A new Browser hijacker for Macintosh has emerged and it is called Smartsearch.pw. Just like most adware of the same kind, it is promoting a questionable tool named MacKeeper. As seen on the homepage, it has a link “Clean Your Mac” that when clicked will open up a window promoting the said utility and optimization program.
Smartsearch.pw belongs to the same group of adware that also produces Search-mate.com, Weknow.ac, and many more. They are usually delivered onto Mac systems via software bundles like free tools, utilities, media player, file downloaded, games, and so on. Usual sources of this suspicious free software are unpopular web sites, links, and intrusive pop-up advertisements.
Homepage and new tab are not just the ones that are affected by Smartsearch.pw. It can also overrun default search engine settings. As such, all online inquiries of user are redirected to its server in order to extract valuable data. Smartsearch.pw can collect information as search inquiries, users interest, most visited websites, and other data that attacker can use to boost it advertising presence on the browser.
It is obvious that user gains no benefit from having Smartsearch.pw on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari browser. Though, it is promoted as a tool that can enhance online search experience; its performance is just a contrary. Users who encountered Smartsearch.pw on their browser deemed this homepage annoying and wanted to remove it at once. Thus, we provided a simple guide to remove Smartsearch.pw from the browser without going through complicated process. Fully scan the computer with recommended tools to locate and delete malicious objects associated with Smartsearch.pw.
Online Security Scanner Report for smartsearch.pw:
|Not yet tested||Community Rating: 0.0||Updated: July 16, 2018|
|Unverified||Feedback: No Data||Updated: July 16, 2018|
|Currently safe||Feedback: No Data||Updated: July 16, 2018|
Procedures to Remove Smartsearch.pw 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 its latest virus definition updates and click on “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 Smartsearch.pw
1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the adware. To do this, please follow the procedure 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 Smartsearch.pw, 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 Smartsearch.pw
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:
– MacKeeper, 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 Smartsearch.pw 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.
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 Smartsearch.pw.
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 Smartsearch.pw.
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, Smartsearch.pw 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 Smartsearch.pw 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.
3. Now, hold down Shift key and launch Safari. Do this to avoid opening any unwanted window from Smartsearch.pw.
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 Smartsearch.pw custom search engine.
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 Smartsearch.pw 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.
3. Click on Reset button to totally clear all the configurations made by Smartsearch.pw. Please restart Safari browser.