How to remove SearchNetLetter (Mac)

By Chona Esjay | Posted on June 8, 2020 | Updated on June 27, 2020

When startup and new tab of Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox is showing off an unwanted web address or search engine, there is a high chance that SearchNetLetter adware is already polluted the browser software. This indication of implication is not only restricted to the control over the homepage and other part of browser, worst than this unwanted alteration is the danger towards Mac user’s online safety and privacy. Closely significant to TechBoardSearch and SmartQuestSearch , SearchNetLetter app adopts the same unlawful data collection committed by said older variants. It secretly oversee user’s online browsing manner and logs precious information like favorite websites, search keywords, visited web page, and other essential identifiable data.

Common way for SearchNetLetter adware to enter Mac computer is through the exploitation of software bundles. It is difficult to pinpoint accurately the origin and freeware it is merged to. But we are very sure that Mac computers may get contaminated with SearchNetLetter if user often download freeware from unsafe website and obtrusive pop-up advertisements and redirects. Moreover, cyber offenders behind SearchNetLetter app are enjoying the freedom of promoting the program to diverse unreliable ad network and endorse the app as beneficial tool that augment online browsing and search exercise. On some occasions, ads from questionable websites may prompts software update for web users to download, but instead of the actual update, SearchNetLetter will get install instead.

SearchNetLetter App

It is visible that computer security experts categorized SearchNetLetter as potentially unwanted application (PUA) chiefly because its installation course is hidden to Mac users, or it uses fraudulent technique in swaying Mac users. Changes it made to browser particularly positioning SearchNetLetter on the homepage and search tool are also one coerce alteration of SearchNetLetter that do not solicit authorization from computer owner.

Knowing that this so called browser extension can cause a number of issues on internet browser that jeopardize online privacy and safety of Mac users, there is no other choice but to remove it straightway. Systematic proceeding to dispatch of SearchNetLetter are outlined below. Also confined are anti-virus and anti-malware application that can scan, locate, and delete malevolent items combined to this adware.

Procedures to Remove SearchNetLetter 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.

Step 1 : 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 SearchNetLetter. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

Click here to Download Combo Cleaner

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 it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing SearchNetLetter.

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 2 : Delete SearchNetLetter 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 SearchNetLetter or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwnated App

4. Drag SearchNetLetter to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to SearchNetLetter

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 Plugins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located SearchNetLetter, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed SearchNetLetter

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.SearchNetLetter
  • 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

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

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 Locked Files

3. Click on Force Quit button.

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

Step 5 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:

Click here to download MBAM for Mac

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 SearchNetLetter.

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 - Scan

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, SearchNetLetter is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 6 : Remove SearchNetLetter 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 SearchNetLetter 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 SearchNetLetter. 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 SearchNetLetter 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 SearchNetLetter. 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 SearchNetLetter 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 SearchNetLetter.

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