IndexSearch is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that works compatibly with Mac OS. It was also designed to display different kind of advertisements on infected browser program and for this; it matches the classification of Adware or Ad-supported software.
Actually, IndexSearch forces an entry to target browser program to monetize its existence by commanding Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox to display advertisements. In addition, IndexSearch makers similarly makes revenue through its internet traffic referral scheme by redirecting the compromised browser application to different kinds of suspicious websites.
How does IndexSearch infects Mac computer?
Like BoostSign and LatestExtended, this undesirable browser extension commonly reach the target Mac computers through variety of methods. Hence, the most valuable technique that attackers are using to enforce a successful installation is through software bundles. The said method requires carriers that are frequently freeware, which Mac users are fond of acquiring. Apps like free tools, media players, file converter, games, internet speed booster, are free software that IndexSearch often comes with.
There were also reported cases that browser was infected with IndexSearch app right after Mac user downloads and executes a software update. It is important to note that majority of software update publicized on pop-up ads are often bogus. This is a trick by IndexSearch makers to sway Mac users and influence them to download and install the app. Once the setup is run, it actually installs IndexSearch app and not the software update as expected by Mac user.
More about IndexSearch app
The complete installation of IndexSearch and its existence on internet browser application could be the root for different conflicts and annoyances. As aggressive browser extension, this threat could process too many internet request and system resources usage that will prompt Mac to show warnings such as the following:
Do you want the application “IndexSearch” to accept incoming network connections?
“IndexSearch.app” wants access to control the internet browser program. Allowing control will provide access to documents and data in Safari or Google Chrome, and perform actions within that app.
These warning pop-up messages clearly show how risky it is to have IndexSearch on the computer. It may be promoted as useful tool but the reality demonstrate that this questionable browser extension is a computer threat. Therefore, we highly encourage Mac users to get rid of IndexSearch app before it can cause further harm on the computer.
Procedures to Remove IndexSearch 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.
To successfully remove IndexSearch from your Mac, follow the steps below:
- Quick Fix : Scan the computer with the Combo Cleaner tool.
- Step 1 : Uninstall IndexSearch from the Applications folder.
- Step 2 : Remove malicious browser extensions.
- Step 3 : Delete IndexSearch files from your Mac computer.
- Step 4 : Run another scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
- Step 5 : Remove IndexSearch entries from internet browsers.
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 IndexSearch. You may need to purchase the full version if you want 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 your antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates.
6. Next, click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing IndexSearch.
7. 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 manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.
Step 1 : Delete IndexSearch 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 IndexSearch or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag IndexSearch 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 IndexSearch
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 IndexSearch, 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 IndexSearch
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:
- Index Search App
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing IndexSearch 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.
- Index Search App
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 IndexSearch 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 the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including IndexSearch.
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 the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, and IndexSearch is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 5 : Remove IndexSearch from Homepage and Search
- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to the Safari Menu located in the upper left-hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under the General tab, navigate to the Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that the "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove IndexSearch from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- Open the Google Chrome browser.
- Input the following on the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area on the sidebar.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Choose the unwanted homepage, and click on Ellipses (three dots) and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your homepage, replacing the IndexSearch setting. Click Save.
- To set the default search engine, go to the Search Engine area from the sidebar link.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Select the questionable Search Engine and click on Ellipses (three dots). ClickDelete. to remove it from the list.
- Go back to the Search Engine area and choose a valid entry (i.e., Google) 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
- Click Home on the sidebar area.
- Under "New Windows and Tabs", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs. - Input the desired URL to replace IndexSearch settings if you chose Custom URLs.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on the sidebar to display the settings.
- Under the Default Search Engine list, please select one (i.e., Google).
- On the same page, you have the option to Remove unwanted search engines.
Optional : If you are unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:
Some users complain that there is no way to change browser settings because they are grayed out by IndexSearch. In such a situation, it is important to check if there is an 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 IndexSearch or any relevant profile from the left pane. See the image below.
4. At the bottom of this window, click the minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to the image above.
5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with IndexSearch.