Mac security experts advise against coming across the dangerous MicroWebSearch browser extension. The article claims that this purported upgrade tool is currently aiming its fire at popular browsers like Google Chrome and Safari. By the time the MicroWebSearch program is running on a Mac, it has already started to display obtrusive advertisements, including pop-ups, redirections, pop-unders, and push notifications. It is also claimed that the MicroWebSearch infection is to blame for the undesired modifications to the browser’s homepage and search settings.
How does the MicroWebSearch application access a Mac?
Most Mac users who come across the MicroWebSearch software are curious as to how it was able to infiltrate the computer without their permission. In actuality, there are a number of techniques that attackers use to disseminate the adware extensively. One way is through a bogus software update that users of the internet typically come across when they go to websites that engage in the unlawful distribution of movies, software, or audio files. Another thing is that most of the illicit or fake software update might be compromised by MicroWebSearch adware. Worst of all, it has been noted that the distribution of dubious freeware bundles can potentially infect the computer with more harmful threats like viruses and malware.
The MicroWebSearch application’s penetration techniques can easily convince Mac users to download or unintentionally launch the carrier. Therefore, avoiding these sources of infection is advised.
The purpose of the adware MicroWebSearch
The dubious browser plugin serves as adware and a data logger on the computer. Therefore, misbehaviors such as excessive pop-up advertising, redirection, and banners may be encountered by Mac users. The web browsing experience is severely hampered by these ads. Even worse, the advertisements may contain harmful links that might install unwanted programs like TriumphStep, HorizonFlower, LinkRoot, and many more.
Keep in mind that MicroWebSearch has the ability to gather user surfing information in addition to its self-serving goal of collecting money. It keeps track of things like search terms, pages visited, favorite websites, usernames, and contact information. Later on, this may result in a breach of privacy, and the attackers may utilize the data they have obtained for further fraudulent online actions.
Procedures to Remove MicroWebSearch 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 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 MicroWebSearch. 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.
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 MicroWebSearch.
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 MicroWebSearch 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 MicroWebSearch or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag MicroWebSearch 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 MicroWebSearch
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 MicroWebSearch, 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 MicroWebSearch
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:
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing MicroWebSearch 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.
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 MicroWebSearch 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 MicroWebSearch.
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.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, MicroWebSearch 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 MicroWebSearch from Homepage and Search
- 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 MicroWebSearch from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- 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 MicroWebSearch. 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.
- 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 MicroWebSearch 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 MicroWebSearch. 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 MicroWebSearch or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
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 MicroWebSearch.
MicroWebSearch and "Managed by your organization" Policy
If MicroWebSearch has set a policy and it was able to restrict making modifications, we recommend to execute additional procedures to remove extension and Browser is managed by organization policy. You can also watch the tutorial video below.