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, such as Search Baron, is a typical browser hijacker that disguises itself 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, and aggressive pop-ups.
Infection method

Bundling, fake Flash Player updates, torrent downloaders

System damageHijacked browsers, installation of malicious cookies
RemovalManual removal, CleanMyMac X Malware Removal tool

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 change 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 along with the main software. It may look like a free offer or a 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 to remove Search Baron from Mac

There are two ways to remove Search Baron from Mac — an easy one and a manual one. We’ll start with automatic removal and then explain manual steps for those in the mood for some malware hunt.

Automatic removal

The easy way to remove Search Baron from Mac is to use a dedicated antimalware app. There are many antivirus apps that can help you out, but our all-time favorite is CleanMyMac X. It comes with a handy Malware Removal tool. Its database is constantly updated, so it detects the most recent types of malware, including Search Baron.

Here’s how the Malware Removal tool works:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X for free.
  2. Open 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!

Manual removal

If you feel like manual steps are more fun, follow those outlined below one by one to get rid of Search Baron.

Step 1. Delete suspicious applications

  1. Go to the Go menu in the Finder and choose Utilities.
  2. Open 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. Type in each of the locations below into the box that appears one by one. Press Return 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 Settings.
      2. Choose General > Login Items.
      3. If you detect any login items out of place, delete them by clicking “—” button.

      Step 4. Restore your browsers

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

      How to remove Search Baron from Safari
      1. Open Safari, then go to the Safari menu > Settings.
      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.

      How to remove Search Baron from Chrome
      1. Open Chrome.
      2. Paste chrome://extensions into the address bar and press Return.
      3. Locate any extensions associated with the adware or those you haven’t installed yourself.
      4. If you notice any, click Remove next to it.
      5. Paste chrome://settings into the address bar and press Return.
      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.
      How to remove Search Baron from Mozilla Firefox
      1. Open 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.

      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 settings (press Command-Comma). Select the Ignore List tab and choose Uninstaller from the left-side menu. Here, deselect the “Ignore system applications” box. 

      Now, follow these steps:

      • Reopen CleanMyMac X and go to Uninstaller.
      • Find the Safari browser in the list of apps.
      • Click the side arrow and select all files.
      • Select Reset next to the Safari icon.
      • Click Reset.

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

      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 antimalware software that provides real-time Mac protection. One such example is CleanMyMac X (download it for free here). It comes with a real-time background scanner that specifically monitors for macOS threats.

      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, now you know how to get rid of Search Baron and keep your Mac protected in the future.


      Why does Search Baron keep popping up?

      If you notice intrusive Search Baron pop-ups and redirects, your Mac may be infected with malware. So it is crucial to remove it right away.

      Is Search Baron a virus?

      Technically, Search Baron is not a virus because it doesn’t replicate itself. However, it is another form of malware classified as adware, browser hijacker, and a potentially unwanted app.