FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

How to uninstall the Conf Search browser hijacker?

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

What is Conf Search?

A browser hijacker is a type of app that promotes a fake search engine (its address). It hijacks a browser by changing its settings.

Conf Search promotes the conf-search.com address. Also, this browser hijacker adds the "Managed by your organization" feature on Google Chrome browsers.

It is common that apps of this type are designed to collect some information about their users (browsing data). It is likely that Conf Search gathers data too.

Usually, users download and install browser hijackers unknowingly, for this reason they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

Conf Search browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Typically, browser hijackers change the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to the address of a fake search engine they are designed to promote. The main purpose of browser hijackers is to make users visit a specific address when they enter search queries into the URL bar, open a browser or new tab.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Conf Search promotes the conf-search.com address. This fake search engine can show results generated by Yahoo, Google, and possibly another legitimate search engine.

It depends on the visitor's geolocation. At the time of the research, conf-search.com redirected to search.yahoo.com and google.com. It is possible that conf-search.com could redirect users to questionable websites or show results generated by untrustworthy search engines.

Therefore, it is recommended not to trust conf-search.com or any other fake search engine. It is worthwhile to mention that users can undo the changes that the installed browser hijacker has made when that app is no longer installed.

Therefore, conf-search.com can be removed or changed to another address only after uninstallation of the Conf Search app. It is likely that Conf Search collects browsing data like Internet Protocol addresses, entered search queries, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, and so on.

Moreover, it is possible that this app can read sensitive information, for instance, passwords, credit card details. In such a case, its developers may sell obtained data to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), use it for marketing purposes, or monetize it in other ways. For this reason (and the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph), it is strongly recommended not to have apps like Conf Search installed on a browser or the operating system.

Threat Summary:
Name conf-search.com redirect
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 51.158.20.43
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 designed to hijack browsers are OpticalRatePro, AccessibleSearchEngine, and FunctionLogInput. Usually, the only main difference between browser hijackers is the address they are designed to promote.

It is noteworthy that most apps of this type are useless to their users even if they are promoted as useful, legitimate. Typically, browser hijackers are monetized by forcing users to visit certain addresses and collecting information about them.

If a an app of this type is installed on a web browser or the operating system, then it should be removed.

How did Conf Search install on my computer?

Quite often, unwanted downloads and installations are caused through downloaders and installers for other programs. More precisely, when potentially unwanted applications are bundled with those other programs.

As a rule, users can find and decline unwanted offers in "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings or alongside some checkboxes and do it before finishing downloads, installations. When users download or install programs without changing those settings, they agree to download or install included/offered potentially unwanted applications too. 

In some cases, users cause undesired downloads or installations by clicking certain deceptive advertisements - by clicking ads that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advisable to download desired programs (and files) from official, trustworthy websites via direct download links and avoid using third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, and so on. It is not safe to use third-party installers as well.

Unreliable channels for both downloading and installing apps, files can be used to distribute unwanted apps or even malicious software. Also, it is recommended not to finish downloads and installations without checking "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings and declining unwanted extra offers.

Ads appearing on shady pages should not be clicked as well. There is always a chance that an ad of this kind will be designed to open other sites of this kind or even download or install some PUA.

Any unwanted extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins that are installed on a browser should be removed. Software of this kind that is 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.

Conf-search.com shows results from Google (GIF):

conf search browser hijacker conf-search.com shows google results

Conf-search.com shows results from Yahoo (GIF):

conf search browser hijacker conf-search.com shows yahoo results

Installer for Conf Search (first installation step):

conf search browser hijacker installer step 1

Installer for Conf Search (second installation step):

conf search browser hijacker installer step 2

Conf Search adds "Managed by your organization" on Chrome:

conf search browser hijacker adds the managed by your organization feature

Conf Search installed on Chrome:

conf search browser hijacker installed on google

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the Conf Search website 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 Conf Search (Step 1)

2) Select the "MC Search" profile and delete it.

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote Conf Search (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 for this browser hijacker.

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 Conf Search browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

Conf Search redirect removal:

Remove Conf Search 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 conf-search.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.

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

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove conf-search.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 conf-search.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 conf-search.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.

Click to post a comment

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

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
conf-search.com redirect QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of conf-search.com redirect on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

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.