Remove DigitalSearchPlatform (Mac Adware)

This post explains the risks of installing a malicious browser extension called DigitalSearchPlatform. Also part of this article are Easy Fix solution, Manual Removal Guide, and cleaning the Homepage and Search section of infected browser application.

DigitalSearchPlatform is a suspicious browser extension, which has been held responsible for unauthorized changes to the browser’s homepage, new tab, and default search engine. This questionable code usually enters the Mac computer unbeknownst to users. It is frequently wrapped with free downloadable apps or other potentially unwanted programs. This misleading method is the main reason why most computer users wrongly got some piece of this adware.

Risks of installing DigitalSearchPlatform

After DigitalSearchPlatform is loaded onto the Mac computer, it resets your default browser settings. As a result, unacceptable changes and behavior of the browser program may occur. The startup page will commence with a website that serves as default search engine. Whenever you start a new browser tab, it will still be redirected to DigitalSearchPlatform-assigned URL.

Adware author has made this search hijacker in order to gain income online. It may appear as harmless and practical online searching tool. However, by using DigitalSearchPlatform, it forces the browser to redirect to a specific location or on the online promoter’s website. Massive ads such as pop-ups, banners, in-text ads and more will appear on the webpage during the online browsing session.

Screenshot of DigitalSearchPlatform App

Risk to online privacy

Additionally, DigitalSearchPlatform has the ability to monitor web users while they are exploring the web. This questionable code may collect information such as search terms, IP addresses, visited websites, online purchases, and other essential details that you have input on the browser and search box. Therefore, confidentiality concern is another problem caused by the ad program like DigitalSearchPlatform.

Therefore, to achieve a more secure and stable internet surfing experience, the best course of action is to get rid of DigitalSearchPlatform app. By scanning the computer with legitimate anti-virus and anti-malware tools, you will also removed not just DigitalSearchPlatform, but other dubious items allied with this browser hijacker as well.

Procedures to Remove DigitalSearchPlatform 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 DigitalSearchPlatform. 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.

Install Combo Cleaner

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 DigitalSearchPlatform.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

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 DigitalSearchPlatform 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 DigitalSearchPlatform or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag DigitalSearchPlatform 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 DigitalSearchPlatform

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 DigitalSearchPlatform, 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 DigitalSearchPlatform

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.DigitalSearchPlatform
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may masks the actual name with following:

- Digital Search Platform

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing DigitalSearchPlatform 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.

Option+Command+4

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.

~/Library/Application Support

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 ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support

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

- Digital Search Platform

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 Apps

3. Click on Force Quit button.

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

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.

MBAM for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, DigitalSearchPlatform 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 DigitalSearchPlatform from Homepage and Search

Safari

- 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 DigitalSearchPlatform from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Google Chrome

- 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 DigitalSearchPlatform. 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.

Mozilla Firefox

- 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 DigitalSearchPlatform 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 DigitalSearchPlatform. 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 DigitalSearchPlatform or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.

Remove Profile

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 DigitalSearchPlatform.

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