How to remove Akamaihd.net redirect

The threat to your computer from browser hijackers may not be as great as that from other kinds of malware. But it should still not be taken lightly. Akamaihd.net is not a browser hijacker or a virus, but for reasons we’ll explain below, many people believe it to be one.

What is Akamaihd.net?

Akamai is a content delivery platform used by some of the biggest tech companies in the world to stream audio and video and host downloads. It’s not a virus or any other form of malware. However, there are browser hijackers whose distributors use Akamai hosting, which means that their URLs have “Akamaihd.net” in them. That means that the name has become, wrongly, associated with malware in some people’s minds.

What is a browser hijacker?

It’s a type of malware that can alternate the browser’s settings without requesting user permission. Browser hijackers typically change the default search engine and homepage of your browser to send you to a search page controlled by the malware distributor. From there, it can track the searches you perform, the pages you visit, as well as other types of data like your IP address and the browser you’re using. Browser hijackers also display pop-up adverts designed to persuade you to click on a link. Needless to say, clicking on the link brings more problems in the form of more malware and threats to your computer.

Browser hijackers can also slow down your Mac because they occupy CPU and GPU cycles and network bandwidth.

How did it get onto my Mac

How did it get onto my Mac?

There are three main methods for pushing browser hijackers onto unsuspecting users’ computers.

  1. Bundling.
  2. Browser extensions.
  3. Pop-up warnings that your system or part of it is out of date.

Bundling refers to the practice of packaging up unwanted software with an application you have chosen to download. It happens when you download software from some software download sites that use their own proprietary download managers if you don’t override the default options.

Download extensions installed from dubious sources can also harbor hijackers. And clicking on a pop-up warning can take you to places where all kinds of malware await.

How can I avoid browser hijackers?

Vigilance is the key. You should avoid getting programs from software download sites that insist you use their proprietary download managers since they exist for only one reason: to push things you don’t want onto your Mac. These programs can and do include malware. 

Be careful about installing browser extensions. Check them out first and satisfy yourself that they are safe. Finally, never respond to a pop-up window that claims that there is something wrong with your computer and you need to click on a link to download software to fix it. Never click on a link in a pop-up and don’t ignore warnings from your browser that tells you a site you are trying to visit is unsafe.

How to remove Akamaihd.net virus

How to remove Akamaihd.net virus

As we said above, Akamaihd.net isn’t a virus. However, its name does appear in the URL used by a browser hijacker, because that malware uses Akamai to host files. To remove the browser hijacker, the quickest and easiest way, we recommend using CleanMyMac X. The app is notarized by Apple, which proves it won’t harm your Mac in any way. Its malware scan detects any suspicious viruses or worms and lets you remove them immediately. You can also do that manually, and we’ll show you both ways below. 

Using CleanMyMac X

  1. Download CleanMyMac X here – there's a free trial version you can use to try it out.
  2. Follow the on-screen guide to install it, then double-click its icon in your Applications folder to launch it.
  3. Choose Malware Removal in the sidebar.
  4. Press Scan.
  5. If CleanMyMac X doesn’t find anything, great! You have no malware on your Mac. If it does, press Remove to get rid of it.
How to remove Akamaihd.net virus

To manually get rid of the browser hijacker, follow the steps underneath.

  1. Go to your Applications folder and identify the app you downloaded just before you noticed the redirects to Akamaihd.net. If it didn’t come from the App Store or the developer’s own website, drag it to the Trash.
  2. In the Finder, choose the Go menu, then Go to Folder. In the box, paste each of the following locations in turn, one at a time and check each folder for any files that have Akamaihd.net in them. If you find any, drag them to the Trash.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

/Library/LaunchDaemons

/Library/Application Support

~/Library/Application Support

Now, it’s time to check for and remove malicious browser extensions. 

Remove suspicious browser extensions 

Here’s how to do it for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

Safari

Remove suspicious browser extensions
  1. Click on the Safari menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Select Extensions.
  3. Review the list of installed extensions. If you see any you didn’t choose to install, select them one at a time and choose Uninstall. 
Did you know?

CleanMyMac X has a Privacy module that can locate and remove browser files placed on your Mac by websites you visit with a couple of clicks. These include cookies, cache files, and other temporary files that should be removed automatically but often aren’t. Removing them can make your Mac perform better and your data more secure.

Chrome

  1. Paste the following into the address bar: chrome://extensions
  2. Look for any extensions that seem suspicious or you didn’t intentionally install.
  3. If you find any, press Remove next to their name.

Firefox

  1. Type this into the address bar: about:addons.
  2. Choose Extensions from the left-hand side.
  3. As you did with Safari and Chrome, check for any extensions that look suspicious. If you find one, select it and click on the three dots to the right of its name.
  4. Press Remove.

For all three browsers, you will have to reset your preferred homepage and search engine in the Settings or Preferences.

Akamaihd.net is not a virus or malware of any kind. However, it has been used by malware distributors to host files and so if you are attacked by a browser hijacker, you may notice redirects to an Akamaihd.net address. If this happens, you should follow the steps above to remove the hijacker. Scanning your Mac for malware regularly is also a necessary thing to do. 

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