How to remove "You've made the 5-billionth search" scam from Mac
If you go to a website and are surprised by a pop-up that says, “You’ve made the 5-billionth search,” you should think twice about offering up any personal information to claim your gifts. This is a fairly common scam sometimes caused by the website you’re visiting. Still, more likely, it’s because of adware installed on your computer.
Don’t worry; keep reading, and you’ll learn what’s causing your Mac to have these pop-ups. And how you can remove the malicious adware lurking on your hard drive.
What is the 5-billionth search scam?
The 5-billionth search page is a browser-based scam that pretends to be from a trustworthy website like YouTube or Google. It’s designed to trick people into giving personal info like home address or credit card info. Sometimes, it will ask users to subscribe to unwanted services to claim their prize.
Why am I seeing this 5-billionth search winner scam on my Mac?
The good news is if you’ve only seen this pop-up once, then it’s likely to have been an issue with the website you were visiting. Often, more suspicious websites will display malicious ads that redirect your browser to a scam page. If that’s the case, then you can just quit your browser and open it again.
But chances are, if you’re reading this article, then that means you’re seeing the pop-up on a more continuous basis, meaning you have malware installed on your Mac.
How to get rid of the 5-billionth search
There are a couple of different methods for removing adware from your Mac. Obviously, you can manually remove it. Or you can use the app CleanMyMac X, which will scan your entire hard drive and get rid of any other suspicious files hiding out on your computer.
Remove the 5-billionth search scam manually
One way you can get rid of malware causing the 5-billionth search scam is to remove it manually. It does require you to go into each browser you use individually, but it’s pretty straightforward, especially if you follow the steps below.
Some malware actually infects your Safari preferences. So, it’s best to remove what’s called the .plist file. But don’t worry, you’re not removing any information like your Safari bookmarks or reading list. Follow these steps to remove the corrupted preference file and reset Safari:
- Quit Safari.
- Then, click on your Desktop and click Go > Go to Folder.
- Type: ~/Library/Preferences and click Go.
- Look for the file: com.apple.Safari.plist and drag it to the Trash.
After you’ve deleted the file, you can reopen Safari, and it should look like the first time you opened the browser.
Resetting Firefox is a little bit easier because there’s just a button you have to click. No files you have to go hunting for. Once you have Firefox opened, here’s how you refresh it:
- In the top-right corner, click the menu button that looks like three horizontal lines.
- Click Help > Troubleshooting Information > Refresh Firefox.
- When it’s finished refreshing, Firefox will quit and reopen.
Like Firefox, you can restore Chrome just by clicking a button. Follow these steps to reset Chrome to its default settings:
- Click the three dots > Settings > Advanced.
- In the Reset settings section, click Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Then, click the Reset Settings button to confirm.
- Quit and reopen Chrome.
Automatically remove 5 billionth search scam with CleanMyMac X
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of resetting each browser manually, you can use the app CleanMyMac X to scan your hard drive and remove any malware that’s installed.
It’s common for malware to corrupt other files that you may not realize. And leaving them to fester on your hard drive could cause more issues down the line. So, even if you manually reset your browser, it’s still a good idea to use CleanMyMac X to find and delete all suspicious files.
After download CleanMyMac X and install it, just follow these instructions:
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- Click on the Malware Removal section in the sidebar.
- Then, click Scan.
When you’re finished going through all of those steps, your Mac should be rid of the 5-billionth search scam. If you’re concerned about preventing this from happening in the future, CleanMyMac X also has a malware prevention tool. It detects and warns you of suspicious software before you install it. Which gives you just a little more peace as you use your Mac.
Please note that the article is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties regarding the manual removal of the virus. You have to understand that as a user, you are fully responsible for changing your Mac’s configuration.