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Read an overview of the and adware issue on Mac and get step-by-step removal instructions to completely resolve this problem.

Update: January 2020

There has been recently an extremely substantial rise of aggressive adware programs that act more like browser hijackers in that they trigger spoof software download recommendations and redirect one’s web traffic to ad-oriented pages without users’ consent. is an example of the Internet fraudsters’ take on such unethical advertising. However, what makes this particular adware different is not only its capability to affect various browsers, but also the cross-platform contamination it’s fit to deploy.

This article will cover the effects of attacking Mac machines and an efficient removal workflow applicable to this scenario. Indeed, a predominant majority of infection cases refer to Windows, but it appears the pest is no less persistent and perhaps even harder to eliminate from computers running OS X.

Let’s kick off with analyzing what this adware does to a Mac. No matter if you’re using Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or other web browser customized for Mac, the virus reroutes your traffic to deceptive landing pages or pops up new browser windows with in the URL field. Note that the web address can be appended by different tails, meaning that the look of these pages may vary. In any case, victims get to see persistent recommendations of downloading some weird stuff such as a critical browser update, multimedia player, video downloader – the former one being prevalent among the reported ‘offers’.

It’s worth pointing out that per se is not a malicious service. It is part of a large CDN (content delivery network) using multiple servers around the world and processing a great deal of Internet traffic. However, it appears that the operators of massive adware campaigns have been abusing this platform for quite some time. The foul play most likely relies on renting server capacities to rotate online scams rather than deliver benign content. These fraudulent activities fly under the radar of traditional web filtering mechanisms because the core service is legit and reputable, which explains why the malefactors keep adhering with this controversial cooperation. It is somewhat unclear, though, how such a powerful network could possibly become a pivot point of numerous Internet hoaxes circulating for years.

From a technical perspective, when it comes to Macs, redirects to are a symptom of the activity of a web browser extension installed by a potentially unwanted program called WindowMix or The former is a known-malicious adware app that sneaks into systems without permission and displays popup ads while additionally redistributing users’ web traffic to faux search engines. The latter is a fairly popular add-on intended to facilitate viewing, editing and sharing images on the Internet. If this browser helper object gets installed, things are going to get frustrating because along with the actually handy image processing you run into the obnoxious popup problem. Basically, this means it’s not really proper that you need to get rid of. The issue is caused by, and that’s your target if you’re experiencing the diverts. The issue is caused by WindowMix, or other adware, and that’s your target if you’re experiencing the diverts.

There is one more shady service constituting the fraud. It’s called Safe Finder. This is a notorious source of numerous browser hijack stratagems targeting Mac computers since the dawn of the epidemic. Here is how the scheme works: first, a malware-tainted web browser gets its default homepage replaced with a URL similar to, with a random-looking extension appended to it:


This encroachment on a victim’s online preferences entails iterative instances of traffic forwarding to the wrong domain. From there, the infected user is automatically rerouted to a pseudo search provider, such as or All keyword queries made with either one of these junk services lead to Yahoo search results combined with ads above the fold. This way, the unscrupulous e-marketers are monetizing their dubious activities.

No matter which incarnation of the virus you are faced with, the only effective response is to get rid of the infection. The section below is tailored to assist those affected in removing the adware and hence ceasing the popup and redirect activity for good. 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 a process named GoPhoto, Safe Finder, WindowMix or another one that appears to be 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. Locate GoPhoto, Safe Finder, WindowMix or other dubious entry on the interface, 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. Find GoPhoto, WindowMix, Safe Finder or other potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ button

Get rid of redirects in web browser on Mac

To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by virus Mac 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 Help – Troubleshooting Information
    • On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button

Get rid of virus using Freshmac automatic removal tool

When confronted with malicious code like the 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 infection.

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 virus has been fixed. If the lock screen is still there, 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 fraud shouldn’t be causing any further trouble.



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