Go-search.me Redirect (Mac)

Also Known As: go-search.me browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove go-search.me browser hijacker from Mac?

What is go-search.me?

According to the developers, go-search.me is a legitimate web search engine that significantly enhances the browsing experience by generating improved results. It is very similar to g-search.pro and judging on appearance alone, go-search.me barely differs from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate search engine. Therefore, many users believe that go-search.me is also legitimate and useful. In fact, developers promote this site using rogue download/installation tools designed to modify web browser options without permission. Furthermore, go-search.me continually gathers various data relating to web browsing activity.

go-search.me browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Research shows that rogue set-ups target Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Following infiltration, they assign the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to go-search.me. In addition, set-ups stealthily install a number of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and browser plug-ins. These so-called "helper objects" are used to prevent users from reverting the aforementioned changes. "Helper objects" reassign browser settings when attempts are made to change them. Due to the presence of this rogue software, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users are forced to visit go-search.me when they search via the URL bar or simply open a new browser tab. These redirects significantly diminish the browsing experience. Another significant downside is information tracking. Research shows that go-search.me (and "helper objects") gathers various information that might contain personal details. Furthermore, the collected data is shared with third parties to generate revenue. These people might be cyber criminals who misuse personal data to generate revenue. This behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Therefore, information tracking often leads to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter redirects to go-search.me, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Never return to this website.

Threat Summary:
Name go-search.me browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Fake web search engine, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 163.172.60.109
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate go-search.me browser hijacker our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

The Internet is full of fake search engines that have similar characteristics to go-search.me (for example, search.searchsmart.bid, search.salamangal.com, search.conduit.com, etc.) All claim to enhance the browsing experience by generating improved search results and, in some cases, providing other "useful features" (e.g., weather forecasts, quick access to popular websites, and so on). By delivering these false promises, fake search engines attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. Fake search engines such as go-search.me are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. These sites deliver no real value for regular users, cause unwanted redirects, and gather sensitive data. Note that some feed users with intrusive ads (coupons, banners, and so on) and misleading search results. Both typically lead to malicious sites. Therefore, using a fake Internet search engine can lead to high-risk computer infections.

How did go-search.me install on my computer?

As mentioned above, go-search.me is promoted using rogue download/installation tools. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling". Developers know that users are likely to rush when downloading and installing software. Therefore, developers hide details of browser modifications within "Custom/Advanced" settings of these procedures. By rushing and skipping steps, users inadvertently grant set-ups permission to modify browser settings, expose their systems to risk of various infections, and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

PUPs are distributed using the "bundling" method and intrusive advertisements. Therefore, to prevent infiltration, be very cautious when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs. In addition, opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. We also strongly recommend that you avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since criminals monetize them by proliferating rogue apps. Bear in mind that criminals invest many resources into intrusive ad design. Therefore, most look legitimate, however, they redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious sites. Intrusive ads are often delivered by adware-type programs. If you encounter them, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins.

Website promoting go-search.me:

Dubious website used to promote go-search.me

Instant automatic removal of go-search.me browser hijacker: 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 go-search.me browser hijacker. 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. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

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

go-search.me redirect removal:

Remove go-search.me-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 go-search.me 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.

go-search.me browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove go-search.me 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 go-search.me 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 go-search.me 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
go-search.me 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 go-search.me browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.