Security

Bing Redirect Virus on Mac

In this article you will find the following:

Does Bing open when you search on Google? Or does your browser’s homepage always redirect to Microsoft's search engine? If you're positive you didn't make the change yourself, then chances are your Mac has been infected with a Bing redirect virus.

 

In this article, we'll get you acquainted with the best ways you can try to remove Bing from Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. A lot of the steps in our guide can also be applied to other browsers, such as Brave and Microsoft Edge, with some fairly minor adjustments.

 

Ready to get your browser back under your control? Follow us to find out more about what the Bing redirect virus means and how to remove it from your trusty Mac.

 

Before you start:

 

If you want to rid your Mac of malicious programs, adware, and configuration profiles that hijack your web browser, try MacKeeper. It's an Apple-notarized Mac maintenance utility that effectively deals with malware and other issues.

 

Here’s how to run a scan with it:

  1. Download MacKeeper and run it, then select Antivirus.
  2. Click Start Scan.
  3. When the scan is done, select anything suspicious and click Delete. Click Delete again.

In just a few clicks, your Mac will be free of malware and ready for action. Give it a go today and see for yourself.

Why does Google redirect to Bing on Mac?

If your Mac’s web browser automatically redirects to Bing when you start it, it could just be an innocent mistake. You might have accidentally changed your browser’s homepage. If that's the case, then you can simply go into your browser’s settings and change it back.

 

Meanwhile, you should be suspicious when your homepage changes back to Bing or when Google redirects to Bing. Then, it’s likely been infected with a browser hijacker—similar to Search Baron. This is malware that takes over your browser and controls its behavior. This will often serve the malware creators in some way, including:

  • Generating advertising revenue
  • Directing you to more malware
  • Stealing your data using phishing pages

What is the Bing redirect virus?

A Bing redirect virus can be any potentially unwanted program (PUP), malicious browser extension, or Mac configuration profile that modifies—or hijacks—your browser's settings without asking for permission.  

 

Browser hijackers piggyback on legitimate applications and "free" downloads or trick you into installing them with fake warnings, offers, and advertisements.  

 

For example, Mac Auto Fixer and The Easy Way Pro are known Bing redirect viruses that mislead users by claiming to fix your Mac or improve search results. They merely use Bing or something that looks like it to appear legitimate.

 

For more information about malware, check out our guide devoted to the question do Mac computers get viruses?

Is Bing redirection actually a virus?

The presence of a browser hijacker doesn't necessarily mean you're dealing with a computer "virus" since it doesn't replicate itself. However, it still poses a significant risk to your privacy and security.  

 

For example, browser hijackers steal personal data such as your IP address and browsing history, annoy you with sponsored results and upgrade notifications, and raise the odds of downloading even more harmful software. For example, a browser hijacker might put spyware on your Mac.

How Bing redirect was installed on your Mac

Like all malware, there are many ways to get the Bing redirect malware on your Mac. Here are some possible routes of infection:

  • Infected email attachments—these will most likely be from people you don’t know.
  • Infected web pages—you may have reached these from links in emails, rogue ads, or other web pages).
  • Rogue browser extensions—these could be from official extension stores or third-party sites.
  • Infected apps—this is particularly common in pirated software.

How to get rid of Bing redirect on Mac

The Bing redirect virus can infect any browser on your Mac, and removal typically consists of multiple steps. The popular solutions include:

  1. Attempt to change search engine and homepage
  2. Stop malicious processes in Activity Monitor
  3. Remove bad login items from Mac startup
  4. Remove harmful extensions from your browser
  5. Uninstall bad or recently installed apps
  6. Remove malicious Mac configuration profiles
  7. Find and delete Bing redirect files on Mac
  8. Reset your browser to factory defaults
  9. Remove the Bing redirect virus with an antivirus app

1. Attempt to change search engine and homepage

It's a good idea to begin by rolling back any changes to your web browser's search engine and homepage. Typically, browser hijackers prevent you from performing manual modifications, which lets you determine if you're dealing with a Bing redirect virus or just an accidental change to your browser settings.

1.1 Change search engine and homepage in Safari

If you need to remove Bing from Safari, you need to modify its homepage as well as search engine suggestions. Here are the instructions for you:

  1. Open Safari and select Safari > Preferences on the menu bar.
  2. In the Search tab, open the drop-down menu next to Search engine and select your preferred search engine.
  3. Switch to the General tab. If you see Bing.com or a strange URL within the Homepage field, replace or delete it.
To manage your search engine and homepage, start by opening your Safari settings by selecting Safari > Settings from your menu bar.
Step 1. Open Safari Settings
In the 'Search' tab of your Safari settings, click the 'Search engine' dropdown menu and select the search engine of your choice.
Step 2. Select your Safari search engine
Finally, in your Safari settings, go to the 'General' tab and see what is written in the 'Homepage' section. If it's wrong, write the correct address in now.
Step 3. Check your Safari homepage

1.2 Setting up the search engine and homepage in Chrome

You can do the same in Chrome settings. Follow the list of steps to change it all in Chrome:

  1. Open the Chrome menu and select Settings.
  2. Select Search engine in the sidebar. Open the drop-down menu next to Search engine used in the address bar and set a different search engine.
  3. If you notice a suspicious search engine within the drop-down list in the step above, select the Manage search engines and site search option, select the More icon (three dots) next to the item, and select Delete.
  4. Switch to the On Startup side tab. Delete or replace any unwanted addresses if the Open a specific page or set of pages option is active.
To change Chrome's homepage and search engine, start by selecting Chrome > Settings from your menu bar, at the top of your screen.
Step 1. Enter the Chrome Settings page
In Chrome's settings, look through the sidebar on the left, and then select the 'Search engine' section. Choose your search engine now.
Step 2. Go to the search engine section
If you see any search engines that you don't recognize, you can manage them in Chrome's settings. Click the three dots, and then click the 'Delete' option.
Step 3. Remove any search engines you don't want
You can also choose what page or pages load when you start up Google Chrome on your Mac. Make sure these aren't anything suspicious.
Step 4. Check your Chrome homepage

1.3 Manage search engine and homepage in Firefox

The easiest way to change the Firefox homepage and search engine consists of the following steps:

  1. Open the Firefox menu and select Settings.
  2. Switch to the Search tab. Open the drop-down menu under Default Search Engine and pick your preferred search engine.
  3. If you notice an unfamiliar search engine, scroll down to the Search Shortcuts section, highlight the item, and select Remove.
  4. Switch to the Home tab. Delete or replace any unusual URLs if the Homepage and new windows option is active.
As with other web browsers, you'll need to get into Firefox's settings to make changes to its homepage and search engine settings.
Step 1. Open the Firefox Settings menu
In Firefox's settings, click 'Search' in the sidebar, then use the dropdown menu to choose a default search engine provider.
Step 2. Change your search engine
You can also manage which other search engines Firefox can use. If you see anything there that you don't recognize or trust, then delete it now.
Step 3. Manage installed search engines
Finally, you'll want to check what homepage you currently have set up in Firefox. Make sure it's not something related to the Bing redirect virus.
Step 4. Check your homepage

1.4 Adjust the search engine and homepage in Opera

Similar to other browsers, you can easily change Opera’s homepage settings. Simply do the following:

  1. Select Opera > Settings from the menu bar.
  2. Click Basic in the sidebar and scroll down to Search engine. Use the dropdown menu to choose your preferred search provider.
  3. If you see any search engines that seem suspicious, click Manage search engines and site search. Click the three dots next to a search engine and remove it. Note—you can’t remove the default search engines.
  4. Back in the Basic section, scroll down to On startup. If Open a specific page or set of pages is selected, remove any pages that you don’t want.
First of all, open Opera, then go to the menu bar and select Opera > Settings. From there, you'll be able to manage your home page and search engine.
Step 1. Get into Opera's Settings menu
In Opera's settings menu, you can choose what search engine you want to use. If there's anything in. the dropdown menu, it could be related to malware.
Step 2. Change your Opera search engine
Look through the list of installed search engines in Opera for Mac. If there's anything there that seems suspicious, then you should remove it.
Step 3. Manage Opera's search engines
Last but not least, make sure your Opera browser has the correct homepage. If it's set to open a page you don't recognize, edit this setting.
Step 4. Check Opera's homepage

2. Stop malicious processes in Activity Monitor

You must attempt to remove the Bing redirect virus from your Mac if you have trouble changing your web browser's search engine or homepage. To make it easier to delete PUPs, extensions, login items, etc., you must first stop any suspicious background programs or processes via the Activity Monitor. Here’s how:

  1. Open Activity Monitor from Applications > Utilities. Look under the Process Name column for anything unusual, such as a sketchy program you installed recently. Malicious processes also consume system resources, so you can also try filtering your Mac's activity using the %CPU column.
  2. Double-click the process you want to shut down and select Quit. Or highlight it and select the Stop button at the top of the Activity Monitor screen.
In Activity Monitor you will be able to quit unneded running processes
Step 1. Open Activity Monitor
To stop a process from running on your Mac, double-click it in Activity Monitor, then click the 'Quit' button', followed by 'Quit' again.
Step 2. Quit a process to stop it running

3. Remove bad login items from Mac startup

Malicious items that hijack your browser usually launch alongside the operating system when you turn on your Mac. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check for any bad login items in your user account and then remove them.

3.1 Remove login items in System Settings

You can remove some login items easily in your Mac’s System Settings. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open System Settings. You can get to these at any time by clicking the Apple logo in your Mac’s menu bar. Go to General > Login Items.
  2. Highlight any suspicious login items. Select the Minus button to remove them.
In your Mac's System Settings, you can change which apps are allowed to start up when you first turn on your computer.
Step 1. Open Login Items
Select an app from the Login Items list, then click the minus button underneath. This will stop that app from opening when macOS starts.
Step 2. Remove items to prevent them starting with macOS

3.2 Remove LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons

Removing login items in System Settings is only the first step in preventing malware from launching when macOS does. Some browser hijackers also launch themselves as agents and daemons at Mac startup, running in the background. You can stop that by removing the relevant property list (PLIST) files:

  1. In Finder, go to your menu bar, and select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Go to /Library/LaunchAgents.
  3. Locate and move anything that looks like it might be linked to the Bing redirect virus into the Trash. Empty your Trash to permanently delete the files. Repeat these steps with /Library/LaunchDaemons.
In Finder or from your desktop, select 'Go' in the menu bar, then select 'Go to Folder'. You'll then need to type in a location.
Step 1. Open the Go To menu
In the 'Go to Folder' box, type in '/Library/LaunchAgents', and press Return to open that folder up in a macOS Finder window.
Step 2. Go to LaunchAgents folder
Search through the LaunchAgents folder and delete anything that could be related to the Bing redirecter. Do the same with LaunchDaemons.
Step 3. Remove anything related to the Bing hijacker

4. Remove harmful extensions from your browser

The next step is locating, disabling, and removing any harmful extensions from your web browser. Bad extensions can affect your browser’s performance and may be responsible for redirecting you to Bing.

4.1 Delete malicious extensions from Safari

If you’re tired of annoying extensions in your Safari browser, go ahead to delete them. Follow our instructions below:

  1. Open Safari's Settings pane and switch to the Extensions tab. Clear the box next to an extension to disable it.
  2. Select the Uninstall button within the extension's details section. Click Show in Finder, then delete the extension.
In Safari settings, go to the 'Extensions' section, then select an extension in the sidebar. Untick the extension to disable it without removing it.
Step 1. Go to Extension in your Safari Settings
If you want to get rid of a Safari extension completely, then you should click its 'Uninstall' button. Use Finder to delete the extension, just like any other file.
Step 2. Delete Safari extensions

4.2 Get rid of suspicious extensions from Chrome

Chrome is no exception, and you should be careful with the harmful extensions it may be hosting. Remove them in just three steps:

  1. Open the Chrome Settings menu, and select Extensions from the sidebar.  Turn off the switch next to an extension to disable it.
  2. To delete the extension completely, click Delete. This will open a pop-up dialog. Click Delete again.
You can disable extensions in Chrome from the Settings menu. Use the switch next to an extension to prevent it from running on your Mac.
Step 1. Disable extensions in Chrome Settings menu
To completely remove an extension from Chrome on Mac, you'll need to the extension's 'Remove' button, then click 'Remove' in the pop-up dialog.
Step 2. Click Remove to delete Chrome extensions

4.3 Remove extensions related to Bing redirect from Firefox

You already know the gist of the problem, and this time, we’ll go through removing harmful extensions in Firefox. Just do as follows:

  1. Open the Firefox Settings menu, and select Extensions & Themes in the sidebar. Use the switches next to any harmful extensions to disable them.
  2. Select the three dots next to an extension and select Remove to delete it from Firefox.
In the Firefox Settings menu, go to the 'Extensions' section, and look through what's installed. If you see something you don't recognize, disable it now.
Step 1. Disable Firefox extensions
Next to each Firefox extension, you'll see three dots. Clicking these will bring up a dropdown menu. From there, you should click the 'Remove' option.
Step 2. Remove extensions in Firefox

4.4 Erase malicious extensions from Opera

Just like other browsers, Opera can be affected by rogue extensions. You can manage add-ons like this:

  1. In the menu bar, select View > Show Extensions.
  2. To disable an extension, click Disable or use the switch next to it.
  3. To completely uninstall an extension from Opera, click Remove, then Remove again.
To get rid of extensions in Opera, start by selecting View > Show Extensions in the browser's menu bar. This will bring up the currently installed add-ons.
Step 1. Show Opera extensions
You can disable an Opera extension by clicking the 'Disable' button or by using the switch next to each installed extension.
Step 2. Click Disable
Finally, to remove an extension from Opera on Mac, click the 'Remove' button. A pop-up will appear. Click the 'Remove' button on it.
Step 3. Click Remove

5. Uninstall bad or recently installed apps

Sometimes malware like the Bing redirect virus will install apps on your Mac. Deleting this is a vital step in regaining control of your computer. You can save time and effort by using MacKeeper’s Smart Uninstaller, which will delete apps quickly and thoroughly. Here’s how to use MacKeeper to delete apps, including those that may be hijacking your browser:

  1. Open MacKeeper and select Smart Uninstaller. Click Start Scan.
  2. When the scan is done, MacKeeper will show you several different categories it can handle. For our purposes here, you should select Applications.
  3. Select the apps you want to delete and click Remove Selected. In the pop-up that appears, click Remove to confirm the removal of these apps.
You can remove apps from your Mac quickly using MacKeeper's Smart Uninstaller function. Open it up and then click the 'Start Scan' button.
Step 1. Click Start Scan
When the Smart Uninstaller scan is done, click the 'Applications' option at the top to see what apps are currently installed on your Mac.
Step 2. Select Applications
Go through the list of apps that are installed on your Mac. Select what you want to remove then click the 'Remove Selected' button in MacKeeper.
Step 3. Click Remove Selected

6. Remove malicious Mac configuration profiles

Malicious configuration profiles not only modify your browser preferences but also other settings in macOS. To delete them, take these steps:

  1. Open System Settings, and go to Privacy & Security > Profiles. You will not see this option if you don’t have any configuration profiles on your Mac.
  2. Highlight any unusual profiles and select the Minus icon.
  3. In the pop-up, click Remove to delete the profiles permanently.
In your Mac's System Settings, go to the 'Privacy & Security' section, scroll down, then open up the 'Profiles' settings.
Step 1. Open your Privacy & Security settings
Look through the list of profiles currently on your Mac. Select one you want to remove, then click the minus button underneath the list.
Step 2. Select and delete a profile
To confirm the removal of the profile, click the 'Remove' button in the pop-up dialog. This will permanently delete the profile from your Mac.
Step 3. Confirm removal

7. Find and delete Bing redirect files on Mac

Some apps don’t appear in your Applications folder, so you should also check your Mac's Application Support directory. You may find the app that’s redirecting your browser hiding away in this folder:

  1. Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder in the menu bar. Type in /Library/Application Support/ and press Enter.
  2. Locate and move anything unusual to the Trash. Empty your Trash afterward to complete the process.
You may need to manually delete files and folders in your Mac's Application Support folder. Get there using the 'Go to Folder' command.
Step 1. Go to your Application Support folder
In your Application Support folder, look for anything that could be related to the Bing redirect virus, then delete it from your system.
Step 2. Delete anything suspicious

8. Reset your browser to factory defaults

If none of the fixes above help, you’ll need to reset your browser on Mac. That will deactivate all extensions, clear the browser cache, and revert all changes to factory defaults. You won’t lose your bookmarks and passwords. After resetting, you should reactivate the extensions you want, delete anything suspicious, and reconfigure your browsing preferences.

8.1 Reset Safari to factory settings

If Safari is your primary browser, you’ll need to find and delete its preference files. Follow the steps below to reset Safari to its factory settings:

  1. Quit Safari, then use Go to Folder in Finder to visit the ~/Library/Preferences/ directory. Delete the com.apple.Safari.plist file.
  2. Next, go to ~/Library/Safari/, and delete everything inside the directory except the Bookmarks.plist file.
  3. Finally, go to ~/Library/Containers/, search for Safari in this folder, and delete everything you find.
First, you'll need to navigate to '~/Library/Preferences/' using 'Go to Folder'. Look for the Safari preferences files and delete it from your Mac.
Step 1. Delete Safari preference files
There are more folders to check. In '~/Library/Safari/', you'll want to delete everything you see, other than the bookmarks file.
Step 2. Delete everything other than your bookmarks
Lastly, go to the Containers folder and use Finder to search for anything related to Safari within that folder. Delete everything you find.
Step 3. Check the Containers folder

8.2 Factory Reset Chrome browser

In case you use Chrome on a daily basis, start the resetting process right now. It’s easy if you follow these steps:

  1. In Chrome's Settings menu, select Reset settings in the sidebar. Click Reset settings to their original defaults.
  2. Click Reset settings. Your Chrome browser will now be returned to its default state.
Resetting Chrome on Mac is easy. Simply go into the browser's Settings menu, then select 'Reset settings' from the sidebar on the left.
Step 1. Select Reset Settings
To reset Chrome open Chrome settings, choose Advanced tab and click on Reset Settings
Step 2. Click the Reset Settings button

8.3 Restoring Firefox to factory settings

The nuances of turning your Firefox back to factory settings are the following:

  1. Quit Firefox. Hold down Opt and relaunch Firefox.
  2. Select Refresh Firefox, then Refresh Firefox again to reset Firefox to its default settings.
The reset process is a bit different with Firefox. Quit Firefox, then hold down the Opt button while you restart Firefox. Click 'Refresh Firefox'.
Step 1. Hold down Opt while opening Firefox
After clicking 'Refresh Firefox', you see another pop-up window. This is your last chance to change your mind. Click 'Refresh Firefox' now.
Step 2. Click Refresh Firefox

8.3 Factory reset Opera

Using Opera? Then follow these steps to reset your browser to its original settings:

  1. Go to Opera’s Settings page, and scroll down to the Advanced section. You may need to click it to open it up.
  2. Scroll down again to Reset settings, and click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  3. Click Reset.
In Opera's Settings menu, scroll down to the bottom until you see the word 'Advanced'. Click on this to expand the settings and see more options.
Step 1. Open the Advanced settings in Opera
Scroll down the advanced settings until you see 'Reset Settings'. Under this, click 'Restore settings to their original defaults' to reset Opera.
Step 2. Scroll down to 'Reset settings'
You'll now see a pop-up dialogue. This will explain what's about to be reset in Opera. If you're okay with it all, then click the 'Reset' button now.
Step 3. Click the Reset button

9. Remove Bing redirect virus with an antivirus app

If you cannot remove the Bing redirect virus from your Mac, use MacKeeper to remove all traces of the browser hijacker. Here’s how:

  1. In MacKeeper, select Antivirus in the sidebar. Click Start Scan.
  2. When the scan is finished, select what you want to get rid of, and click Delete.
  3. Click the Delete button to confirm.
Open up MacKeeper, then select Antivirus from the sidebar. Now click 'Start Scan' and the app will begin an on-demand virus scan.
Step 1. Start an antivirus scan
If MacKeeper finds any malware, you'll be presented with a list of the threats at the end of the scan. Select what to remove, then click 'Delete'.
Step 2. Select what to remove and click Delete
Complete the removal process by clicking the 'Delete' button in the pop-up. Your Mac should now be free of malware, including anything linked to the Bing redirect.
Step 3. Click Delete to confirm removal

What you can do to avoid the Bing redirect virus

A Bing redirect virus is tricky to remove but not impossible. Of course, it’s even better if you can prevent this malware from ever getting on your Mac in the first place. Here are a few tips to keep your Mac clear:

  • Only download stuff from trustworthy sources, paying extra attention while installing programs. Even apps that look legit may be Trojans hiding a very nasty surprise.
  • Avoid interactions with fake banner notifications and site alerts. These will often pop up on low-quality websites, but you might also find them on websites that have been taken over by hackers.
  • Consider using a content-blocking extension or anti-malware software for additional protection. MacKeeper can help do both.
  • Be careful about installing web browser extensions. If you are going to install them, stick to the official add-on stores for each browser.
  • Never open attachments or links in emails if you don’t recognize the sender. These can easily lead to malware, infecting your system with viruses and browser hijackers.

Keeping on top of your cybersecurity

Although the Bing browser hijacker isn’t technically a virus, it’s malware, and it has the ability to direct to infected web pages—and that’s when you’ll end up with a virus on your Mac. For that reason, you should also protect your system with antivirus, whether it’s an iMac, Mac mini, or MacBook Air.

 

MacKeeper is the ideal choice. As well as offering on-demand scans, it offers real-time protection, which means it’s constantly monitoring your Mac to make sure there are no infections. Combine it with all the tips in this guide, and you can prevent Bing hijacking Google Search on your Mac.

FAQ about Bing redirect

1. Why am I getting redirected to Bing?

It’s possible you accidentally changed your web browser’s home page, but you might have a browser hijacker on your Mac. This will take over your browser and automatically redirect it to whatever pages the hijackers choose.

2. Why does Bing keep hijacking my Safari?

Although Apple includes some security features in macOS, Safari can still pick up viruses and other malware—including browser hijackers. Read our guide on does Safari protect against viruses? for more information.

3. How do I stop Bing from hijacking my browser on Mac?

You’ll need to reset your web browser, uninstall suspicious extensions, and remove suspicious apps. The easiest way to do that is to use an antivirus tool like MacKeeper. This will help you to get rid of the Bing redirect on your Mac quickly and easily.

4. What is the best tool to remove browser hijackers on Mac?

A lot of what you need to remove browser hijackers is built right into your web browsers themselves. Resetting them and removing rogue extensions is a big part of the process. But if the hijacker is hidden or linked to malware, you’re going to need a cybersecurity app like MacKeeper to seek out and remove this unwanted data.

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