Idea Reference Mac

Idea Reference

Idea Reference is a browser hijacker that redirects Mac users to specific web sites and makes changes to their default web browser. Idea Reference may change the search engine, replace the homepage address and install some additional components that users may not have approved.

Idea Reference Mac

Idea Reference App on Mac

In general, programs ( Search Marquis, Typical Fraction, Basic Desktop) that operate like browser hijackers are not related to any malicious activities. They don’t have the harmful abilities of viruses, ransomware, Trojans and other malware, yet users are usually advised not to keep apps of this type on their computer as their actions can often expose them to online dangers.

Idea Reference for Mac

Idea Reference for Mac is a good example of a program that may be more irritating than it is helpful and may cause significant browsing disturbance instead of enhancing your web experience. Idea Reference for Mac is promoted as a useful add-on for Safari, Firefox, Chrome and other commonly used web browsers.

However, when installed in the system, the browser hijacker usually makes changes that users may not approve of. For example, Idea Reference may replace the homepage address with a different one, add a new search engine, install some new toolbars and page redirect buttons that clutter the browser’s interface and reroute users to pre-defined web locations. Furthermore, the program may display different aggressive commercial messages on the browser’s screen. These messages may appear in the form of pop-ups, banners, box notifications and promotional text links right on top of the page that you are visiting and may not want to go away until you click on them.

The Idea Reference virus

The Idea Reference virus is a browser hijacking piece of software that many people mistake for a virus. The upset users report that the Idea Reference virus takes over their main Mac browser without seeking permission and starts spamming their monitor with various pop-ups, pay-per-click ads, banners, promotional messages, and automatic page redirects.

If you are familiar with the aforementioned activities and they disturb you, then you should read this article till the end and learn how to remove this browser hijacker from your Mac. But before we move on to that part, we do think it important to tell you that having a program like Idea Reference in your system is not a particularly serious issue. The presence of such software may, of course, be very irritating and may cause quite unpleasant effects. There is, however, the potential of an accidental encounter with malicious web ads (malvertisements) that could come as a consequence of Idea Reference’s activities on your machine. More often than not, such ads are used to distribute real computer threats such as the notorious ransomware, Trojan horse viruses and other malicious software. That’s why, in general, it is never a good idea to click on random ads or links that pop-up on your screen and redirect you to unknown web locations.

The IdeaReference app

The IdeaReference app is a browser hijacker that can make unwanted changes to the settings of popular Mac browsers. The IdeaReference app can tinker with the default homepage, replace the main search engine with a different one or install some additional components that redirect users to different ad-supported sites.

The best way to stop the browser hijacker from messing with your browser’s configurations and appearance is to uninstall it completely. This can be done with the help of a professional removal tool or a manual removal guide. We have covered both of these methods further down where you will find a comprehensive step-by-step removal guide and a scanner, which you can use to detect and uninstall Idea Reference without losing time.


Name Idea Reference
Type Adware/Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Some of the most obvious symptoms include a change in the browser’s key settings (search engine, homepage, toolbars, etc.) and auto-redirects to unknown sites.
Distribution Method The file bundling method is a common distribution method for many Browser Hijackers.
Detection Tool

Remove Idea Reference from Mac

For a quick way to remove Idea Reference try to do this inside your Mac browser:

  1. Open your Mac browser.
  2. Go to Preferences.
  3. Now navigate to the extensions sub-menu.
  4. Look for any unfamiliar entries, including Idea Reference.
  5. Remove Idea Reference from your Mac as well as any other suspicious-looking items by clicking on the trash bin icon.

If this does not help then continue reading this article for more detailed instructions on how to get rid of Idea Reference!

Idea Reference 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.

Idea Reference Mac


Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Idea Reference 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:

Idea Reference Mac

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Idea Reference 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:

Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
Idea Reference Mac
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Idea Reference Mac
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Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    Idea Reference 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.

    Idea Reference 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,

    Idea Reference Mac

    and then again on the Extensions tab,

    Idea Reference 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.
    Idea Reference 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,
    Idea Reference 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

    Idea Reference Mac

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

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

    Idea Reference Mac How to Remove Idea Reference From Firefox in OSX:

    Open Firefox, click on Idea Reference Mac (top right) ——-> Add-ons. Hit Extensions next.

    Idea Reference Mac

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

    Idea Reference MacHow to Remove Idea Reference From Chrome in OSX:

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

    Idea Reference Mac

    Click Idea Reference 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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