Sleepshadow.com Redirect (Mac)

Also Known As: Sleepshadow browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

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

What is search.sleepshadow.com?

search.sleepshadow.com is a fake search engine identical to search.stosgame.com, search.altagit.com, search.pitchofcase.com, and many others. Judging on the appearance alone, search.sleepshadow.com barely differs from Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other legitimate search engines. Therefore, many users believe that this site is also legitimate. In fact, developers promote search.sleepshadow.com using a browser-hijacking application called Sleepshadow. Furthermore, search.sleepshadow.com and Sleepshadow record information relating to web browsing activity.

search.sleepshadow.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Sleepshadow modifies the Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage browser options by assigning them to search.sleepshadow.com These changes may seem significant, and yet users are unable to revert them. Research shows that Sleepshadow continues to reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, as long as Sleepshadow is installed, returning browsers to their previous states is impossible and users are encouraged to visit search.sleepshadow.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. This significantly diminishes the web browsing experience. Another important issue is information tracking. Be aware that search.sleepshadow.com and Sleepshadow record information relating to web browsing activity. Collected data (IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). The information typically includes personal details, and so this behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter redirects to search.sleepshadow.com, immediately eliminate the Sleepshadow browser hijacker and never return to search.sleepshadow.com

Threat Summary:
NameSleepshadow 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 search engines, all of which are virtually identical. By offering improved results and other "useful features" (shortcuts to popular sites, weather forecasts, latest worldwide news, etc.), sites such as search.sleepshadow.com attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. Note: these sites are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, fake search engines cause unwanted redirects and record user-system information. Some also feed users with false results and intrusive advertisements (banners, coupons, etc.) These often lead to untrustworthy (potentially, malicious) websites. Therefore, using these sites can result in various computer infections.

How did Sleepshadow install on my computer?

Research shows that, although Sleepshadow has an official download/promotion website, it often infiltrates systems without consent, since developers promote this PUP using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" and intrusive advertisements. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of PUPs together with regular software. Developers hide "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Intrusive ads redirect users to malicious sites and execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware. Furthermore, many users are likely to skip download/installation processes and click various advertisements - behavior that often leads to inadvertent installation of PUPs such as Sleepshadow. In this way, many users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that intrusive ads often seem legitimate, but most lead to untrustworthy websites, such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on. They are delivered using adware-type PUPs. Therefore, if you encounter dubious redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs. Opt-out of third party applications and cancel offers to download/install them. We recommend that you download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Developers monetize third party downloaders/installers using the "bundling" method, and thus they should never be used. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Deceptive application installer promoting search.sleepshadow.com:

Delusive installer used to promote search.sleepshadow.com

Website promoting Sleepshadow browser hijacker:

Dubious website used to promote search.sleepshadow.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 search.sleepshadow.com browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

search.sleepshadow.com redirect removal:

Remove search.sleepshadow.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 sleepshadow 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.

Sleepshadow browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove sleepshadow 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 sleepshadow 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 sleepshadow 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
Sleepshadow 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 Sleepshadow browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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