How to get rid of Qsearch on mac

 

QSearch

QSearch is a potentially unwanted add-on for Mac browsers that could forward the user’s traffic to questionable sites and hijack the search engine, homepage, and new-tab. QSearch can get added to Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and other browsers and enforce unwanted changes to the browser’s settings.

QSearch

The QSearch Virus will make undesirable changes to your browser

The QSearch engine

The QSearch engine is a custom search engine that QSearch enforces inside the browsers that it hijacks. The QSearch engine is known for rerouting the user’s searches to promoted sites, some of which may be hazardous and filled with malware.

In addition to replacing the browser’s search engine, QSearch also changes the homepage and the new-tab page to qsearch.cc, analytics.qsearch.cc, or some other unfamiliar and unwanted address. Those changes are made without the user’s permission and can only be revoked if QSearch is fully removed from the computer. Otherwise, the unwanted app would keep enforcing its changes, not allowing you to effectively reverse them.

What is Q Search?

QSearch is an undesirable Mac app that isn’t damaging but could indirectly put your Mac in harm’s way. QSearch is supposed to allow you to search through the Facebook Timeline and offers some additional interesting features but its aggressive ads could leave your Mac vulnerable.

QSearch is based around the idea of letting you search through your Timeline on Facebook – a feature that Facebook itself lacks at the moment. Understandably, many users would be drawn to such a feature because, when working properly, it can come in quite handy. However, the add-on that you are supposed to install in your browser to allow this feature to function will make additional browser changes and will also cause sudden redirects and display of ads and banners on your screen that can heavily disrupt your browsing experience.

One common complaint that users have is that QSearch occasionally reroutes their browser to the qsearch.pw site which, in turn, causes a chain of redirects that makes the browser visit several different sites in quick succession before eventually landing Yahoo or Bing. While the latter two are perfectly safe and reliable sites, the ones that come before them are not. The sites and pages that you get rerouted through before you get to Bing or Yahoo are likely dishonest advertising sites, such as SearchMine, that make money from user data collected without permission. Additionally, some of those sites may be used by hackers and scammers for different forms of online crimes.

Another thing QSearch is known to do is land users on a page that mimics a legitimate Apple support page in order to gain the users’ trust. That fake page, however, is used to scare and intimidate the users who visit it into downloading a sham or low-quality security tool by showing a malware warning pop-up that states there’s a virus in the system and that only the promoted (fake) security tool can remove it. Scare tactics like these are a very common aggressive marketing technique and the fact that QSearch can be associated with this is yet another reason to remove it from your Mac.

This is the reason why keeping QSearch in your system is inadvisable – removing this app should be a top priority for you at the moment if you wish to keep your Mac secure and out of harm. The guide for removing this browser-hijacking app we’ve prepared for you below should allow you to fully eliminate the unwanted software.

SUMMARY:

Name QSearch
Type Browser Hijacker
Detection Tool

How To Get Rid of QSearch on Mac

  1. To get rid of QSearch on Mac, you must first go to Finder > Applications.
  2. From there, go to the Utilities folder and open the Activity Monitor.
  3. Look for the QSearch process or any other suspicious process in the Activity Monitor and Quit it.

Detailed Steps

  1. Once you go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor, you may not immediately notice the QSearch process – look for items that consume a lot of virtual memory (RAM) and processing power (CPU) and ones that have unusual names you don’t recognize.
  2. If there is a process you suspect but aren’t certain about, it could help if you look up its name on the Internet to see what information shows up about it.
  3. You can also type the suspicious process name down in the comments and once we have a look at it we will tell you if it is likely from QSearch and if it should be stopped.
  4. If you have enough reasons to believe that a given process is malicious/related to the hijacker, select it and click on the Stop (X) button in the top-left side of the Activity Monitor screen to quit that process.
  5. Do the same with any other processes that you suspect.
  6. If you were unable to find any suspicious processes in the Activity Monitor, it is possible that the hijacker is only present in the browser, in which case we advise you to go to the browser-cleaning section of this guide and follow the steps included there.
  7. Next, go to the Apple Menu in the top-left of your screen and select System Preferences > Profiles.
  8. Look for suspicious profiles on the left side of the Profiles window and if you see any, click on them and then select the minus (-) button.
    • Note that you may not see a “QSearch” profile there so use your own discretion to determine which ones are likely related to the hijacker. Here are several common examples of unwanted profiles that malware may add to your Mac without permission:
      • TechSignalSearch
      • AdminPrefs
      • MainSearchPlatform
      • Chrome Settings (yes, this one is unwanted too!)
  9. Click on the Go menu from the menu bar and select Go to Folder.
  10. In the Go to Folder window, copy-paste “/Library/LaunchAgents” (without the quotations) and press Enter/Return.
  11. In the folder that opens, delete any recently added files that look suspicious and may be related to QSearch. Several examples of unwanted/malware files you may find in /Library/LaunchAgents (and should delete)are:
    • com.updater.mcy.plist
    • com.pcv.hlpramc.plist
    • com.msp.agent.plist
    • com.avickUpd.plist.
  12. Repeat Step 10 with the other folders listed below – the filenames next we’ve written after them are unwanted files that you are likely to find in each of those folders. If you see any of those files, be sure to delete them:
    • ~/Library/Application Support
      • Quick Mac Booster
      • IdeaShared
      • ProgressMatch
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents (there are no specific filenames for this folder, delete anything that looks sketchy and is recently added) 
    • /Library/LaunchDaemons
      • com.pplauncher.plist
      • com.startup.plist
      • com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist.
  13. Lastly, go to the Applications folder (Finder > Applications) and look in it for recently installed apps that you think may have allowed QSearch to enter your Mac. If you suspect any given app, drag it to the Trash to uninstall it.
    • Note that the most common source of unwanted Mac software/Mac malware is free apps downloaded from third-party download sources (download platforms that aren’t the official Mac App Store).
  1. Start Chrome and enter chrome://settings/ in the bar you type websites in.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Safari?

To remove QSearch from Safari, you should do this:

  1. Open Safari, select the Safari menu and go to Preferences.
  2. In the General tab, if the homepage has been changed by QSearch, change it back.
  3. Open Extensions and find and delete every Safari extension that looks unwanted.
  4. Select the Advanced tab and tick the Show Develop menu in the menu bar option.
  5. Click on the Develop menu at the top, select Empty Cache > Empty.

Additional Safari instructions

If QSearch is still in Safari, complete the next steps:

  1. Clear Safari History by selecting the History menu and clicking on Clear History.
  2. Make sure that the All History setting is chosen for maximum effect and click on Clear History from the dialogue box.
  3. Go to Safari menu > Preferences > Privacy and select Manage Website Data.
  4. Use the Remove All button to delete all website data. Note that you may be logged out of some of your online accounts after you perform this command.
  5. Restart the browser and check it for any remaining signs of QSearch

How to Remove QSearch from Chrome?

To remove QSearch from Chrome, you should try the following:

  1. Type chrome://settings in the URL bar and hit Enter.
  2. Select Search Engines from the right and disable the unwanted search engines.
  3. In the URL bar again, type chrome://settings/onStartup, and press Enter.
  4. If QSearch is listed under “Open a specific page or set of pages“, remove it from there.

Additional instructions for Chrome

If the previous steps didn’t fully remove QSearch from Chrome, you can also try this:

  1. Go to Chrome > Chrome menu >More Tools > Extensions.
  2. Find and delete extensions that are linked to QSearch or other unwanted ones.
  3. Go to Chrome Menu > Settings > Search Engines.
  4. Click on Manage Search Engines and look for ones added to your browser by QSearch.
  5. Select the three-dots next to the unwanted search engines and click on Remove from list.

We hope that the guide we’ve provided you with on this page will let you clean your Mac from QSearch and restore your Safari and Chrome browsers to their regular state. However, in case you still notice the presence of the hijacker, we recommend using the linked removal tool that can be found on this page. It is a powerful and easy to use security app that can quickly take care of anything linked to QSearch that may still be in your system and it can additionally ensure the future safety of your computer by protecting it from a wide variety of unwanted software and malware.

blank

About the author

blank

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.

5 Comments

  • my chrome browser keeps crashing due to qsearch even after uninstall/reinstall.

    not sure how to get rid of this pest of a malware, please send help

  • I have qsearch and I followed the video but under whenever I go to search engine in chrome settings and use the drop down bar to choose which one the only available one is q search. No google no nothing. Then when I try to remove it all it allows me to do is edit that specific link for qsearch. it also will not allow me to add an extension. Hoping i can get this off as it is really annoying.

    • Hi Blake,
      i understand your frustration. The guide in this article is very helpful did you try it ?

    • You have to go to the bottom of the “search engine” tab and click on “Advanced” then go to the bottom and click on “Reset to default settings”. That will reset the google engine however you also have to get rid of the extension “Bright start” in the “Extensions” window which is in the top bar “Window”. In my computer I’ve done this many times but it keeps reinstalling, seems there’s a core file I can’t seem to get rid of even with combo cleaner and other antivirus. It’s a nightmare!

Leave a Comment