How to remove SkilledSearchModule

This article contains narratives and ways to remove SkilledSearchModule. The page also includes Quick Fix for Mac, Mac Removal Guide, Homepage and Search Cleanup, and Removal Steps for PC.

SkilledSearchModule is a questionable browser extension. It is currently deemed as a computer threat that is targeting internet applications such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. To spread this unwanted browser tool, attackers are engaging on different online approaches. Once it reaches the computer, SkilledSearchModule could take over the browser settings and appoint its own homepage and search engine.

How SkilledSearchModule infects the computer?

The questionable browser extension is considered as potentially unwanted program (PUP). It implies that despite of web users being not interested with this app, it still forces its way inside the computer while employing various deceptive schemes. One that is seen as the main method, which successfully circulates the contamination is malicious software bundles. SkilledSearchModule app is embedded to various freeware or shareware that web users are fond of downloading from distrusted file servers.

When setup is run on the computer, the host software executes a discreet installation of SkilledSearchModule. This process will not be revealed to the user and in fact, authorization is not needed. Aside from the said malware, there is a possibility that the process may load other relevant threats like SmartSearchTool or Hyperlink Search.

Another way for SkilledSearchModule app to successfully penetrate the computer is when web user fall into the click trap of fake software update. Pop-up ads portraying as system alerts usually prompts users to download the recommended software update. The whole page is actually a click bait that will automate the download of the fake software update.

Risks of installing SkilledSearchModule

Whether accidental or intentional, the installation of SkilledSearchModule app on the computer can lead to different misbehaviors. The adware can display pop-up ads and redirects to accomplish the purpose of generating online revenue through its own pay-per-click scheme. Sadly, most of the ads that this adware produces are containing malicious links, which may drive the internet program to a landing page that hosts adware, malware, or virus.

SkilledSearchModule also commits unwanted modifications on the internet browser program that will replace the preferences of web users on homepage, new tab, and default search engine.

Screenshot of SkilledSearchModule

Aside from tampering browser settings and annoying ad schemes, the infected browser program may also post some warnings on Mac stating that “Skilled Search Module Daemon will damage your computer.” This message only confirms that web users should not disregard the presence of this hazardous browser extension.

Procedures to Remove SkilledSearchModule from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove malicious browser hijacker from Google Chrome browser.

Procedures 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 malicious browser hijacker like SkilledSearchModule. 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 it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing SkilledSearchModule.

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 Suspicious Google Chrome Extension on Mac

Most adware and unwanted programs are using a program called browser extension to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend to check and remove the extension that is closely related to SkilledSearchModule.

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Chrome URL on Mac

3. Find SkilledSearchModule or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If unable to remove SkilledSearchModule because browser is "Managed by your Organization", follow these steps:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Screenshot of Chrome Manage ID

3. Open Finder on you Mac and go to the following directory:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions

4. Once you opened the directory, find the folder that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete SkilledSearchModule.

Step 2 : Delete SkilledSearchModule 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 SkilledSearchModule or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag SkilledSearchModule 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 SkilledSearchModule

1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the hijacker. 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 SkilledSearchModule or any suspicious items, 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 SkilledSearchModule

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:

  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist
  • com.unknown

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:

- Skilled Search Module Daemon

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

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 SkilledSearchModule homepage hijacker.

Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from the link below.

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 SkilledSearchModule.

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, SkilledSearchModule 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 SkilledSearchModule from Homepage and Search

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 SkilledSearchModule. 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.

Step 6 : Delete SkilledSearchModule Login Items

Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs SkilledSearchModule during user log in.

1. Go to Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

2. Select Users & Groups from the preferences window.

3. You may need to Unlock this area in order to make changes. Click on the Lock icon on lower left corner of the window.

4. Next, select user account that runs SkilledSearchModule.

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select SkilledSearchModule or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.

Login Items

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 SkilledSearchModule. 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 , SkilledSearchModule 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 SkilledSearchModule.

SkilledSearchModule Removal Procedure for PC

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised computer.

In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Quick Fix - Scan the computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool

To remove SkilledSearchModule automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-virus tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like SkilledSearchModule that slows down online browsing activities.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

Screnshot of Sophos Installer

3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove malicious program like SkilledSearchModule.

6. Click the  button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to SkilledSearchModule+ and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the SkilledSearchModule browser hijacker. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

Step 1 : Get Rid of Unwanted Google Chrome Extension

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the browser hijacker. However, if you still find that there are still remnants of SkilledSearchModule on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Chrome URL

3. Find SkilledSearchModule or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If you cannot remove SkilledSearchModule because "Your Browser is Managed by your Organization", do the following:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Chrome Manage ID on PC

3. Open Windows Explorer and locate the following folder:

C:\Users\(Your Username)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions

4. After opening the Folder, find the item that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete SkilledSearchModule.

Step 2 : Scan and Delete Adware with AdwCleaner

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of SkilledSearchModule on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by SkilledSearchModule.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on Scan button.

AdwCleaner

4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to SkilledSearchModule.

5. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

6. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.

Share & Recommend

About the author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *