Top 7 Methods To Remove Browser Hijackers (Redirect) Virus On Mac

Browser hijackers are more than frustrating as they will alter the settings in your browser. As it happens, it will redirect you to specific web pages containing unwanted ads, pop-ups, and annoying banners. It will ruin your browsing experience, and if not dealt with timely, it might even be the reason for viruses and malware attacks on your Mac.

So, how do you remove the browser hijacker (redirect) virus on Mac? Also, how do you identify browser hijackers and redirect malware that affects Mac? On top of that, Mac users are keen to know how these browser redirecting hijackers attack their devices.

Browser hijackers (redirect) are mostly PUA or malware that changes your browser’s webpage settings. They mainly attack through unauthorized downloaded files or when you click anything in the check for installing any applications on Mac.

As browser hijackers attack Mac, you must clean up your Safari or Chrome browser. Also, you must check your check browser extensions and application folders for any unwanted files and folders. In the worst case, you will need to install an antivirus software to scan and clean your Mac device.

What Is Browser Hijacker (Redirect) on Mac, and How Does It Work?

Browser hijackers, as the name suggests, will hijack your browser and change its settings. It happens when you unknowingly download or click on anything unwanted for the device. These browser hijackers aren’t proper malware or viruses. However, they work like spyware and will continuously track your browsing history and store it in a far-located service.

On top of it, browser hijackers will change the settings of your Safari or Chrome browser. It includes:

  • Home page
  • Search engine
  • New tab URLs

As the hijacker takes control over your browsing, you will see unwanted ads and even be redirected to pages containing pop-ups and ads. Some of the standard browser hijackers for Mac include:

AspectDetails
DefinitionA browser hijacker is a type of malware that alters web browser settings without user consent.
Common SymptomsUnwanted changes on the homepageRedirects to unfamiliar sites Slower browser performanceUnusual toolbars or extensions
Transmission MethodsDownloading software from untrusted sourcesClicking on malicious ads or linksEmail attachments from unknown senders
RisksPrivacy invasionSecurity vulnerabilitiesPotential identity theftData loss
PreventionUse reliable antivirus softwareAvoid clicking on suspicious linksRegularly update the browser and OSBe cautious with email attachments
Removal StepsScan the Mac with antivirus softwareRemove unfamiliar browser extensionsReset the web browser to default settingsUpdate the operating system and browser
Recommended ToolsAntivirus software (e.g., Malwarebytes, Avast)Built-in browser reset optionsMac OS security features

How To Remove Browser Hijacker (Redirect) on Mac?

Are you frustrated with your browser getting redirected to unwanted web pages? Do you see ads that shouldn’t come in your browser? If so, it’s time you check for browser hijacker and remove it using one of the following methods:

  • Remove the browser hijacker from Safari
  • Remove the browser redirector from Google
  • Remove any unwanted browser extension
  • Change the default browser on your Mac
  • Uninstall unwanted applications
  • Remove unwanted folders
  • Remove browser hijacker with an antivirus

Method 1: Remove the browser hijacker from Safari

Whenever you download the browser hijacker, it will immediately attack the browser. In most cases, the malware or PUA will find its place in Safari or Chrome as an extension or spyware.

So, you must reset your browser, delete its history, recently add extensions, and even change it to default settings. It will ensure that the browser hijacker or redirecting file is removed from the browser.

Step 1: Enter the Preference menu

First, you must go to the “Preference” section of your Mac’s menu bar. You can find it once you open your browser on Mac.

Enter the safari Preference menu

Step 2: Check Privacy Tab

From the preference section, expand it to go to the Privacy tab. The privacy tab will typically be on the right side of Safari beside the Security tab. From there, expand and go to Manage Website Data.

Check Privacy Tab

Step 3: Clear browser data

You will go to the data page of your Safari browser as you expand the “Manage Website Data” menu. You can then see the list of the permitted extensions and browsers in Safari. These extensions and websites are able to track your browsing history and even store them.

You must click on the “Remove All” button to deny permission to these extensions and web pages. For this, scroll down until you find the remove all button. As you confirm it, your browser will reset to default settings.

Clear browser data

Also, it will delete all the previous data, returning the Safari browser to its default system.

Step 4: Clear the cache of your browser

In most cases, browser hijackers such as Yahoo Search malware or ChunkApp will be in your browser’s cache. So, you need to delete both the history and cache of your browser.

For this, enable the”Show Develop menu in the menu bar” function. You can select it from the “Advanced” menu under the “Preference” section on Mac.

Clear the cache of your browser

When you click and expand the develop menu, you should find the “Empty Cache” button in the middle. From there, choose the “Clear History” option.

find and click Empty Cache option

Step 5: Clean the browser history

As you go to and open the”Clear History” menu, check for the dialog box named “Clear.” Then, you can go to and click on the “All History.” You must also confirm it to delete the entire history of your Safari or Chrome browser. 

Clean the browser history 1

As you clean the history, browser data, and cache files from the Safari browser, you will get rid of browser redirecting and hijacker files.

Clean the browser history 2

Method 2 Alternative Method for Google Chrome

At times, you may have Google Chrome as your default browser. If so, you need to remove the browser hijacker from Google to safeguard your Mac.

Step 1: Go to Settings menu of Chrome

Click on the “Preference” menu of your Chrome from the toolbar section. It will take you to the “Settings” function of Google Chrome. There, you will see different options where you can work to find which extension is causing the browser to redirect to unwanted websites.

Go to Settings menu of Chrome

Step 2: Find “Manage Search Engine” option

Once you click and open the “Settings” option, it will show you all the settings in your web browser. It will look like the following image.

From it, click and expand the “Search Engine” button and scroll it down. You should continue scrolling down until you see the “Manage Search Engine” option.

Find Manage Search Engine option

Step 3: Check all the search engines

Under the “Manage Search Engine” section, scroll down to see the three dots “…” function. Once you click on it, you will see the list of all installed and approved pages for search engines in the Google Chrome browser.

Check all the search engines

If you see any search engine that looks unfamiliar or is unwanted, you can delete it from there. In most cases, it will delete the browser hijacker too.

Step 4: Change your startup page

Since browser hijackers change the startup or home page of your Chrome browser, you need to reset it to default settings, too. For this, scroll down to the “On Startup” section from the main settings page of Chrome browser.

Change your startup page

Below, you will see “Open a specific page or set of pages” as the third option. Click and expand it to set the homepage you want to browse at the beginning. It should be the homepage you prefer.

Method 3: Remove unwanted extensions from Mac’s browser

When browser hijackers attack the browser on Mac, they become incredibly notorious. So, they can exist as browser extensions even when you have cleaned the history, browser cache, and files. Thus, you should check the list of all browser extensions and remove the ones that look suspicious.

Step 1: Open Preference menu

You should first open and expand the menu bar of your Mac device to go to the “Preference” section. It opens up different options, which include:

  • General
  • Tabs
  • Auto-Fill
  • Password, etc.

Step 2: Rollback to preferred homepage

From all the menus available in the “Preference” toolbar, expand the “General” tab on your Safari browser. As you expand the general tab, you will find the “Homepage” section in the middle of it.

Open Preference menu and setup homepage

There, you can set the starting homepage to “Apple Start Page” or any page that you prefer. It will look like the image you see right in the below section.

Step 3: Remove recently added extensions

In most cases, browser redirecting files enter your browser through recently added extensions. Then, they work like PUA or spyware to redirect you to specific web pages and track your browser data.

Henceforth, you must remove the unwanted and recently added browser extensions from your Safari browser on Mac.

For this, go to the extension menu from the “Preference” tab. It will be beside the “Advanced” function on your Safari browser. You can see all the installed extensions that you have granted access in Safari.

Remove recently added extensions

Look for any browser extension that looks suspicious and that you didn’t install knowingly. For this, you can check the list of possible search engine redirecting PUA or malware list we have added in the above section of your article. Once you find the PUA extension, delete and remove it immediately.

Alternative method for Chrome and Firefox Browser:

In addition to the extensions in your Safari, browser hijackers can be in the extension files of your Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browser, too. Thus, you must clean up their browser extension to return to the default section for 100% assurance.

  • Google Chrome: Open chrome://extensions/ once you open your Chrome browser. Check the extension menu and clock on the one you want to remove. For this, confirm the remove button that you don’t recognize.
  • Firefox: Open Firefox on your Mac device. Then, carefully select the “about addons” segment. From there, you can successfully disable any unwanted and recently added extensions.

Method 4: Change your default browser

Instead of clearing the history and browser cache and rolling back to previous settings, you can easily change the default browser of your Mac device. It will allow you to use a different browser than the one that a browser hijacker has attacked. You can either set it to Firefox or Chrome from Safari to avoid redirecting malware.

Step 1:  Go to the General menu

Open the application folder of your Mac device and click on the “Preference” section spontaneously. In the preference menu, you can see all the listed menus whose settings you can change for your comfort.

Go to the General menu

From there, click and open the general menu bar to check the “Default web browser” option.

Step 2: Change the default browser

You can go to thedrop-down menu once you click and expand the default web browser. There, see and check the different browsers. Then, you can confidently select the default browser according to your preference. You will find the following browsers for Mac:

  1. Mozilla Firefox
  2. Google Chrome
  3. Opera
  4. Safari, etc.
Change the default browser

It is recommended to change the default browser once your Mac device is inflicted with browser redirecting or hijacking PUA, malware or adware.

It’s also essential because the Safari browser on Mac has become buggy, as users reported recently. So, when you change the default browser from Safari to Chrome or Firefox, it eliminates the risk of a virus attack, too.

Method 5: Remove unwanted applications from Mac

In most cases, browser redirecting PUA such as Yahoo Search or Bing Redirect will come along with various applications you installed on your Mac. Maybe you haven’t checked the “Check box” that contains the declaration of the browser extension changes.

So, when you install such applications, the PUA file will attack and inflict your browser. At worst, it can even slow down your Mac and open the gateway for virus attacks.

Thus, you must carefully check the applications on your Mac device to find any unwanted ones and remove them immediately.

Step 1: Open Your Activity Monitor option

First, open the “Go” menu from the “Finder” function of your device. As you scroll down, you will see the “Utilities” option. Then, open and carefully expand the activity monitor button to check and monitor all the activities of your Mac device spontaneously.

Open Your Activity Monitor option

Step 2: Force stop unwanted activity

You will open and see all the processes and functions occurring on your Mac when you click on the Activity Monitor button. There, look for any unwanted, unintentional, or suspicious activity. There may be various activities that the device has started without your concerns.

Force stop unwanted activity

When you find such activities, click on the “Force Quit” button to stop the activity.

Step 3: Remove unwanted applications

After force-stopping the unintentional activities, go to the “Applications” menu on your Mac. You can find it on the “Go” toolbar. There, you can see the list of all installed applications.

Remove unwanted applications

Carefully check the list of installed applications. Do you see any recently added applications that look unwanted or suspicious? A few of the unwanted applications related to browser hijackers are:

  • Mac Cleanup Pro
  • MacSaver
  • Dock2Master
  • SurfBuyer
  • ShopperHelper
  • Shlayer
  • Spigot
  • WeKnow

If so, uninstall and remove it carefully before it attacks other applications and folders. Remember to restart the Mac to uninstall and delete everything from the Mac that was related to the suspicious application successfully.

Method 6: Remove unwanted and suspicious folders and items

Browser hijackers or redirectors are mostly PUA or adware. So, like any spyware or PUA, they hide themselves in different folders. Also, they can hide themselves in and as launch items. From there, the browser redirector will look for any weaker section of the Mac and attack other folders.

This way, it will hijack the browsers and even attack your entire device.

Thus, after rolling back to your default browser settings, don’t ignore the folders in your Mac device. Check them for any dubious items. Did you find any folder or item that you still need to add?

If so, you must delete it to remove the unwanted item and folder to the “trash” folder. From there, you can delete it permanently.

Step 1: Go to Application Support

First, type “~/Library/Application Support” on your “Go to the folder.” It will be on your Mac device. Once you click on the “Go” button, you will immediately go to the application folder menus of your device.

Go to Application Support

Step 2: Delete recently added unwanted folders

In your application folder, check the recently added folders carefully. Do you find any files, items and folders that you haven’t installed? Or do you see any unknown folders on your Mac device?

You can recognize these application folders and items since they aren’t connected with Apple and its functions.

A few of the common malware inflect folder names include the following ones:

  • SystemSpecial
  • ProgressSite
  • IdeaShared

Move the folder to the trash if you find anything.

Delete recently added unwanted folders

Step 3: Remove all unwanted and inflicted Launch Agent items

Browser hijackers and redirecting PUA and adware often launch themselves with the “Launch Agent” items on your Mac device. You can find the unwanted launch agents from the connected folder. 

For this, type “~/Library/LaunchAgents” in your “Go to the Folder” box. Then,  click on the go button.

Remove all unwanted and inflicted Launch Agent items 1

You will then go to the home directory menu of your Mac device. There, find and check all the launch agent items for any dodgy files and items. If you find any unpredictable launch agent items, delete them to the “trash folder” and empty the trash folder, too.

Similarly, you can carefully look for adware and PUA-inflicted files. For this, type “/Library/LaunchDaemons” in the appropriate search bar. There, find and delete the inflicted files.

Remove all unwanted and inflicted Launch Agent items

A few of the dubious file names may include the following ones:

  • com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist
  • com.pplauncher.plist
  • com.startup.plist

If you find such file names, move them to the trash folder securely.

Method 7: Use an antivirus

Most Mac users will find the browser hijacker removal process we mentioned above quite complex and lengthy. Unless you are tech-savvy, you will find these top six processes to remove browser hijacker (redirect) viruses on Mac more challenging.

Hence, you may look for an alternative way to remove the browser redirect virus from your Mac. And what could be a better way than to use a trusted and reliable antivirus to remove the adware, PUA or malware to safeguard the device?

You might install Norton 360 Antivirus, Bitdefender, TotalAV, or McAfee+ Premium to scan and remove the browser hijacker virus successfully.

Step 1: Install the antivirus

We recommend using “Malware” antivirus to remove browser hijacker viruses since it is easy and reliable to use.

You can download it from “(https://www.malwarebytes.com/)” and then install it on your device. For this, give the necessary permission.

Step 2: Update the antivirus

After installing the Malwarebytes antivirus, please update it to receive the latest patches and information for the viruses. You can click on “Check For Updates…” from the main menu to download and install the latest updates.

Update the antivirus

Step 3: Scan your Mac device

In the menu bar, look at the left-hand side to see the “Scan” menu. From there, click on the “Start Scan: function. Once you click on the scan button, Malwarebytes will thoroughly scan all applications, folders, browsers, and items in your Mac device.

Scan your Mac device

After the scan is complete, Malwarebytes will show you a list of all viruses, malware, PUA, and unwanted files.

Step 4: Quarantine and delete the threats

When you see the threats after scanning your Mac device, quarantine all the threats so that they become powerless. Then, you can restart your Mac to get rid of these threats forever successfully. 

Quarantine and delete the threats

Conclusion

Search engine hijackers (redirect) viruses attack Mac mainly through unwanted software, applications, or files. It happens when you become unaware of the safety of your Mac and its browser.

Henceforth, you should be careful about clicking on any suspicious files, links and websites to avoid browser redirectors. Nonetheless, even if your Mac gets attacked by such browser redirectors, don’t be afraid of it. Instead, follow the methods that we described with proper steps and images to eradicate the inflicted virus.

Also, constantly update your Mac for the latest antivirus info to avoid attacks. It will also boost the performance of your Mac, which you can’t help but appreciate.

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