How to remove searchlee.com from browser's settings?

Also Known As: searchlee.com redirect
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: High
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Searchlee browser hijacker from Mac?

What is Searchlee?

Browser hijacker is a type of potentially unwanted application (PUA) that changes browser's settings to promote a fake search engine (its address) and gathers browsing data. Searchlee promotes the searchlee.com address, an untrustworthy search engine that generates fake results with deceptive ads among them. This browser hijacker is developed by Linkury Inc - a company that developed another notorious browser hijacker called SafeFinder.

Searchlee browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Usually, a browser is considered to be hijacked when it opens a certain address (typically, a fake search engine) when users open a new window, new tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar. In other words, when a browser has a potentially unwanted application installed on it that has changed the address of a homepage, new tab and default search engine to an address of a fake search engine. Although, there are browser hijackers that promote their addresses without changing the browser's settings. As mentioned in the first paragraph, Searchlee promotes the searchlee.com address. Once a search query is entered, searchlee.com shows its fake results and displays deceptive ads among them. It is important to mention that searchlee.com can be designed to generate results (and display ads) used to promote download pages for adware, other browser hijackers, various scam pages like "Win The New iPhone 12", "WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE", potentially malicious websites, and so on.

Also, it is likely that the Searchlee browser hijacker is capable of collecting browsing data like IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited pages or even personal, sensitive details like usernames and passwords, credit card details, and other personal data. It is common that developers of untrustworthy apps that can read various information sell it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misuse them to generate revenue in some other way (or ways). Therefore, users who have Searchlee or any other app of this type installed on a browser or computer should remove it as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name searchlee.com redirect
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 172.67.199.243
Related Domains search.82paodatc.com
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.

There are many fake search engines on the Internet, some examples are search.validexplorer.com, search.accessiblelist.com and flip-search.com. It is worthwhile to mention that not all of them generate fake results like the searchlee.com does. Quite often fake search engines show results generated by legitimate engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo. Although, it does not make them trustworthy, especially when they appear in browser's settings after installation of some browser hijacker. Linkury Inc. has developed more than one browser hijacker, one of the examples is SafeFinder.

How did Searchlee install on my computer?

It is common for browser hijackers and PUAs of other types to be distributed by bundling them together with some freeware (free software). Users download or install bundled apps alongside with other programs when they leave settings that are available in downloaders or installers unchanged. Usually, bundled PUAs (offers to download or install them) can be declined using "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings, or by unticking checkboxes. PUAs also can be distributed using fake updating tools, deceptive advertisements. There are ads that, if clicked, execute scripts designed to download or install unwanted software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important not to finish downloads and installations without checking if there are any "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" and other settings, or ticked checkboxes that could be used to decline unwanted offers. Also, it is strongly advisable not to use unreliable sources for downloading apps or files, such as various unofficial websites, torrent clients, eMule (and other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, or use third-party installers for installing applications. Apps should be downloaded from official pages (or sources like App Store) and via direct links. Additionally, it is recommended not to trust any advertisements that appear on dubious pages: very often those ads are used to promote other pages of this kind or distribute unwanted apps. If some suspicious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons or other apps are already installed on a browser, or the operating system, then then they 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.

Searchlee.com generates fake results and displays ads (GIF):

searchlee browser hijacker searchlee.com generates fake results

Users who have Searchlee installed on their computers are likely to encounter this pop-up:

Pop-up displayed once the Searchlee browser hijacker infiltrates the system

Text presented within:

"[random_number]" wants access to control "Safari". Allowing control will provide access to documents and data in "Safari", and to perform actions within that app.

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 Searchlee browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

Searchlee redirect removal:

Remove Searchlee 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 searchlee.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.

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

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searchlee.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 searchlee.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 searchlee.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.

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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
searchlee.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 searchlee.com redirect on your mobile device.
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