Search-mate.com Redirect (Mac)

Also Known As: search-mate.com browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove search-mate.com browser hijacker from Mac?

What is search-mate.com?

Developers present search-mate.com as a quality search engine that supposedly enhances the browsing experience by generating improved results. Judging on appearance alone, search-mate.com may seem similar to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other legitimate Internet search engines. Therefore, many users believe that search-mate.com is also legitimate and useful. In fact, developers promote this site using browser-hijacking downloaders/installers that modify browser options without permission. Furthermore, search-mate.com gathers information relating to browsing activity.

search-mate.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Rogue set-ups target Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Immediately after infiltration, they assign the new tab URL, homepage, and default search engine options to search-mate.com. Furthermore, set-ups stealthily install a number of "helper objects" - third party applications and/or browser plug-ins. Therefore, users are unable to revert the aforementioned changes. "Helper objects" continually reassign browser settings when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, unless "helper objects" are uninstalled, returning browsers to their previous states is impossible and users are encouraged to visit search-mate.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. Note that once a search query is entered, search-mate.com redirects users to webcrawler.com - a legitimate Internet search engine. Therefore, search-mate.com provides no real value for regular users - it simply causes redirects. As mentioned above, search-mate.com (and "helper objects") gather information relating to web browsing activity. Recorded data (IP addresses, URLs visited, search queries, etc.) is likely to contain personal details that developers sell to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private information to generate even more revenue. Therefore, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you experience redirects to search-mate.com, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Never return to this site.

search-mate.com is virtually identical to weknow.ac, sleepshadow.com, search.lavradoor.com, and dozens of other fake search engines. These sites typically offer improved search results and additional "useful features" (e.g., quick access to popular websites, weather forecasts, etc,), however, fake search engines are designed only to generate revenue for the developers and deliver no real value for regular users. Claims to enhance the browsing experience are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. Fake search engines cause unwanted redirects and gather sensitive information. Some are also designed to feed users with misleading results and intrusive ads (leading to dubious websites). Therefore, using fake search engines risks various system infections.

How did search-mate.com install on my computer?

As mentioned, search-mate.com is promoted using rogue downloaders/installers. This marketing method is called "bundling". Developers are aware that users often rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Therefore, all information regarding modification of browser settings is hidden within "Custom/Advanced" options (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. By rushing and skipping steps, many users inadvertently grant set-ups permission to modify settings, thus exposing their systems to risk of various infections and compromising their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The main reasons for computer infections are careless behavior and poor knowledge of these threats. Therefore, pay close attention when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each window of the download/installation processes. Opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. We also advise you to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since developers monetize them by promoting PUPs (the "bundling" method). Your programs should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, but once clicked, redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and similar). Most are delivered by adware-type PUPs. If you encounter these advertisements, immediately remove all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Caution is the key to computer safety. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Website promoting a fake Adobe Flash Player updater that promotes search-mate.com:

Dubious website used to promote search-mate.com

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups and/or apps that promote the search-mate.com website are designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles"

search-mate.com preferences step 1

2) Select the "AdminPrefs" profile and delete it.

search-mate.com preferences step 2

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this browser hijacker.

Instant automatic removal of search-mate.com browser hijacker: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of search-mate.com browser hijacker. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter 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 Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

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

search-mate.com redirect removal:

Remove search-mate.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 search-mate.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.

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

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove search-mate.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 search-mate.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 search-mate.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.