AMITIAE - Thursday 5 February 2015

Unwanted Adware in Safari and Suggestions for Removal

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers

The Safe Mac

A local user reporting the appearance of an apparent Safari page-takeover this evening, asked for some help. The symptoms were that he had installed something (see below) that changed Safari and Search dot quick dot com became the home page, even after a restart of the browser or Mac.

I had heard mention of this before, so where there is one, there may be another, I began a search. Google gave me a page full of results when I used the search term Search quick com, avoiding the dots in case I were to access the very page I wanted to avoid.

A few messages in, the user mentioned that it might have been the MPlayerX he had installed but which he had deleted. Too late of course.

The search page gave me several links, including one to an Apple Discussions thread where this specific problem and its probable causes were mentioned. As well as that current thread, there were links to others in which similar problems were discussed. The same MPlayerX was mentioned. That could be removed by moving it to the Trash, but the Adware problem is a different matter.

The user, Thomas_r (Thomas Reed) who posted the required disclosure on his reply, suggested his own Adware Removal Guide: a link to The Safe Mac, where there are a number of suggestions, including the point that "Adware often comes packaged in installers for other software", adding that many sites "have resorted to this kind of unethical behavior".

I suggested to the local user that he link to the site and consider the download of the AdwareMedic utility. The Safe Mac also has instructions for a manual removal of files. The instructions call for a restart of the computer, which some forget.

The local user messaged that, using the Geneio uninstaller - this appears to be another unwanted software problem - he had managed to kill the files and all was well in his world after several restarts. A couple of minutes later, he was back. So was the adware. . . .

I sent the link to The Safe Mac and a few minutes later the problem really was gone. He promised to send a donation: something that I think is important, as solo developers need this help to keep us going.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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