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How to remove QSearch virus from Safari, Chrome, Firefox on Mac

How to remove QSearch virus from Safari, Chrome, Firefox on Mac

QSearch virus removal from Mac is a must-do because it takes over web browsers to redirect the traffic to a social search service the victims didn’t ask for.

Update: December 2019

Even the users who think they are security-minded might have some hard time differentiating benign applications from malicious ones these days. That’s because cybercrime has become hybrid over time, and the borderline between the digital black and white is really blurred. As a result, people are facing a slew of apps from the “gray area” that don’t cause much, if any, damage but make the user experience go down the drain. QSearch is an example of such a controversy. It is a web solution that claims to bridge the gap in Facebook Timeline search, something that the social media giant in question has yet to provide. As is the case with many sketchy services out there, the idea is interesting but the implementation leaves plenty of questions unanswered.

The caveat regarding QSearch is that Mac users may be recurrently redirected to its site. This forwarding of Internet traffic takes place beyond the permission of whoever is infected, which is a red flag indicating a security concern. The causality for this unfortunate turn of events involves a browser extension that supports Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Once embedded in the victim’s preferred Internet surfing tool, the add-on twists the custom settings and may trigger a JavaScript-powered routine that leads to a reorientation of the browsing patterns. The hijacked homepage, default search engine and new tab page therefore resolve the wrong site, such as or, whenever the user opens the browser, tries to look up some arbitrary information, and loads a new page within the current window. To top it off, the redirect activity may also occur at random or accompany innocuous mouse clicks anywhere on any websites. It’s likely that annoying ads will be displayed as part of this complex electronic intrusion as well.

The landing page itself does not pose any significant risk to the victim, which is some good news. It simply advertises the core service and encourages the users to sign up and start their free trial to check out how the Timeline scouring works. One additional catch is that QSearch purportedly allows singling out trending topics on social media and goes equipped with a dashboard visualizing this data, which might be of interest to businesses. However, this whole toolkit in the app’s portfolio is overshadowed by the questionably ethical marketing tactics behind it.

Aside from the above relatively mild impact staying on a slim margin between legitimacy and outright fraud, this infection bares its fangs in a much more frustrating way. It can redirect the victim’s web browser to website which, in turn, opens Bing or Yahoo after flinging the web traffic through a series of intermediate domains. These transitional pages are run by advertising platforms that buy and sell unique user hits without paying heed to the way these leads are provided. Although the resulting site in this particular redirect scenario is a popular search engine whose reputation isn’t tainted by dubious promotion, the operators of QSearch virus use it as a cover for unethical monetization of their foothold in the infected Mac. In some cases, web page leads to services that are undoubtedly malicious, such as SearchMine. This cocktail of adverse properties turns the threat into a driving force of different notorious malvertising campaigns.

The most probable way that the QSearch virus ends up on a Mac computer is through bundles. In plain words, this is a technique that co-promotes shady items along with regular software. The odds of falling victim to the scheme increase in free application installation scenarios. While believing they are getting one harmless program that doesn’t require any subscription fees, the users may click on and on until they unwittingly allow the culprit to get inside. Therefore, it’s always recommended to choose custom install over the express option – this will disclose the presence of the bundled objects in the package. Anyways, if the QSearch virus is on board your Mac and redirects the browser to unwanted sites, stick with the tips below to get rid of it.

QSearch 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 QSearch or some other item 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 QSearch 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 box is started up. Locate QSearch or other potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ button

Get rid of QSearch redirect virus in web browser on Mac

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

  1. Reset 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.
  2. Reset Google 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.
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    • Open Firefox and select HelpTroubleshooting Information
    • On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button

Get rid of QSearch redirect virus Mac using Freshmac removal tool

When confronted with malicious code like the QSearch virus on Mac, you can neutralize its toxic impact by leveraging a specially crafted system utility. The Freshmac application (read review) is a perfect match for this purpose as it delivers essential security features along with must-have modules for Mac optimization.

This tool cleans unneeded applications and persistent malware in one click. It also protects your privacy by eliminating tracking cookies, frees up disk space, and manages startup apps to decrease boot time. On top of that, it boasts 24/7 tech support. The following steps will walk you through automatic removal of the redirect / popup infection from Mac.

  1. Download Freshmac installer onto your machine. Double-click the Freshmac.pkg file to trigger the installer window, select the destination disk and click Continue. The system will display a dialog asking for your password to authorize the setup. Type the password and click Install Software

    Download Now

  2. Once the installation has been completed, Freshmac will automatically start a scan consisting of 5 steps. It scans cache, logs, unused languages, trash, and checks the Mac for privacy issues.

  3. The scan report will then display your current system health status and the number of issues detected for each of the above categories. Click the Fix Safely button to remove junk files and address privacy issues spotted during the scan.

  4. Check whether the QSearch redirect problem has been fixed. If it perseveres, go to the Uninstaller option on Freshmac GUI. Locate an entry that appears suspicious, select it and click Fix Safely button to force-uninstall the unwanted application.

  5. Go to Temp and Startup Apps panes on the interface and have all redundant or suspicious items eliminated as well. The QSearch virus shouldn’t be causing any further trouble.

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