Remove Weknow.ac (Mac OS)

Weknow.ac is another homepage hijacker that is promoting a program through a text link called 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 a 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 alters browser settings and control user’s online search setup.

Screenshot of Weknow.ac Mac

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 the trick some times. Scanning the computer with effective malware remover is highly advised to delete all malicious codes from the computer.

Procedures to Remove Weknow.ac from Mac

This section provides systematic instructions and tools for successfully removing browser threats. This is helpful to totally get rid of Weknow.ac browser hijacker from infected browser programs.

Even ordinary Mac users can understand and follow this guide because it was created with fewer complexities and technicalities. Also, make sure to run the scanners to automatically delete harmful items belonging to Weknow.ac browser hijacker.

Step 1 : Scan the Mac Computer 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.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

2. Double-click the downloaded file, combocleaner.dmg and proceed with the installation.

3. The installation window will open. Please double-click or drag the Combo Cleaner icon to the Applications folder.

Screenshot of Installer

4. Proceed with the installation. When it displays the Software License Agreement, please click Continue, and then click on Agree in the confirmation window. Continue with the default installation.

5. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

6. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Weknow.ac and other issues on the Mac computer.

Screenshot of Dashboard

7. After the virus and disk scan processes, the tool will display the results. Click on Remove Selected to start cleaning the computer.

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Please carry on with the subsequent procedures if you feel confident manually eliminating the browser hijacker and any other dangerous items connected to it.

Step 2 : Delete Weknow.ac from Mac Applications

1. Go to Finder.

2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.

3. Find Weknow.ac or any unwanted program.

Screenshot of Deleting App

4. Drag Weknow.ac to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Next, go to the Dock, right-click on the Trash icon, and click on Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Weknow.ac

1. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar, please select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Input the following string and press Enter on the keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

Screenshot of Go To Folder

3. You will now see a hidden folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • com.Weknow.ac.plist
  • unknown.service.plist
  • unknown.system.plist
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

4. The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may use the following file names:

- Genieo, Inkeeper, InstallMac, CleanYourMac, MacKeeper, SoftwareUpdater, (random characters).plist

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Weknow.ac to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files.

5. Please click on "Show items as..."

Screenshot of LaunhAgents Folder

6. To arrange the items in chronological order, click Date Modified.

7. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files, as you may also delete the same item in another folder as we go on.

8. Please restart the Mac computer.

9. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and paste the following string to easily locate the folder:

~/Library/Application Support

Screenshot of Go to Folder

10. Select any suspicious items that you have noted previously. Drag them to the Trash.

11. Repeat the process in the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

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

12. Lastly, go to your Finder > Go and open the Applications folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

- Genieo, Inkeeper, InstallMac, CleanYourMac, MacKeeper, SoftwareUpdater, (random characters)

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad > Other folder, open the Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

3. In the upper part of the window, click the Stop button.

Screenshot of Force Quit

4. Click on Force Quit button.

5. You may now delete or remove the locked file that belongs to Weknow.ac homepage hijacker.

Optional Virus Scan : Double-check with Malwarebytes for Mac

Use Malwarebytes for Mac to do another scan to make sure the machine is already clear of viruses, malware, and adware. This efficient anti-malware application allows you to detect things that other security software was unable to recognize.

1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac from the link below.

2. Locate the downloaded Malwarebytes-Mac.pkg and install it with the default settings.

3. Run Malwarebytes for Mac. It will check for updates and download the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including Weknow.ac.

4. Once you are on the Malwarebytes dashboard, please click on the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Dashboard

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes for Mac will display a list of identified threats, and Weknow.ac is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 4 : Delete Weknow.ac Browser Extension

Most adware and unwanted programs use an application called a "browser extension" to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to Weknow.ac. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Google Chrome

Remove the Weknow.ac Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Input the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://extensions/

Screenshot of Chrome Extensions in PC

3. Find Weknow.ac or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Safari

Remove Malicious Extension from Safari

1. Open the Safari browser.

2. On the top menu, click Safari > Settings or Preferences.

3. The Safari settings window will open. Please select the Extensions tab.

Screenshot of Safari Extension Removal

4. Locate the suspicious extension and click the Uninstall button to remove it from Safari.

5. You may now close the window and restart Safari.

Microsoft Edge

Remove Weknow.ac from Microsoft Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge program.

2. Input or copy and paste the following string in the address bar. Press press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://extensions/

Screenshot of Edge Extension on Mac

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for Weknow.ac from the Installed Extensions area.

Screenshot of Edge Extension Removal - Mac

4. You may now close the window and restart the Microsoft Edge browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Uninstall the Weknow.ac Extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

about:addons

Screenshot of Firefox Extension

3. Click on Extensions from the sidebar menu.

4. Look for an entry that pertains to Weknow.ac and Disable or Remove it from the browser using the options button.

After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that the homepage and search hijackers will be removed from the affected internet browser. If it still exists, you may continue with the procedures below.

Step 5 : Fixing the Homepage and Search Engine

Google Chrome

Remove Weknow.ac from the Homepage and Search of Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser and type the following on the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://settings

Screenshot of Chrome Settings

2. Go to the left sidebar and click On Startup.

3. Select "Open a specific page or set of pages" in the right panel.

Screenshot of Chrome Startup

4. Locate the unwanted Homepage URL, click on More Actions (3-dot icon), and select Edit.

5. Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Weknow.ac. Click Save.

6. To set the default search engine, go to the sidebar, and this time, select Search Engine.

Screenshot of Default Search

7. Click on the Manage search engines and site search button in the right panel.

8. Find the unwanted Search Engine in the list. Click on More Actions, and then click Delete.

9. Go back to the left side bar and click Search Engine.

Screenshot of Search Engine Address Bar

10. In the right panel, choose a valid entry from the "Search engine used in the address bar."

You can now restart the Google Chrome browser to see if the unwanted homepage and search engine related to Weknow.ac are gone.

Safari

Get Rid of Weknow.ac from Safari's Homepage and Search

1. Open your Safari browser.

2. Go to the Safari Menu located in the upper left-hand corner, and then select Settings or Preferences.

3. In the General tab, remove the Weknow.ac item or unwanted URL from the Homepage section. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Screenshot of Safari Home Settings

4. Next, be sure that the "New windows open with" and "New tabs open with" fields are set to "Homepage".

5. Please click on the Search tab, and in the "Search engine" section, select Google or any valid search engine.

Screenshot of Safari Search Settings

6. You may now restart the Safari browser.

Microsoft Edge

Remove Weknow.ac from the Homepage of Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser on your Mac computer.

2. In the address bar, type or copy and paste the string below, then press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://settings/startHomeNTP

Screenshot of Edge Homepage Settings on Mac

3. Go to the "When Edge Starts" area. Under the "Open these pages" section, click More Actions (3-dot).

4. Select Edit to open the Edit Page window.

5. Input your desired address to replace the homepage settings of Weknow.ac.

Screenshot of Edge for Mac Default Homepage

6. Click the Save button. You may now restart Microsoft Edge for Mac.

Mozilla Firefox

Delete Weknow.ac from the Homepage and Search of Firefox.

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser on your Mac computer.

2. Type the following on the address bar, then press Enter on the keyboard:

about:preferences

3. Click Home in the sidebar area.

Screenshot of Firefox Homepage Settings

4. Under "Homepage and new windows", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs.

5. If you chose Custom URLs, input the desired URL to replace Weknow.ac settings.

6. To configure the default search engine, select Search in the sidebar to display the settings.

Screenshot of Firefox Search Settings

7. Under the Default Search Engine list, please select a legitimate one (i.e., Google).

8. Scroll down to "Search Shortcuts" and select an unwanted search engine.

Screenshot of Deleting Search

9. Click on the Remove button to delete the unwanted search engine. You may now restart the Mozilla Firefox for Mac.

About the author

25 thoughts on “Remove Weknow.ac (Mac OS)”

  1. For Chrome – search engines

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

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

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. @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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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 :(

  10. 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. :(

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Somehow after the default search engine on homepage was search, I restarted chrome and it became google. And also, there is still a weird icon next to the Search Engine settings in settings, it says Your Admin recommends Specific Value for This Setting or something.

  21. Hello, Please help. I did all the steps above for Safari. I even set my page to google, however every time I open a new browser “To install combo cleaner comes up.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *