Io-search.com Redirect (Mac)

Also Known As: io-search.com browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

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

What is io-search.com?

Identical to geofoxip.com, io-search.com is a fake search engine that supposedly enhances the browsing experience by generating improved results and providing quick access to various popular websites. On initial inspection, io-search.com may seem legitimate and useful, however, developers promote the site using rogue downloaders/installers that modify browser options without permission. Furthermore, io-search.com continually records information relating to browsing activity.

io-search.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Rogue set-ups usually target the most popular browsers such as Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. After successful infiltration, they modify the new tab URL, default search engine and homepage options by assigning them to io-search.com. These changes may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert them. Research shows that rogue set-ups also inject a number of third party applications/browser plug-ins called "helper objects". These reassign browser options (or simply disable access to these settings) when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, users are unable to return browsers to their previous states, unless these apps/add-ons are uninstalled. Furthermore, users are forced to visit io-search.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. This significantly diminishes the browsing experience. Furthermore, io-search.com and "helper objects" continually gather IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and other similar information. Collected data usually includes personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private data to generate revenue. Therefore, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter redirects to io-search.com, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins, and never visit this site again. The key to computer safety is caution.

Threat Summary:
Name io-search.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Fake search engine, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 104.27.160.153
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate io-search.com 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.

io-search.com shares many similarities with dozens of other fake search engines, such as search.bunnybarny.com, search.prosearchtip.com, and search.convertallfiles.com. All claim to enhance the browsing experience by providing improved results and, in some cases, other "useful features" (e.g., shortcuts to popular websites, local weather forecasts, etc.), however, websites such as io-search.com are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. They deliver no real value for regular users, cause unwanted redirects, gather information, and sometimes even feed users with misleading results and intrusive advertisements. These websites pose a significant threat to your privacy and computer safety and they diminish the browsing experience.

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

As mentioned above, io-search.com is promoted using rogue download/installation set-ups. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling". Developers know that many users rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Therefore, all information regarding modification of browser options is concealed behind "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of these procedures. Potentially unwanted applications are also distributed using an identical technique. Therefore, by rushing and skipping steps, many users inadvertently grant set-ups permission to modify browser options, thereby exposing their systems to risk of various infections and compromising their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent system infiltration by PUAs, 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. Opt-out of additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. Download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are often monetized using the "bundling" method, and thus such tools should never be used. Unwanted apps are also distributed using intrusive advertisements delivered by rogue sites or other unwanted apps. Intrusive advertisements usually seem legitimate. Once clicked, however, they redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.). If you encounter these ads/redirects, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins immediately. The key to computer 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.

Instant automatic removal of io-search.com 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 io-search.com 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:

io-search.com redirect removal:

Remove io-search.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 io-search.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.

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

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove io-search.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 io-search.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 io-search.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.

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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
io-search.com 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 io-search.com 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.