By pretending as enhancement app to improve web browsing and searching, Mac users were sometimes deceived to install a pointless program called OnlineToolSearch. It operates on the computer as browser extension and is able to change different settings even without authority from Mac users. OnlineToolSearch can alter the configuration on homepage and search that totally disregards web user’s preference.
Mac security analyst categorized OnlineToolSearch as potentially unwanted application (PUA) and was patterned from previous browser threat like GeneralBoardSearch and LeadingServiceSearch. It deserves to be in this group because makers of this dubious browser extension are employing deceitful tactics to inject OnlineToolSearch onto browser programs like Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.
OnlineToolSearch Distribution Scheme
People behind OnlineToolSearch are using various deployment tactics to mislead web users into downloading and installing the malicious application and as observed, they are applying the following schemes:
Freeware installers – OnlineToolSearch is embedded to several freeware package that are hosted on various file-sharing sites and torrent sites. If Mac user obtains such software bundle and installs it on the computer, chances of loading the OnlineToolSearch is very likely. It installs alongside the freeware but was made hidden from Mac user’s view.
Intrusive Advertisements – Numerous websites are engaging in the promotion of suspicious browser extension as OnlineToolSearch. Pop-ups coming from said websites are endorsing the threat as valid and valuable browser extension that enhances online browsing and search experience of Mac user. Because of this attractive campaign, some were tricked to install OnlineToolSearch voluntarily without realizing that it can lead to browser abnormalities.
Bogus software update – As shown in the image below, several malicious sites will greet online visitors with a pop-up warning that mimics the alerts from operating system. It disguises as valid system alert claiming to have identified obsolete applications. Then, the advise to download software update follows, which actually installs OnlineToolSearch adware.
To Sum Up
OnlineToolSearch is a questionable browser extension that targets internet browser application operating on Mac computer. Although it is promoted as valid tool, our very own diagnosis confirms that it is an adware threat masking as browser extension. After installation, it initiates different browser annoyances like pop-ups and redirects that lands browser pages to doubtful destination as Regeneral.club, Footballito.com, and so on. In addition, OnlineToolSearch is able to track Mac user’s browsing activities that can lead to privacy theft.
After manifesting different illicit actions towards the infected computer, there is no point of ignoring the presence of OnlineToolSearch on the browser. Remove it as soon as possible to restore security and privacy. On the next section is effective guide that is helpful in getting rid of OnlineToolSearch.
Procedures to Remove OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch. 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 OnlineToolSearch.
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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch
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 OnlineToolSearch, 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 OnlineToolSearch
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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch.
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, OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch. 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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch. 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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch.