Remove search.validplatform.com from settings and apps that promote it

Also Known As: search.validplatform.com browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove search.validplatform.com browser hijacker from Mac?

What is search.validplatform.com?

Search.validplatform.com is the address of a fake search engine. Typically, search engines of this kind are promoted via browser hijackers, adware-type apps. It is known that search.validplatform.com is promoted via IndexerInput and other similar apps. It is worthwhile to mention that apps of this type are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), it is because in most cases users download and install them unintentionally. Research shows that at least one of the apps that is designed to promote search.validplatform.com is distributed via fake installer that is disguised as an installer for Adobe Flash Player.

search.validplatform.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Typically, after installation PUAs that are designed to promote fake search engines change browser settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. In this case certain PUAs change these settings to search.validplatform.com which, as a search engine is useless and fake. It is because it does not generate any unique results, it provides results generated by Yahoo instead, in other words, search.validplatform.com redirects users to search.yahoo.com. Typically, users can remove the address of a fake search engine only when the app that is designed to promote it is no longer installed. It is worthwhile to mention that PUAs can be designed to serve coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads and/or other advertisements that, if clicked, can open questionable websites or execute certain scripts that will download and/or installation of some unwanted application. Also, PUAs can be designed to gather IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of opened pages, entered search queries, and/or other browsing-related information, or even sensitive details that could be misused for malicious purposes.

Threat Summary:
Name search.validplatform.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 99.84.168.86
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.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Some more examples of fake search engines are search.basicgeneration.com, cybersearch.xyz and d2sri.com. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, they are called fake because they do not generate unique results. Although, there are fake search engines that generate results that include links to untrustworthy pages. Either way, it is advised to use only legitimate search engines (like Google, Yahoo, Bing).

How did search.validplatform.com install on my computer?

Some PUAs that promote search.validplatform.com are distributed via certain fake installers, it is common that those installers are designed to distribute not only PUAs but also malicious programs, e.g., ransomware-type programs, Trojans. Also, quite often PUAs are distributed by including them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as additional offers. Typically, included apps can be declined in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of setups, or by unticking available checkboxes. When users leave default settings unchanged, they agree to download and/or install included PUAs as well. This distribution method is known as "bundling". In some cases unwanted download sand/or installations can be caused through deceptive advertisements - by clicking ads that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended not to leave "Custom", "Advanced" or other similar settings, or checkboxes that are (if are) available in download and/or installation setups. Usually those settings (or checkboxes) can be used to decline offers to download and/or install potentially unwanted apps. Also, it is advised not to download (or install) software or files via third party downloaders, installers, via torrents clients, eMule or other Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages, etc. They should be downloaded from official pages and via direct download links. Also, it is recommended not to click ads on questionable websites - those ads can be designed to open other untrustworthy websites, or even cause unwanted downloads, installations. Additionally, there should not be any suspicious, unwanted extensions, add-ons or/and plug-ins installed on a browser and/or 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.

Delusive application installer promoting search.validplatform.com:

Delusive installer used to promote search.validplatform.com browser hijacker

Search.validplatform.com in Chrome settings:

search.validplatform.com in chrome settings

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:

search.validplatform.com redirect removal:

Remove search.validplatform.com 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.validplatform.com 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.

search.validplatform.com browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove search.validplatform.com 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 search.validplatform.com 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 search.validplatform.com 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
search.validplatform.com 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 search.validplatform.com browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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