search browser hijack on OSX

21 11 2013

Just spent a half hour sorting out some irritating search toolbar and browser hijack that my mum’s Mac seemed to have got from somewhere.  Most of what I read on the internet seemed to be out of date or inaccurate maybe, so I’m posting my steps to getting rid of this here in case it is of use.

Environment:  OSX 10.6.8 with Firefox 25.0.1

Symptoms:  Normal home page has been replaced by some odd search engine. URL box shows “”.
The search box to the right of the URL box is showing “Installl [sic] converter customized web search” instead of Google.
Setting home page back to normal is overridden next time Firefox starts.

Resolution steps:  Clicked Tools | Add-Ons and removed something not expected called “Youtube video downloader”.  Clicked the top-right box’s dropdown and removed the search provider, setting it back to Google.

Home page was reset back to on restarting Firefox still, so this needed further investigation.  In the end, I removed the following two directories (the path may not be quite the same on your Mac):
Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/4ka1hno1.default/conduitCommon
Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/4ka1hno1.default/CT3299872

Restarted Firefox and set the home page, which now seems no longer to be hijacked.






One response

28 11 2013
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