What is Searchp.icu
Searchp.icu is a browser hijacker that attacks Mac users. It changes the default homepage, new tab and search engine of installed web browsers to hxxp://searchp.icu.
Searchp.icu homepage hijacker mainly installed along with “PlaySearchNow” extension. Users can get this extensions downloaded off along with freeware downloads or clicking on unknown ads.
searchp.icu might appears to be legitimate search engine that can help users enhance the browsing experience. But it is absolutely not safe to use. In fact this fake search engine falsely claims to provide useful search results by using its enhanced search engine. And also allows to quickly access number of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on.
How Searchp.icu Adware got inside my computer?
As said above, Searchp.icu is distributed through fake downloads like PlaySearchNow extension or installers that comes along with other bundled freeware programs. Such additional software does not disclose their full information and user may get tricked into installing any rogue program like Searchp.icu.
Once installed, Searchp.icu silently modifies the default settings of the browsers whether it is Safari, Chrome or Mozilla. The search engine is changed to hxxp://searchp.icu which redirects users to search.playsearchnow.com and finally the results are displayed using the search service from Yahoo search.yahoo.com.
Thus, user never get the desired search results and most often the search page is loaded with paid ads, banners, sponsored contents and in-text links.
Not only that, Searchp.icu installs third-party plug-ins, toolbars and extensions without user’s permission which modifies browser’s load options every time user launches its web browser. Like other browser hijackers, Searchp.icu also records user’s data including browsing activities, searched keywords, visited site info and many others. These information are sold to third-party for serving marketing campaigns and other illegal purposes.
Remove Searchp.icu browser hijacker from Mac
Searchp.icu is nothing more than a piece of rogue software program that is designed only to make profit out of fooling users. Your information and surfing can never be safe till this dubious search engine is present on you Mac. It is advised to the users encountering searchp.icu redirect issue should quickly remove all unknown extensions and fake applications unknowingly installed on the PC.
This is a complete removal guide that might take several minutes to complete. As it is very important to locate and delete programs files, shortcuts, startups and browser resetting so it involves all necessary steps.
It is a detailed guide which best suits beginners as well as advanced users. In order to successfully remove all annoyances from your Mac, you need to follow step-by-step instructions.
Combo Cleaner is a complete security suite for Mac OS that is developed by “RCS LT” company. This program is featured with anti-virus scanner and system optimization tools like disk cleaner, duplicate files finder, application uninstaller, privacy scanner, and 24*7 customer support service.
Rather than being just a traditional anti-virus or a system optimizer, this single program takes a different approach that eases the user from using a different application to keep their MAC OS protected and optimized.
It is very important to have a reliable anti-virus solution for the computer system. Combo cleaner is one of the best options for MAC users as detects and eliminates all sorts of threats like adware, browser hijacker, Trojans, and other malware. It is a light-themed, easy-to-use interface and keeps updating its threat database hourly to instant detect and remove any sort of malware. Thus ensuring not any malicious stuff is behind within the system.
- Once the download completes, double-click on the downloaded file;
- After the window opens, drag the Combo Cleaner program icon and drop into your “Applications folder” icon.
- Now, open your “Launchpad” and click on the “Combo Cleaner” icon.
- This will start the combo cleaner installation and updates its latest virus definition. Once done, Combo cleaner will launch;
- Click on “Antivirus” tab and choose the scan options like Quick, Full, and custom. (Full is recommended for the first time)
- Let the scan be completed and it will list all the threat found. Now, click on “Remove All Threats”;
- After removing the threats, click on the “uninstaller” to find and remove any unwanted programs. Select the program from the list and its related files and then click on “Remove Selected Items“
If you still have the second thought about this anti-malware, then you may want to check out our review article about Combo Cleaner.
If you are going for the manual removal process, then we recommend you to print/download these instructions or open it from another uninfected computer or laptop and follow step-by-step manual removal instruction. Mac OS PDF Guide
Step 1. Ending Process Running Under The “Activity Monitor”
- Type “Activity Monitor” in the Launchpad to open it;
- Scroll through the list of running apps, look for the suspicious ones that appear unknown to you or taking huge CPU resources.
- Use the [x] button to quit the process.
Step 2. Remove Malicious Apps From Mac OS
- Open “Finder” by clicking on the Finder application on your dock.
- In the left pane of the Finder, click on “Applications“.
- Next, you need to locate the Adware/suspicious apps and remove them. The “Applications” window will display the list of all apps installed on your Mac OS.
- Now, you need to go through the list to find out the suspicious/malicious or infectious app, select it then right click and then select “Move to Trash”. (Repeat this step until you remove all such apps).
- Now you need to empty the trash as sometimes program can restore themselves from the trash. On your dock, right-click on the trash icon and then select “Empty Trash”.
NOTE: if something looks suspicious to you but you are not sure of that, search the web to find out more about that app.
Step 3. Remove Apps From Auto-Startup
Generally, malicious programs, Adware and spyware add themselves to the boot process to launch automatically whenever the device boots. So, you need to find such apps and remove from the startups.
- Open Apple menu ? System Preferences
- Now, choose “Users & Groups” section
- Select your username from the left pane;
- A list will appear showing login items; check the list and use “—” sign to disable any suspicious or unwanted apps you see. Close the screen.
- Next step, from the top menu, choose Go ? Go to Folder, then type /Users/Shared/ within the search box. In the “Sharedfolder”, you need to delete the “Similar” files and folders.
- Now Restart your Mac to make the changes into effect.
Step 4. Remove Daemons And Agents From Mac’s Startup
- From top menu ? Choose Go ? Go to Folder
- Type in “/Library/LaunchDaemons”, within this location you will see lots of files with .plist extension. Scroll through it and find the ones which appear to be suspicious and delete them.
- Do the same for other launching agents locations:
For example: an adware named Vsearch, you may get launching agent as :
Don’t forget to empty the trash and then restart the computer.
- After restart, again repeat step 1-2 and type in: /System/Library/Frameworks/ (look for the malicious file with .framework extension like /System/Library/Frameworks/VSearch.framework)
- Put the file to trash, if you find one with a malicious name.
- Similarly, do more searches within the location:
- /Library/Application Support/
- Put them to trash and again empty the trash and restart the computer.
Step 5. Uninstall Unwanted/Suspicious Extensions From Browsers
Follow the steps to remove unwanted and suspicious extensions from the Safari browser:
- On the Safari browser, click the “Safari” menu then select “Preferences”.
- On the General tab of the Safari preferences, check for any unknown URL added as the default homepage, Within the “Homepage” field enter your preferred URL as your default start-page of the browser.
- Next, you need to check for malicious extensions, click on the “Extensions” tab on the same window.
- “Extensions” screen will list all the extensions installed on your safari browser, you need to browse through the list and uninstall the ones which appear to be Adware. If you find a malicious extension select it and then click on “Uninstall”. Repeat the steps to remove all unwanted extensions.
- Close the Safari browser.
To check for unknown extensions installed:
- Click on Chrome Menu(three vertical dots at top-right corner) ? Select “Settings” ? Choose “Extensions”.
- Scroll through the list of extensions installed on the Chrome browser, if any one of them appears to malicious then click on the “trash” icon next to it. This will remove the extension.
- Repeat the step until you are sure of the ones you like to keep.
To Reset The Browser:
Next, you need to reset the default settings like search engines, startup, and new tabs. It is better to use the default reset feature of the Google Chrome which will reset all the unwanted modifications done by third-party programs. Don’t worry you will not lose your saved passwords and bookmarks. However, it will delete cookies, extensions, startups, URLs, homepage and new tabs preferences.
- Click on Chrome’s main menu then choose “Settings“.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Advanced”.
- Under the Advanced page, go for “Reset and clean up” section, then click on “Reset settings to their original defaults”.
- Next, click on “Reset”, you will be prompted for a confirmation This will reset your startup page, a new tab page, search engine, and pinned tabs. It will also disable all extensions and clear temporary data like cookies. Your bookmarks, history, and saved passwords will not be cleared”
- Click on the “Reset Settings” button to confirm the procedure.
- After that, it may ask to restart your browser, click “Yes”.