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How to remove the AccessibleSearchEngine unwanted application?

Also Known As: search.operativeeng.com redirect
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is AccessibleSearchEngine?

Usually, browsers are considered hijacked after the installation of a potentially unwanted application (PUA) designed to change their settings. A browser hijacker is a type of PUA that modifies settings to promote a fake search engine (its address).

AccessibleSearchEngine is designed to promote the search.operativeeng.com address. Another issue with most browser hijackers is that they can access browsing-related information.

In some cases, they can access sensitive details. In one way or another, it is strongly recommended not to have any browser hijacker installed on a browser (or the operating system) or use a fake search engine. It is noteworthy that the AccessibleSearchEngine app adds the "Managed by your organization feature" to hijacked Chrome browsers.

AccessibleSearchEngine browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Typically, browser hijackers modify settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. They change them to an address of a specific fake search engine to persuade users to use it.

This particular browser hijacker promotes the search.operativeeng.com address - a fake search engine that shows results generated by Yahoo or Bing (redirects users to search.yahoo.com or bing.com). It is important to know that not all fake search engines show results found by a legitimate search engine.

In some cases, they display misleading results (promote untrustworthy websites) or provide results generated by questionable search engines. Either way, it is recommended not to use any fake search engines.

If a browser is already hijacked by an app like AccessibleSearchEngine, then it is important to mention that the search.operativeeng.com address can be removed from browser settings only when that app is no longer installed. The same applies to most browser hijackers (removal of the addresses promoted by them).

It is common that browser hijackers target information about user's browsing habits. In such cases, they collect information about like geolocations, IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites.

However, some browser hijackers can access personal details, such as passwords and credit card details, or other data of this kind. As a rule, apps of this type gather information to help their developers to generate revenue.

It means that gathered data can be shared with third parties (potentially cybercriminals), used for marketing purposes, or even to steal identities, accounts, or misused for other malicious purposes.

Threat Summary:
Name search.operativeeng.com redirect
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 13.225.53.14
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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

More examples of apps that are designed to promote fake search engines are FunctionLogInput, UltraWebFormat, and Fire Search. As a rule, apps of this type are not useful to their users in any way.

They are designed to change browser settings and can function as data collectors. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to download and install apps of this type.

It is worthwhile to mention that the main reason why browser hijackers are called PUAs is that most users download and install them inadvertently (unknowingly).

How did AccessibleSearchEngine install on my computer?

Quite often, potentially unwanted applications are distributed by integrating them into downloaders or installers for other programs. This distribution method is known as "bundling".

When apps of this kind are distributed this way, users can find them in "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings, or alongside checkboxes that certain downloaders or installers have. Users agree with offers to download or install additionally offered PUAs when they do not check the aforementioned settings and use them to decline unwanted offers.

In some cases, users cause unwanted downloads or installations by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts. It is important to mention that ads of this kind appear mostly on untrustworthy, unofficial websites.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Downloaders and installers with "Manual", "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings, or checkboxes often have potentially unwanted applications integrated into them. For this reason, it is recommended to check and change (if necessary) those settings before finishing downloads and installations.

Third-party downloaders and installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, freeware download pages, and other sources for downloading files and programs can be used to distribute various PUAs. In some cases, even malicious apps.

Therefore, files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. Advertisements on various questionable, untrustworthy websites tend to be used to advertise untrustworthy websites or distribute unwanted applications.

It is recommended not to click those ads well. Unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins installed on a browser should be removed from it. Software of this kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too.

If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Search.operativeeng.com redirect to search.yahoo.com (GIF):

accessiblesearchengine browser hijacker search.operativeeng.com shows yahoo results

Search.operativeeng.com redirects to bing.com (GIF):

accessiblesearchengine browser hijacker search.operativeeng.com shows bing results

AccessibleSearchEngine adds the "Managed by your organization feature" feature:

accessiblesearchengine browser hijacker managed by your organization

AccessibleSearchEngine sets search.operativeeng.com as the default search engine:

accessiblesearchengine browser hijacker search.operativeeng.com as default search engine

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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove AccessibleSearchEngine adware using Combo Cleaner:

AccessibleSearchEngine redirect removal:

Remove AccessibleSearchEngine 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 browser hijacker-related files and folders

Mac Go To Folder step

Click the Finder icon from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

Mac removing related files and folders - step 1Check for browser hijacker generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 2

In the "LaunchAgents" folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by browser hijackers - "installmac.AppRemoval.plist", "myppes.download.plist", "mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist", "kuklorest.update.plist", etc. Browser hijacker commonly installs several files with the exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 2Check for browser hijacker generated files in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/Application Support/

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - 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.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 3Check for browser hijacker generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 2

In the "LaunchAgents" folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by browser hijackers - "installmac.AppRemoval.plist", "myppes.download.plist", "mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist", "kuklorest.update.plist", etc. Browser hijacker commonly installs several files with the exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 4Check for browser hijacker generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - step 1

In the "Go to Folder..." bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - 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.

Mac removing malware related files and folders - step 5Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps correctly, your Mac should be clean of infections. To ensure 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 the 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 its virus definition database and click the "Start Combo Scan" button.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 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.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 2

After removing files and folders generated by the browser hijackers, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Remove browser hijackers from Internet browsers

Safari iconRemove Safari browser hijackers:

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 1

Open the Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 2

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 regular browser operation.

Change your homepage:

Change Safari homepage

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:

Change Safari default search engine

In the "Preferences" window, select the "Search" tab. Here you will find a drop-down menu labeled "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.

Google Chrome logoRemove Google Chrome browser hijackers:

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 2

Change your homepage

Change Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable the malicious extension (if present), look for a browser hijacker URL below the "Open a specific or set of pages" option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select "Remove".

Change your default search engine:

Change Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for a browser hijacker URL, when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) and select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 2

Change your homepage

Change Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable malicious extension (if present), remove the browser hijacker URL and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Change Mozilla Firefox default search engine - step 1

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and press Enter. Click "Accept the Risk and Continue".

Change Mozilla Firefox default search engine - step 2

In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled". Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

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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.

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