How to stop a browser from opening searchnewshighlights.com?

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

How to remove searchnewshighlights.com browser hijacker from Mac?

What is searchnewshighlights.com?

Searchnewshighlights.com is the address of a fake search engine that may generate misleading results and includes shady advertisements among its results. Also, searchnewshighlights.com randomly opens new tabs and redirects users to various questionable websites. Typically, browsers open addresses like this one (fake search engines and other addresses) when they have some potentially unwanted application (PUA) installed on them, usually some browser hijacker. It is known that searchnewshighlights.com is promoted via qsearch.pw and searchbaron.com - other fake search engines.

searchnewshighlights.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Very often, fake search engines show search results generated by Google, Yahoo or another legitimate search engine. Searchnewshighlights.com generates its own results, it is likely that its results may include links to untrustworthy, potentially malicious websites. It is known that searchnewshighlights.com displays shady advertisements in between its results. Those ads are likely to be used to promote dubious websites or even to distribute (download or install) unwanted software. Therefore, it is strongly advisable not to use searchnewshighlights.com as a search engine. As mentioned in the introduction, searchnewshighlights.com can open dubious pages in new tabs as well. Those pages should not be trusted either.

Typically, users cannot avoid having to visit addresses like searchnewshighlights.com when they have some browser hijacker installed on a browser (or the operating system). A browser hijacker is a type of app that changes browser's settings such as the address of a homepage, new tab, default search engine. It changes these settings to force users to visit a specific address when they open a browser, new tab or enter search queries into URL bar. Typically, users can undo these changes only after uninstalling a browser hijacker. Therefore, if a browser is hijacked by an app that promotes searchnewshighlights.com, then it may be necessary to perform certain steps to remove searchnewshighlights.com from browser's settings. Another reason not to have any browser hijacker installed is that it could be designed to collect geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, IP addresses, etc., or even sensitive information like credit card details, passwords, usernames, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name searchnewshighlights.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 162.255.119.254
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.

It is important to mention that searchnewshighlights.com shows browser notifications. At the time of the research it showed notifications promoting a couple of potentially unwanted applications (possibly some other browser hijackers, adware). More examples of fake search engines are search.accessiblelist.com, search.basicgeneration.com, and cybersearch.xyz. If there is an app that opens unwanted addresses installed on a browser or computer, then it should be removed as soon as possible.

How did searchnewshighlights.com install on my computer?

It is common for potentially unwanted applications to be promoted/distributed by bundling them together with other programs (usually with various free programs). In such cases, unwanted apps can be found included in downloaders and installers as extra offers. Users who download or install programs that come bundled with PUAs without changing any settings, download or install those unwanted apps too. Usually, unwanted apps can be opted out using "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" settings or by unticking certain checkboxes. it is worthwhile to mention that sometimes PUAs are distributed through deceptive advertisements: by designing ads to run certain scripts. Users download, install PUAs by simply clicking those ads.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important not to finish downloads and installations without checking downloaders, installers for "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" and other settings, or ticked checkboxes. Typically, downloaders, installers that have such settings are bundled together with PUAs. Also, it is strongly advisable not to use unreliable sources for downloading applications or files. For example, unofficial pages, torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, and so on, or use third-party installers to install apps. Files and apps should be downloaded from official pages, or from App Store. Additionally, it is recommended not to click on advertisements if when they appear while visiting questionable pages. Very often such ads are used to promote other pages of this kind or distribute unwanted apps. Any suspicious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons that are already installed on a web browser or the operating system should be removed. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Searchnewshighlights.com generates results with shady ads among them (GIF):

searchnewshighlights.com generates results with ads

Searchnewshighlights.com redirects to betting website (GIF):

searchnewshighlights.com random redirect 1

Searchnewshighlights.com redirects to another betting website (GIF):

searchnewshighlights.com random redirect 2

Browser notifications displayed by searchnewshighlights.com:

searchnewshighlights.com redirect browser notifications

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 searchnewshighlights.com browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

searchnewshighlights.com redirect removal:

Remove searchnewshighlights.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 searchnewshighlights.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.

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

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searchnewshighlights.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 searchnewshighlights.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 searchnewshighlights.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.

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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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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
searchnewshighlights.com browser hijacker QR code
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