Mac Virus

How to Remove “Only Search” (Mac Guide)

Parasite may reinstall itself multiple times if you don't delete its core files. We recommend downloading ComboCleaner to scan for malicious programs installed with it. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes. 

Download ComboCleaner Anti-Malware

More information about ComboCleaner and steps to uninstall. Please review ComboCleaner's EULA and Privacy Policy. Keep in mind, only ComboCleaner’s scanner is free. If it detects a malware, you'll need to purchase its full version to remove it.


Only Search

“Only Search” is a type of ad-generating software that you probably may not want on your PC. It basically affects your default browser, be it Chrome, Firefox, Safari or some other one that you are using, therefore it is classified as a browser hijacker. Usually, what this program may do is, it may place some unfamiliar toolbar or a new search engine in your browser or it may modify your settings by replacing your homepage with some sponsored one. This may lead to numerous page redirects, continuous flow of ads, pop-ups and banners all over your screen and an overall browsing disturbance. What is a bit alarming is that the browser hijacker may impose all these changes without your approval. And this is the main reason why this type of software is known as invasive and irritating. If you would like to remove the imposed changes from your browser, you actually will need to fully uninstall “Only Search” from your system, or else you will be constantly exposed to its ads disturbance. Fortunately, this can easily be done and in the removal guide below we will show you how to do it. But first, let us tell you more about the specifics of the browser hijackers and their abilities.

You may install the browser hijacker unknowingly…

In most of the cases, people end up with programs like “Only Search” on their PC unknowingly. The browser hijackers don’t sneak inside your system like malware or viruses, but they use a rather tricky method for you to install them. Usually, they get distributed via software bundles, where they are packed as additional software with another attractive or free program. However, when users come across such a bundle (mostly in file sharing platforms, torrents, spam emails, attachments and free downloads) and attempt to install it, they may not be clearly notified about the presence of the browser hijacker. That’s why, it is very important for them to always select the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation, which will give them full control over the bundle and allow them to disable the undesired software from the setup. Failing to do that may result in the installation of the whole bundle, which may fill their PC with a bunch potentially unwanted programs.

Could “Only Search” cause problems to your computer?

Since you are reading this, you probably already have an idea of how annoying a program like “Only Search” could be. It could redirect your searches, land you on unknown and undesired web pages, load your screen with different promotional messages and sponsored notifications, and all this, with incredible intrusiveness. But could this be some kind of danger to your PC? Well, according to security experts – no. A browser hijacker is quite a harmless program compared to computer viruses or malicious threats like Ransomware and Trojans. “Only Search” itself has been created with one purpose – to advertise specific products, services and offers on your screen so you could click on them. The developers of this program earn revenue from your clicks thanks to the popular Pay-Per-Click method and this is how they make their living. This is not illegal or malicious activity and actually, it does not affect anything on your computer except your browser. Therefore, it cannot be considered a serious risk to your system and security. But still, some people may wish to remove these types of programs and there are a few good reasons for that.  

What may “Only Search” do?

Despite there not being any harmful or malicious activities related to “Only Search” or browser hijackers in general, there are some questionable specifics, which may give the users a good reason to uninstall these programs. One of them is the data tracking activity. Used as an online advertising tool, the browser hijacker may be programmed to collect some browsing-related data, such as your online activity, browsing history, bookmarks or latest visited pages. This data is normally used by the developers as valuable marketing information, which allows them to customize the ads that you see according to your interests. This increases that chance of you clicking on some of them and of course, it also increases the Pay-Per-Click income for the browser hijacker owners. However, some people may feel like their privacy has been invaded and may not like the idea of having their online activity down and used for marketing purposes.

Apart from that, being constantly bombarded with intrusive ads on your screen may be a bit dangerous. Sometimes you may unknowingly get redirected to some compromised or illegal web locations, where different viruses or malware may be hiding. Hackers usually use such redirects and fake ads to infect the unsuspecting online users with threats like Trojans or the notorious Ransomware. That’s why it is not a good idea to click on everything that pops up on your screen or keep a program that may redirect you from the locations you desire. 


Name “Only Search”
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms This program may place some unfamiliar toolbar or a new search engine in your browser or it may modify your settings by replacing your homepage with some sponsored one.
Distribution Method Software bundles,  file sharing platforms, torrents, spam emails, attachments and free downloads.
Detection Tool

How to Remove “Only Search” from Mac


We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. We recommend downloading ComboCleaner to see if it can detect parasite files for you.

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.


This is the most important step. Do not skip it if you want to remove “Only Search” successfully!

To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.

If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading ComboCleaner
a professional malware removal tool.

More information on ComboCleaner, steps to uninstallEULA, and Privacy Policy.

Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to activity-monitor

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:


Now click on Sample at the bottom:


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:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at:

Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result


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.


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,

Preferences in Safari

and then again on the Extensions tab,

extensions in safari

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.

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,
Privacy in Safari

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

General Tab in Safari

Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
Default Home Page

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

firefox-512 How to Remove “Only Search” From Firefox in OSX:

Open Firefoxclick on mozilla menu (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

pic 6

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

chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundHow to Remove “Only Search” From Chrome in OSX:

 Start Chrome, click chrome menu icon —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select  chrome-trash-icon.

pic 8

 Click chrome menu icon 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!

Leave a Comment