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Go-search.me Redirect (Mac)

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

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.
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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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 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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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 browser hijacker-related files and folders

Mac Go To Folder step

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

Mac removing related files and folders - step 1Check for browser hijacker generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

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

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 2

In the "LaunchAgents" folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by browser hijackers - "installmac.AppRemoval.plist", "myppes.download.plist", "mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist", "kuklorest.update.plist", etc. Browser hijacker commonly installs several files with the exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 2Check for browser hijacker generated files in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - step 1

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

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - 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.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 3Check for browser hijacker generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

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

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 2

In the "LaunchAgents" folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by browser hijackers - "installmac.AppRemoval.plist", "myppes.download.plist", "mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist", "kuklorest.update.plist", etc. Browser hijacker commonly installs several files with the exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 4Check for browser hijacker generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - step 1

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

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - 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.

Mac removing malware related files and folders - step 5Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps correctly, your Mac should be clean of infections. To ensure 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 the 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 its virus definition database and click the "Start Combo Scan" button.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 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.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 2

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

Remove browser hijackers from Internet browsers

Safari iconRemove Safari browser hijackers:

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 1

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

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 2

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 regular browser operation.

Change your homepage:

Change Safari homepage

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:

Change Safari default search engine

In the "Preferences" window, select the "Search" tab. Here you will find a drop-down menu labeled "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.

Google Chrome logoRemove Google Chrome browser hijackers:

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 2

Change your homepage

Change Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable the malicious extension (if present), look for a browser hijacker URL below the "Open a specific or set of pages" option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select "Remove".

Change your default search engine:

Change Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for a browser hijacker URL, when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".

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

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) and select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 2

Change your homepage

Change Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable malicious extension (if present), remove the browser hijacker URL and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Change Mozilla Firefox default search engine - step 1

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and press Enter. Click "Accept the Risk and Continue".

Change Mozilla Firefox default search engine - step 2

In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled". Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

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

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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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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