How to remove SearchNetCharacter (Mac)

There is no better way to browse the internet than using clean and secured internet software. It does not matter whether it is Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. As long as it is spotless, there is nothing to worry about hijacking, redirecting, or privacy stealing. These unusual and illegal things happen only to browser program that is contaminated with an adware like SearchNetCharacter.

More about SearchNetCharacter

This unknown browser extension for Mac is classified as potentially unwanted application (PUA). Its primary objective is to control the operation of internet software to be able to accomplish various illicit tasks. On initial attack, SearchNetCharacter is going to dropped internet cookies and other codes that aim on tracking the browsing activities of Mac user. If this module is operational, attackers will be able to record crucial information like favorite websites, visited pages, search terms, IP address, username, passwords, and contact details.

Injected codes by SearchNetCharacter also meant to make the compromised internet software as moneymaking platform by displaying a wide array of advertisements like pop-ups, redirects, banners, and push notifications. As a way to elevate profit from this ad display, makers of SearchNetCharacter may resort to scrutinizing the collected information from the browser to be able to issue advertisements that are more appealing. By coming up with a data analysis, ad display is now more focus on web user’s preference and online interest.

Heavy ad display by SearchNetCharacter

The bad thing about having SearchNetCharacter on the browser is it was made to intentionally exhibits overflowing of ads on the internet software. This can be so annoying especially the pop-ups that overlays the web page content. Not to mention that heavy display of ads by SearchNetCharacter is consuming too much internet resources that diminish the overall online performance. There is also great danger on accessing the ads because it may redirect the browser program to other malicious sites like Jioer.pro or Towardstice.club that produce pop-ups masking as official software update in order to deceive Mac users into installing additional malware.

SearchNetCharacter App

So, aside from risking online privacy and security of Mac users, existence of SearchNetCharacter leads to annoyances. The only approach to stop these is no other than to remove the culprit itself. To help Mac user with this important task, we are providing simple guide along with effective virus and malware scanners.

Procedures to Remove SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter. 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 SearchNetCharacter.

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 SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter

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 SearchNetCharacter, 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 SearchNetCharacter

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.SearchNetCharacter
  • 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:

- Adload, SearchNetCharacterDaemon

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

- Adload, SearchNetCharacterDaemon

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 SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter.

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, SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter. 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 SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter. 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 SearchNetCharacter 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 SearchNetCharacter.

Post Last Modified On September 24, 2020

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