How to Remove Search Pulse from Mac

By Chona Esjay | Posted on December 3, 2019 | Updated on June 27, 2020

Search Pulse is a browser hijacker that can change homepage and new tab settings to Search.searchpulse.net. Technically, this Mac and PC threat is distributed as browser extension that primarily attacks Google Chrome and Safari internet programs. To infiltrate the target system discreetly, Search Pulse is bundled to a number of freeware or shareware that normally draw web user’s attention like free games, media player, software update, and so on. In addition, creators of this potentially unwanted program (PUP) are investing heavily on aggressive advertising campaign run operated by distrusted ad network to promote Search Pulse via pop-up ads and browser redirects.

Official website and even endorsement pages asserts that Search Pulse enhances users online search experience. Hence, computer users noticed an opposite aspect after installing this questionable browser extension. They claim that Search Pulse is actually an annoyance to their browsing activities because it floods the browser with advertisements and insistently divert search results to unwanted pages.

With the intrusive behavior of Search Pulse, PC and Mac security analysts agree to classed the app as malicious browser extension. In particular, it was dubbed as potentially unwanted program (PUP). That being said, there is no reason to let Search Pulse stay on Safari or Google Chrome browser. Its existence will continue to cause disturbance to ones browsing activities and worst, its redirect function can land the browser page to malware-infested website.

Search Pulse

Guide to remove Search Pulse from Mac is outlined on the next section. For PC users, we made a separate removal steps that also includes legitimate malware scanner to find and delete relevant objects. Search Pulse virus scanner for Mac is likewise provided on this page.

Procedures to Remove Search Pulse 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 Pulse 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 Pulse browser hijacker.

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 Pulse. 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 Pulse.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

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 Pulse with manual procedure. If you are comfortable in executing this course, please proceed below.

Step 2 : Delete Search Pulse 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 Pulse. If it is not present, find any unwanted or suspicious program that is probably relevant to the browser hijacker.

Delete Unwnated App

4. To delete Search Pulse 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 Pulse from Trash Bin. Right-click the Trash icon and click Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Search Pulse

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 Pulse or , click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

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

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Search Pulse

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
  • com.unknown

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

- Searchpulse.net

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

9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support
/Library/Preferences

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 Pulse homepage hijacker.

Step 5 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:
Click here to download MBAM for Mac

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 Pulse.

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 Pulse is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 6 : Remove Search Pulse from Homepage and Search

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 Pulse 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 More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Search Pulse. 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.

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 your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace Search Pulse 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 7 : Delete Search Pulse Login Items

Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Search Pulse 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 Pulse.

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select Search Pulse, , or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.

Login Items

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 Pulse. 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 Pulse or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.

Remove Profile

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 Pulse.

Get rid of Searchpulse.net Pop-ups (Notification)

Most of the time, browser hijackers are combined with intrusive pop-up ads originating from the source website Searchpulse.net. 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 Searchpulse.net are extra ordinary as it exceeds the normal display volume and they are certainly annoying.

Normally, Searchpulse.net 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 Searchpulse.net from showing the pop-ups, please execute the procedures below. Remember, these steps may only be sucessful after the removal of the main component or dubious browser extension.

Google Chrome

1. On Google Chrome browser, input the following in the address bar and press Enter:

chrome://settings/content/notifications

2. Navigate to the list under "Allow" section and look for Searchpulse.net.

3. Click the ellipses (3 dots) beside Searchpulse.net list to reveal the options.

Chrome Push Notification

4. Click on Block or Remove to stop Searchpulse.net from displaying pop-up ads on Google Chrome browser.

6. Please restart Google Chrome browser.

Mozilla Firefox

1. On Mozilla Firefox browser, type the following in the address bar and press Enter key:

about:preferences#privacy

2. Navigate below to Permission area and look for Notifications.

Firefox Notification Settings

3. Click the Settings button aligned with the Notifications.

4. Look for Searchpulse.net entry and change the Status to Block.

Block Notification from Firefox

5. Click on Save Changes and restart Mozilla Firefox and check if Searchpulse.net pop-up is gone.

Safari (Mac)

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 Searchpulse.net.

6. You may choose to Deny or Remove it from the notification list.

7. You may now restart Safari browser and see if Searchpulse.net pop-up is gone.

Microsoft Edge

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.

Edge Push Notification

4. Find and select Searchpulse.net from the list. Click on X button to stop it from showing pop-up ads or notifications.

Edge Notification Removal

5. You may now restart Edge browser.

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