Remove Weknow.ac Hijacker (Mac OS)

By | Posted on July 4, 2018 | Updated on November 9, 2018

Weknow.ac is another homepage hijacker that is promoting a program through a text link Clean Your Mac. This objective is obvious on the startup page of affected internet application. Clicking the said promotional link opens website of MacKeeper. Knowing that Weknow.ac was not made like real and valid search tool, we highly suggest removing it from the computer right away.

Many computer users wonder how Weknow.ac was able to enter the computer without their approval. The answer is simply due to various freeware and shareware they have downloaded and installed. Makers of these homepage hijackers are utilizing software bundling campaign to spread browser extension that can manipulate the browser and set Weknow.ac as default homepage, new tab, and search engine.

Software bundles, freeware, or wicked third-party applications provided by questionable websites are the usual sources of potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware. Obtaining and installing programs from these providers similarly loads malicious apps without user’s full knowledge. Same thing with older variants like Search.bittsearch.com and Search.ewatchseries.live, Weknow.ac illegally alter browser settings and control user’s online search setup.

As you can see, Weknow.ac can gain access on the computer with zero to minimal effort. The sad thing is, victims will have difficult time getting rid of this adware. Manually clearing adware configuration on the browser does not do to trick some times. Scanning the computer with effective malware remover is highly advise to delete all malicious codes from the computer.

Online Security Scanner Report for weknow.ac:

Norton SafeWeb Not yet tested Community Rating: 0.0 Updated: Nov. 9, 2018
MCAfee Site Advisor Minimal risk Feedback: No Data Updated: Nov. 9, 2018
Transparency Report Currently safe Feedback: No Data Updated: Nov. 9, 2018

Procedures to Remove Weknow.ac from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide to help you remove malicious browser hijacker from internet application.

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

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 Weknow.ac. 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 Weknow.ac.

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 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Weknow.ac

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 Weknow.ac, 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 Weknow.ac

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:

- Genieo, Inkeeper, InstallMac, CleanYourMac, MacKeeper, SoftwareUpdater

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

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 Weknow.ac homepage hijacker.

Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM 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 Weknow.ac.

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, Weknow.ac 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 Weknow.ac 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 Weknow.ac 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 Weknow.ac. 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 Weknow.ac 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 Weknow.ac Login Items

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

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select Weknow.ac 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 Weknow.ac. 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 Weknow.ac 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 Weknow.ac.

22 thoughts on “Remove Weknow.ac Hijacker (Mac OS)

  1. Jayne Rose

    For Chrome – search engines

    The weknow search engine does not allow the dropdown for “edit” or “remove”. So, I can’t change it.

  2. carnie

    @Jayne Rose, what happens if you type chrome://settings/ in the address bar? That should give you access to Chrome settings.

  3. park2001

    Settings>profiles>delete profiles with “Weknow” listed.

  4. David H.

    Thanks for your detailed instructions. I followed them. I downloaded and ran Malwarebytes. However, when going into my Safari preferences/general I’m unable to remove weknow.ac web address and replace it with my regular homepage address. Any other ideas?

  5. katsandrs

    Has anyone else figured out how to remove “weknow.ac” when it’s defaulted in the homepage field? After following all of these steps, it’s still gray so I can’t change it.

  6. Chona Esjay Post author

    @KittyPuff and David H., I’m assuming that Weknow.ac have created a profile on your computer.

    1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.
    2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.
    3. Select Weknow.ac profile from the left pane.
    4. At the bottom of this pane, you will see + – (gear) icon. Click on to delete the account.
    5. On next window, select Delete Home Folder and click on Delete User button.

    Note: In order to make changes on User Profile, you may need to click the Padlock icon and enter admin username and password.

  7. Megan

    @Chona Esjay I followed that and it still had the weknow page as my homepage. Any other ideas?

  8. Levi

    If the option to change the homepage is grayed out, it is because a profile was installed. You need to delete that first.

    1. Completely close your web browser
    2. Open System Preferences
    3. Click on Profiles (bottom right)
    4. Highlight the incorrect profile. I don’t know what this one is named, but it should be obvious which one shouldn’t be there.
    5. Press the minus button to delete it.
    6. Check, and you should now be able to change your default homepage.

  9. Parker S

    Everything here has worked except I can’t seem to remove it from opening when I open a new tab (Chrome). How do I get the original new tab page back?

  10. Sally

    Same here Patrick!! How do I open a new tab on Chrome without seeing the WeKnow search engine? I deleted profiles and scripts from the folder launchpad. Still won’t go away :(

  11. rachaelmic

    I don’t have a profile set up on my MacBook so I don’t have the option to remove a profile. I’ve reset Chrome settings but it comes right back. :(

  12. Jack

    I’ve removed everything I can find, still I get the “search” page on start-up.
    When I go to change default search engine, google is already selected as default!
    help!

  13. Michael

    I have the exact same problem…. I have cleaned it up and then it shows up as the new tab …

    I reset Chrome and it popped back up in the browser section of chrome. I was not set as the default. There were other browsers that appeared also. I had deleted them previously.

  14. jared090

    REMOVE WEKNOW.AC FROM CHROME:

    1. Open Google Chrome and type this in the address bar: chrome://settings/
    2. Navigate to bottom until you see Advanced. Click on it and scroll down until you see Reset and Cleanup section.
    3. Click Restore Settings to Original Defaults and click Reset Settings if prompted.
    4. Go back to Reset and Cleanup section.
    5. Click Cleanup Computer.
    6. Click Find, to locate and remove harmful software.
    7. Restart Google Chrome.

  15. joshua

    I was fool to download some software on my mac, although it was a bit suspicious at first because said
    software asked for my password, I gave it in, and my computer seemed to have a malware, I thank to whoever wrote this tutorial and the malwarefixes website for allowing for such helpful resources to be available for free, I cannot express my gratitude enough, maybe i’ll buy some virtual drinks for you all. cheers.
    thanks

  16. Mo

    I found out how to remove the search engine.

    Go to Preferences -> Profiles. Remove all the safari and Weknow.ac related ones.

    Whoever made this malware is scam of the earth

  17. tomy kind

    it all worked except still showing home page with Weknow search , however it is set in setting google.com

  18. comptonelise

    I don’t have profiles in my system preferences. Is there somewhere else to look?

  19. carla

    Still can’t remove it from my Google chrome start-up page. I’ve tried everything.

  20. franky99

    How I removed Weknow.ac from Chrome:

    1. Open Google Chrome browser
    2. Type this in the address bar – chrome://settings/cleanup
    3. Click “Find” button to remove harmful software.
    4. Type this in the address bar – chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings?origin=userclick
    5. Click “Reset Settings” button.
    6. Restart Google Chrome.

  21. Paul

    I had all of the same issues. Chrome would still open to weknow.ac after doing everything else listed. Tried a Safe Boot and after that everything was normal with Chrome again.

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