How to remove Search Baron from Mac

A browser hijacker is one of the most intrusive malware threats currently attacking Mac users. Once it gets on your device, it instantly corrupts your browsers, causing unwanted redirects and various pop-up attacks. While browser hijacker is not as dangerous as viruses, it exposes your system to various security and privacy risks. 

Adware known as Search Baron is a typical browser hijacker that disguises as a genuine search engine. Today, let’s see how to remove Search Baron from Mac and get your browsers back. 


Search Baron

CategoryBrowser hijacker, adware, PUP
Also known as

macOS:MaxOfferDeal-I [Adw], RDN/Generic.osx, MacOS:MaxOfferDeal-I [Adw]

SymptomsModified browser settings, unwanted redirects, ad-supported search results, suspicious banners, aggressive pop-ups.
Infection method

Bundling, fake Flash Player updates, torrent downloaders

System damageHijacked browsers, installation of malicious cookies
RemovalCleanMyMac X anti-virus, Malwarebytes

What’s a Search Baron virus?

Technically, Search Baron is not a virus as it doesn’t replicate itself. It’s better known as a potentially unwanted program (PUP), browser hijacker, and adware.

Search Baron uses stealth methods to infect your Mac and changes browser settings. It settles down as an extension and sets or Bing as a homepage and default search engine.

Once done, Search Baron displays intrusive pop-ups and ads of all kinds. They may lead to malware-related websites and bring more severe threats to the targeted system.

Apart from that, this hanger-on can track your data, including IP address, search queries, and browsing history. That’s all done to make money for the cybercriminals who developed it.

How did Search Baron sneak into my computer?

Bundling is the primary distribution method used by Search Baron to evade the security system and land on your Mac. The malware exploits third-party installers to get into computers alongside with the main software. It may look like a free offer or useful bonus to trick you into installing it.

Have you downloaded any apps recently? If it wasn’t from the App Store or a trusted developer, it probably came with the culprit.

How can I avoid Search Baron and other adware?

Prevention is always better than cure. To get a clean bill of health after each malware scan, download no app unless you ensure it’s legitimate. If your computer tells you that software comes from an untrusted source, double-check before you allow installation.

Always prefer a custom installation and thoroughly look through the settings to reject optional offers you never wanted to get. And avoid using peer-to-peer networks like Torrents, as they often relate to the distribution of malicious content.

To be on the safe side, use anti-malware software that provides real-time Mac protection. In a free version of CleanMyMac X (download it here) you'll find a real-time scanner that specifically monitors for macOS threats. It recognizes Search Baron and its aliases under their numerous names.


How to remove Search Baron from Mac manually

There are several steps to manual adware removal. First, you need to get rid of the Search Baron and the host app.

Step 1. Delete suspicious applications

  1. Go to the Go menu in the Finder and choose Utilities.
  2. Launch Activity Monitor and find any processes related to Search Baron.

  3. If you spot one, select it and hit the Force Quit button in the toolbar.
  4. Head over to the Applications folder.
  5. Identify malicious apps and trash them.
  6. Open the Trash and empty it.

Step 2. Remove adware-related files

  1. Choose the Go menu > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter each of the locations below into the box that appears. Press Go after each one.


    /Library/Application Support
    ~/Library/Application Support
  3. Look for the items with ‘search baron’ in their name.
  4. If you find any, drag them to the Trash.


Pay special attention to every file you delete. Trashing system-forming files by mistake may lead to a crash.

Step 3. Check your login items

  1. Go to the Apple menu () > System Preferences.
  2. Choose Users & Groups > Login Items.
  3. If you detect any login items out of place, check the box next to them and press the ‘−’ button.

Step 4. Restore your browsers

Finally, let’s check the browsers you use for potentially harmful extensions and return the default browser settings.


  1. Launch Safari, then go to the Safari menu > Preferences.
  2. Choose the Extensions tab.
  3. Hunt for a shady extension that you haven’t added yourself.
  4. Select it and click Uninstall.
  5. Now, return to the General tab and change the homepage to your preferred one.
  6. Navigate to the Search tab and pick the search engine from the drop-down list.
  7. Quick tip:

    Remove Safari extensions at the touch of a button with CleanMyMac X.


  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Paste chrome://extensions into the address bar and press Enter.
  3. Locate any extensions associated with the adware.
  4. If you notice any, click Remove next to it.
  5. Navigate to chrome://settings.
  6. Scroll down to the Search engine section and choose the one you want to use.
  7. Go to On startup and pick the preferred option.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Launch Firefox and switch to about:addons.
  2. Select Extensions and search for a questionable one.
  3. Click the three-dot icon next to the extension you want to delete and select Remove.
  4. Go to about:preferences.
  5. Click Home to set your homepage.
  6. Choose Search to select the search engine you want to use.

Looks like a lot of work, right? Fortunately, there is a much faster and safer way to get rid of the malware.

How to destroy Search Baron automatically

Today, many anti-malware apps can recognize the Search Baron adware and eliminate it with a click. My all-time favorite is CleanMyMac X by MacPaw. Here’s how its Malware Removal works:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X for free.
  2. Launch the app and click the Malware Removal tab in the sidebar.
  3. Hit Scan.
  4. Once done, click Remove to vanish all threats for good. That’s all!
Removing malware files

Now, there should be no trace of the Search Baron virus on your Mac. 

If you’re looking for a quick way to reset your browsers, you can also use CleanMyMac X to do that. It sweeps away all browser data, restoring the browser’s default settings. First, go to CleanMyMac X preferences (press Command-Comma). Select the Ignore List tab and choose Uninstaller from the left-side menu. Here, uncheck the “Ignore system applications” box. 

Now, let’s reset your browser:

  1. Relaunch CleanMyMac X and go to Uninstaller.
  2. Find the Safari browser in the list of apps.
  3. Click the side arrow and select all files.
  4. Select Reset next to the Safari icon.
  5. Press Reset.

Repeat the steps to reset all other browsers that you’re using.

Search Baron is the adware that quickly takes control of browsers. Once installed, it redirects and spams your computer with annoying ads everywhere. All these ads and redirects make way for other viruses to come. Hopefully, this article helps you defeat the malware with ease and keep your Mac protected.

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