Safe Search Mac

Safe Search Mac

Safe Search is a Mac browser hijacker – a form of junkware focused on aggressive site-promotion through automatic page redirects. Safe Search can get installed in any Mac browser, take over its homepage and search engine, and begin to redirect the browser to the sites that sponsor its creators.

Safe Search Mac

The Safe Search Mac Virus will make unwanted changes to the browser it has infected.

Most users aren’t willing to put up with the invasive advertising actions of apps like this browser hijacker. Some people even fear that the hijacker might be something more serious, such as a virus, a Trojan, or a Ransomware infection. While most browser hijackers, compared to the aforementioned forms of malware, are relatively harmless, it is important to not allow them to keep spamming your browser with their ads and site-promoting redirects. Even though the hijacker may not be damaging on its own, the content and sites it may promote in your Safari, Chrome, or Firefox could sometimes be potentially hazardous.

SafeSearch for Mac

SafeSearch for Mac is a rogue junkware app of the browser-hijacking variety that will try to flood your Mac’s main browser with aggressive ads. SafeSearch for Mac will also attempt to scan your browsing history in order to acquire valuable advertising data.

Even though nowadays this browser-tracking practice has become extremely common and most people accept it as something normal, most sites and apps that rely on it at least explicitly state that they are keeping tabs on the user’s browsing and search history, while also providing different options to limit the amount and types of data which can be collected from the browser. However, when a browser hijacker tracks your browsing activities, it oftentimes does this without the knowledge of the user and also without offering any options for controlling the collection of browsing data. This, in turn, oftentimes leads to the gathering of information from the browser that the user would otherwise prefer to keep private.

What is Safe Search Mac?

Safe Search Mac is a specialized software tool for online advertising of different sites and products that experts label as potentially unwanted. What makes Safe Search Mac unwanted is its automatic page redirects to the sites it’s supposed to promote, its many popups and the unwanted changes it makes in the browser.

As we stated earlier in the article, this hijacker doesn’t have any functions and/or abilities that can directly damage your computer. However, it is still seen as a potentially unsafe app due to the unpredictable nature of its ads and site redirects. It is not impossible for such an app to suddenly redirect the user to an unsafe webpage that contains illegal software or maybe even malware such as disguised Trojan horse viruses or stealthy Ransomware.

The Safe Search Mac app

The Safe Search Mac app is a malware/junkware app that operates as a site-advertising tool. The Safe Search Mac app will keep flooding your screen with page-redirect links and screen-wide banners and it will also make unwelcome changes in the settings of your main browser.

Internet security experts agree that apps like this one are to be removed if the user wishes to keep their computer safe and protected against the different threats that may target it if the hijacker is allowed to remain in the system. Therefore, our advice for those of you with Safe Search Mac on their Macs is to make use of the following removal instructions and, thereby, ensure the uninstallation of the hijacker. 


Name Safe Search Mac
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Most commonly, the hijacker would tamper with the settings of the browser as well as cause sudden browser redirects to unknown websites.
Distribution Method This app can be added to spam messages, linked to via clickbait ads, included in installation packages, or installed with the help of fake program updates.
Detection Tool

Safe Search Mac Removal

For a quick way to remove Safe Search Mac try to do this inside your 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 Safe Search Mac.
  5. Remove Safe Search 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 Safe Search Mac!

Safe Search 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.

Safe Search Mac


Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Safe Search 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:

Safe Search Mac

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Safe Search 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:

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Safe Search Mac
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    Safe Search 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.

    Safe Search 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,

    Safe Search Mac

    and then again on the Extensions tab,

    Safe Search 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.
    Safe Search 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,
    Safe Search 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

    Safe Search Mac

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

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

    Safe Search Mac How to Remove Safe Search Mac From Firefox in OSX:

    Open Firefoxclick on Safe Search Mac (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

    Safe Search Mac

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

    Safe Search MacHow to Remove Safe Search Mac From Chrome in OSX:

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

    Safe Search Mac

     Click Safe Search 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


    Brandon Skies

    Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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