NetToolBoxSearch browser hijacker is a malware program that alters web browser settings without the online user’s knowledge. It also cause redirects to websites that web visitors had no intention of visiting.
Presence of NetToolBoxSearch app on Mac operating system may change the search engine or homepage of browser. It lessens browsing experience of internet users by slow loading of web pages, install multiple toolbars automatically, and generate numerous pop-up alerts and advertisements. NetToolBoxSearch browser hijackers usually help cyber criminals to gain income by displaying deceptive ads or scams.
Infected browsers will trigger redirects into hijacker’s search page. Then, all web queries will link to what browser hijacker wants the internet user to see, instead of presenting legitimate search results. When online users click to any provided result, then browser hijacker like NetToolBoxSearch gets paid.
NetToolBoxSearch app is also a kind of Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA), which can trace valuable information about internet users such as browsing habits or even personal details stored on computer. NetToolBoxSearch operators can sell it to cyber criminals for some other purposes. It is common for PUA and browser hijacker to contain a spyware, which makes it possible to gather important and sensitive data of online users like banking details, passwords, and other personal information. In addition, ads generated by a browser hijacker can install or activate and similar dubious unwanted programs.
NetToolBoxSearch Infection Method
Adware or PUA like NetToolBoxSearch app is often part of installation process done by internet users, as it seems to be legitimate and useful. There are lots of software bundles available in the internet, which makes it possible for NetToolBoxSearch app to include in the installation. In addition, some web users may tend to agree on downloading an additional program along with the application they want to install. Then, NetToolBoxSearch app can infiltrate computers by this method.
Procedures to Remove NetToolBoxSearch from Mac
This section contains comprehensive guide to help you remove malicious browser hijacker from internet application.
Procedures 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 malicious browser hijacker like NetToolBoxSearch. 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 it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing NetToolBoxSearch.
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 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to NetToolBoxSearch
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 Plugins lists when it opens a new window.
2. Once you have located NetToolBoxSearch, 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 NetToolBoxSearch
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. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:
- MajorChannelSearch, SmartWebSearch
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing NetToolBoxSearch 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 ~):
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 NetToolBoxSearch homepage hijacker.
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 NetToolBoxSearch.
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, NetToolBoxSearch 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 NetToolBoxSearch 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 NetToolBoxSearch 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 NetToolBoxSearch. 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 NetToolBoxSearch 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 NetToolBoxSearch. 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 NetToolBoxSearch 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 NetToolBoxSearch.
Step 6 : Delete NetToolBoxSearch Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs NetToolBoxSearch 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 NetToolBoxSearch.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select NetToolBoxSearch or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.