Stop browsers from opening searchtown.net address

Also Known As: Patriot PDF Converter browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Patriot PDF Converter browser hijacker from Mac?

What is searchtown.net?

Searchtown.net is a fake search engine which is promoted through a potentially unwanted application (PUA), a browser hijacker called Patriot PDF Converter. As a rule, browser hijackers promote fake search engines by changing browser's settings. Additionally, such PUAs are often designed to gather information about their users too. In most cases people download and install browser hijackers and other PUAs unintentionally.

searchtown.net browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Most browser hijackers can be installed on browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. They are designed to change their settings such as homepage, default search engine and new tab URL. However, they might be designed to change other settings too. In this case Patriot PDF Converter changes them to searchtown.net. It means that users of hijacked browsers are forced to visit searchtown.net when they open their browsers, new tabs or enter search queries into URL bar. The only way to undo the appointed settings is to uninstall Patriot PDF Converter app, otherwise it will reassign its settings immediately after any attempt to modify or change them. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that browser hijackers (and fake search engines) collect details such as user's IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites, and so on. However, they could be designed to record personal, sensitive information as well. Their developers usually share all that information with other people (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Having a browser hijacker installed or/and using a fake search engine might lead to problems related to browsing safety, online privacy or even identity theft. It is strongly recommended to uninstall Patriot PDF Converter or any other browser hijackers and never use questionable, fake search engines.

Threat Summary:
Name Patriot PDF Converter browser hijacker
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (searchtown.net) Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (searchtown.net) 141.8.225.124
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate Patriot PDF Converter 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 examples of apps that are classified as browser hijackers are File Converter Master, Wiz Convert and Margamish. Unfortunately, there are way more apps of this type that are designed to promote fake search engines and gather browsing-related (and possibly other) information. Typically, their developers advertise them as useful applications. Unfortunately, most of them do not operate as they supposed to and are designed to perform actions that help their developers and other parties to generate revenue.

How did searchtown.net install on my computer?

Typically, potentially unwanted applications get installed without user's knowledge. They get installed through clicked intrusive ads or together with other software. To trick users into downloading or installing potentially unwanted applications with other programs developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". It means that they include PUAs in setups of other software. Typically, information about unwanted apps being included in setups is hidden in their settings like "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar sections. People who download or install various software without checking any of these settings give various PUAs permissions to be installed together with wanted software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Always download software from official websites and via direct download links. We do not recommend to use third party software downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, questionable websites, and other similar sources/channels. Setups that contain settings like "Advanced", "Custom" should be analyzed, if they contain offers to download or install unwanted apps, then these offers should be dismissed before finishing download or installation process. Furthermore, there is a great number of intrusive ads redirect users to potentially malicious or untrustworthy in other way websites. Very often ads of this kind are displayed on pages related to gambling, pornography, adult dating, and so on. If unwanted ads appear often or a browser opens shady pages by itself, then remove all unwanted/unknown extensions, add-ons or plug-ins from it. Additionally, we advise to apply this to software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Website promoting Patriot PDF Converter browser hijacker:

Dubious website used to promote searchtown.net

Patriot PDF Converter installed on Google Chrome:

Patriot PDF Converter extension on Chrome

Instant automatic removal of Patriot PDF Converter 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 Patriot PDF Converter 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 unwanted applications that promote searchtown.net using Combo Cleaner:

searchtown.net redirect removal:

Remove searchtown.net 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 patriot pdf converter 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.

Patriot PDF Converter browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove patriot pdf converter 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 patriot pdf converter 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 patriot pdf converter 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
Patriot PDF Converter 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 Patriot PDF Converter 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.