SearchSkilledData is a Mac browser hijacker and an adware infection that’s caused by the Shlayer trojan, a common type of Mac malware. SearchSkilledData causes issues with your internet connection, unwanted and invasive ads, and can hurt your privacy. It gets downloaded with fake software updates, bundled with adware. Getting rid of SearchSkilledData can be tricky, as this app comes back after being uninstalled.
Searchskilleddata Adware quicklinks
- What is SearchSkilledData
- How to remove SearchSkilledData
- How adware spreads
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- Remove malicious extensions
- How To remove SearchSkilledData Adware from Firefox on Mac OS:
SearchSkilledData details in short:
|Type of malware||Trojan,
|How SearchSkilledData spreads||Downloaded from malicious websites that are opened by pop-up ads and redirects,
malware disguised as trusted programs.
|Effects of the infection||Annoying and dangerous pop-up ads,
|How to remove SearchSkilledData||Use an anti-malware app to remove infections (Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, etc.),
remove related profiles and files,
uninstall SearchSkilledData from apps and browser extensions,
change your passwords.
What is SearchSkilledData
SearchSkilledData isn’t too dangerous: it won’t steal your files or destroy them, and it won’t install ransomware on your Mac (in part, because Mac ransomware is nearly nonexistent). But SearchSkilledData is still a really annoying piece of malware. Here are some of the symptoms that people infected by Shlayer notice:
- browsers and other online apps crashing or freezing, requiring a reboot to fix them,
- weird system pop-ups showing up and hijacking your mouse cursor,
- pop-up ads and redirects plaguing your browser,
- your browser’s default search engine changed,
- the internet connection dropping randomly.
That is distracting enough and can really hurt your productivity, but it gets worse. SearchSkilledData can read your data in your browser, which includes personal data like usernames, passwords, and credit card number; it’s not guaranteed that SearchSkilledData is logging this data but I would advise you to reset your passwords later. The ads that SearchSkilledData injects into your browser are not checked well for malware, so they might expose you to scams and malware – be careful.
If you start your Mac in safe mode, the issues should disappear. Safe mode can’t be used all the time, but it does show that your issues are caused by a third-party program and not system settings. Now you just need to remove the infection.
How to remove SearchSkilledData
The easiest way to remove malware is to use anti-malware programs, such as Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, and others. It’s a good idea to scan your computer multiple times to make sure that you’ve removed the threat.
Check your System Preferences for Profiles. If SearchSkilledData is on your Mac, it must have a malicious Profile installed, too. Remove it by selecting it from the list (it might be the only Profile) and pressing the minus button at the bottom.
Also, look for SearchSkilledData’s files in these folders:
- ~/Library/Application Support
The easiest way to navigate to these folders is by using the Go to Folder dialog that you can open in the Go menu in Finder. Then just type in or paste in the library’s name.
If SearchSkilledData isn’t in your Profiles or your Library folders, don’t give up. The files are probably just named something else. Something in a similar format, like TotalSearch, MultiDetail, AddUpgrade, etc. If you find something suspicious, look it up online, and if you don’t find anything, then ask on Discussions.apple.com or here in the comments.
How adware spreads
SearchSkilledData did not just randomly appear on your Mac, nor was it automatically downloaded by a malicious website (although this is a real thing – most dangerous to those who don’t allow automatic software updates on their computer). Most likely, SearchSkilledData ended up on your Mac when you downloaded a malicious app by mistake.
It’s known that the Shlayer trojan uses fake warnings about required software updates – usually Flash Player. These are malicious installers full of adware that are made to look like real Adobe Flash installers: the website they’re hosted on, the file name, all of it.
As for how we end up on these malicious sites that try to force us to download these fake updates, there are a few ways:
- pop-ups on free movie sites,
- redirects on random infected websites,
- malicious links in spam email and private messages.
The people who are responsible for spreading SearchSkilledData infect random websites with malicious code that causes visitors to be sent to malicious sites automatically.
The point is, you might not have had any malware before getting the SearchSkilledData infection. It could all be the fault of malicious ads and websites. An antivirus program that blocks malicious websites might have helped, but the most important thing is to recognize when random sites telling you to download and install stuff are lying. Which is most of the time.
Automatic Malware removal tools
Remove malicious extensions
How to remove SearchSkilledData Adware from Safari:TopRemove malicious extensions
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences.
- Select Extensions and uninstall SearchSkilledData Adware and other suspicious extensions.
- If your homepage was changed, click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences and choose General tab. Enter preferable URL to the homepage field.
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Reset Safari…
- Select which options you want to reset (usually all of them come preselected) and click on the Reset button.
TopHow to remove SearchSkilledData Adware from Google Chrome on Mac:
- Open Chrome browser.
- Enter in the url field “chrome://extensions” address and hit Enter.
- Find SearchSkilledData Adware on the extensions list and click on the recycle bin icon next to it.
- Click on 'Chrome' button at the top left corner. Select 'Preferences' on a drop-down menu box.
- Find 'Search' options on Settings tab. If your search engine is changed, click 'Manage Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- On the same page find 'Show home button' checkbox and change your homepage.
- On the 'Preferences' menu window, scroll down to the bottom and find 'Reset settings' button. Click it.
- Confirm your selection and click 'Reset' on the following window.
How To remove SearchSkilledData Adware from Firefox on Mac OS:
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla window and select the “Add-ons” icon (Or press cmd+Shift+A on your keyboard).
- Go through Extensions list, remove everything SearchSkilledData Adware related and items you do not recognise. If you do not know the extension and it is not made by Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe then you probably do not need it.
- Enter “about:preferences” in URL bar and hit enter.
- Open Search settings tab.
- If your search engine is changed, click 'Default Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- If your homepage was changed, click on the Firefox menu in the top right corner, select Preferences-> General. Enter a preferable URL to the home page field.
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla Firefox window. Click on the Help button.
- Choose Troubleshooting Information on the Help menu.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button on the confirmation box. Mozilla Firefox will close and change the settings to default.