Search Baron is a fake search engine that hijacks the browsers of Mac computers. Search Baron seeks to generate fake visits to its partnering sites by quickly redirecting you through them when you use it to perform an online search.
If the default search engine or the homepage of any of your browsers has recently been changed to searchbaron.com, then you most definitely have this hijacker inside that browser. It could have gotten there in a number of ways – you may have mistakenly clicked Allow on a misleading online pop-up, you may have agreed to install a fake update, you may have installed a rogue extension in the browser, or you may have downloaded some low-quality app that has delivered the hijacker into your browser(s). We will address all of those possibilities in the removal guide at the bottom of the page and show you how to remove anything that may be related to Search Baron from your Mac.
What is Search Baron on Mac?
Search Baron on Mac is a browser-hijacking search engine aimed at aggressively promoting different sites and products on your screen. Once Search Baron takes over the browser, it replaces its homepage address with searchbaron.com and begins causing automatic page-redirects when you perform online searches.
It is important to restore the affected browser to its normal state because the presence of Search Baron in it could make the entire system unsafe. The goal of Search Baron isn’t to harm you, but it could end up during exactly that if allowed to remain the default search engine/homepage of the browser.
The way this hijacker works is this: once it gets integrated with the browser and becomes the default search engine, the browser would automatically use this search engine to conduct your online searches. When you search for something through Search Baron, the browser would first get redirected through a series of questionable and potentially hazardous websites before it eventually lands on a Bing (or Yahoo in some cases) search results page for the search you performed.
The main problem here is those intermediate websites that the browser gets redirected to before it lands on the Bing page. Usually, the browser will visit those sites for a fraction of the second so many users may not even notice the rapidly changing addresses in the URL bar. However, even a split-second visit still counts as a visit and thus increases the overall number of visits that the rogue sites that Search Baron is trying to promote. What’s problematic about those sites is that they may often contain malware or be used to collect user data and later use that data for targeting you with misleading ads. Some sites that are often associated with Search Baron and that may be promoted by it are:
The Search Baron Virus
The Search Baron virus is any malicious program that could be delivered to your computer as a result of the browser’s infection with this hijacker. The Search Baron Virus is usually a Trojan Horse that gains Admin privileges in the system and steals user data.
Search Baron itself is not a virus threat. Although it may seem like one, this hijacker is not capable of performing any of the actions that more dangerous threats like Trojans, Spyware, or Ransomware are known for. Still, as we explained, if Search Baron is allowed to stay in nay of your browsers and perform your online searches, the chances of encountering a more serious piece of malware become higher. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do everything within your power to disable and eliminate Search Baron. The guide we’ve posted right below will aid you with this task by showing you what needs to be done and how you can do it.
Some threats reinstall themselves if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading ComboCleaner to remove harmful programs for you. This may save you hours and ensure you don't harm your system by deleting the wrong files.
How to Remove Search Baron from Mac
To remove Search Baron from Mac, you have to stop its processes, uninstall any unwanted apps, and delete any login items and rogue profiles related to it.
- Go to the Activity Monitor utility, search through the list of processes for rogue ones and quit anything unwanted you may find.
- Open the Applications folder of your Mac, look for undesirable apps in it, and if you find any, uninstall them.
- To remove Search Baron from your Mac, you should also go to System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items and delete from there anything that may be connected to the hijacker.
- The last thing that needs to be done is to check the user profiles on your Mac and delete anything that you don’t recognize.
Those short steps provide a quick summary of the removal process that you’d need to complete in order to get rid of the unpleasant hijacker. If you think you may need more guidance and additional details for each step, refer to the paragraphs below where we will provide you with a more in-depth explanation about each of the shown steps.
Detailed how-to remove Search Baron from Mac Instructions
- From the menu bar at the top of your screen, click the Finder button and then, from the left, select Applications.
- Next, go to the folder labelled Utilities and from it start the Activity monitor utility.
- If you see a process named Search Baron or anything close to that, click it, select the X from the top-left, and click on Quit from the dialogue box that shows up.
- If there wasn’t a process with that name or a name close to it, then focus your attention on the processes that consume the most resources (CPU, RAM, battery life) and see if any of them seem to have unusual, suspicious, or unfamiliar names.
- Go to the browser and look up the names of any suspicious processes you may have noticed in the Activity Monitor.
- If reports from reliable online sources come up during your search that suggest the suspected process may be unwanted, go ahead and quit that process.
- If you are still not sure the suspected process (or processes) is unwanted, click on it, select the “i” icon from the top, go to Sample, click Save, and save the sample file on your Desktop.
- Next, drag the sample file to the scanner below to test it for malware.Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracyThis 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.Drag and Drop File Here To ScanAnalyzing 0 s
- If our scanner finds malware in the file, delete that file and quit the process that it comes from.
- The next thing to do is open Finder > Applications again and pay attention to what apps are available in that folder. If there are apps that you don’t normally use, that you don’t recognize, or that seem questionable and unwanted, drag them to the Trash to uninstall them.
- Right-click the Trash icon, and select the Secure Empty Trash option.
- Click the Apple Logo menu from the top-left, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items.
- Look what login items are shown in the list and if any of them are unfamiliar to you or seem related to Search Baron, click them and then select the minus icon to remove them from the list.
- Lastly, go back to System Preferences and this time select the Profiles section. There, look for user accounts that you do not recognize and that haven’t been added by you or by anyone else who normally uses the computer and delete those profiles. Note that it is possible that some of the profiles there may seem to have legitimate names such as “Chrome Settings” or “Firefox Settings” – even in those cases, if you don’t recognize the profiles, you should still delete them.
How to Get Rid of Search Baron
To get rid of Search Baron, one other thing you could try is to go to several folders where there may be hijacker files and delete those files.
- Open the Go to Folder utility on your Mac.
- Use it to go to the following four folders: Library/LaunchAgents, ~/Library/LaunchAgents, /Library/LaunchDaemons, and ~/Library/Application Support.
- Scan the most recent files in those folders with our online scanner that we showed you above.
- Delete the ones that contain malware code by dragging them to the Trash and emptying the Trash.
If you need a more detailed explanation of those steps, you can find it down below.
Detailed how-to get rid of Search Baron Instructions
When deleting suspicious files from the folders that you are about to visit, make sure that you only delete the files that you are certain shouldn’t be there. If you are not sure whether a certain file is linked to the hijacker and don’t know whether you should delete it, we suggest writing us a comment in which you ask us about that file – we will reply to your comment and tell you what you need to do.
- The first thing you need to do is press the Command, Shift, and G keys from the keyboard – this will evoke the Go to Folder search bar which you must use to go to the next four folders.
- Paste each of the following folder locations (one by one) in the search bar and click the GO button after each to open the respective older:
- ~/Library/Application Support
- When you reach each of those folders, use the scanner we’ve shown below to scan all files in them that have been created after the hijacker got in your system:Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracyThis 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.Drag and Drop File Here To ScanAnalyzing 0 s
- All files flagged as malicious by our scanner must be deleted.
- If you see any of the following files in the respective folder, delete those files without scanning them because they are certainly from the hijacker:
- For the /Library/LaunchAgents and the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folders:
- For the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:
- For the /Library/LaunchAgents and the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folders:
- When you get to the final folder (~/Library/Application Support), you must look in it for other folders (and not single files) that may be linked to the hijacker. You can still use the scanner to test the files located in the subfolders to see if any of them contain malware. If you find malware files in any of the subfolders, delete those folders.
- If you see any of the next sub-folders in the ~/Library/Application Support folder, delete them without need to scan the files stored in them:
- When you are done with everything, remember to Secure Empty the Trash.
How to Remove Search Baron from Safari
To remove Search Baron from Safari, clean the browser from any rogue extensions, delete the temporary browsing data, and clear the browsing history.
- Go to the extensions page of Safari, find in any potentially unwanted extensions, and delete them.
- Open Safari Preferences, go to General, and restore your default homepage.
- Go to Privacy and use the Remove All Website Data option to delete temporary browsing data.
- Clear the browsing history from the History menu of Safari.
Detailed how-to remove Search Baron from Safari instructions
- Start by opening the browser, selecting the Safari button from the top, and clicking the Preferences option.
- Go to the Extensions section and check it for any entries that you are unfamiliar with and that seem undesirable and out of place.
- If any of the extensions that you find in Safari seem like they shouldn’t be in the browser, go ahead and delete them.
- Next, select the tab labelled General (from Preferences) and take a look at the address for your homepage – if that address isn’t the same as before the hijacker got in your system, then bring back your old homepage address or replace the current one with another address from a trusted website.
- Open the Privacy tab next, click Remove All Website Data/Manage Website Data, and then click on Remove Now to initiate the data deletion and wait for the completion of the process.
- Finally, click the History menu, click Clear History, opt for the All History setting, and launch the deletion. Wait for it to be over and restart Safari to see if everything is back to normal.
How to Remove Search Baron from Chrome
To remove Search Baron from Chrome, you need to delete any unwanted add-ons and restore any other modified Chrome settings.
- Start Chrome, type ://settings in the URL bar, and press Enter.
- Go to Extensions and uninstal whatever undesirable items you may find there.
- Open the search engine settings, click the Manage Search Engines option, and block any unfamiliar search engines listed there.
- Go to Privacy and Security and clean the browsing data from there.
Detailed How to Remove Search Baron from Chrome Instructions
- Start the browser, click the menu icon from the top-right (the three dots just below the X button), and go to More Tools > Extensions.
- Carefully look for any unfamiliar, suspicious, or undesirable add-ons on that page and if you find any, click the Disable button (the toggle button below the browser), and then select Remove to uninstall the add-on.
- Once the unwanted extensions are gone, go into Settings from the browser’s menu and then click Search Engine from the left.
- Find and select the Manage Search Engines option and see what search engines are listed on that page.
- If you are not familiar with any of the search engines listed there, click their three-dot icons and select the Remove from the list option to block them. Do this with each unfamiliar search engine.
- Lastly, go to Privacy and Security from the left panel and find and click on the Clear browsing data button.
- Put checkmarks in all boxes except the one that is for your passwords and then click on Clear now to launch the action. Wait for the deletion to complete without quitting the browser before it is over.
If you are still struggling with Search Baron and the hijacker is still in the system despite you completing all the steps from this guide, it may be time to try using a professional removal tool to take care of the issue. One important thing to consider here is that, if the hijacker is still on your Mac, it is possible that another, more hazardous piece of software may be hiding in the system and helping the hijacker stay active. An example of such software could be a Trojan Horse infection. For that reason, using a specialized removal tool, such as the one linked on this page, is something that we recommend if you haven’t been able to get rid of Search Baron thus far. Another thing we want to remind you is that you can, at any time, use the free online scanner that we offer on our site to test any remaining suspicious files for traces of malware so that you would know to delete them if they are found to be potentially harmful.
Search Baron is rogue software that gets attached to Mac browsers and changes their homepage without user permission. Search Baron might also add to the browser an unwanted extension, display aggressive adverts and page redirects, and collect browsing data without the user’s knowledge.
In most cases, this undesirable app is delivered to the computer through the help of a free app to which the Search Baron is attached. Once that app is installed, the unwanted browser-hijacking component in it gets activated and takes over the user’s browser(s). Search Baron’s compatibility isn’t limited to the Safari browsers – this invasive browser hijacker could also enter Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser that might be in your system and modify their homepages, default search engines, and other settings without requiring your approval.
Search Baron is a Mac browser hijacker that changes the default homepage of the browser to searchbaron.com and then constantly redirects the user to it. Search Baron may also modify other browser settings as well as promote questionable ads during browsing sessions.
By itself, this browser hijacker is not harmful. However, its presence on your Mac could make it more likely for you to accidentally expose your computer to more dangerous threats, including Trojans, Spyware, Rootkits, or Ransomware. The main problem with Search Baron is that the homepage address that it enforces upon your browser (searchbaron.com) is actually a fake search engine the sole purpose of which is to help the creators of the hijacker draw more visits to certain sites that they are trying to promote. Here’s exactly how this works: Once the hijacker changes the homepage to searchbaron.com many users start using this (fake) search engine to look up stuff on the Internet.
The Search Baron Virus works in a familiar manner – whenever you search for anything using the fake search engine, you will get redirected to a Bing search results page. However, before your browser ends up on the Bing page, it will be taken through several other addresses but since this all happens in a split second, the user may not notice the changing URLs in the address bar before the Bing page shows up on the screen. These split-second visits to those other addresses are the whole purpose of the Search Baron virus replacing your homepage.
In this way, Search Baron artificially boosts the view counts of sites that its creators are trying to promote. The main issue with this, however, is that those sites are often questionable and could be potentially hazardous. In the time that it takes for your browser to go through them, your Mac might be exposed to all sorts of threats without you realizing it.
In addition to the problem we mentioned above, there are several other reasons why you may want to remove Search Baron. For starters, once it gets added to the browser, it might start swarming it with aggressive advertisements and even ones that are disguised as system warnings that require you to download some kind of (fake) software to take care of a non-existent problem in your system. Furthermore, hijackers like Search Baron are known for gathering data from the browser to sell to third-parties with unknown goals or to directly use for targeted ad-generation.
All in all, there’s pretty much no reason to tolerate this hijacker which is why we will now give you instructions on how to uninstall it from your Mac and delete anything related to it from your browsers.
To remove Search Baron, you must find and delete all data and settings related to this hijacker from your Mac:
First, go to Finder > Applications > Utilities, start the Activity Monitor, and Quit any process that may be linked to Search Baron.
Next, return to the Applications folder and uninstall the app you think brought the hijacker to your Mac.
To get rid of Search Baron, you must also go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login items and remove anything potentially unwanted items.
Finally, go to System Preferences > Profiles and remove any user accounts that haven’t been created by you.
The instructions listed above are supposed to give you a quick way of fixing the Search Baron issue without getting into too much detail. If they work out for you, and after you complete them you no longer have the hijacker on your computer, there’s no need to continue further with the guide. If, however, you need more elaboration on the steps or completing them didn’t solve the problem, then we suggest going to the more detailed guidelines you will find below and completing them.
To get rid of Search Baron, you may also have to locate any files created by this hijacker in the system and delete them.
Go to the Library/LaunchAgents folder and remove any newly added files that may be related to Search Baron.
Open the ~/Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders and delete any unwanted hijacker files from them as well.
Also, visit ~/Library/Application Support and there look for folders that may come from the hijacker and delete them to remove Search Baron from your Mac.
To test suspicious files for malicious code, you can use our free online scanner that can be found down this page.
As before, the instructions shown below go into more detail on how to find and delete the files that have been created by Search Baron in your system.
To remove Search Baron from Safari, you must delete any unwanted extensions placed there by the hijacker and then clear the browser data.
In Safari, select the browser menu from the top, open Preferences > Extensions, and find and delete any potentially unwanted extensions.
Next go to General from Preferences and change the homepage address if the current one is related to Search Baron.
To remove Search Baron from Safari, you must also go to Preferences > Privacy, select Remove All Website Data, and click on Remove Now.
Lastly, open the History menu from the top, click on Clear History, select the All History setting, and click again on Clear History.
To remove Search Baron from Chrome, you must clean the browser from unwanted hijacker extensions and restore its settings.
Type ://settings in the Chrome URL bar and hit Enter to open the Settings page.
Select Extensions on that page and seek and delete any potentially unwanted or unfamiliar extension items listed there to remove Search Baron from Chrome.
One way you could check if a given extension may be unwanted is to first disable it to see if the ad generation and redirects would stop.
Next, click on Search Engine from the sidebar to the left on the Settings page and then go to Manage Search Engines.
There, look for unknown search engines and if you see such, select the three-dots next to them and click on Remove from list.