Search.safewebfinder.com Redirect (Mac)

Also Known As: safewebfinder.com browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove search.safewebfinder.com browser hijacker from Mac?

What is search.safewebfinder.com?

search.safewebfinder.com is a fake Internet search engine identical to search.webfinderresults.com,search.webfindersearch.com, search.macsafefinder.com, and many others. By offering improved search results, search.safewebfinder.com attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. Be aware, however, that developers promote this site using rogue download/installation set-ups (browser hijackers) that modify browser options without permission. Furthermore, search.safewebfinder.com continually records various information (mostly relating to users' Internet browsing activity).

search.safewebfinder.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Research shows that browser hijackers target Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Following infiltration, set-ups assign the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to search.safewebfinder.com. In addition, they stealthily install a number of "helper objects" (potentially unwanted programs [PUPs] and/or browser add-ons). Although these changes may seem insignificant, users are unable to revert them. Helper objects automatically reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users continually encounter unwanted redirects to search.safewebfinder.com, significantly diminishing the Internet browsing experience. Another downside is information tracking. Helper objects and search.safewebfinder.com record various user-system information (such as IP addresses, keystrokes, URLs visited, search queries, etc.) that might contain personal details. This information is sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). Therefore, information-tracking apps pose a direct threat to your privacy. Be aware that some PUPs/extensions stealthily misuse system resources to run various processes (including cryptocurrency mining). In doing so, PUPs/extensions significantly diminish overall computer performance. If you encounter redirects to search.safewebfinder.com, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Never return to this website.

Threat Summary:
Namesafewebfinder.com browser hijacker
Threat TypeMac malware, Mac virus
SymptomsYour Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
DamageInternet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

There are hundreds of fake Internet search engines (for example, home.pdftoolkit.net, search.yofitofix.com, aristotlesearch.com, etc.) that share similarities with search.safewebfinder.com. All claim to enhance the browsing experience by generating improved results and providing other "useful features" (such as weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, shortcuts to popular websites, etc.), however, these claims are merely attempts to trick users into believing that the websites are legitimate and useful. Fake search engines such as search.safewebfinder.com are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Only a few provide the functionality promised - most are useless for regular users. Fake search engines cause unwanted redirects and record private data. In some cases, they generate false results and display malicious ads (coupons, banners, etc.) These results and ads can lead to malicious websites. In addition, the ads might execute scripts that download and install malware. Therefore, using a fake Internet search engine is very risky.

How did search.safewebfinder.com install on my computer?

As mentioned above, search.safewebfinder.com is promoted using browser-hijacking downloaders/installers (the "bundling" method). Research shows that developers hide details of browser settings' modification within various sections (most likely the "Custom/Advanced" options) of the download or installation processes - they do not reveal this information. Rushing these processes and skipping steps grants set-ups permission to modify various options. In addition, it expose systems to risk of various infections and compromises users' privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Potentially unwanted programs (helper objects) are distributed using the bundling method and via the aforementioned ‘malvertising’ advertisements. Therefore, be cautious when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes (especially the "Custom/Advanced" settings) and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Bear in mind that criminals monetize third party download/installation tools by promoting unwanted software (bundling). Therefore, download your software from official sources only using a direct download link. Most malicious ads appear genuine, however, they usually lead to gambling, pornography, adult dating, survey, and other similar sites. If you encounter such ads, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. The key to computer safety is caution.

Website promoting search.safewebfinder.com:

Dubious website used to promote search.safewebfinder.com

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

search.safewebfinder.com redirect removal:

Remove search.safewebfinder.com related potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select “Applications”. In the applications folder, look for “MPlayerX”,“NicePlayer”, or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove safewebfinder.com browser hijacker related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar, choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example, “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

safewebfinder.com browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove safewebfinder.com browser hijacker related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser. From the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing homepage in safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "General" tab. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage field. You can also click the “Set to Current Page” button if you wish to set your homepage to the website you are currently visiting.

Change your default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "Search" tab. Here you will find a drop-down menu labelled "Search engine:" Simply select your preferred search engine from the drop-down list.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove safewebfinder.com browser hijacker related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing mozilla firefox homepage

To change your homepage, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage Page.

Change default search engine:

mozilla firefox about config

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.

changing mozilla firefox default Internet search engine

In the "Search:" field, type the name of the browser hijacker. Right click on each of the found preferences and click "Reset" from the drop-down menu.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove safewebfinder.com browser hijacker related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing Google Chrome homepage

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "On Startup" section, click the "Set pages" link near to the "Open a specific page or set of pages" option. Remove the URL of the browser hijacker (for example trovi.com) and enter your preferred URL (for example, google.com).

Change default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Google Chrome

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "Search" section, click the "Manage search engines..." button. In the opened window, remove the unwanted Internet search engine by clicking the "X" button next to it. Select your preferred Internet search engine from the list and click the "Make default" button next to it.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
safewebfinder.com browser hijacker QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of safewebfinder.com browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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