A browser add-on called ArchiveWebSearch_2 was created for internet browser like Google Chrome. Now classified as a potentially unwanted application (PUA), ArchiveWebSearch_2 particularly targets Mac OS.
The creators of ArchiveWebSearch_2 will be able to use the computer once it has been infected to carry out online scams and other illegal actions that will significantly hinder the functionality of the browser program. Additionally, it puts Mac users’ internet security and privacy at risk. Also, the hijacked browser program may be able to identify the hazards and will consequently show a warning on the computer.
How ArchiveWebSearch_2 Enters Mac?
It is important to note that this threat is merely a copy of earlier PUA’s like LeadingExplorerSearch and SearchEngineLibrary. These are all members of the same adware family. However, ArchiveWebSearch_2 employs comparable infiltration strategies, and its main technique is to incorporate ArchiveWebSearch_2 into software installers and then host these packages on different file servers. There is a probability that a Mac user may download this malicious software package because the host application is frequently alluring, offering free games, tools, media players, file converters, or creativity suites. Unbeknownst to Mac users, performing the installation of this package instantly launches the ArchiveWebSearch_2 application.
In addition to the software bundling strategy, there are signs of infection that ArchiveWebSearch_2 come from the phony software update that users typically face when visiting unusual websites. Mac users were frequently duped into downloading the fictitious software update that would covertly install the ArchiveWebSearch_2 app by its deftly disguised system alert that claimed to have found problems caused by an outdated program. Please refer to the image below for an example of a phony software update that could appear when a user visits a rogue website.
Threats to Privacy and Security
ArchiveWebSearch_2 can gather a variety of information from the browser, like the majority of PUA. It can log search phrases, favorite websites, visited pages, usernames, passwords, IP addresses, and other critical information. By delivering ads that are more pertinent to or enticing to web users, this data is typically used to increase attackers’ online revenue. Nonetheless, there have been instances where enticing offers led adware developers to sell the data collection to outside online marketers.
Also, keep in mind that the ArchiveWebSearch_2 advertisements are generated by a clandestine network of advertisers. Because of this, the majority of it is odd marketing material that employs unethical internet promotion techniques such as excessive pop-ups and redirects. In the end, the purpose of these advertisements was to entice internet users to visit a subpar landing page, which is frequently the starting point for malware infection. Therefore, it is best to uninstall ArchiveWebSearch_2 as soon as it shows up on a Mac computer.
Mac Protection Against ArchiveWebSearch_2
How cautious the user is and how effective the anti-virus program that is installed are the two main factors in the overall safety of a Mac machine. These two together help to prevent the computer from becoming infected with malware, viruses, or PUAs like ArchiveWebSearch_2. Having said that, even if your computer is protected by a security program, there is no need to unwind when you browse the internet or download files. Keep in mind that some computer viruses are intelligent enough to take advantage of flaws in the system to sneak into the computer and avoid protection software.
Procedures to Remove ArchiveWebSearch_2 from Mac
This area contains comprehensive procedures to help you remove adware and potentially unwanted program from the computer.
Guide on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.
Quick Fix - Scan the Mac Computer with Combo Cleaner
Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of adware like ArchiveWebSearch_2. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.
1. Download the tool from the following page:
2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.
3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.
4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.
5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing ArchiveWebSearch_2.
6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.
Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.
Step 1 : Delete ArchiveWebSearch_2 from Mac Applications
1. Go to Finder.
2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.
3. Find ArchiveWebSearch_2 or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag ArchiveWebSearch_2 to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.
5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.
Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to ArchiveWebSearch_2
1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the adware. 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 Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.
2. Once you have located ArchiveWebSearch_2, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.
3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.
Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed ArchiveWebSearch_2
1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.
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.
4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:
The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may masks the actual name with following:
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing ArchiveWebSearch_2 to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest 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.
Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.
5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.
6. Please restart the computer.
7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.
8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.
9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):
10. Lastly, go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.
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.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to ArchiveWebSearch_2 adware.
Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:
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 ArchiveWebSearch_2.
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.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, ArchiveWebSearch_2 is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 5 : Remove ArchiveWebSearch_2 from Homepage and Search
- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove ArchiveWebSearch_2 from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing ArchiveWebSearch_2. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.
- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace ArchiveWebSearch_2 settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.
Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:
Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by ArchiveWebSearch_2. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:
1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.
2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.
3. Select ArchiveWebSearch_2 or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.
5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with ArchiveWebSearch_2.