How to remove Search9+ from your Mac

Name

Search9+

CategoryAdware

Symptoms

Changes your browser preferences, shows pop-up ads, and slows down your browser

Infection method

Software bundling

System damage

Changes and locks your search engine, homepage and redirects your searches, so you don’t go to the intended website

Removal

Manual removal

What is Search9+?

Search9+ is an adware that completely takes over your browser. It redirects your search engine and shows ads trying to get you to buy their software.

Usually, adware like this is not malicious and doesn’t do a ton of damage. But it can track your browser activity. Meaning it can steal your sensitive information like your search history or other information you might type into the browser.

It’s also important to never install any of the apps advertised with the Search9+ adware. They can be more malicious than the innocuous Search9+. And if they’re not, they can continue to leave a backdoor open of other malware that is far more invasive and destructive.

How did it end up on my Mac?

The Search9+ adware is usually installed by being bundled with other software. Usually, it’s hidden within the installation of another free app. So, you think you’re installing the free program, but Search9+ is also installing itself in the background.

If you do need to install an app from somewhere you've never heard of before or don't trust; it's a good idea to do a custom install. When you're going through the installation wizard, there's typically a Customize button. Clicking that button will show any add-ons, plugins, or any additional software and let you decide whether or not those should be installed.

How to remove Search9+ manually

To thoroughly remove Search9+ from your Mac, there are a couple of steps you need to take. The first thing is to remove any support files that might be installed in your library folders.

  1. Open a new Finder window.
  2. Click Go > Go to Folder.
  3. Then, copy and paste this path: /Library/Application Support
  4. Now look for any strange-looking files and drag them to your Trash.

After you’ve finished removing all of the suspicious-looking files, repeat those steps but instead navigate to these two folders: /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons

The next thing you’ll need to do will depend on what browsers you have installed. You’ll need to remove any suspicious browser add-ons or extensions.

Safari

  1. With Safari open, click Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
  2. In the left sidebar, select any suspicious extensions.
  3. Then, click the Uninstall button.
  4. Quit Safari and reopen it.

Chrome

  1. Open a new Chrome window.
  2. In the top right, click the three dots > More Tools > Extensions.
  3. Find any suspicious extension and click Remove.
  4. When you’re finished, restart Chrome.

Firefox

  1. In Firefox, click the three lines > Add-ons and themes.
  2. On the side, click Extensions.
  3. Find any strange extension that might be installed. Click the ... next to it and then Remove.
  4. Now, click Plugins.
  5. Again, look for any odd plugs installed and then click the ... > Never Activate.
  6. Quit Firefox and relaunch it.

Protect your Mac from other malware and adware

As you’ve read earlier, adware like Search9+ can leave a backdoor open to your Mac for other malware to exploit. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of regularly scanning for other adware and more malicious malware.

Thankfully, you can download CleanMyMac X to help you do just that. And this is how simple it is to use once you have it downloaded and installed:

  1. Open CleanMyMac X.
  2. Click Malware Removal in the sidebar.
  3. Now, click the Scan button.
  4. When the scan has completed, hit the Remove button.

That’s it! Seriously, and there’s nothing else you need to worry about.

Another great feature of CleanMyMac X is the real-time monitoring. So, if you do accidentally download or install malware, the app will immediately flag it.

Here’s how to check and make sure real-time monitoring is enabled:

  1. Open CleanMyMac X, if it’s not already.
  2. Then, click the CleanMyMac X menu > Preferences.
  3. Open the Protection tab.
  4. Just go ahead and check all of those boxes.

After you remove anything with CleanMyMac X, it probably wouldn’t hurt to restart your computer again. Just give it a fresh start after getting rid of all the malware and adware lurking in the background.

Search9+ is far from the most invasive malware that’s out there. In fact, it’s more like a fly or gnat that won’t go away — constantly redirecting your web traffic. The scary part is the opening it’s providing to other malware on your computer. But, after reading this article, you should have all the information you need to get rid of it. And more importantly, know what you can do to help prevent adware like Search9+ from ending up back on your Mac in the first place.

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.