Remove SurfMate (Mac OS X and Safari Guide)

By | Posted on November 11, 2016 | Updated on November 14, 2016

SurfMate is a Mac OS X compatible adware that issues huge amount of pop-up advertisements. It asserts to give users free access to useful coupon codes, special discounts, deals, and online savings. Initially, user may find SurfMate as worthy tool especially those that are into online shopping. However, when this program starts to display continuous ads, people begins to dismay how it functions while inside Mac computer.

It is ordinary for potentially unwanted program (PUP) like SurfMate to enter the computer with the help freeware or shareware. Dubious software updates are also known as accomplice to widespread distribution of SurfMate. Games, Media Players, Utilities and Tools are just some kind of freeware that has adjacent connection with SurfMate and most adware programs.

Once installed on the system, adware employs a content-layering technique to issue coupons, banners, pop-up ads, and other marketing materials on browser’s web page. These virtual layers of advertisement may appear as if it is part of the web page. In reality, these ads are coming from SurfMate. It supersedes some section of the original content. Thus, user may see unwanted ads by SurfMate as legitimate and mistakenly click on it most often.

Advertisements initiated by adware like SurfMate and other unwanted programs can be dangerous. They are using questionable network of advertisers, which are not regulated. These ads may contain malicious links that can deliver viruses and malware onto user’s computer.

SurfMate

As of now, SurfMate is compatible only to Mac OS X system. It affects Google Chrome and Safari browser. Though, official website states that Windows and Mobile version will soon be available.

Online Security Scanner Report for macsurfmate.com:

Norton SafeWeb Not yet tested Community Rating: 0.0 Updated: Nov. 11, 2016
MCAfee Site Advisor Not yet rated Feedback: No Data Updated: Nov. 11, 2016
AVG Threat Labs Currently safe Ratings: No Data Updated: Nov. 11, 2016

Procedures to Remove SurfMate Adware from Mac

Below is a simple procedure to help you get rid of SurfMate from Macintosh system. Removal of the adware on various browser is also included.

It is highly suggested that you carry out all the steps in exact manner to effectively get rid of malware.

Step 1: Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to SurfMate

1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the adware i.e. SurfMate, SearchAssist. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.

Safari – Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.

Chrome – Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.

Firefox – Choose Add-ons from the Tools menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plugins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located SurfMate, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 2: Delete Malicious Files that have installed SurfMate

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder…

3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • com.SurfMate.agent
  • com.Software-Updater.agent

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing the SurfMate to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most recent ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.

Option + Command + 4
5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

6. Repeat Step 2, numbers 1-5 procedures on the following folder (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents

7. Please restart the computer.

8. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

9. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step2, number 4. Drag them to the Trash.

10. Go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

  • SurfMate
  • MediaDownloader
  • Software-Updater

Optional: For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

Force Quit Locked Files

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to SurfMate.

Step 3: Scan the System with Adware Removal Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:

Click here to download MBAM for Mac (this will open a new window)

2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including SurfMate.

3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.

4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, SurfMate is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 4: Remove SurfMate from Safari Home Page and Search

1. Open Apple menu and select Force Quit. You can also press Command + Option + Esc on the keyboard to access this feature.

2. From the list of applications, select Safari, and then click on Force Quit button. Wait for Safari browser to close.

Force Quit Safari

3. Now, hold down Shift key and launch Safari. Do this to avoid opening any unwanted window from SurfMate.

4. Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.

5. Under General tab, type the desired URL on Home Page area.

6. To set the default search engine, please go back to Safari Preferences.

7. Click on Search and select the desired search engine from the list to override SurfMate custom search engine.

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