Skip to main content
Remove Bing redirect Mac virus from Safari, Firefox, Chrome [April 2020]

Remove Bing redirect Mac virus from Safari, Firefox, Chrome [April 2020]

If web browsers on your Mac are being redirected to Bing, it’s a sign of virus activity that requires fixing and reverting Internet settings to their defaults.

Update: April 2020

Threat Profile
Name Bing redirect virus
Threat Category Mac browser hijacker, Mac adware
Related Domains,
Symptoms Redirects web searches to Bing via intermediate sites (ad networks), injects ads into search results, slows down the system
Distribution Techniques Freeware bundles, torrents, fake software updates, misleading popup ads, spam
Severity Level Medium
Damage Privacy issues due to Internet activity tracking, search redirects, unauthorized modification of browsing preferences, unwanted 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.

Custom browsing settings are among the fundamentals of user-friendly Internet navigation. Ideally, you define the preferences once and enjoy the seamless online experience further on. Cybercriminals, though, have got a twisted perspective in this regard. Some of their troublemaking contrivances bypass the admin permission stage and modify the most important defaults in web browsers installed on a contaminated host. That’s exactly what the Bing redirect virus does to a Mac. It reroutes all searches entered by the victim to In other words, every time you try to look up a keyword or phrase via, say, Google or Yahoo!, a stealth script is invoked that changes the destination page to Bing search results.

The Mac users who are confronted with this brain-twisting scenario can’t seem to revert to the right configuration by commonplace means. Getting to the custom settings pane in Safari, Chrome or Firefox and typing the preferred engine’s URL – or selecting the desired provider on the list – turns out to be a no-go. At least, the “repair” won't stay in effect beyond the next browser startup event. The explanation for this is trivial. The Bing redirect virus continues to run in the background and will be altering the preset in an iterative fashion. Therefore, it’s not until you spot the culprit and obliterate it that the problem will be solved. Speaking of the e-perpetrators’ motivation, it’s entirely a matter of traffic monetization. They leverage the infection to obtain and maintain control of the victim’s browsing routine. By partnering with merchants and advertisers, the virus authors benefit from every unique page hit. The shady business model may boil down to pay per visit, pay per click – you name it.

This rerouting problem has nothing to do with an informed decision on the victim’s end. The malicious app usually slithers into a Mac alongside ostensibly legit software. This is what’s called bundling, a method that results in installing several programs under the guise of one. Some users have reported the Bing redirect virus starting to cause problems after they installed and activated the Microsoft Office suite. Some start encountering these issues after falling victim to the fake Adobe Flash Player update hoax. In the latter case, a rogue “Your Flash Player is out of date” popup appears on a malicious website or one compromised by malefactors. By applying the malware-riddled update, the user unwittingly opts for Bing as their default search provider. Additionally, there has been some feedback about the redirect culprit infiltrating Macs alongside a fake system optimizer like Mac Cleanup Pro or another one from the same lineage.

Another frequently reported stratagem has to do with Search Baron, a fishy service that bundles with harmless-looking software and pretends to improve one’s web search experience. Instead of following through with its claims, though, this malicious app changes a victim’s Internet navigation preferences with a rogue landing page at without due permission. As a result, a regular web search instance will be returning the unwanted site first, and from there the traffic will automatically travel to Bing. The user’s only role in this hoax is to watch this merry-go-round of redirects taking place over and over, and to forget about personalization of the browsing routine until a fix is applied.

An increasingly common source of the redirect issue is a lineage of adware applications arriving at Macs as seemingly useful browser enhancement tools bundled with other software. All of them share a few “branding” hallmarks such as the icon design featuring a magnifying glass symbol as well as the 1.0 version number that may follow the corresponding browser extension’s name. A few examples are EnterDiscovery, CrowdExclusive, and IdeaShared apps. In addition to browser redirects, another annoying after-effect of this attack comes down to ads injection across the websites the victim goes to. To ensure that the redundant sponsored content matches the infected user’s interests, the adware collects personally identifiable information (PII), including the browsing history and search queries.

It’s noteworthy that, although the core applications in these setup clients vary, all of these occurrences have one common denominator. They are downloaded from fishy dubious websites promoting uncertified or cracked versions of popular utilities. The attack may also be backed by a clickbait campaign or other form of malvertising surreptitiously injected into legit sites. Furthermore, it’s quite likely that the actual name of the adware is Genieo – that’s a notorious malvertising entity wreaking havoc in the Mac world for years.

The key point regarding the Bing redirect virus is that the issue won’t vanish on its own. No browser update or regular manual reconfiguring will take care of the infection. The persistence factor plays a primary role in this obstruction as the unruly application piggybacks on a peculiar trick involving a rogue configuration profile. This is a growingly popular mechanism used by modern adware to thwart easy removal. Its logic is to create a dodgy device profile under System Preferences on a Mac. This artifact is intended to impose specific twisted settings such as web browsing defaults the victim didn’t opt for. Moreover, it keeps the user from changing their preferences back to their correct values by means of the established procedures everyone is familiar with. Under the circumstances, the only viable countermeasure is to get rid of the malicious code proper, reset the affected browsers to their original state and then adjust them to your likes again. The how-to’s below cover all of these steps in detail.

Bing redirect 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.

  1. Open up the Utilities folder as shown below

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

  3. Under Activity Monitor, find Genieo or some other that appears suspicious, select it and click Quit Process
  4. A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the troublemaking process. Select the Force Quit option
  5. Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the entry for Genieo on the interface or some other one that clearly doesn’t belong there, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it

  6. Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option

  7. 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 Genieo or other potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ button

Get rid of Bing redirect virus in web browser on Mac

To begin with, the web browser settings taken over by the Bing redirect 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:

  1. Remove Bing redirect virus from 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
  2. Remove Bing redirect in Google 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.

  3. Remove Bing redirect from 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 Bing redirect virus Mac using Combo Cleaner removal tool

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove Bing redirect 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 Bing redirect 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 Bing redirect 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.


To begin with, this is a telltale sign of malware activity. Your Mac has been most likely infected with a strain that changes the custom web surfing settings without your awareness and approval. The distorted configuration of your browser makes the Internet traffic travel through a merry-go-round of intermediary URLs, with being the landing page. The transitional domains may include and low-quality ad networks. Bing is, essentially, a smokescreen that adds a false sense of legitimacy to the attack. The malware operators benefit from the interim hits to auxiliary services that aren’t easy to notice with the naked eye.

The root cause of this search engine takeover is malicious code that spreads in a surreptitious way. The common entry points span application bundling and drive-by downloads triggered on compromised or harmful websites. Once inside a Mac, the toxic code alters the search settings in Safari, Chrome or Firefox (depending on which one is set as default) so that the Internet navigation follows a rogue route and keeps resolving Bing in a recurrent fashion.

A rule of thumb is to eliminate the underlying cause of the hijack first. Otherwise, the issue will re-emerge no matter how hard you may try to restore the right browsing preferences. Keep in mind that this is a malware issue, so it needs to be sorted out accordingly.

Manual troubleshooting is a good starting point that’s definitely worth a shot. Look for suspicious entries in the Activity Monitor, Applications, and Login Items as outlined in the appropriate section of the tutorial above. If you find sketchy items that clearly don’t belong there, go ahead and delete them. Then, reset the affected web browser using the step-by-step guide provided in the article.

In some cases, the hijack may turn out too severe to be remedied manually. If so, consider opting for a procedure based on the use of an automated cleaning utility. The tool will detect and delete both the non-obfuscated and hidden components of the Bing redirect virus so that you can safely rectify the mutilated browsing settings without malicious interference.

This technique of resetting your MacBook Air to its factory state should only be applied in a persistent Bing redirect scenario where all the other fixes end up futile. Be advised, though, that you need to back up all your personal data first otherwise you’ll lose it for good. Thankfully, macOS is equipped with the Time Machine utility that allows you to back up all the files to an external storage device without using any third-party apps. The procedure is as follows:

  • Plug the backup disk into your Mac
  • Open Time Machine and click Select Backup Disk
  • Pick the external drive you’d like to back up your MacBook Air to
  • Enable the Encrypt backups option for extra security, click Use Disk, and wait for the backup to be completed.

To perform the reset proper, boot up your MacBook Air in Recovery Mode. This is doable by long-pressing Command + R keys when your computer is starting up or restarting. Release the buttons once you see the Apple logo and wait for the macOS Utilities window to appear. Here’s what you need to do next:

  • Select Disk Utility in the macOS Utilities screen and click Continue
  • Go to View and select Show All Devices
  • Choose your hard disk and click Erase
  • If you are using macOS High Sierra or later, select APFS in the Format area. Otherwise, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system
  • Click Erase again.

Now that your hard disk has been wiped, you need to reinstall the operating system. Follow these steps to do it:

  • In the macOS Utilities screen, select Reinstall macOS
  • Click Continue
  • Follow subsequent prompts to complete the reinstall.

Once you start fresh with your MacBook Air, you can import your data from the backup disk and customize the system along with the software you use.

When faced with the Bing redirect virus issue on MacBook Pro, you may experience sluggish system performance – occasionally to a point where the laptop becomes hardly responsive or even freezes. If this happens, you may need to force-restart the machine. Here’s a quick overview of the possible scenarios and the appropriate ways to reboot.

  • If macOS appears to be frozen but you can still use your mouse, point the cursor to the Apple icon in the upper left-hand part of the screen, click it and select the Restart option in the drop-down menu.
  • In case you are using a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and the system isn’t responding altogether, you should long-press the Touch ID button (which is also the Power button, by the way) until the laptop restarts. Importantly, it’s not a matter of simply placing your finger on the sensor like you routinely do to log in – you actually need to push it and wait for the reboot to take place.
  • One more method is to press and hold a combo of the Command () and Control (Ctrl) keys while also pushing the Touch ID button. If you are using an older MacBook Pro that has an optical drive, press Command () and Control (Ctrl) and the Eject button simultaneously.

That’s it. As soon as you have restarted your MacBook Pro, get down to the virus cleaning job to ensure proper performance of the laptop further on.


Was this article helpful? Please, rate this.

  • Bob Chip Avatar
    Bob Chip - 1 year ago
    I’ve got the Bing redirect PITA after upgrading to Mojave. So now every time I try to find something on Google I end up on Bing instead. The problem is only in Safari as far as I can tell, and it’s a heck of a nuisance. What do I do to rid myself of this junk?

    John Dee Avatar
    John Dee - 1 year ago
    Pretty sure blaming it on the Mojave upgrade is a misconception. You must have installed something dodgy lately, where the Bing redirect virus was the bundle. Speaking of the fix, it’s a no-brainer. Start with inspecting your Applications list, Login Items and Activity Monitor for suspicious entries as outlined above. Send anything potentially malicious to the Trash and empty it. Then, reset Safari and run the cleanup tool to make sure no breadcrumbs of the malware are lurking on your Mac.

  • vahmed Avatar
    vahmed - 10 months ago
    Got the Bing redirect thingy after clicking on what appeared to be a Flash Player update pop up in Safari. I disabled all extensions, including ones I’m pretty sure were safe, sent all unfamiliar applications to the trash, and eliminated suspicious login items – none of that helped. I’m not a fan of automatic cleaners for Macs, so didn’t try any. The only thing that did the trick for me was restoring my Mac from Time Machine, although that was pretty tedious. The takeaway? Never click on fishy popups, especially if they tell you to update or install something. I wish I’d learned the lesson in a less obnoxious way, though. Cheers.

Authentication required

You must log in to post a comment.

Log in