Search.cogs.digital is a deceptive search engine that invades Mac computer via unwanted browser extension. Creators promote it as valid homepage with useful features in enhancing online experiences of users. Hence, computer security professionals classed it as adware that utilizes misleading distribution method like malicious advertising campaign and freeware hoax. According to security experts, the creation of Search.cogs.digital intends to generate online revenue for its developers by displaying advertisements on internet applications under Mac systems.
Normally, users are completely oblivious how Search.cogs.digital gets into their Mac system because it typically enters as part of software bundle. When acquiring apps from internet sources, user’s negligence in scrutinizing package contents is the main reason why Search.cogs.digital manages to sneak-in freely. In the same manner, assessment is essential to the program’s Terms and Conditions to learn the sets of provisions establish by the developers when using the application.
If software bundle is installed without limitation, it will integrate browser extension or small adware program that is accountable for initiating unsolicited changes on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. As a result, Search.cogs.digital will be the new default value for homepage and new tab. In addition, search provider also gets the same configuration where all user search inquiries are redirected to the attacker’s predefined web server.
The objective for creating such bothersome applet boils down to the desire of attackers in generating revenue from online advertisements it will project once Search.cogs.digital completes gathering data from compromised browser. Collected information from web users is vital in presenting personalized advertisements that is proven to be more profitable than regular non-targeted ads.
Restoring browser’s configuration to default value is necessary in order to stop the hijacking, redirects, and pop-up issues on the browser. For this reason, we are offering simple guide and effective virus and malware removal tools to easily get rid of Search.cogs.digital browser hijacker.
Procedures to Remove Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.
1. Download the tool from the following page:
Click here to Download Combo Cleaner (this will open a new window)
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 Search.cogs.digital.
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 Search.cogs.digital
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 Search.cogs.digital, 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 Search.cogs.digital
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:
- Cogs, Genieo
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital homepage hijacker.
Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:
Click here to download MBAM for Mac (this will open a new window)
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 Search.cogs.digital.
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, Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital. 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 Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital. 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 Search.cogs.digital 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 Search.cogs.digital.