How to remove the Search Lime unwanted app?

Also Known As: searchlime.com redirect
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Search Lime browser hijacker from Mac?

What is Search Lime?

Browser hijackers modify browser settings without the user's permission to promote a fake search engine. Search Lime promotes the searchlime.com address, a search engine that generates fake search results and included dubious advertisements among them. It is likely that this app gathers browsing data or other information as well. Search Lime is developed by Linkury Inc, and it is not the only browser hijacker that this company has developed. It is noteworthy that most users download and install apps like Search Lime unknowingly. For this reason they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

 Search Lime browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Hijacked browsers open a specified address when users open a new browser window, new tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar. It is because after installation, browser hijackers make a certain address as the address of a homepage, new tab, and default search engine. However, some browser hijackers can be designed to promote pages (fake search engines) without changing the browser's settings. In such cases, they open certain addresses after having detected that users have entered a search query. As mentioned in the introduction, Search Lime promotes the searchlime.com address. A search engine that generates fake, unreliable results and places shady ads alongside its results. Results by searchlime.com and its ads are likely to be used to promote various untrustworthy websites, for example, download pages for adware, other browser hijackers, scam pages like "You've Made The 9.68-Billionth Search", "Required Video Codec Is Not Installed On Your Computer", or even malicious sites. In one way or another, neither the results generated by searchlime.com or its ads are trustworthy.

Search Lime may be designed not only to force users to use the searchlime.com address to browse the web, but also to collect geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, IP addresses or other browsing-related data, or even sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details or other personal information that could be misused to steal accounts, identities, make fraudulent purchases, etc. Therefore, it is strongly advisable not to have apps like the Search Lime browser hijacker installed on browsers or computers.

Threat Summary:
Name searchlime.com redirect
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 23.101.120.195
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 examples of other browser hijackers developed by Linkury Inc are Searchlee and SafeFinder. It is worthwhile to mention that there are many fake search engines that show results generated by legitimate search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo. It is also noteworthy that users of hijacked browsers cannot remove address of a fake search engine from browser's settings unless they uninstall a browser hijacker. Instructions on how to remove browser hijackers (and other PUAs) are provided below.

How did Search Lime install on my computer?

Very often various potentially unwanted applications are distributed by bundling them together other programs, usually the ones that are freely available on the Internet. Users download and install bundled applications when they do not change the settings that are available in downloaders or installers. Typically, offers to download or install potentially unwanted apps can be declined through "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual", or other settings, or by unticking checkboxes that certain downloaders, installers have. It is worthwhile to mention that PUAs can be distributed via deceptive advertisements as well: by designing those ads to run certain scripts after they are clicked.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Do not download apps from unofficial pages, through Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, third party downloaders, and so on, or use third party installers. Download apps and files only from official pages and via direct links. Also, do not finish downloads and installations of programs that contain unwanted apps without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings. Additionally, avoid clicking advertisements that are displayed by adware or appear on shady websites. Those ads can be designed to open unreliable websites or cause unwanted downloads, or even installations. Remove any unknown, suspicious, plug-ins, add-ons, extensions that are already installed on a browser or 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.

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

search lime browser hijacker searchlime.com shows fake search results

Pop-up window that might appear while having the Search Lime browser hijacker installed:

search lime browser hijacker pop-up that may appear on computers infected with search lime

Text in this pop-up:

"[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 Search Lime browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

Search Lime redirect removal:

Remove Search Lime 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 searchlime.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.

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

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searchlime.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 searchlime.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 searchlime.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.

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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
searchlime.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 searchlime.com redirect on your mobile device.
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