Remove Search.deafstep.com (Mac OS)

By | Posted on October 20, 2017 | Updated on May 3, 2018

Search.deafstep.com is another member of Adware family that specializes in software distribution. This homepage hijacker may only appear on the computer if the main program called Deafstep is installed. Like its other variants, Search.deafstep.com’s primary goal is to generate online profit through ads and endorsement deals. Thus, expect heavy display of pop-ups and redirect while this adware is residing on your Mac OS. In addition, it concentrates on taking control of browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

Spreading over the internet via freeware and shareware is its main distribution channel. Normally, Search.deafstep.com is bundled to some useful tools, free games, media downloader, and many more third-party applications. Some users acquire Search.deafstep.com via paid advertising and pop-up ads with deceiving contents that easily misleads them to obtain the program.

During the installation of such dubious freeware and shareware, Search.deafstep.com and other programs run a silent installation. Computer users are not aware that adware is taking advantage of this situation to seize a space on the system. In particular, Search.deafstep.com aims to take control of internet browser applications by incorporating unnecessary Extension. It modifies homepage settings and default search engine, forcing both to resolve to Search.deafstep.com.

It is not surprising that bigger parts of computer users are unaware on the danger of such adware. Their careless actions when installing programs can lead to harmful effects and placing their online privacy at risk. It can also end-up in the installation of malicious browser hijackers such as Search.deafstep.com. Hence, it is not too late. If you are seeing this adware on Mac computer, remove it immediately. Follow the instructions on this page to get rid of Search.deafstep.com. Scan the system with anti-malware made specifically for Mac OS to find and eliminate all threats.

After removing Search.deafstep.com, it is vital to have a virus protection. Effective anti-malware tool such as the one suggested below can guard your Mac OS against harmful threats. Also, avoid visiting unknown websites and never download any freeware from this location.

Online Security Scanner Report for search.deafstep.com:

Norton SafeWeb Not yet tested Community Rating: 0.0 Oct. 20, 2017
MCAfee Site Advisor Not yet rated Feedback: No Data Oct. 20, 2017
Transparency Report Currently safe Feedback: No Data Oct. 20, 2017

Procedures to Remove Search.deafstep.com Hijacker from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide to help you remove threats from the affected computer.

Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

QuickFix: Instant Removal

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 adware that causes annoyances. 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.

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“.

Start Combo Scan

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: Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Search.deafstep.com

Adware and malware normally adds extension to the browser that may result to various unwanted redirects and pop-ups. We need to find and delete this add-on.

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 Tools menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plugins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located Search.deafstep.com, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 2: Delete Malicious Files that have installed Search.deafstep.com

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:

  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:

– Deafstep, InstallMac, SoftwareUpdater, Genieo, Inkeeper

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

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 Locked Files

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to Search.deafstep.com.

Step 3: Scan the System with Adware Removal 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.deafstep.com.

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.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Search.deafstep.com is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 4 : Reset the default Home Page and Search Engine

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 Search.deafstep.com 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 Set pages.
– Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Search.deafstep.com.
– To set default search engine, go to Search area.
– Click on ‘Manage search engines…‘ button.
– Highlight the desired Search Engine and Click on ‘Make Default‘.
– On the same window, highlight Search.deafstep.com and Click “X” to delete it.

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 my home page when Firefox starts’.
– Under Home Page field, type the desired URL.
– 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.

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