HorizonElite can trick many Mac users by promoting itself as useful browser extension that improves online browsing and searching experience. Hence, we can confirm that HorizonElite app belongs to a large group of adware where intrusive entry technique is commonly used to become an element of internet program. Due to its forceful entry while disrespecting Mac user’s permission, security experts dubbed HorizonElite potentially unwanted application (PUA). Computer user’s thinks the other way. For them, it is a computer virus infects their internet program and disturbs their online browsing activities. Technically, HorizonElite is not categorized as virus for a number of reasons.
Why HorizonElite is not a virus?
It is not infectious – Viruses commonly enters the computer via software exploit and this is the infection mechanism for this threat to dominate the system. HorizonElite needs manual execution and most of the time; it is bundled to executable files like software installers.
Does not affect system – HorizonElite targets internet browser application and there is no objective of harming the computer. Most of the attack aims on dominating homepage and search engine. It aims to promote an unwanted search tool and rogue programs.
HorizonElite is not contagious – Once this threat infiltrates the computer, it remains as browser extension and operated in that section. There are no reported cases that it contaminates files or other computers on its own. It never spreads on the network of computers or via removable drives, which are common to viruses and worms.
Originates from Adware clan – Lastly, HorizonElite is just a remake of previous browser hijacker/adware and we can clearly see its resemblance to CentralGeo, ExpandedSystem, OpticalTransaction, and many more. All of these are computer threats that are listed under the category of unwanted application.
What to do with HorizonElite App?
Although this threat is not considered as computer virus, Mac computer is still at risks during its existence. It can trigger excessive pop-up advertisements and redirects that may divert the browser to various harmful pages. Moreover, adware are known as data trackers that collects sensitive details about browsing-related activities of Mac user.
With the mentioned risks, it is best to remove HorizonElite app from the computer as soon as possible to prevent any further infection and harm. Guide to carry out the effective removal of this threat is provided below along with useful virus and malware scanners.
How to protect Mac from HorizonElite adware?
Protecting the computer starts by being cautious while using the device especially during online sessions. When browsing the internet, be sure to keep away from malicious sites because visiting such can redirect the browser to different pages that can lead to adware or malware infection. Same thing with email communication, never open any messages or attachment from unknown or suspicious sender. If you can, block the unusual sender so that the message automatically gets deleted.
Above all, having a decent anti-virus and anti-malware is needed to completely protect the computer. If there is a budget constraint, even free security programs will do. It is better than having nothing to help you secure the computer against different kinds of attacks.
Procedures to Remove HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite. 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 HorizonElite.
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 HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite or any unwanted program.
4. Drag HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite
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 HorizonElite, 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 HorizonElite
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:
- Horizon Elite App
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing HorizonElite 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.
- Horizon Elite App
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 HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite.
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, HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite. 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 HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite. 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 HorizonElite 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 HorizonElite.