser such as a new search engine or new toolbar buttons.

Despite the rather questionable online advertising tactics it uses, a program like Discovery Engine cannot really do any harm to you or to your machine. This software lacks the destructive abilities of malicious infections such as Trojans or Ransomware. However, you should be very careful about the ads the browser hijacker displays, as they may sometimes land you a real virus, including the above-mentioned Ransomware or Trojan Horses. The thing is, malicious ads exist and they can sneak in the stream of regular ads very easily. With this in mind, clicking on a misleading ad or banner is very possible, and you can never know where it may redirect you to. Therefore, a good solution is to avoid all ads and uninstall any software that spams you with random commercials uncontrollably.


Name Discovery Engine
Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  A Browser Hijacker may uncontrollably generate various sponsored commercials on your screen and redirect you to specific web pages.
Distribution Method Freeware platforms, shareware websites, free download managers, torrents and spam are common places where this software can be found.
Detection Tool

Remove Discovery Engine from Mac

Discovery Engine Mac

The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.

Discovery Engine Mac


Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Discovery Engine Mac

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:

Discovery Engine Mac

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Discovery Engine Mac

Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:

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Discovery Engine Mac
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    Discovery Engine Mac

    The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

    On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

    First, Force Quit Safari again.

    Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.

    Discovery Engine Mac

    Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

    Discovery Engine Mac

    and then again on the Extensions tab,

    Discovery Engine Mac

    Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.
    Discovery Engine Mac

    The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

    Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,
    Discovery Engine Mac

    Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

    Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

    Discovery Engine Mac

    Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
    Discovery Engine Mac

    Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.

    Discovery Engine Mac How to Remove Discovery Engine From Firefox in OSX:

    Open Firefoxclick on Discovery Engine Mac (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

    Discovery Engine Mac

    The problem should be lurking somewhere around here –  Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.

    Discovery Engine MacHow to Remove Discovery Engine From Chrome in OSX:

     Start Chrome, click Discovery Engine Mac —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select  Discovery Engine Mac.

    Discovery Engine Mac

     Click Discovery Engine Mac again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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