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How to remove Any Search Manager (AnySearchManager) malware from Mac

How to remove Any Search Manager (AnySearchManager) malware from Mac


This article provides easy-to-follow steps to remove AnySearchManager virus from Mac and stop constant browser redirects to search.anysearchmanager.com.

Update: December 2019

Threat Profile
Name Any Search (search.anysearchmanager.com) browser hijacker
Category Mac adware, browser hijacker, redirect virus
Related Domains anysearchmanager.com, search.anysearch.net, search.anysearchmac.com
Symptoms Redirects web browser to third-party websites such as search.anysearchmanager.com, adds sponsored content to search results, causes system slowdown, resists regular removal
Distribution Techniques Fake Adobe Flash Player update popups, booby-trapped app bundles, spam
Severity Level Medium
Damage Unwanted changes of custom browsing settings, privacy issues due to Internet activity tracking, search redirects, redundant ads
Removal Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner to detect all files related to the browser hijacker. Use the tool to remove the infection if found.

AnySearchManager/Any Search Manager, or simply Any Search, is a Mac app claiming to deliver handy features but ultimately showing that the supposed online experience improvements are wishful thinking rather than reality. One of the things that strike the eye from the start is that, according to the official web page of this solution, it was created by a vendor called SafeFinder. That’s quite a giveaway right there, because the latter gained notoriety a while ago for unethical Internet marketing through browser hijack practices. AnySearchManager, obviously, inherits these hallmarks to the fullest. Just like the average potentially unwanted application (PUA) out there, it purports to be the best thing since sliced bread, allowing users to look up information online directly from their desktop. This sure sounds like a good deal, but negative user feedback proves it wrong.

A trait that allows categorizing this tool as an unwelcome entity manifests itself on the installation stage. Mac users normally don’t install AnySearchManager in a way they would get regular software on board. Specifically, rather than go to the homepage of the app and start from there, people unknowingly sanction the setup while going through installation steps for another program. This trickery is known as bundling. That’s a technique where something malicious slithers its way inside a machine concurrently with some benign freeware. What makes this tactic cybercriminals’ favorite is that, technically, users opt for their malware while accepting the general terms in a setup client. It is noteworthy that many people fall victim to this infection when updating Adobe Flash Player. This gives a clue about an ongoing distribution campaign that involves said popular utility.

Let’s move on to the symptoms. After AnySearchManager infects a Mac computer, it instantly modifies browser defaults in Safari, Chrome and Firefox. The victim will notice this as their search provider and most likely the preferred homepage will start resolving search.anysearchmanager.com URL instead of the right value they defined. In the aftermath of these changes, the user will be forced to hit the rogue website whenever they do a search online and open the affected browser. The site is a starting point that leads to another service (mostly Yahoo custom search results) whenever a query is entered. En route to the landing page, though, the intercepted web navigation hits a few ad networks that only show up in the browser’s status bar fleetingly and hence aren’t really conspicuous. One more concern is that the sponsored information shown on the resulting landing page corresponds to the victim’s interests. This accuracy means that AnySearchManager tracks down the infected Mac user’s browsing history, including sensitive information such as recent searches and visited sites. The app is also known to collect data about the host system’s configuration, for instance, the IP address, macOS version, and installed applications. This activity poses a serious privacy risk and should be terminated without delay.

The landing page itself, titled Any Search, looks more than primitive. It’s got nothing but a search bar and a few standard links down at the bottom pointing to the developer’s contact information, Privacy Policy, EULA, and uninstall instructions. This simplicity is understandable, given that the page has no search functionality of its own. It simply forwards all queries to Yahoo, with the SERPs (search engine results pages) being labeled SafeFinder. While it all appears to be an overly complicated scheme, the idea is most likely to intercept the traffic of as many users as possible in order to display ads and engage other forms of monetization. All in all, AnySearchManager acts defiantly by changing browser defaults without permission and preventing victims from getting things back to normal the regular way. This is why the fix boils down to a specially crafted procedure that will result in removing the virus and rectifying the altered settings.


AnySearchManager virus manual removal for Mac

The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this malicious application. Be sure to follow the instructions in the order specified.

• Open up the Utilities folder as shown below

• Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the screen and double-click on it

• Under Activity Monitor, the entry for AnySearchManager / Any Search Manager, select it and click Quit Process

• A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the troublemaking process. Select the Force Quit option

• Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the entry for AnySearchManager on the interface, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it

• Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option

• Select Accounts and click the Login Items button. The system will come up with the list of the items that launch when the computer is started up. Locate AnySearchManager / Any Search Manager there and click on the “-“ button


Prevent search.anysearchmanager.com redirects in web browser on Mac

To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by Any Search virus should be restored to their default values. The overview of steps for this procedure is as follows:

How do I remove AnySearchManager in Safari

  • Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list

  • Once the Preferences screen appears, hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Remove All Website Data and click on it

  • The system will display a confirmation dialog that also includes a brief description of what the reset does. Specifically, you may be logged out of some services and encounter other changes of website behavior after the procedure. If you’re okay with that, go ahead and click the Remove Now button

  • In order to selectively clear data generated by certain websites only, not all of them, hit the Details button under the Privacy section of Safari Preferences

  • This feature will list all websites that have stored potentially sensitive data, including cache and cookies. Select the one, or ones, that might be causing trouble and click the appropriate button at the bottom (Remove or Remove All). Click the Done button to exit.

How to get rid of Any Search Manager in Chrome

  • Open Chrome, click the More (⁝) icon in the top right-hand part of the window, and select Settings in the drop-down
  • When on the Settings pane, select Advanced
  • Scroll down to the Reset settings section. Under the Restore settings to their original defaults option, click the Reset settings button

  • Confirm the Chrome reset on a dialog that will pop up. When the procedure is completed, relaunch the browser and check it for malware activity.

How do I remove AnySearchManager in Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Firefox and select HelpTroubleshooting Information
  • On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button


Get rid of AnySearchManager malware using Combo Cleaner removal tool

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove AnySearchManager virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.

Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the AnySearchManager issue using Combo Cleaner:

  1. Download Combo Cleaner installer . When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.

    Download Combo Cleaner

    By downloading any applications recommended on this website you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. The free scanner checks whether your Mac is infected. To get rid of malware, you need to purchase the Premium version of Combo Cleaner.

  2. Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run the update of malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
  3. Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.

  4. Examine the scan results. If the report says “No Threats”, then you are on the right track with the manual cleaning and can safely proceed to tidy up the web browser that may continue to act up due to the after-effects of the malware attack (see instructions above).

  5. In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove AnySearchManager threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.

  6. Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.

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