QSearch is an invasive browser and search engine application developed for the Mac system. In cases where QSearch suddenly changes users’ settings, it is because it acts as a browser hijacker that locks privacy settings to its desired search engine and homepage.
The QSearch Virus on Mac
The QSearch virus specifically targets Mac users, especially those using the Google Chrome search engine. It is currently unknown and very unlikely that Windows users are infected with this browser hijacker since the adware that installed Qsearch uses completely different system files from Windows. The QSearch virus is part of a growing web of Mac-focused browser hijackers targeting older macOS systems and new unpatched vulnerabilities.
What is Q Search?
Q Search is a search solution that supposedly aims to provide the missing features missing in the Facebook Timeline search. In reality, it is a stealthily installed application that provides value only to its creators and drastically reduces user experience on the machines it infects. As is the case with many gray-area software products, the idea Q Search claims sound useful at least on paper, but the implementation shows that everything is a smokescreen for the true aim: driving traffic to unsafe places to receive affiliate commissions.
How To Remove QSearch from Mac
- The first part in removing QSearch from Mac:
- Click on Go in your Finder – Utilities – Activity Monitor.
- In the Activity Monitor, find QSearch or other entries that shouldn’t be there, then click Quit Process.
If you can not locate anything suspicious in the Activity Monitor, don’t worry – it’s possible Qsearch infected only your browser settings through scripts, which is absolutely reversible. However, if once you are done with the browsers the threat still remains on your system, you might want to go back to Activity Monitor and look for suspicious entries again. If this happens, you will likely have to start over with the browser cleanup. Every time you remove Qsearch, it will come back unless its core functions are deleted.
- Next, click the Apple Menu – System Preferences – Profiles.
- If you don’t have configuration profiles, Profiles preferences will not be active. If you have profiles, look for a profile you don’t believe you created and Remove it.
Now, for the browsers. After each mini-step, test restarting your browser to determine if the change helped you. Copy this page’s link so you don’t have to search for it later before doing that.
For Chrome, look a little bit up on this page for the How to Remove QSearch from Chrome? section. We placed it there because the majority of infected users come in Chrome. If that doesn’t work, try the following:
- Start Chrome and enter chrome://settings/ in the bar you type websites in.
- Go down the settings to your search engines and see if anything besides your chosen search engine was forced. Change it back to whatever you are using if that’s the case.
- Input chrome://settings/onStartup in the search bar and see if Qsearch is placed under “Open a specific page or set of pages.” Delete it from there if you see it.
How to Remove QSearch from Chrome?
- Remove all potentially malicious plugins from Chrome.
- Press Ctrl+Shift+A in your Chrome and go to Extensions.
- Now locate QSearch and other potentially malicious plugins and use the trash icon to remove these entries.
- Then change your homepage and default search engine to the ones you want.
- Finally restart Google Chrome.
This should be enough to remove QSearch from Chrome. If it did not help or you are using a different Mac browser please continue with the QSearch mac removal guide below.
How to Remove QSearch from Safari
- On the menu bar – click Safari, then Preferences.
- See what’s on Homepage. A window with your Safari preferences should open in the General tab.
- Click Extensions and start uninstalling your extensions one by one, restarting the browser each time. Start with extensions installed around the time you first saw QSearch.
- In Safari, delete everything in the Smart Search field.
- Click on the magnifying glass and see if you can choose Google (or whatever else you want).