The Yahoo Search redirect virus is a browser hijacker that can affect Mac and Safari users. It has nothing to do with the legitimate Yahoo search engine except for the name.
While it may not seem harmful, just annoying, it can lead to scams and phishing sites, as well as websites that distribute malware and pop-up ad infections.
In this article, we will go over the steps of how to get rid of the Yahoo Search virus on Mac, as well as give some additional tips for protecting your device from malware, browser hijackers, and unwanted applications in the future.
What is the Yahoo search redirect virus?
Yahoo Search redirect virus is a type of browser hijacker which redirects all your queries to fake search engines. These search engines contain results that are affiliate advertising links or links to scam sites. The latter use phishing and other social engineering techniques to extract personal and financial information from unsuspecting users.
|Name||Yahoo Search redirect virus|
|Type||Browser hijacker, scam, PUA|
|Affected devices||Mac, Windows, iOS, Android|
|Sypmtoms||Yahoo search results in other search engines, pop-up ads, suggestions to download free software|
|Damage||Annoying ads, fake search results, phishing, activity tracking, potential malware infections|
|Distribution||Fake messages with offers to download free software updates, free applications such as MP3 converters, etc.|
The redirects to affiliate pages are not dangerous by themselves, however, they are very annoying and prevent the user from seeing genuine organic search results. Meanwhile, redirects to phishing sites can result in identity theft, unauthorized access to your bank accounts, as well as malware. Some redirects lead to websites that distribute malware such as Trojan horses, Key Loggers, Worms, etc.
Symptoms of Yahoo redirect virus on Mac
Here’s how to know if your Mac has been infected with the Yahoo redirect virus:
- Yahoo search results in other browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Edge, etc. For example, if your default search engine is Google, but all search results are from Yahoo or something similar, your browser has been hijacked.
- Pop-up ads. Ads on browsers are normal (if you don’t use an ad-blocker), but more frequent ads in very random places can be a sign of a hijacked browser.
- Suggestions to download something. Pop-ups with messages such as “Your device is not updated – download OS update here” or “Download this free app to watch Netflix for free” could be a sign of both a malicious website and a hijacked browser.
- Strange browser behavior. For example, when you click on a link in your search results, it redirects you to more search results. Clicking on a link again redirects to another page of the same search results.
How to get rid of the Yahoo search virus on Mac
Removing the Yahoo Search virus from Safari requires a couple of steps, but nothing too complicated. Below are actions you can take to get rid of the browser hijacker on Mac:
1. Download an antivirus for Mac and run some scans
Scan your whole device with a quality antivirus for Mac – it should help find and deal with whatever malware is on your device:
- Get an antivirus for your Mac. We recommend TotalAV, now 84% off.
- Install the antivirus and run a full scan.
- Follow the recommendations from the antivirus to clean up and secure your Mac.
If the antivirus software founds any dangerous apps or vulnerabilities on your device, follow the recommendations to remove those apps and secure your device from future infections.
2. Change your default search engine
Browser hijackers usually work by changing the browser settings and setting the default search engine to appear as Yahoo or some other. You can change it back to the original search engine on Safari by following the steps below:
- Open Safari and go to Preferences.
- Navigate to Search and check which search engine is set.
- Make your preferred search engine the default.
3. Remove suspicious or unused browser extensions
Yahoo Search virus can also install harmful extensions on Safari, so make sure to remove any extensions that you don’t recognize by following the steps below:
- Open Safari and go to Preferences.
- Find the Extensions tab.
- Uninstall all suspicious or unused extensions.
4. Reset browser settings and data
Just to be sure that there is nothing left of the Yahoo virus, clear all your browser settings and restore them to default:
- Open Safari and go to Preferences.
- Navigate to the Privacy tab.
- Click on Manage Website Data.
- Clear all data.
5. Uninstall suspicious applications
If the steps above don’t work and Safari still uses Yahoo Search, an unwanted app on your Mac could be the reason why. You’ll need to go through your device and delete any apps that you don’t recognize.
To find and remove suspicious apps, follow these steps:
- Click on the Finder icon at the bottom of your screen.
- Click on Applications in the sidebar.
- Find the unwanted app. If it’s in a folder, check if there is an uninstaller in there. If yes, click on it and follow the instructions. If there is no uninstaller, drag the app to Trash.
- Empty the Trash folder to permanently delete the unwanted app.
6. Reset your Mac
If all else fails, resetting your Mac is the final and the most extreme step you can take. It will reset your Mac to the default factory settings and remove anything and everything you may have installed yourself.
To completely reset your Mac, follow these steps below:
- Go to System Preferences.
- Click on Time Machine.
- If you have an external hard drive, plug it in and click on “Select Backup Disk” in the Time Machine.
- Choose what you want to back up, and proceed. Be careful not to select any suspicious programs.
- After backing up your files, click on the Apple logo and choose Restart.
- When the Apple logo reappears, hold the Command and R keys.
- Once the macOS recovery window appears, choose your account and type in your password.
- Choose if you want to Restore from Time Machine or Reinstall macOS.
- Your Mac will reset.
How can I protect my Mac against viruses?
Now that you’ve got rid of the Yahoo Search virus, it would be a good idea to make sure that it never comes back. How do I do that, we hear you ask. The answer is simple – follow the few steps below to protect your Mac against viruses in the future:
- Use a reliable antivirus software for your Mac and schedule regular scans. Make sure to turn on real-time protection as well to avoid installing malware and other harmful apps. We found TotalAV to be the best.
- Only download apps from trustworthy official sources, as third-party app stores may contain malware disguised as legitimate files.
- Keep your device software updated. This will ensure that the security of your device is up to date at all times and all the vulnerabilities are patched.
- Use a safe web browser that blocks redirects and pop-up ads and warns you about suspicious websites and dangerous installations.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links or ads, as they can lead you to malware infections, phishing websites, and other dangerous places on the internet.
- Use a VPN for additional online security. The best VPNs have ad-blockers and other features for safe web browsing. Besides, a VPN will encrypt your traffic and make it inaccessible to hackers or other third parties, and help keep you secure online.
Getting the Yahoo Search virus on your Mac is annoying and dangerous, as it not only gives you fake search results but also leads you to phishing websites or malware distribution points.
However, there is no need to hurl your Mac through the window. You can remove the Yahoo Search browser hijacker from Safari by resetting the default search engine, deleting suspicious extensions, and clearing your browser data.
And if the issue persists, something else you can do is get a reliable antivirus, such as TotalAV, and with its help, remove any viruses from your Mac.
We hope our guide on how to get rid of the Yahoo Search virus on Mac helped. Let us know in the comments!
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Why does my Mac keep searching with Yahoo?
If your Mac keeps redirecting you to Yahoo search even though your search engine is different – there is a high chance that your browser has been hijacked by a Yahoo Search virus.
How do I remove the Yahoo redirect virus from Safari?
To remove the Yahoo Search redirect virus from Safari, go to preferences, change your default search engine, remove any suspicious extensions, and reset your browser data. If nothing helps, look for suspicious apps on your Mac and remove them. You can also get a reliable antivirus for Mac, such as TotalAV, and perform a full scan.
How do I stop Yahoo from hijacking my browser?
To protect your device and browser from the Yahoo search virus, you should disable redirects and pop-up permissions on your browser, use an ad blocker, never visit insecure websites and never click on pop-up ads or suspicious links. Also, make sure to keep your device updated, only download software and apps from trusted official sources, and use an antivirus such as TotalAV for maximum security.