How to remove Bright Start?

Also Known As: qsearch.pw redirect
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Bright Start browser hijacker from Mac?

What is Bright Start?

Bright Start is a potentially unwanted application (PUA), a browser hijacker which is designed to promote qsearch.pw (address of a fake search engine) by changing browser's settings. Quite often apps of this type are designed to operate as information tracking tools that gather browsing-related data as well. Browser hijackers are classified as PUAs because people usually do not download and install apps of this type intentionally.

Bright Start browser hijacker on a Mac computer

In most cases browser hijackers promote fake search engines by making their address as an address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. Simply said, they are designed to make sure that users would visit a particular address when they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. It is worthwhile to mention that Bright Start's users are provided with search results generated by search.becovi.com (qsearch.pw redirects to search.becovi.com). Quite often such search engines generate misleading results, in other words, they can display links that lead to questionable, potentially malicious pages. Therefore, fake search engines should never be trusted. Most browser hijackers are designed to prevent users from removing address of a fake search engine from browser's settings. Users are forced to visit address of a fake search engine on certain occasions as long as a browser hijacker is installed on a browser and/or operating system. Typically, the only way to undo modifications made by a browser hijacker is to uninstall it (in this case Bright Start). Moreover, apps of this type often are designed to gather browsing data like entered search queries, addresses of visited websites, geolocations, IP addresses, etc. However, there are browser hijackers that collect sensitive details as well. It is possible that people who developed a browser hijacker could sell gathered data to third parties who could misuse it other ways. Also, there is always a possibility that user's data may be sold to cyber criminals. Therefore, apps of this type should not be dowloaded and installed. If Bright Start or any other app of this type is installed on a browser (and/or operating system), then it should be removed from it right away.

Threat Summary:
Name qsearch.pw redirect
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Bundlore-DR [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Generic.14530), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Bundlore.CE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Bnodlero.an), Full List (VirusTotal)
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.
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.

There are many fake search engines on the Internet, search.friendlysocket.com, search.gratziany.com and search.doc2pdfsearch.com are just a couple examples. As a rule, they are promoted through browser hijackers that supposed to be useful, improve browsing experience, deliver some features. Nevertheless, most apps of this type do not deliver any value and can cause various problems.

How did Bright Start install on my computer?

It is possible to cause unwanted downloads and/or installations by clicking ada that are designed to run certain scripts. However, in most cases users end up having PUAs downloaded and/or installed when they carelessly download and/or install some other, usually free software. It is common that PUAs are distributed by including them in download and/or installation setups of various software as additional offers. This distribution method is called "bundling". In most cases offers to download and/or install additional software can be found in setup's settings like "Custom", "Advanced". However, not all users check those settings. When they leave them unchanged, they often agree with offers to download and/or install additional, potentially unwanted apps.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

In most cases PUAs are distributed through Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, third party downloaders, installers and other channels, tools of this kind. Therefore, they should not be used as tools to download or install any software. Programs should be downloaded from official pages and through direct links. Download and installation setups that contain settings like "Custom", "Advanced", and so on should be checked for offers to download and/or install various potentially unwanted applications. They should be declined before completing download and installation processes. Advertisements that appear on various shady pages can open questionable websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. That is why it is not safe to click such ads. If there are any unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons and/or plug-ins installed on a browser, then they should be removed from it right away. Programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system should uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Bright Start redirects to search.becovi.com via qsearch.pw (GIF):

bright start browser hijacker redirects to qsearch.pw and search.becovi.com

Bright Start installed on Google Chrome:

bright start browser hijacker installed on chrome browser

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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Bright Start redirect removal:

Remove Bright Start 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 redirect 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 redirect homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove qsearch.pw redirect 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 redirect 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 redirect 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
qsearch.pw redirect 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 redirect on your mobile device.
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