Browser hijacker is type of computer threat that targets internet browser applications like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Edge. An Adware or malicious browser extension usually endorses this kind of infamous search tool. The moment that this threat is active, it overrides search settings on internet browser application. Therefore, when web user performs an online search, their inquiries are directed to an unknown server. In order to conceal this unusual hijacking, final search results eventually concluded on legitimate search engine. One threat that has this matching description is Search.productivebrowser.com.
Because there are many computer users who are fond of free software, Search.productivebrowser.com was able to spread rapidly and infects significant amount of internet programs. Makers of this threat are in heavy use of various freeware to deploy the adware that is relevant to Search.productivebrowser.com. Commonly, these attackers are embedding the malicious code to various freeware like games, utilities, media player, file converter, creativity app, and so on. Because they are in complete disguise as valuable app, quite a number of computer users downloaded them without knowing that installing it will apparently change their homepage and search to Search.productivebrowser.com. As alternative, the infected browser application may have similar threat as Search.locatorunit.com, Searchingonline.net, and so on.
While this threat is active on the browser, web users have limited search function. Instead of utilizing valuable search engine, they are restricted to use Search.productivebrowser.com, which is unreliable and is a threat to online privacy. The motive behind the redirect/hijacking is to spy on web user’s searching activities and it can pass the data on Search.productivebrowser.com server.
Ads and Redirects
As an adware, Search.productivebrowser.com occurrence can cause aggressive display of pop-up advertisements and browser redirects. The intention behind this is for publishers to earn revenue while pushing web users to visit unfriendly websites like Lokpresearch.club and Pepnerdmime.cam. Most of the ads from this infection are leading to a bad landing page that can be the basis for installation of rogue software.
Nothing differs with the redirects that Search.productivebrowser.com is producing. It points the browser program to hazardous pages that are involved in exhibiting fake software update and other misleading contents such as bogus online survey, scam money making tutorials, and fraudulent online raffles.
Online Security Scanner Report for Search.productivebrowser.com
|Online Scanner||Scan Findings||Updated on||Google Safe Browsing||No unsafe content found||Oct. 08, 2020|
|Norton Safe Web||Caution||Oct. 08, 2020|
|Sucuri SiteCheck||Medium Security Risk||Oct. 08, 2020|
Procedures to Remove Search.productivebrowser.com 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 Search.productivebrowser.com 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 Search.productivebrowser.com 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 Search.productivebrowser.com. 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 Search.productivebrowser.com.
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 Search.productivebrowser.com with manual procedure. If you are comfortable in executing this course, please proceed below.
Step 1 : Delete Search.productivebrowser.com 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 Search.productivebrowser.com. If it is not present, find any unwanted or suspicious program that is probably relevant to the browser hijacker.
4. To delete Search.productivebrowser.com from Mac, simply Drag it to Trash Bin. You can also highlight/select the item and press Delete on your keyboard.
5. Next, delete Search.productivebrowser.com from Trash Bin. Right-click the Trash icon and click Empty Trash.
Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Search.productivebrowser.com
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 Search.productivebrowser.com 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 Search.productivebrowser.com
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:
- Productive Browser
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Search.productivebrowser.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.
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.productivebrowser.com 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 Search.productivebrowser.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.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Search.productivebrowser.com 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.productivebrowser.com 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.productivebrowser.com 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.productivebrowser.com. 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.productivebrowser.com 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.productivebrowser.com Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Search.productivebrowser.com 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.productivebrowser.com.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select Search.productivebrowser.com 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.productivebrowser.com. 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.productivebrowser.com 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.productivebrowser.com.