How to remove GoSearch22 (Mac OS)

This post is all about the harmful browser extension called GoSearch22 adware. The page also contains useful Quick Fix to remove the threat, Removal Steps, as well as Homepage and Search Cleanup.

GoSearch22 is a questionable browser extension that operates on internet program running on Mac OS environment. Its installation is often without the due authority of Mac user because it often rides along with malicious freeware or shareware. In most cases, GoSearch22 is embedded into dubious free applications being offered as games, utility, creativity apps, media player, internet speed booster, and similar attractive apps. During installation, the only thing visible to Mac user is the setup process of the freeware, while loading of GoSearch22 is being kept in the background.

This technique by makers of GoSearch22 is the reason why the program was listed under the category of potentially unwanted application (PUA). It pertains to a family of malware that uses deceiving techniques in order to penetrate the computer. Aside from being bundled to freeware, GoSearch22 may likewise infiltrate the computer through fake software update. Quite a number of websites especially dubious ones are showing this pop-up and purports as system alert. In reality, it is an advertisements that tries to persuade web users into downloading a bogus software update that will consequently load GoSearch22 onto the browser program.

The moment that GoSearch22 is operational, it is going to execute a number of changes in the default browser application and override settings on homepage and search engine. One goal of GoSearch22 is to promote an unwanted search engine. Apart from that, the suspicious program will take advantage of the contaminated browser to generate online revenue. Mac users are going to encounter various pop-up ads and redirects advertisements, which aims to gain profit through the pay-per-click scheme implemented by GoSearch22.

Screenshot of GoSearch22 app

Bear in mind that ads from GoSearch22 or any type of PUA are harmful. Frequently, they hold malicious links and contents that can drive the browser program to visit a malicious website that serves malicious applications. Therefore, removal of GoSearch22 is recommended and this task must be completed by Mac user as soon as possible to avoid further harm on the computer. For complete steps, please navigate to the next segment.

Procedures to Remove GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22. 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 GoSearch22.

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 GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22 or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22

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 GoSearch22, 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 GoSearch22

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.GoSearch22
  • 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:

- Gosearchresults.com, Go-search.me

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing GoSearch22 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.

- Gosearchresults.com, Go-search.me

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 GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22.

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, GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22. 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 GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22. 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 GoSearch22 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 GoSearch22.

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