How to stop getting redirecting to search.yahoo.com?

Also Known As: search.yahoo.com redirect
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove a browser hijacker from Mac?

What is a browser hijacker?

In most cases, Internet browsers automatically force-open fake or legitimate search engines (and/or other questionable websites) - due to browser hijackers installed onto the device. Typically, these redirects occur when attempts are made to search the Web via URL bar and/or when a new browser tab/window is opened. Dubious software within the browser hijacker category - achieves this by making certain modifications to browser settings. Additionally, most browser hijackers have data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on browsing activity and to collect sensitive information extracted from it. Browser hijackers are also deemed to be PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), since most users download/install them unintentionally.

Browser hijacker redirecting to Yahoo (search.yahoo.con) gif

Browser hijackers typically target Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and other popular browsers with large user bases. These rogue applications operate by assigning the addresses of specific search engines as browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. Hence, if a browser with any/all of the aforementioned options set to the Google (google.com) search engine is redirecting to Yahoo! (search.yahoo.com) - it is due to a browser hijacker having infiltrated the system. As mentioned in the introduction, these redirects to Yahoo! are caused every time a new browser tab/window is opened and/or search query is typed into the URL bar. Search.yahoo.com is a legitimate search engine, developed by the Yahoo! web service provider. However, this is more than an issue of search engine preference, as browser hijackers are notorious for their data tracking. They usually monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather vulnerable data inferred from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is highly likely to contain personally identifiable information and browser hijacker developers monetize it by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). Therefore, presence of browser hijackers on browsers/systems can cause severe privacy concerns, financial losses and even result in identity theft. What is more, recovering a hijacked browser without removing the software affecting it - is impossible. Since any changes users attempt to make to their browsers can be undone, if access to the browser's settings is not restricted or denied outright. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is strongly advised to eliminate all suspicious applications and likewise suspect browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name search.yahoo.com redirect
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
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.

Browser hijackers tend to appear ordinary and harmless. This software typically offers various "useful" and "advantageous" functionalities. However, the advertised features seldom work as promised and in most cases - they do not work at all. Bright StartNiceTab StartPage and MacAppExtensions are a few examples of browser hijackers. The search engines they promote are often fake, despite their legitimate appearance; e.g. searches.networksearch.handlersection.comsearches.cloudsearchsnow.com and countless others. As these illegitimate web searching tools are rarely capable of providing search results, they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Yahoo, Google, Bing and other genuine search engines. The only purpose of browser hijackers and other types of PUAs is to generate revenue for the developers; therefore, functionality and user safety are irrelevant.

How did a browser hijacker install on my computer?

PUAs (browser hijackers included) are distributed via download/installation setups of other products. This deceptive marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. by ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.) - users risk inadvertently allowing dubious and/or bundled content into their devices. Some PUAs also have "official" promotional webpages, from which they can be downloaded. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to always research products to verify their legitimacy, prior to download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and trustworthy sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content; hence, they are considered to be untrustworthy download sources and are advised against use. When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. It is crucial to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive adverts may look legitimate, however they redirect to various questionable sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, users must inspect the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins from it. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Example of a rogue installation setup (fake Adobe Flash Player installer) used to proliferate a browser hijacker:

Example of a rogue installer proliferating browser hijackers

Example of a scam website promoting fake Adobe Flash Player updater/installer:

Example of a scam website promoting fake Flash Player installer

Example of a website used to promote a browser-hijacking extension:

Example of a website promoting a 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:

Browser hijacker removal:

Remove browser hijacker 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 search.yahoo.com 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.

search.yahoo.com redirect homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove search.yahoo.com 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 search.yahoo.com 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 search.yahoo.com 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
search.yahoo.com 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 search.yahoo.com redirect on your mobile device.
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