SafeSearch Mac


SafeSearch is potentially unwanted software of the browser hijacker class that is focused on website and online offers promotion. SafeSearch automatically redirects user searches to pre-defined web pages and fills the Mac browser’s screen with pay-per-click banners, pop-up ads and click prompts.

SafeSearch Mac

The SafeSearch virus on Mac

Typically, SafeSearch can become integrated with every Mac browser, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc., and replace its homepage and/or search engine, and begin to redirect the user to pages that pay for their traffic. Most people aren’t able to put up with the intrusive promotional behavior of apps like this browser hijacker. Many may also believe that the hijacker may be something more dangerous, such as a worm, a Trojan, or a Ransomware virus.

Fortunately, most browser hijackers, opposed to the types of malware mentioned above, are fairly harmless. Still, it is important to not let them take over your default web browser and uncontrollably spam your screen with their advertisements and page-promoting redirects because, sometimes, they may not be as reliable as they seem.

SafeSearch for Mac

SafeSearch for Mac is a potentially unwanted program with browser-hijacking features that can use your Mac web browser for aggressive ads display. SafeSearch for Mac may also make unauthorized changes to the browser’s settings and redirect your searches to pre-defined web addresses.

When a browser hijacker operates in the system, it typically leaves users with no option to restrict or configure its advertising activities. The same is valid for the changes it can impose on the browser. This software oftentimes modifies the search engine, alters the homepage address and installs some additional components without the knowledge of the user and also without offering any options for uninstalling these changes. This, in turn, oftentimes leads to web browsing frustration, disturbance and uncontrolled exposure to sponsored content against the users’ will.

What is SafeSearch?

SafeSearch is a specialized program for web ads generation that online marketers use to advertise various pages, products, services and software. What makes SafeSearch a potentially unwanted is its aggressive pop-up ads, the automatic page-redirects to promotional sites, and the unauthorized modification it can make in the Mac browser.

To your relief, a browser hijacker doesn’t have any features and/or malicious components that can directly harm your Mac computer. Nonetheless, this software is often regarded as unwanted due to its uncontrolled generation of different advertisements and auto page redirects of questionable origin. It is not uncommon for an app like SafeSearch to unexpectedly redirect the user to a phishing page, a low-quality website that contains misleading content, or maybe even ransomware, a Trojan horse virus or some other malware.

The SafeSearch app

The SafeSearch app is a browser-hijacking program that seeks to advertise pay-per-click ads, sponsored web links and online promotions on the users’ main web browser. If not removed, the SafeSearch app will keep loading your browser with page-redirect prompts, screen-covering banners and pop-up notifications that link to certain pre-defined websites.

Security experts share the opinion that apps like SafeSearch, Service Records, Search Pulse need to be removed from the system if users want to surf the web without the interruptions of ads and avoid automatic redirects to sites that may contain questionable content. Therefore, our recommendation for all the people with SafeSearch on their Mac computers is to use of the following removal guidelines and, thus, guarantee the safe and effective uninstallation of the browser hijacker.


Name SafeSearch
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms A changed homepage, a new search engine in the browser, constant ad-generation on the screen, auto-redirects to random sites.
Distribution Method It is typical for most Browser Hijackers to be bundled inside free software installers, torrents, and automatic installation managers.
Displayed Name on Browser safesearch.net
Detection Tool

How To Remove SafeSearch from Mac

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

SafeSearch 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.

SafeSearch Mac


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

SafeSearch Mac

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

SafeSearch 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:

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.
SafeSearch Mac
Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
SafeSearch Mac
Analyzing 0 s
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
    This scanner is based on VirusTotal's API. By submitting data to it, you agree to their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and to the sharing of your sample submission with the security community. Please do not submit files with personal information if you do not want them to be shared.

    SafeSearch 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.

    SafeSearch 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,

    SafeSearch Mac

    and then again on the Extensions tab,

    SafeSearch 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.
    SafeSearch 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,
    SafeSearch 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

    SafeSearch Mac

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

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

    SafeSearch Mac How to Remove SafeSearch From Firefox in OSX:

    Open Firefox, click on SafeSearch Mac (top right) ——-> Add-ons. Hit Extensions next.

    SafeSearch Mac

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

    SafeSearch MacHow to Remove SafeSearch From Chrome in OSX:

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

    SafeSearch Mac

    Click SafeSearch 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


    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.

    Leave a Comment