How to remove EngineSearch (Mac)

Occurrence of adware or potentially unwanted application on internet browser program is often the root for various abnormalities such as excessive pop-up advertisements, series of redirects, and unsolicited changes on internet program settings. One adware that possesses the said attribute is called EngineSearch app. This is a malicious browser extension made to implicate Mac computer with different kind of browsing issues and it can infect Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. Like most adware, EngineSearch applies various ways in an attempt to infect as many Mac computers as it can.

Deployment of EngineSearch App

There is no better way for cyber crooks to spread EngineSearch other than offering a freeware where it is bundled. Obviously, this technique does not disclose the inclusion of EngineSearch app and it will never notify Mac user about the possible installation of this additive. While installing the freeware, EngineSearch also runs its own setup procedure in the background and Mac user is totally not aware of it. They will only learn about the presence of EngineSearch, when infected browser application starts to exhibit several alerts and reports about the illegal actions that the adware is performing. On some instances, EngineSearch causes browser freezes that eventually end up in the software crashes because of the excessive processes by the adware.

One more way that gives way for the unsolicited installation of EngineSearch is via deceptive ad campaign. If Mac user pays a visit to websites that offers free download of copyrighted materials like movies, videos, audios, and software, chances of bumping into the misleading ad is very likely. The ads will pop-up masking as system alerts that prompts for immediate software download. Page content was designed to mimic usual software update alerts in order to persuade Mac users into downloading the program. Instead of software update, EngineSearch will be installed.

EngineSearch App

Risks of EngineSearch Adware

Adware and potentially unwanted application (PUA) are all risky but they have different levels of bearings. EngineSearch could be in the higher degree because aside from displaying excessive ads as most adware does, it can collect critical web user’s data like username, passwords, and IP address. It was also designed to initiate installation of additional adware by redirecting browser pages to malicious sites.

More than a computer threat, EngineSearch is a risk to Mac user’s online privacy and its actions can lead to identity theft. For this reason, immediate removal is suggested. Instructions along with virus and malware scanners are included on this page to help with the effective removal of EngineSearch app.

Procedures to Remove EngineSearch 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 System 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 EngineSearch. 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 EngineSearch.

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 EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch

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 EngineSearch, 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 EngineSearch

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.EngineSearch
  • 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:

- Engine Search, SystemJump, BrowserToday

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

- Engine Search, SystemJump, BrowserToday

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 EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch.

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, EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch. 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 EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch. 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 EngineSearch 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 EngineSearch.

Post Last Modified On July 22, 2020

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