Eliminate browser redirects to the searchbaron.com website

Also Known As: searchbaron.com browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove searchbaron.com browser hijacker from Mac?

What is searchbaron.com?

searchbaron.com is a deceptive website that supposedly enhances the browsing experience by generating improved search results. In fact, this site is promoted using various rogue applications that typically infiltrate computers without users' consent. Furthermore, searchbaron.com and most rogue apps are likely to record information relating to browsing activity.

searchbaron.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Note that searchbaron.com is promoted using  browser-hijacking applications. One such application is called Spaces. Note, however, that unlike most browser hijackers, this app does not modify browser options. Spaces detects whenever the user enters a search query and then redirects them to searchbaron.com, which, in turn, enforces another chain of redirects to bing.com by using the Amazon AWS service. Therefore, victims end up searching via Bing even though their default search engine is different. Redirects of this type are not particularly harmful (Bing is a legitimate search engine), however, they significantly diminish the browsing experience. Furthermore, stopping these redirects is quite complicated, since apps such as Spaces are difficult to remove (more information below). Be aware that potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) and fake search engines are likely to gather sensitive data such as IP addresses, website URLs visited, web pages viewed, search queries, and other details. Collected information usually includes personal information that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) to generate revenue. These people misuse private data to generate even more revenue. Therefore, information tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter redirects to searchbaron.com, uninstall Spaces and other rogue applications immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name searchbaron.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 204.11.56.48
Detection Names (Spaces unwanted application) Avast (MacOS:MaxOfferDeal-I [Adw]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.MaxOfferDeal.M), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Geonei.ax), McAfee (RDN/Generic.osx), Full List (VirusTotal)
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 searchbaron.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.

There are dozens of fake search engines that share similarities with searchbaron.com including Go-search.me, search.zaztov.com, and io-search.com - these are just some examples from many. By offering improved results and, in some cases, other "useful features" (e.g., quick access to popular websites, weather forecasts, worldwide news, etc.), fake search engines attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. In fact, websites such as searchbaron.com have just one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, fake search engines cause redirects and gather information.

How did unwanted applications install on my computer?

Browser-hijacking applications usually infiltrate computers without users' consent, since developers promote them using intrusive advertisements and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Intrusive advertisements typically redirect to dubious websites and some even run scripts designed to download/install unwanted applications. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software. Developers know that many users often rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Therefore, "bundled" apps are typically hidden behind "Custom/Advanced" options (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users click advertisements and skip download/installation steps, thereby leading to inadvertent installation of rogue apps. In this way, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent computer infiltration by PUAs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, however, they redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and similar) and are often delivered by adware-type applications. If you encounter these ads/redirects regularly, remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Most third party downloaders/installers are monetized using the "bundling" method. Therefore, you are strongly advised to download your programs from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. Additionally, select "Custom/Advanced" settings and analyze each step of the download/installation processes. Opt-out of additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. 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.

Fake error message displayed by the Spaces application:

Spaces application displaying fake error message

Text presented within this error:

Your computer is low on memory.

To free up some memory, please close a few applications.

IMPORTANT NOTE! As mentioned above, removing the Spaces application is a rather complicated process, since deleting this application without first terminating the associated process is impossible. The problem is that the process is automatically re-started immediately it is terminated. Therefore, to remove this application, you must perform the following steps:

1) Navigate to the "/Users/Test/Library/Application Support/.spaces" directory, right-click on the "Spaces" application, and select "Show Package Contents":

Removing Spaces application step 1

2) Navigate to the "Contents/MacOS" directory and delete the "Spaces" application:

Removing Spaces application step 2

3) Once the previous steps are performed, the process associated with the Spaces application will no longer be automatically re-started and you will be able to easily terminate it and remove the remainder of the application's files:

Removing Spaces application step 3

4) After removing the Spaces application, you must navigate to the "/Users/Test/Library/Application Support" directory and enable the display of hidden directories. Then, search for a directory with a dubious name (e.g., ".helper", ".dir" or similar), which contains an application called "Finder". Once located, this entire directory must be deleted. Note that MacOS actually has a genuine Finder application. Yet, the malicious one has a completely different icon (typically, a Terminal logo), which criminals simply use as a disguise:

Removal of Spaces application step 4

Instant automatic removal of searchbaron.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 searchbaron.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 browser redirects to searchbaron.com using Combo Cleraner:

Searchbaron.com redirect removal:

Remove searchbaron.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 searchbaron.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.

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

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searchbaron.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 searchbaron.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 searchbaron.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
searchbaron.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 searchbaron.com browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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