The Bing redirect campaign is a long-standing issue in the Mac ecosystem, and it is getting worse as more intricate schemes are being added to the sketchy mix.
There is no denying that macOS is a tough nut to crack when it comes to malware attacks. Apart from small issues, like annoying browser notifications and online ads, it's generally free from hassles. Yet some threats are sophisticated enough to get around Apple’s security mechanisms. Malicious code known as the Bing redirect virus demonstrates the viability of stealth schemes that hinge on human error to plague Mac machines on a large scale.
The infiltration of the unwanted app behind this snafu occurs when an unsuspecting Mac user opts into the default mode of a setup client that appears to streamline the process of installing a piece of freeware. The typical red herring is an Adobe Flash Player update pushed via intrusive pop-ups on harmful or compromised websites. The ostensibly benign utility often conceals a cesspool of shady extras, including potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
Since the opportunistic items are not listed in the “express” installation screen, users click through without a second thought – only to fall victim to a culprit that takes over their preferred web browser in a snap.
To make it easier for you to navigate—click on any of the sections below:
- Signs of the Bing redirect raid
- How to detect and get rid of Bing redirect virus
- How to remove Bing redirect malware in a few clicks?
- How to stop Bing redirects in Safari
- How to remove Bing in Chrome
- Get rid of the Bing in Mozilla Firefox
- How to get Bing out of the way in Opera
- How to avoid browser takeover
Telltale signs of the Bing redirect raid
The most conspicuous symptom is that your web browsers start returning bing.com whenever you enter search terms in the address bar, even if the default search engine specified in the settings is different. Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera are all susceptible to this foul play.
When trying to toggle the preferences, you will be surprised to discover that the search provider listed in the affected browser’s settings screen is correct. In some cases, though, it is replaced with one of the following URLs:
These are intermediary sites associated with low-quality advertising networks and dubious APIs. Although they show up in the browser for just a split second during the redirects, they play a crucial role in this plot by allowing malicious actors to monetize the hijacked Internet traffic. Why is Bing the landing page then? The most plausible theory is that it simply smokescreens the hostile part of the attack and instills a false sense of legitimacy.
Reverting to the normal browser configuration is easier said than done because the underlying mischievous app exhibits extraordinary persistence. A fraudulent Mac configuration profile is what helps it survive commonplace manual cleanup attempts. It is created at an early stage of the incursion and holds sway over the web navigation facet of computing. Therefore, eliminating this rogue profile is the silver bullet that paves the way toward successful troubleshooting.
The following steps will help you remove this stubborn malware strain and take care of its after-effects for good.
How to detect and get rid of Bing redirect virus
If you are incessantly rerouted to Bing, it means that a specific malicious application, such as Quick Mac Fixer bundle, has cropped up in your system and needs to be purged without further ado. The steps below will walk you through identifying and removing dodgy components of the infection.
1. Click the Go menu in the Finder and select Utilities. Then, double-click Activity Monitor
2. Look for a suspicious process you do not recognize. Focus on resource-intensive binaries that appear to be unrelated to the system or software you knowingly installed
3. If you pinpoint the baddie, choose it and hit the X icon in the upper left-handed corner of the screen. Then, go ahead and click Force Quit
4. Select Applications in the Finder’s Go drop-down menu. Look for a dubious app and move it to the Trash. As a rule, that is a recently installed app that ended up inside your Mac without you noticing
5. Reopen the Go menu—choose the Go to Folder entry
6. Paste ~/Library/LaunchAgents as pictured on the screenshot below. Next, hit the Go option
7. Examine the LaunchAgents list and delete the objects that do not belong there
8. Follow the same steps for these folders: /Library/LaunchAgents, /Library/LaunchDaemons, and ~/Library/Application Support. Look through their contents and send unwanted items to the Trash folder
9. Open System Preferences, choose Users & Groups, and click the Login Items tab. Spot the malware and hit the “minus” icon to prevent it from being launched during system startup. Enter your admin password if a dialog asks you to
10. Click Profiles on the System Preferences screen. Select the harmful item (e.g., “TechSignalSearch” or “AdminPrefs”) under User Profiles and click the “minus” sign to get rid of it
11. Empty the Trash
Now that you have removed the malware and its core elements, you will need to remedy your browsers that are still acting up. Given the stubborn gist of the Bing redirect quagmire, the most effective method to get back on track is to reset the affected browsers to their original settings. Although this will clear your web surfing customizations, the final result outweighs all the downsides.
How to remove Bing redirect malware in a few clicks?
If removing Bing redirects manually seems tedious or overcomplicated —let MacKeeper and its Security tools do the job for you:
- First, run the Antivirus scan for malware. Once the threat is detected—delete it by moving to quarantine. Don’t forget to enable the real-time Mac protection feature to prevent viruses on your Mac
- Next, scan your system for adware. Choose the Adware Cleaner feature in the Security section of MacKeeper and start the scan
That’s it. Two basic steps in MacKeeper can help you forget about such annoying issues as Bing redirect malware in your browsers.
How to stop Bing redirects in Safari
Tidy up Safari settings
- Open the browser, click Safari next to the Apple logo at the top left of the screen, and select Preferences on the pull-down list. Click the Advanced tab and enable the option that says Show Develop menu in the menu bar
- Expand the Develop menu as shown below and select Empty Caches
- Click History and select the Clear History menu item. Keep the all history option enabled and click the Clear History button on the pop-up dialog
- Open the Safari Preferences again and click the Privacy tab. Use the Manage Website Data option to obliterate all information stored by websites you have visited
- Restart Safari
How to remove Bing redirect virus from Google Chrome on your Mac
Reset settings in Chrome
- Open Chrome browser, head to Settings, click Advanced, and select Reset settings
- Click the button that says Restore settings to their original defaults and click Reset settings on the dialog
- Restart Chrome
Get rid of the Bing rerouting nuisance in Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox, proceed to the Firefox menu, click Help, and pick Troubleshooting Information
- Spot the section called Give Firefox a tune up and select the Refresh Firefox option
- Relaunch Firefox
How to get Bing out of the way in Opera on Mac
Reset Opera to its defaults
- Open the Opera browser and click Settings
- Select the Advanced option and scroll down to the Reset settings block
- Click Restore settings to their original defaults and confirm this action by clicking the Reset button on the pop-up that has appeared
- Restart Opera
How to avoid browser takeover down the road
The rule of thumb is to follow safe software installation practices. Besides, it's always good to have instructions on how to remove other unwanted browser extensions in case they begin bugging you—stick with trusted application portals that verify the content they host and pull the plug on double-dealing programs. Also, treat freeware installers like Bundlore with caution and always check them for extra items that could be hidden in plain sight.