Remove SearchTheUniverses (Mac OS)

By | Posted on August 5, 2018 | Updated on August 8, 2018

Strange changes on the browser especially if homepage is redirecting to SearchTheUniverses is an indication that it is compromised by adware. Homepage is not the only section affected by this attack. New tab and default search engines are also forces to use Search.searchtheuniverses.com web address. It can inflict these unwanted changes on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari browser that are based on Mac systems.

SearchTheUniverses main objective is to take control of the browser by integrating an extension. This will cause homepage, new tab, and search tool to utilize the unsolicited website. Though, it may appear like valid search engine, it was observed that it can unofficially obtain various data from the browser. SearchTheUniverses may collect search keywords, browsing history, and other personal identifiable information. Using gathered data, the adware can generate advertisements that are appealing to users. As you can see, it pretends to be a useful tool but its real intention is to generate online profit by exploiting user’s ignorance on this fraudulent advertising scheme.

In addition, its aggressive way of infiltration to accomplish its objective is bothering computer security experts. SearchTheUniverses spreads over the internet through questionable freeware that are hosted on various websites. It can gain access inside any Mac OS computer once web user downloads and installs the associated free program. Unfortunately, SearchTheUniverses installs discretely in the background while loading the main application. This can be accomplished without taking permission from computer users.

SearchTheUniverses

With said irregularities, it is better and much safer for user to remove SearchTheUniverses and utilize only trusted search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. For a complete guide to get rid of this browser hijacker, please visit the special section on this page.

Online Security Scanner Report for searchtheuniverses.com:

Norton SafeWeb Not yet tested Community Rating: 0.0 Updated: Aug. 05, 2018
Transparency Report Currently safe Feedback: No Data Updated: Aug. 05, 2018

Procedures to Remove SearchTheUniverses 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 SearchTheUniverses

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

2. Once you have located SearchTheUniverses, 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 SearchTheUniverses

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:

– SearchTheUniverses, Linkury, InstallMac, Manroling, Genieo, Inkeeper, Software Updater

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

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 SearchTheUniverses.

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

Step 4: Remove SearchTheUniverses from Safari Home Page and Search

1. Open Apple menu and select Force Quit. You can also press Command + Option + Esc on the keyboard to access this feature.

2. From the list of applications, select Safari, and then click on Force Quit button. Wait for Safari browser to close.

Force Quit Safari

3. Now, hold down Shift key and launch Safari. Do this to avoid opening any unwanted window from SearchTheUniverses.

4. Go to Safari Menu and then select Preferences from the list.

5. On Default search engine section, select the desired search engine from the list to override SearchTheUniverses custom search engine.

Default Safari Homepage

6. Next, make sure that “New windows open with” is set to Homepage. Adware may alter this and set it to open to unwanted webpage.

7. Then, on Homepage field, type the URL of your desired Homepage.

Optional: Reset Safari Browser

If the above procedures did not help in eliminating SearchTheUniverses on your Safari browser, resetting it to default value may be the best solution. Be aware that there is no way to reverse this process once executed.

1. Go to Safari Menu. Select Reset Safari from the list. This will open a window showing applicable items.

2. It is better to maintain the pre-selected items.

Reset Safari Browser

3. Click on Reset button to totally clear all the configurations made by SearchTheUniverses. Please restart Safari browser.

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