Searchp.icu Redirect (Mac)

Also Known As: searchp.icu browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove searchp.icu browser hijacker from Mac?

What is searchp.icu?

Similar to homesweeklies.com and playsearchnow.com, searchp.icu (which is also known as searchp.club) is a fake search engine that falsely claims to enhance the browsing experience by generating improved results and providing quick access to a number of popular websites (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on). Judging on appearance alone, searchp.icu may seem legitimate, however, developers promote this site via rogue downloaders/installers that modify browser options without permission. In addition, searchp.icu records data relating to browsing activity.

searchp.icu browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Rogue set-ups target Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. After successful infiltration, searchp.icu assigns the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to searchp.icu. In addition, set-ups stealthily install a number of "helper objects" - third party applications/browser plug-ins. These tools are used to reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, although modifications made by set-ups may seem insignificant, users are unable to revert them. Ultimately users are encouraged to visit searchp.icu when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. This significantly diminishes the browsing experience. Note that searchp.icu redirects users to search.playsearchnow.com and, after entering a search query, they are redirected again to search.yahoo.com. Therefore, they end up searching via Yahoo (a legitimate search engine), thus making searchp.icu useless and redundant. Another significant downside is information tracking. Fake search engines typically record information such as IP addresses, websites visited, search queries, pages viewed, and so on. Furthermore, this data typically contains personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by continuing to misuse private information. Therefore, visiting searchp.icu can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter redirects to searchp.icu or search.playsearchnow.com, immediately remove all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Never return to these sites.

Threat Summary:
Namesearchp.icu 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.

The internet is full of fake search engines that share similarities with searchp.icu. search.sfmac.com, linkey-search.com, and shortcutcommander.club - the list goes on. All offer functionality that supposedly enhances the browsing experience, but these claims are merely attempts to attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. In fact, fake search engines have only one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers. They provide no real value for regular users, cause unwanted redirects, and gather sensitive data, thereby diminishing the browsing experience and posing a direct threat to your privacy. Some fake search engines feed users with false results and intrusive advertisements, both leading to dubious websites. This can cause serious privacy issues or even identity theft.

How did searchp.icu install on my computer?

searchp.icu is mainly promoted using rogue download/installation tools. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling". Developers know 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 these procedures. By rushing and skipping steps, many  users inadvertently grant set-ups permission to modify settings, expose their systems to risk of various infections, and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Potentially unwanted applications are distributed using the "bundling" method and intrusive advertisements (which redirect to malicious sites or execute scripts designed to download/install malware). To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the internet and downloading/installing software. Carefully analyze all steps of the download/installation processes and opt-out of additionally-included programs. Furthermore, we recommend that you avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since developers monetize them by promoting ("bundling") unwanted apps. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. Intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, but once clicked, redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.). Most are delivered by adware-type apps. Therefore, if you encounter suspicious redirects, remove all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior - the key to safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

searchp.icu causing redirects to search.playsearchnow.com (GIF):

searchp.icu redirects to search.playsearchnow.com

Website promoting searchp.icu:

Dubious website used to promote searchp.icu

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 searchp.icu browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

searchp.icu redirect removal:

Remove searchp.icu-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 searchp.icu 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.

searchp.icu browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searchp.icu 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 searchp.icu 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 searchp.icu 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
searchp.icu 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 searchp.icu browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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