Mac Virus

Smart Search Mac

Smart Search

Smart Search is a browser hijacker that can easily integrate with browsers such as Safari,Chrome and Firefox. Once installed, Smart Search can change the settings of the default browser with the intention to redirect the users to specific websites.

Smart Search

Smart Search will redirect your browser searches

Browser hijackers such as Smart Search are commonly encountered pieces of software and there’s nothing to be afraid of if you’ve detected one of them on your computer. There are, however, some hijacker characteristics that make their presence inside browsers such as Safari,Chrome, Firefox, and other browsing programs unwanted. We refer not only to the new homepage or the unfamiliar search engine that the browser hijackers can impose without your approval but also to the unstoppable stream of sponsored ads, banners, and pop-ups that can page-redirect you to strange online locations once you click on them. That’s why, in this article, we will concentrate on helping you uninstall the intrusive software and remove its nagging ads all on your own. To uninstall this unwanted app, you can refer to the removal guide just below the article, or simply scan your system with the professional Smart Search removal tool.

What is the purpose of Smart Search on your machine?

A browser hijacker, be it Smart Search or another one, has only one purpose on your machine – to advertise different products, services, and websites and make you click on their ads or land you on their web pages. Essentially, this is a sophisticated advertising tool that can display different banners, pop-ups, in-text links, and other advertisements in addition to carrying out other advertising-related activities.

A program like Smart Search, for example, may be able to install a new search engine or replace the default homepage with another one so that every time you open your browser, you land on a specific website. In most cases, such software may also have the ability to customize the ad flow and make it match the latest user search requests. The browser hijacker does that by accessing your browsing history and keeping track of your browsing patterns so that the displayed ads can be tailored according to the info acquired from your browser.

Based on your latest web searches, Smart Search can redirect you to different web locations it considers relevant to you. However, this activity, combined with the unwelcome browser changes, can often raise concerns and even be mistaken for a virus infection. Fortunately, a hijacker can’t damage the system like a Trojan Horse or encrypt user files like a Ransomware. Therefore, calling it a virus and comparing it to more dangerous malware is not accurate.

Yet, engaging with the advertisements this software may display may not always be a good idea. While hijackers like Smart Search are not intended to do harm, the random sponsored messages that pop-up on your screen thanks to such software may sometimes harm you when you least expect it. Here, we are referring to the so-called malvertisements which are, basically, regular ads injected with a malicious payload. Once clicked upon, such ads can either redirect you to a website full of computer viruses or directly installs malware such as a Ransomware or a Trojan to your computer.

With this in mind, we would advise against engaging with any advertisements that randomly appear on your screen. As a preventive measure, we would also suggest uninstalling any software that can inject ads into your regular web browsing. This includes browser hijackers, adware, and related browser add-ons which can redirect you to unfamiliar web locations if not removed.

SUMMARY:

Name Smart Search
Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Aggressive pop-up messages, banners and ads may constantly appear on your screen and prompt you to click on various sponsored pages.
Distribution Method  A Browser Hijacker can often be found in a bundle with some free attractive software, or inside a torrent, a spam message or a shareware site.
Detection Tool

Remove Smart Search from Mac

Step1

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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.

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

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:

chromeinfo

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

chromesample

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:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

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/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet

Step3

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.

Step4

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,

Preferences in Safari

and then again on the Extensions tab,

extensions in safari

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.
Step5

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,
Privacy in 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

General Tab in Safari

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

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 Smart Search From Firefox in OSX:

Open Firefoxclick on mozilla menu (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

pic 6

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


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

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

pic 8

 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!


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