How to uninstall the app which is designed to promote searches.network?

Also Known As: searches.network browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove searches.network browser hijacker from Mac?

What is searches.network?

Searches.network is an address of a fake search engine which displays results generated by webcrawler.com, another questionable engine. Research shows that searches.network is promoted through some potentially unwanted application (PUA), a browser hijacker that users install through a deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer. Typically, browser hijackers promote fake search engines by modifying some of the browser's settings. It is worthwhile to mention that they are categorized as PUAs because users download and install such apps unknowingly, unintentionally.

searches.network browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Browser hijackers promote fake search engines by assigning their address as an address of a homepage, default search engine and new tab. The main purpose of this is to ensure that users would visit a certain address (in this case searches.network) when they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. As mentioned in the introduction, searches.network redirects users to webcrawler.com, another questionable search engine. It is common that such search engines include links to unreliable websites in their results, therefore, they should not be trusted. In order to be able to remove searches.network from browser's settings users have to uninstall the app that is designed to promote it, otherwise that app will reassign its settings after every attempt to modify, remove them. Another problem with browser hijackers is that they often are designed to collect entered search queries, IP addresses, geolocations, and/or other browsing data. Also, such apps may be capable of accessing sensitive information. Gathered data may be sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misused to generate revenue in other ways. Therefore, installed PUAs may cause problems like identity theft, issues related to browsing safety, online privacy, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name searches.network browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (flashInstaller.dmg) ALYac (Trojan.OSX.Shlayer), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.34050467), ESET-NOD32 (OSX/Adware.Bundlore.DZ), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Wacatac.C!ml), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 104.18.44.198
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.

Searches.cloud, searchsnow.com and prudensearch.com are a couple of examples of other fake search engines. Typically, such search engines provide users with results generated by some other (often legitimate) search engine or generate results that may include links to unreliable pages. Either way, it is recommended to use only legitimate search engines. If a browser is hijacker by some browser hijacker (its settings are modified by such app), then that PUA should be uninstalled from it as soon as possible.

How did searches.network install on my computer?

Research shows that searches.network appears in browser's settings when users install a certain PUA through a deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer. It is worthwhile to mention that such installers can be (and often are) designed to install malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojan-type malware). Also, it is common that PUAs are distributed though download and/or installation setups of other programs. This distribution method is called "bundling". As a rule, PUAs are included in setups as additional offers that are mentioned in their settings like "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual". The problem is that users often download and/or install software without checking and changing those settings. It means that they allow for included PUAs to be downloaded and/or installed too. In some cases unwanted downloads and/or installations are caused by clicking untrustworthy, deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to download files and software only from official pages and through direct links. Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, installers, unofficial, shady websites, etc., should not be trusted. Also, download and installation setups that contain settings like "Custom", "Advanced" should be always checked for offers to download and/or install PUAs, such offers should be declined before completing download and/or installation processes. Advertisements that are displayed on untrustworthy websites should not be trusted as well. Users who click them often get redirected to potentially malicious pages or cause downloads, installations of unwanted apps. And finally, it is recommended to uninstall any installed unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons or plug-ins from a browser and never download, install them again. The same applies to programs of this kind that are 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.

Searches.network redirects to webcrawler.com (GIF):

searches.network redirects to webcrawler.com

Delusive application installer promoting searches.network:

searches.network redirect installer first step searches.network redirect installer second step

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the searches.network 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"

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote searches.network (Step 1)

2) Select the "Chrome Settings" profile and delete it.

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote searches.network (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 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:

searches.network redirect removal:

Remove searches.network 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 searches.network 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.

searches.network browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searches.network 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 searches.network 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 searches.network 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
searches.network 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 searches.network browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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