Search-alpha Mac

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*Source of claim SH can remove it.


Search-alpha is a potentially unwanted program that integrates with the default browser of your computer and updates its settings. Search-alpha primarily focuses on Mac-compatible browsers such as Safari, Firefox or Chrome and updates the address of their homepage and/or the default search engine.

Search Alpha 1024x576

Normally this program does not hide itself in the system like a virus, a Trojan horse, Ransomware, or Spyware and users can easily detect it as soon as it starts to operate. The improvements that Search-alpha makes are normally related to a change in the browser’s home page address and the search engine. Search-alpha may also install a new toolbar to add some additional buttons, which are intended to redirect users to specific pages full of various advertisements, pop-ups and banners. These new elements typically dictate the way the program operates and allow it to literally hijack the web browser which is why Search-alpha is typically classified as a browser hijacker.

Search-alpha for Mac

Search-alpha for Mac is a software piece that redirects users to various web pages and changes the settings of the Mac browser without requiring their permission. Typically, Search-alpha for Mac operates by installing new components in the browser like a new search engine, a toolbar or a particular website as a homepage address.

In general, most browser hijackers, including Search-alpha are not considered harmful and normally do not pose a significant security hazard to you Mac computer system. The one fact that distinguishes these programs from typical malware is that they are not used to perform cyber crimes or to cause damage to the system they operate on. Instead, Search-alpha and programs of this type (Goobspatch, CCXProcess) are developed to promote specific products and services and to redirect users to their related pages. So, basically, it is not for committing illegal acts but for using aggressive online advertising tactics (such online auto-redirects) that programs like Search-alpha have gained their fame as potentially unwanted. Still, many people seek assistance in uninstalling these programs as they find it hard to remove their changes by themselves.

What is Search-alpha?

Search-alpha is a browser hijacker that can load dozens of pop-up ads, banners, text notifications and redirect prompts on the pages you visit through your default web browser. Search-alpha may also make browser changes by introducing a new search engine or a homepage address.

This software can easily irritate web users because it can place ads on websites that usually don’t show aggressive adverts on their pages. On top of that, the homepage that the program sets typically redirects to a supported website the moment you open a new tab. The newly installed default search engine also shows a lot of supported search results which typically link to more partnering pages. These activities performed by the browser hijacker are a strong excuse for many people to seek assistance in uninstalling the invasive program.

The Search-alpha app

The Search-alpha app is a non-malicious piece of software that is not expected to damage a Mac machine the way that a ransomware, a Trojan or a computer virus can. However, the Search-alpha app can force users to click on random links and sketchy pop-up ads, which may potentially hide security risks.

Therefore, with notion to their online safety, we usually advise our readers to refrain from interaction with any of the advertisements they see on their screen and recommend them to remove the ad-generating software either by using a removal guide like the one below or by using the help of an automatic removal tool.


TypeBrowser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Detection Tool

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Remove Search-alpha Mac Virus

For a quick way to remove Search-alpha 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 Search-alpha.
  5. Remove Search-alpha 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 Search-alpha!


*Source of claim SH can remove it.

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.



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Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to activity-monitor

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:

Processes related to the Search-Alpha virus on Chrome

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Removing Search-Alpha from Google Chrome default search engine

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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    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.


    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,

    Search-Alpha browser hijacker Preferences in the Safari menu

    and then again on the Extensions tab,

    Removing Search-Alpha related Safari extensions

    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.

    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,

    Remove All Website Data related to Search-Alpha on Safari

    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

    Search General Tab in Safari for Search-Alpha browser hijacker

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

    Removing Search-Alpha from Mozilla Firefox homepage

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

    firefox-512 How to Remove Search-alpha From Firefox in OSX:

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

    Removing Search-Alpha related Mozilla Firefox extensions

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

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundHow to Remove Search-alpha From Chrome in OSX:

    Start Chrome, click chrome menu icon —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There, find the malware and select chrome-trash-icon.

    Removing Search-Alpha related Google Chrome extensions

    Click chrome menu icon 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.

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