Optimalsearch.me or Optimal Search is a suspicious search engine that normally attacks browsers operating under Mac systems. This cross-browser extension is compatible to popular internet applications such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. Optimalsearch.me can easily penetrate these browsers by utilizing diverse methods that can easily reach web users and online targets. One common source of Optimalsearch.me are pop-up advertisements purporting to be software update that offers free download. However, instead of downloading the necessary update, the ad will provide an installation package for Optimal Search.
Optimalsearch.me is just one of those browser hijackers that are utilizing software bundles and marketed as freeware on not so trustworthy websites and advertisements out there as a way to easily infiltrate Mac computer. Once inside the system, Optimal Search extension is able to adjust browser settings and make Optimalsearch.me as the default homepage, new tab, and search provider. In addition, it was designed to gather various sensitive and personal information like search keywords, favorite websites, visited pages, and user’s geographical location.
All these efforts by Optimalsearch.me authors are leading into one profitable cause and that is their own online advertising scheme. Once it gathers necessary data, the adware will exhibit custom advertisements on the affected browser programs. Moreover, because it have already analyzes user’s information, all ads it displays are mostly relevant to user’s interest and more personalized. This is one clever way for adware makers to gain massive profits by exploiting browser applications that are infected with Optimalsearch.me.
Only way to restore the browser to previous clean settings is to remove the Optimal Search extension. Accomplishing this task also eliminates the Optimalsearch.me hijacker from homepage and other part of the internet browser program. To complete the removal process, it is suggested to thoroughly scan the computer with virus and malware remover as provided below.
Procedures to Remove Optimalsearch.me from Mac
Systematic instructions and tools for the successful removal of browser threat are outlined on this section. This is helpful to totally get rid of Optimalsearch.me browser hijacker from infected browser programs.
Even ordinary Mac users can understand and follow this guide because it was created with less complexities and technicalities. Also, make sure to run the scanners to automatically delete harmful items belonging to Optimalsearch.me browser hijacker.
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 Optimalsearch.me. 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 Optimalsearch.me.
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.
Aside from automatic removal using the recommended utility application, you can also remove Optimalsearch.me with manual procedure. If you are comfortable in executing this course, please proceed below.
Step 1 : Delete Optimalsearch.me from Mac Applications
1. Open Finder on you Mac computer.
2. Next, go to top menu and click Go. From the drop-down list, click on Applications to view the contents of Applications Folder.
3. Browse the Applications folder and look for Optimalsearch.me. If it is not present, find any unwanted or suspicious program that is probably relevant to the browser hijacker.
4. To delete Optimalsearch.me from Mac, simply Drag it to Trash Bin. You can also highlight/select the item and press Delete on your keyboard.
5. Next, delete Optimalsearch.me from Trash Bin. Right-click the Trash icon and click Empty Trash.
Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Optimalsearch.me
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 Optimalsearch.me or any suspicious item, 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 Optimalsearch.me
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:
- Searchitnow, Search Control, Optimal Search
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me.
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, Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me. 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 Optimalsearch.me 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.
Step 6 : Delete Optimalsearch.me Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select Optimalsearch.me or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.
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 Optimalsearch.me. 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 , Optimalsearch.me 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 Optimalsearch.me.
Get rid of Optimalsearch.me Pop-ups (Notification)
Most of the time, browser hijackers are combined with intrusive pop-up ads originating from the source website Optimalsearch.me. It is taking advantage of push notification feature of popular internet programs like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Edge. These pop-up ads from Optimalsearch.me are extra ordinary as it exceeds the normal display volume and they are certainly annoying.
Normally, Optimalsearch.me pop-ups will start to bombard internet browser screen with pop-ups if web user was deceived to click “Allow” button that triggers the said website to send push notification. To stop Optimalsearch.me from showing the pop-ups, please execute the procedures below. Remember, these steps may only be successful after the removal of the main component or dubious browser extension.
1. On Google Chrome browser, input the following in the address bar and press Enter:
2. Navigate to the list under "Allow" section and look for Optimalsearch.me.
3. Click the ellipses (3 dots) beside Optimalsearch.me list to reveal the options.
4. Click on Block or Remove to stop Optimalsearch.me from displaying pop-up ads on Google Chrome browser.
6. Please restart Google Chrome browser.
1. On Mozilla Firefox browser, type the following in the address bar and press Enter key:
2. Navigate below to Permission area and look for Notifications.
3. Click the Settings button aligned with the Notifications.
4. Look for Optimalsearch.me entry and change the Status to Block.
5. Click on Save Changes and restart Mozilla Firefox and check if Optimalsearch.me pop-up is gone.
1. On top menu, click on Safari and then, select Preferences from the drop-down list.
2. Click on Websites tab to open its settings.
3. Select Notifications from the left sidebar.
4. On right panel, it will display a list of websites with "Allow" attribute.
5. Find and click on Optimalsearch.me.
6. You may choose to Deny or Remove it from the notification list.
7. You may now restart Safari browser and see if Optimalsearch.me pop-up is gone.
1. Assuming that Edge browser is open, click on the ellipses (3 dots) on upper right corner to open the Settings. Alternatively, you can press Alt + X on the keyboard.
2. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
3. Click on Advanced.
4. Under Website Permissions area, click on Manage Permissions button.
4. Find and select Optimalsearch.me from the list. Click on X button to stop it from showing pop-up ads or notifications.
5. You may now restart Edge browser.