There are thousands of different browser extensions out there that are supposed to expand and broaden the capabilities of your main browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome or any other). Some add new features to make your browsing experience better optimized while others improve the security and safety of your browser or help with some other aspect related to your time spent online. However, the truth is that not all browser add-ons are the same and not all browser add-ons are all that useful or helpful. In fact, there’s a whole category of software applications that function similarly to browser extensions, yet instead of helping the user in some way they actually tend to make one’s Internet experience worse by making changes to the browser (replaced search engine, new-tab page, and homepage), flooding the user’s screen with ads and by triggering sudden page redirects to random websites. The name of the applications/browser extensions that belong to this category is browser hijackers. In the next lines, we will try to give you important information regarding this type of software – how it can get on your PC, what it’s typical characteristics are and why it’s better to remove any hijacker from your system as soon as possible instead of allowing the unwanted software to stay on your computer. A highlight of this article will be one particular hijacker – Searchpulse. Although it functions pretty similarly to most other such applications, the reason why we will be focusing on it is because it is one of the more recent hijackers and recently many users have complained about getting Searchpulse “Virus” installed on their computers and being bothered by it. In fact, it’s highly likely that a lot of this article’s readers have come to this page because their browser has already gotten invaded by the Searchpulse hijacker. If that’s your situation as well, we have some good news for you – after the actual article, we have added a removal guide manual for this browser hijacker. Just scroll down after finishing the article and take a look at the instructions in the guide – follow them and complete all the steps and the hijacker should no longer be inside your computer’s system.
Browser hijackers and web-promoting
Nobody likes having to sit through irritating and annoying adverts while browsing the Internet. Still, obviously, this is next to impossible nowadays as the online marketing industry is one of the most profitable businesses right now. As for the browser hijacker (also known as page-redirect) software category, such applications are basically tools that take Internet advertising to the next level. In most cases, you’d see an online add or you’d get redirected to some sponsored page if you visit sites that have add components in their code. If you don’t visit those sites, no ads should come to you. However, it’s different of you have a hijacker on your PC – in such a case, the online adverts and the redirects to random pages would be present all the time and it won’t matter if you are on a site that has adverts or on one that doesn’t since the promoting content would be coming directly from your PC. As we already mentioned, a hijacker could also change the default search engine as well as the new-tab and/or the homepage of the browser in favor of new, sponsored ones. All of this is done wit the purpose of promoting something and the more users are exposed to the hijacker’s advertising agenda, the greater the revenue earned by the pesky software’s developer. Although such activity is typically harmless to your PC, it’s still quite irritating which is why most users want to remove hijackers from their machines. Also, there is always the chance that a certain advert or page you could get redirected to might be used by hackers for spreading malicious viruses such as Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware, etc. – another good reason to remove and uninstall Searchpulse ASAP if it’s currently in your system.
Spam letters, shady sites or sites with low-reputation, pirated software, misleading web offers and illegal torrents are the most commonly employed methods for hijacker distribution so make sure to avoid those if you don’t want to land another such application in future. Also, if you want to install a new program, especially a free one, make sure to check the settings in the setup wizard – see if there are any optional clauses for added/bundled software. If you see that there are bundled applications, opt-out of the installation of the ones that look like they could be unwanted or the ones that you simply don’t need. Bundling is another common method for distributing hijackers like Searchpulse so be on the lookout for it the next time you are about to install anything on your machine.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Replaced browser homepage, new-tab page and search engine as well as generation of unpleasant ads are the main symptoms of a hijacker.|
|Distribution Method||Unreliable software download sources, file bundling, spam e-mails and Facebook messages, fake Internet offers and unreliable web ads.|
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Searchpulse “Virus” Removal
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.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be do be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.
If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading ComboCleaner - a professional malware removal tool - to see whether it will find malicious programs on your 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:
Now click on Sample at the bottom:
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:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
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,
and then again on the Extensions tab,
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,
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
Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.
How to Remove Searchpulse From Firefox in OSX:
Open Firefox, click on (top right) ——-> Add-ons. Hit Extensions next.
The problem should be lurking somewhere around here – Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.
How to Remove Searchpulse From Chrome in OSX:
Start Chrome, click —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There, find the malware and select .
Click 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!