How to remove Any Search malware from your Mac
Any Search malware is a browser hijack that, once your Mac is infected, displays the Any Search homepage whenever you open Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. It looks like an innocuous search page and, in fact, forwards all searches to Yahoo, but it also intercepts traffic and uses that to display adverts. It manages to bypass Apple’s built-in security measures by being bundled with what look like legitimate downloads, such as Adobe Flash Player.
What is Any Search Manager virus?
Any Search Manager is a browser extension that appears after updating Flash Player and changes your default start page in the browser. It behaves like a browser hijacker, which means it takes control of your browser and prevents you from visiting the pages you want.
The first warning sign that you may have caught Any Search virus is when you’re being redirected to search.anysearch.net or other pages containing “search.anysearch” in their URLs.
Why does the browser redirect you to Any Search Manager?
If you have downloaded some free apps lately, Any Search may have been distributed with any of them. Any Search malware spreads along with the Safe Finder extension. The latter one is also malicious.
When you give permission to the seemingly legitimate download to be installed, the bundled hijacker gets permission, too. That’s why you should always be certain of what you’re downloading and double-check the website you’ve downloaded it from before you give permission for anything to be installed. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to remove.
How to remove Any Search from your Mac
Check your Mac for unauthorized profiles
- Go to the Apple menu and click on System Settings.
- Go to Privacy & Security > Profiles.
- If it’s there, click on it and look to see if there is a profile called AdminPrefs.
- Click on the AdminPrefs profile and click the ‘-’ button at the bottom left of the window.
Check your Startup items
Malware like the Any Search Manager virus sometimes inserts itself in your startup items, so it launches every time you boot your Mac.
- Go to System Settings again and navigate to General > Login Items.
- Look for anything that seems suspicious.
- If you find anything, click on it and then click the ‘-’ button at the bottom of the window to remove it.
Remove Launch Agents and Daemons
- In the Finder, click on the Go menu and choose Go to Folder.
- Scan the list of
.plistfiles and look for anything with a name you don’t recognize.
- If you find one, click on it and preview the file, looking for the name of a vendor you recognize.
- If you don’t find one, drag the file to Trash.
- Repeat steps 1-5 for
- Once you’ve dragged all the files you want to remove to Trash, empty it and restart your Mac.
How to remove Any Search from browsers
How to remove Any Search from Safari
Reset the default page in a browser
- Once your Mac has restarted, open Safari.
- Click on the Safari menu and then choose Settings.
- Click on the Search tab and choose the search engine you want to use.
- Select the General tab and set the Homepage to your preferred home page and the options above it to your preference from the menu options.
How to remove Any Search from Chrome
- Open Chrome.
- Click the Settings menu icon (three dots) on the right of the window or type
chrome://settings/into the address bar.
- Click On startup and check the button next to “Open a specific page or set of pages.”
- Click “Add a new page” and type or paste the URL you want as your startup page into the text box.
- Click Save.
- Click on the Settings icon again.
- Choose Search Engine.
- Click Manage search engines and click the More button next to the Any Search engine, then select Delete.
- Go back and click on the dropdown menu next to the “Search engine used in the address bar” and choose the search engine you want to use. Alternatively, click Manage search engines and either add one from the bigger list (by clicking on the More icon and choosing Make Default) or click Add and type in the URL of another search engine.
How to remove Any Search from Firefox
- Open Firefox.
- Click the settings button (three horizontal lines) on the right side of the toolbar or type
about:preferencesinto the address bar.
- Click the Home category and next to “Homepage and new windows,” click on the dropdown menu and choose either Firefox Home or Custom URL. If you choose the Custom URL, type the URL you want to open into the text box.
- Click the Search category and in the main window, scroll down to “Search Shortcuts.” Click on Any Search and choose Remove.
- Scroll back up and click on the menu under the Default Search engine and choose the one you want.
Remove suspicious browser extensions
To remove malicious extensions in Safari:
- Go to Safari menu > Settings.
- Select Extensions.
- Select the extension you want to remove and click Uninstall.
chrome://extensionsin the search bar and press Return.
- Click Remove to delete an extension.
about:addonsin the search bar and press Return.
- Click the three-dot icon on an extension you want to remove.
- Select Remove.
The final steps for removal [Important]
So far, we’ve cleaned the browser part — what’s left is to root out Any Search from your system parts associated with Chrome and other browsers. First, we will need to check if Any Search has seized your Chrome settings.
Please open Chrome, paste this string into the URL field, and press Return:
You will see something like this:
See the Level and Policy value columns. What’s written there?
“Recommended” means Any Search has gained control over your Chrome settings — you need to uninstall Chrome.
“Mandatory” means the malware is sitting deeper and is tied to your user account — go to step 2 below.
For additional check:
Go to Applications/Terminal
Open Terminal, paste the following command, and press Return:
defaults read com.google.Chrome
Now, look through the results. If you see anything related to Any Search there, you can simply uninstall Chrome and reinstall it anew. The best way to uninstall Chrome along with all leftovers is CleanMyMac X’s Uninstaller tool.
If that is not the case, open the Finder, go up to the Go menu in the menubar > Go to Folder, and paste this directory:
/Library/Managed Preferences/[your username]
You should enter [your username] as shown in System Settings/Users & Groups
Open the folder. Now look for a “com.google.Chrome” file there.
If you have found it in any of these locations, open the file in any editor and check if you can find any Any Search-related information there. Then, manually remove the info from the file and restart your computer.
The same logic applies to Firefox and Safari browsers.
Protect your Mac
Once you’ve removed Any Search manager, it’s a good idea to check for more malware. CleanMyMac X’s Malware Removal tool scans your Mac for adware, viruses, spyware, and cryptocurrency miners and lists anything it finds in its main window. It then offers you the opportunity to remove them with one click or review its findings and choose what to remove. It’s a good idea to run the scan regularly to keep your Mac protected.
Download the app for free here.
If your browser is still redirecting you, you should try fully resetting it. CleanMyMac X’s Uninstaller module lets you reset any browser and restore its default settings. To reset Safari, you need to go to CleanMyMac X Settings (press Command-Comma) and select the Ignore List tab. Here, choose Uninstaller from the left-side menu and deselect the “Ignore system applications” box.
Now, let’s do the reset:
- Relaunch CleanMyMac X and choose Uninstaller.
- Find the Safari browser in the list of apps.
- Click the side arrow and select all the files.
- Select Reset next to the Safari icon.
- Click Reset.
Similarly, you can reset Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser you’re using — just follow the steps above.
To avoid getting malware like Any Search, be vigilant when installing apps on your Mac. Don’t skip installation options and choose custom installation to deselect optional software download if you aren’t sure the software that comes bundled is safe.
Any Search Manager is a nasty piece of malware that can be quite alarming when you first encounter it. However, it’s not too difficult to remove, so long as you’re diligent and follow the steps above. If you couldn’t delete it and the virus shows up again, please contact us at [email protected] for further instructions.
Hope this article was useful. Stay tuned for more.