How to remove WebNavigator browser hijacker from Mac
Invasive pop-up ads and slow browser performance
|Infection method||Deceptive pop-ups and software bundling|
Browser tracking, more malicious software, and poor computer performance
Manual removal with CleanMyMac X antimalware tool
Adware is probably the most annoying of the bunch because, on the surface, all they do is change your homepage, lock your browser settings, and then serve you way too many pop-up ads. It’s a headache, to say the least.
But what you might not realize is behind all of that, browser hijackers like WebNavigator actually can track your internet activity. They also leave your Mac open and vulnerable to other malicious software to be installed. So, it’s not so much a matter of if you can handle what’s happening to your computer. It’s more of what information is being collected from your Mac without you realizing it. That’s what makes them so precarious.
How did the WebNavigator browser hijacker get installed on my Mac?
WebNavigator was likely installed on your computer by pretending to be another piece of software. Usually, browser hijackers will pose as a pop-up for an ad blocker and then prompt you to install it. When you install it, you’re installing WebNavigator in actuality.
You might be wondering why someone would create adware like this, and it’s because they can make money off it. While they’re not taking money from you, they get money anytime someone clicks accidentally or purposefully on one of the many pop-up ads they show. It doesn’t matter that you might not be the intended target for the ads you see. As long as you click on it, they still get money.
Steps for how to uninstall WebNavigator on your computer
Unlike other malware that can sneak into your supporting files, WebNavigator acts more like a potentially unwanted program. This means it only installs as an actual app file or as a web browser add-on. It’s best to assume that it’s installed both ways and look in both locations to remove it.
First, to remove any application files, WebNavigator has installed, you just need to follow these instructions:
- Open a new Finder window.
- Click Go > Applications.
- Find any suspicious apps and drag them to the Trash icon.
- Right-click or hold down Option and click on your Trash and then click Empty.
After you delete the app, you’ll want to check for any web browser add-ons to remove. It’s a good idea to check all of the browsers you have installed and not just the one you usually use.
When you have Safari open, here’s what you need to do to remove the browser hijacker:
- Click Safari > Settings > Extensions.
- In the sidebar, click on any suspicious browser add-on.
- Then, click Uninstall for each of them.
- Quit Safari and reopen it again.
If you have Google Chrome installed on your Mac, here are the steps to remove any browser hijackers that might have been installed:
- Open Chrome.
- Click the three dots in the top-right corner.
- Then, select More Tools > Extensions.
- Find any strange-looking extensions and click Remove.
- Quit and relaunch Chrome.
There are actually two places you need to look for any malicious add-ons installed in Firefox. But thankfully, they’re both relatively close to each other. Here’s how you uninstall add-ons with Firefox:
- Open Firefox.
- In the top-right corner, click the three horizontal lines > Add-ons and themes.
- Then, select Extensions in the sidebar.
- Find any suspicious extensions installed. Click … > Uninstall.
- Next, click on Plugins in the left sidebar and repeat step 4.
- When you’re done, quit Firefox and reopen it.
How to get rid of other malware on your Mac
One of the dangers of adware like WebNavigator is that it can open the door to other malware being installed on your computer. Meaning that if WebNavigator is installed on your Mac, then there’s a pretty strong likelihood you might have other malicious apps installed too.
The good news is that you can use an app like CleanMyMac X to scan your computer and look for not only malware but any lingering supporting files from potentially unwanted apps that may still be installed.
Once you download CleanMyMac X and open it, this is how simple it is to scan for malware:
- Click Malware Removal in the sidebar.
- Then, click Scan.
That’s it! CleanMyMac X will scan and remove any malicious software it finds on your computer. Now, say, you uninstalled a piece of adware manually, but there might be some additional files still left over. CleanMyMac X can help with that, too:
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- In the sidebar, click Uninstaller.
- Then, select the category Leftovers to see all the files left by uninstalled apps.
- Check those files and hit the Uninstall button.
You can also click on the Extensions section to see what browser extensions you have installed and quickly get rid of them using CleanMyMac X.
While browser hijackers like WebNavigator might seem more like a headache than anything else, they can also track your browsing data and potentially steal any information you type into your browser. The last thing you want is to compromise your data because you weren’t bothered enough to do something about the constant pop-ups. Moreover, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of regularly scanning your computer with an antivirus just to make sure there’s nothing dubious running in the background.