Virus Removal Guides

How to Remove Search Baron from Mac

Search Baron

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.

Search Baron is a Browser Hijacker that redirects to Bing.

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.

What is Search Baron on Mac?

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

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.

SUMMARY:

Name Search Baron
Type Browser Hijacker
Detection Tool

How to Remove Search Baron from Mac

To get rid of Search Baron, you must find and delete all data and settings related to this hijacker from your Mac:

  1. First, go to Finder > Applications > Utilities, start the Activity Monitor, and Quit any process that may be linked to Search Baron.
  2. Next, return to the Applications folder and uninstall the app you think brought the hijacker to your Mac.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Detailed how-to remove Search Baron from Mac Instructions

  1. Start by selecting Finder from the top of your screen and then selecting the Applications folder from the sidebar to the left.
  2. In Applications, go to the Utilities folder and in it open the Activity Monitor.
  3. Look for the Search Baron process in the Activity Monitor – the process’s name is likely not going to be Search Baron so look for anything with an unusual name and/or excessive consumption of RAM, battery life, or CPU.
  4. If you find a process that you think could be linked to Search Baron, click on it, and then Quit it by selecting the in the top-left.
    • If you have doubts about whether the suspected process is the one that needs to be stopped, try looking for more information about it online. It is not excluded that the process you suspect is actually a regular one run by your OS or by a legitimate program on your Mac, in which case you shouldn’t quit it.
  5. Next, open the Applications folder again and try to find in it an app that could be responsible for allowing Search Baron to enter your Mac. Most hijackers are distributed by being bundled to rogue free apps, so that is what you should be looking for.
  6. If you find a suspicious and potentially unwanted app, drag its icon to the Trash on your Desktop to uninstall it and then right-click on the Trash and click on Secure Empty Trash.
  7. Select the Apple logo icon from the menu bar (top-left), click on System Preferences, and then on Users & Groups.
  8. Go to Login Items and if there are any entries in the login items list that you don’t recognize or think might be unwanted, select those items, and then click on the minus at the bottom to remove them from the list.
  9. Now open System Preferences again, go to Profiles, and look for Mac accounts that you haven’t created yourself. If you see any such accounts, delete them by clicking on them and then selecting the minus icon.

How to Get Rid of Search Baron

To remove Search Baron from Mac, you may also have to locate any files created by this hijacker in the system and delete them.

  1. Go to the Library/LaunchAgents folder and remove any newly added files that may be related to Search Baron.
  2. Open the ~/Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders and delete any unwanted hijacker files from them as well.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Detailed how-to get rid of Search Baron Instructions

Before you go on to delete any potentially unwanted files that may be linked to Search Baron, we warn you to be very careful with what you are deleting – only remove files you are sure are related to the undesirable software. If you are ever in doubt, we advise you to tell us about the files that you are unsure you must delete by writing us a comment below and proceed with the deletion only if we confirm that those files must be removed.

  1. From your keyboard, press Command + Shift + G to evoke the Go to window and then type in it /Library/LaunchAgents.
  2. Hit Enter to go to that folder and in it look for files created around the time of the hijacker’s appearance that seem like they might be linked to it.
  3. If you find such files, use the free malware scanner from below to test them for malware code:
    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.
    Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
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    • If malicious code is detected in any of the files, delete those files by putting them in the Trash. Also, if you see any of the following files (or ones named similarly to them) in the LaunchAgents folder, delete them right away as there’s no need to scan them because they are known hijacker-related files:
      • com.msp.agent.plist
      • com.updater.mcy.plist
      • com.pcv.hlpramc.plist
      • com.avickUpd.plist.
    • In the Go window, type the location of the next folder and press Enter. The folder location is ~/Library/LaunchAgents (mind the “~” character) .
    • In there do the same like before, looking for recently added suspicious files, scanning them, and deleting the ones that get flagged as security hazards. Also, if you see there any of the files we listed above (for the /Library/LaunchAgents folder), delete them too.
    • Next, Go to the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder, delete any files in it that get flagged as malware when you scan them and also delete any of the following files if you find them there:
      • pplauncher.plist
      • com.startup.plist
      • com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist.
    • Lastly, visit the ~/Library/Application Support folder and in it look for suspicious recently created folders (not files) that could be from the hijacker. Here, examples of folders that you may find that need to be deleted are:
      • ValidGeneration
      • BoostCoordinator
      • OperativeState
      • InitialWindow
      • AdjustableProduct

    How to Remove Search Baron from Safari

    To remove Search Baron from Safari, you must delete any unwanted extensions placed there by the hijacker and then clear the browser data.

    1. In Safari, select the browser menu from the top, open Preferences > Extensions, and find and delete any potentially unwanted extensions.
    2. Next go to General from Preferences and change the homepage address if the current one is related to Search Baron.
    3. To remove Search Baron from Safari, you must also go to Preferences > Privacy, select Remove All Website Data, and click on Remove Now.
    4. Lastly, open the History menu from the top, click on Clear History, select the All History setting, and click again on Clear History.

    Detailed how-to remove Search Baron from Safari instructions

    1. When you start the browser, click on the Safari button in the top-left, and then click on Preferences.
    2. Open Extensions and see if you can find any sketchy-looking items there that have not been installed by you and that look unwanted or unneeded.
    3. If you think a given extension isn’t supposed to be there, do not hesitate to remove it – even if it isn’t the one that’s been causing you problems, you can always get it back later.
    4. After you delete the unwanted extensions, go to General from the Preferences bar and check the URL address of the browser’s homepage. If it looks like the address has been added by the hijacker, delete that address and in its place type another one that is from a reputable and safe site.
    5. Next, go to the Privacy section and there select the Remove All Website Data command. Confirm the action by clicking on Remove Now in the dialog box that shows up and wait for the temporary browsing data such as cookies and cached files to be deleted.
    6. Lastly, visit the History menu, click on Clear History, then pick a time period that you think would predate the appearance of the hijacker on your computer (just to be sure, you could simply select All History), and select the Clear History button to start the deletion.

    How to Remove Search Baron from Chrome

    To remove Search Baron from Chrome, you must clean the browser from unwanted hijacker extensions and restore its settings.

    1. Type ://settings in the Chrome URL bar and hit Enter to open the Settings page.
    2. Select Extensions on that page and seek and delete any potentially unwanted or unfamiliar extension items listed there to remove Search Baron from Chrome.
    3. 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.
    4. Next, click on Search Engine from the sidebar to the left on the Settings page and then go to Manage Search Engines.
    5. There, look for unknown search engines and if you see such, select the three-dots next to them and click on Remove from list.

    Detailed How to Remove Search Baron from Chrome Instructions

    1. When you open the Google Chrome browser, select the browser menu from the top-right, and hover your mouse over the More Tools option.
    2. Select Extensions from the sub-menu and look for extension apps that might have been added to the browser by Search Baron
    3. If you think a certain extension should be removed, select the Disable button below it and then click on Remove to uninstall that extension.
    4. Next, go to Settings from the Chrome menu, and click on the Search Engine settings from the left panel.
    5. Expand the Manage Search Engines settings from the middle and then look for search engines listed there that are unfamiliar or that look suspicious.
    6. Block all search engines except for the ones that you are familiar with and that you know can be trusted. To block a search engine, click on the icon with three dots to its right and select Remove from list.
    7. From the left sidebar on the Settings page, go to Privacy and Security and there select the Clear browsing data option.
    8. Put checkmarks in all boxes except the Passwords and other sign-in data one and then click on Clear Data to execute the command.

    Final Notes

    If the manual steps shown in this guide have proven insufficient in resolving your problem with this hijacker, we suggest you try out the advanced removal tool available on this page that specializes in dealing with undesirable software such as Search Baron. Also, if you are unsure about whether a given file might be related to the hijacker, remember to use the free scanner offered on this page to check it for malware code. Last but not least, remember that our comments section is always open to you in case you have any questions and need additional help with the Search Baron removal.

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