How to stop browsers from opening qsearch.pw

Also Known As: qsearch.pw browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove qsearch.pw browser hijacker from Mac?

What is qsearch.pw?

There are many fake search engines such as qsearch.pw on the internet. The site supposedly enhances the browsing experience by delivering faster and more accurate results. It may seem similar to other, legitimate search engines created by Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., however, you are advised not to trust qsearch.pw or other similar search engines. Typically, developers promote fake search engines through rogue download/installation set-ups that change browser settings. To promote qsearch.pw, they use the setup of a fake Adobe Flash Player. Additionally, most fake search engines gather information relating to users' browsing habits.

qsearch.pw browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Typically, rogue downloaders and installers change settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari browsers - they modify the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab - in this case, assigning them to qsearch.pw. Therefore, users of hijacked browsers are forced to visit this site when they open a browser/new browser window, new tab, or enter a search query into the URL bar. These set-ups generally install 'helper objects' (third party apps such as browser extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons) to prevent users from changing the settings. To revert or change them, the helper objects must be uninstalled. Note that qsearch.pw displays results generated by Yahoo (it opens search.yahoo.com) and generates no unique results (and is, thus, redundant). Furthermore, when search.yahoo.com is opened through qsearch.pw, the search results contain various dubious ads. Note that unwanted applications and fake search engines such as qsearch.pw also gather information such as IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of visited pages, entered search queries, and so on. Some might also be designed to collect personal data. Typically, people who develop fake search engines and information tracking apps share the data with other parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. To avoid privacy issues, problems with browsing safety, and even identity theft, uninstall all unwanted apps immediately. If the browser causes redirects to qsearch.pw, unwanted apps might already be installed on the browser or operating system.

Threat Summary:
Name qsearch.pw browser hijacker
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
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 qsearch.pw 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.

Other fake search engines similar to qsearch.pw include smartsearch.pw, search.epolife.com, and searchbaron.com. Unfortunately, there are many more. Typically, these search engines are presented as 'useful and legitimate', however, they deliver no real value. Developers design them to gather various data that can be used to generate revenue.

How did qsearch.pw install on my computer?

Most search engines such as qsearch.pw are promoted through dubious download and installation set-ups. One of the set-ups used to promote qsearch.pw is that of a fake Adobe Flash Player. Many people allow these set-ups to change browser settings unintentionally. Generally, information about these modifications is hidden in settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", etc. People often leave these setting unchanged, thereby inadvertently allowing rogue set-ups to make changes to the default browser.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To avoid unwanted downloads and installations, download software from official and trustworthy websites. Do not use third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on), or other similar software or unofficial web pages. Study each setup and check "Advanced", "Custom", and other similar settings. If a setup includes unwanted, additional software or offers to change browser settings, deselect them before completing the download/installation process. Do not trust intrusive ads. When clicked, they can cause redirects to untrustworthy websites or unwanted downloads/installations. To stop your browser from showing ads or opening dubious web pages, uninstall all unwanted extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons. Problems can also be caused by programs installed on the operating system, so check the list of programs installed on your computer. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of qsearch.pw (GIF):

qsearch.pw appearance

Dubious web page that promotes a fake Flash Player designed to promote qsearch.pw:

Delusive installer used to promote qsearch.pw

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the qsearch.pw 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"

qsearch.pw preferences step 1

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

qsearch.pw 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 qsearch.pw 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 qsearch.pw 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:

qsearch.pw redirect removal:

Remove qsearch.pw-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 qsearch.pw 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.

qsearch.pw browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove qsearch.pw 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 qsearch.pw 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 qsearch.pw 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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
qsearch.pw 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 qsearch.pw browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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