This article provides easy-to-follow steps to remove AnySearchManager virus from Mac and stop constant browser redirects to search.anysearchmanager.com.
Update: May 2020
|Any Search (search.anysearchmanager.com) browser hijacker
|Mac adware, browser hijacker, redirect virus
|Avast: Other:Malware-gen [Trj], AVG: Other:Malware-gen [Trj], Avira: ADWARE/OSX.Bundlore.fgowa, BitDefender: Adware.MAC.Bundlore.DJO, F-Secure: Adware.ADWARE/OSX.Bundlore, GData: Adware.MAC.Bundlore.997
|anysearchmanager.com, search.anysearch.net, search.anysearchmac.com
|Redirects web browser to third-party websites such as search.anysearchmanager.com, adds sponsored content to search results, causes system slowdown, resists regular removal
|Fake Adobe Flash Player update popups, booby-trapped app bundles, spam
|Unwanted changes of custom browsing settings, privacy issues due to Internet activity tracking, search redirects, redundant ads
|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. Crack tools, or so-called keygen applications, are another point of entry for Any Search Manager. To begin with, these utilities per se aren’t legitimate because they are designed to circumvent official license registration and thereby violate software copyright. To top it off, they can be riddled with adware such as the culprit under scrutiny.
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. Some extra evidence of the foul play is unambiguously manifested in the description of this unwanted extension once it has cropped up in a browser. According to the notice, the add-on can read and modify content from all web pages. The message elaborates further on the types of this information: it spans, among other things, passwords, credit card details, and phone numbers. This activity poses a serious privacy risk and should be terminated without delay.
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 specified order.
- Expand the Go menu in your Mac’s Finder bar and select Utilities as shown below.
- Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the Utilities screen and double-click on it.
- In the Activity Monitor app, look for Any Search Manager or another process that appears suspicious. To narrow down your search, focus on unfamiliar resource-intensive entries on the list. Keep in mind that its name isn’t necessarily related to the way the threat is manifesting itself, so you’ll need to trust your own judgement. If you pinpoint the culprit, select it and click on the Stop icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
- When a follow-up dialog pops up asking if you are sure you want to quit the troublemaking process, select the Force Quit option.
- Click on the Go menu icon in the Finder again and select Go to Folder. You can as well use the Command-Shift-G keyboard shortcut.
- Type /Library/LaunchAgents in the folder search dialog and click on the Go button.
- Examine the contents of the LaunchAgents folder for dubious-looking items. Be advised that the names of files spawned by malware may give no clear clues that they are malicious, so you should look for recently added entities that appear to deviate from the norm.
As an illustration, here are several examples of LaunchAgents related to mainstream Mac infections: com.pcv.hlpramc.plist, com.updater.mcy.plist, com.avickUpd.plist, and com.msp.agent.plist. If you spot files that don’t belong on the list, go ahead and drag them to the Trash.
- Use the Go to Folder lookup feature again to navigate to the folder named ~/Library/Application Support (note the tilde symbol prepended to the path).
- When the Application Support directory is opened, identify recently generated suspicious folders in it and send them to the Trash. A quick tip is to look for items whose names have nothing to do with Apple products or apps you knowingly installed. A few examples of known-malicious folder names are IdeaShared, ForwardOpen and ExtraBrowser.
- Enter ~/Library/LaunchAgents string (don’t forget to include the tilde character) in the Go to Folder search area.
- The system will display LaunchAgents residing in the current user’s Home directory. Look for dodgy items related to Any Search Manager virus (see logic highlighted in subsections above) and drag the suspects to the Trash.
- Type /Library/LaunchDaemons in the Go to Folder search field.
- In the LaunchDaemons path, try to pinpoint the files the malware is using for persistence. Several examples of such items cropped by Mac infections are com.pplauncher.plist, com.startup.plist, and com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist. Delete the sketchy files immediately.
- Click on the Go menu icon in your Mac’s Finder and select Applications on the list.
- Find the entry for Any Search Manager or another app that clearly doesn’t belong there and move it to the Trash. If this action requires your admin password for confirmation, go ahead and enter it.
- Expand the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
- Proceed to Users & Groups and click on the Login Items tab. The system will display the list of items launched when the computer is starting up. Locate the potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-” (minus) button.
- Now select Profiles under System Preferences. Look for a malicious item in the left-hand sidebar. Several examples of configuration profiles created by Mac adware include TechSignalSearch, MainSearchPlatform, AdminPrefs, and Chrome Settings. Select the offending entity and click on the minus sign at the bottom to eliminate it.
If your Mac has been infiltrated by adware, the infection will most likely continue to hold sway over your default web browser even after you remove the underlying application along with its components sprinkled around the system. Use the browser cleanup instructions below to address the remaining consequences of this attack.
Prevent search.anysearchmanager.com redirects in web browser on Mac
To begin with, the web browser settings taken over by Any Search Manager virus should be restored to their default values. Although this will clear most of your customizations, web surfing history, and all temporary data stored by websites, the malicious interference should be terminated likewise. The overview of the steps for completing 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, click on the Advanced tab and enable the option saying “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.
- Now that the Develop entry has been added to the Safari menu, expand it and click on Empty Caches.
- Now select History in the Safari menu and click on Clear History in the drop-down list.
- Safari will display a dialog asking you to specify the period of time this action will apply to. Select all history to ensure a maximum effect. Click on the Clear History button to confirm and exit.
- Go back to the Safari Preferences and hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Manage Website Data and click on it.
- The browser will display a follow-up screen listing the websites that have stored data about your Internet activities. This dialog additionally includes a brief description of what the removal does: 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 on the Remove All button.
- Restart Safari
- How to get rid of Any Search Manager in Chrome
- Open Chrome, click the Customize and control Google Chrome (⁝) 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.
- 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 go to Help – Troubleshooting Information (or type about:support in the URL bar and press Enter).
- When on the Troubleshooting Information screen, click on the Refresh Firefox button.
- Confirm the intended changes and restart Firefox.
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:
- Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.
- Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run an update of the malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
- Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Any Search Manager is typically categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) or adware. No matter which labeling is the most accurate, this app is malicious and doesn’t belong inside your Mac for a few strong reasons. First off, it is installed by means of shady techniques which are a no-go for benign software. For instance, one of the common spreading vectors involves fake Adobe Flash Player update popups displayed on sketchy or hacked websites. App bundling is another infection method, where Mac users authorize the unwanted installation while thinking that they are only installing one harmless piece of freeware.
One more reason to stay away from AnySearchManager is that it changes your web browsing settings once the attack occurs. By replacing the default configuration values, it redirects your preferred browser to search.anysearchmanager.com or other affiliated landing page. The fact that these changes are made without your awareness and consent is a telltale sign of virus interference.
The main source of re-infection is the rogue configuration profile created by AnySearchManager on your Mac as part of the initial compromise. This way, the virus maintains persistence by causing a relapse of the adverse influence every time you try to uninstall the app using the standard removal procedure. This malicious profile additionally prevents victims from reverting to the correct web browsing preferences. For instance, it sets a new enterprise policy in Chrome, which significantly restricts the scope of available user controls.
An extra circumstance propping the stubborn behavior of this PUA is that it often comes bundled with scareware such as Advanced Mac Cleaner or Mac Keeper. The nasty tandem of the browser hijacker and fake system optimizer ensures that the two-pronged attack continues even in case one of these electronic “accomplices” is purged from the Mac. The logic of this perseverance is that the remaining pest downloads and runs the one that went missing due to the user’s security efforts.
Therefore, to get rid of AnySearchManager for good, it’s necessary to delete the harmful configuration profile under System Preferences first. One more prerequisite of a successful fix is to look for and remove other infections that may have tailgated into your Mac along with the browser hijacker.
The biggest obstacle to eliminating AnySearchManager browser extension is that the appropriate option under the affected browser’s settings may be nonfunctional. The same applies to the web surfing customizations distorted by this PUA, so you can’t simply type the preferred URL in the homepage, default search, and new tab page fields. This whole obstruction stems from the malicious device profile laced with the system configuration without your awareness and consent.
Since the usual removal techniques appear to be ineffective in this case, your plan B is to go into System Preferences, click Profiles, and find the profile that doesn’t belong there. Select it and click the “minus” button to terminate the admin-level control AnySearchManager has wrongfully imposed on your Mac. Once you do this, you can disable the unwanted extension in Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. Additionally, be sure to drag the application itself to the Trash.
To prevent AnySearchManager virus from reappearing, ascertain that there are no more loopholes left in your system. Look for suspicious processes in the Activity Monitor and check your Mac’s Login Items for potentially harmful entries. If any anomalies are spotted, sort them out right away.