How to remove gsearch.live from browser settings?

Also Known As: gsearch.live browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove gsearch.live browser hijacker from Mac?

What is gsearch.live?

Gsearch.live is the address of a fake search engine. Typically, such addresses promoted via various download and/or installation setups that are designed to modify certain browser settings. In other words, it is uncommon for users to intentionally choose to use fake search engines. It is known that gsearch.live is promoted via fake installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is worthwhile to mention that such search engines can be designed to gather browsing data and/or other information.

gsearch.live browser hijacker on a Mac computer

In most cases the aforementioned download and/or installation setups are designed to promote fake search engines by changing browser settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. In this case certain download and/or installation setups change them to gsearch.live. Search engines like this one are called fake because they either do not generate any unique results (they display results generated by Yahoo, Google or some other legitimate search engine), or they generate results that may include links to questionable, potentially malicious sites. It is worthwhile to mention that download and/or installation setups that promote fake search engines tend to download and/or install certain 'helper objects'. Those 'helper objects' prevent users from removing the address of a fake search engine from browser settings. As mentioned in the introduction, fake search engines can be designed to collect browsing data like IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited pages, entered search queries, and other browsing-related information. In some cases they can be designed to collect sensitive details as well. After that gathered data could be misused to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals), or in other ways. In such cases users may encounter problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, or even become victims of identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name gsearch.live browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (of a file related to gsearch.live) Avast (MacOS:Pirrit-CI [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Generic.19435), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Pirrit.ac), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 54.70.175.13
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.

A couple of examples of other fake search engines are qsearch.pw, search.validplatform.com and search.basicgeneration.com. it is worthwhile to mention that fake search engines often are promoted via browser hijackers and adware-type applications. Apps of this type are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), it is because in most cases users download and install them unknowingly.

How did gsearch.live install on my computer?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, gsearch.live is promoted via fake installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is important to known that such installers can be designed to install malicious programs, e.g., ransomware-type programs, Trojans. Also, such search engines often are promoted via PUAs. It is common that users download and/or instal such apps through download and/or installation setups of other programs, then those apps are included in setups as additional offers. As a rule, those offers can be declined in their settings like "Custom", "Advanced", etc., or by unticking certain checkboxes. When users download and install programs without checking and changing any settings that are available in setups, they download or/and install PUAs as well. This distribution method of PUAs is called "bundling". Also, sometimes users cause unwanted downloads, installations by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Unwanted downloads, installations can be avoided by downloading files, programs only from trustworthy, official websites and through direct download links. Other sources, tools like Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages, third party downloaders, installers, etc., should not be used. Also, it can be avoided by declining offers to download and/or install PUAs when they are included in download and/or installation setups of other programs. Typically, it can be done via their "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings, or by unticking certain checkboxes. It is worthwhile to mention that deceptive ads can be designed to cause unwanted downloads and/or installations too. Therefore, they should not be clicked as well. If there is some unwanted, suspicious extension, add-on or plug-in already installed on a browser (or program of this type installed on the operating system), then it should be uninstalled. 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 gsearch.live:

gsearch.live redirect fake installer

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the gsearch.live address 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 gsearch.live (Step 1)

2) Select the profile related to gsearch.live and delete it.

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote gsearch.live (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.

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:

gsearch.live redirect removal:

Remove gsearch.live 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 gsearch.live 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.

gsearch.live browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove gsearch.live 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 gsearch.live 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 gsearch.live 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
gsearch.live browser hijacker QR code
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