How to remove ProdigySearch adware from macOS (Mac Guide)

ProdigySearch is an adware program that displays pop-up ads and unwanted advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. These ProdigySearch advertisements will be shown as boxes containing coupons, as underlined keywords (in-text ads), …

ProdigySearch is an adware program that displays pop-up ads and unwanted advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. These ProdigySearch advertisements will be shown as boxes containing coupons, as underlined keywords (in-text ads), pop-up ads or advertising banners.

Image: Chrome browser is redirected to ProdigySearch ads
Image: Chrome browser is redirected to ProdigySearch ads

What is ProdigySearch?

ProdigySearch is advertised as a program that will improve the way you search the Internet. Though this may sound like a useful service, ProdigySearch can be intrusive and will display advertisements whether you want them to or not.

The ProdigySearch advertisements may have a different text under the pop-up: “ProdigySearch Promos”, “Powered by ProdigySearch”, “Advertisements by ProdigySearch”, “Brought to you by ProdigySearch”, “Ads by ProdigySearch” or “Ads powered by ProdigySearch”. The ProdigySearch ads will typically be shown in the header in strange positions or overlaying the content of the web page.
These ProdigySearch ads are for adult sites, online web games, fake software updates, and unwanted programs.

When the ProdigySearch browser hijacker is installed on a computer, common symptoms include:

  • Advertisements appear in places they shouldn’t be.
  • Your web browser’s homepage has mysteriously changed without your permission.
  • Web pages that you typically visit are not displaying properly.
  • Website links redirect to sites different from what you expected.
  • Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
  • Other unwanted programs might get installed without your knowledge.

How did ProdigySearch get on my computer?

ProdigySearch is installed by the users, whether that is knowingly or not. Often, this type of program is offered through advertisements or bundled with other software, leaving the user puzzled where this software came from.
Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed ProdigySearch without your knowledge.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

To remove the ProdigySearch adware and check your computer for other malicious programs, please use the free malware removal guide below.

How to remove ProdigySearch adware (Virus Removal Guide)

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the number of steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

To remove the ProdigySearch adware, follow these steps:


STEP 1: Remove the ProdigySearch app from macOS

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious app that might be installed on your device.

This browser hijacker may also create a new group policy for your device, so before we proceed with the other steps we need to remove these unwanted changes.

  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Click Profiles.
  3. The list will include an item “AdminPrefs“. Select this and click the remove “” button in the lower-left corner.

If there isn’t a Profiles icon, you don’t have any profiles installed, which is normal.

  1. Open “Finder”

    Click the Finder application on your dock.
    Click on Finder

  2. Click on “Applications”

    In the Finder left pane, click on “Applications“.
    Click Applications macOS

  3. Find and remove the ProdigySearch app.

    The “Applications” screen will be displayed with a list of all the app installed on your device. Scroll through the list until you find the ProdigySearch app, right-click it, and then click “Move to Trash”.

    The malicious app may have a different name on your device. If you cannot find any malicious apps, you can proceed with the next step.

    Find The Malicious App and Remove It

  4. Click “Empty Trash”

    On the dock, right-click on the trash icon and select “Empty Trash”. Doing so deletes the Trash’s contents, including the program that you just sent to the Trash.
    Right-click on Trash and select Empty Trash MacOS

This browser hijacker may add a widget on the menu bar, if you see the ProdigySearch icon in the right end of the menu bar, click on it and then select “Close”.
Next, click the desktop to make sure you’re in the Finder, click Go > Go to Folder, then go to the below folders and delete the ProdigySearch files or folders./Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/Application Support
~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

STEP 2: Uninstall ProdigySearch extension from Safari, Chrome, or Firefox

Safari

  1. Go to Safari’s “Preferences”.

    On the menu bar, click the “Safari” menu and select “Preferences”.
    On the Menu bar Click on Safari then Preference

  2. Check the Homepage.

    This will open a new window with your Safari preferences, opened to the “General” tab. Some browser hijackers may change your default homepage, so in the Homepage field make sure it’s a web page you want to use as your start-up page.

    Change Homepage in Safari

  3. Click “Extensions”

    Next, click on the “Extensions” tab.
    Click on Extensions MacOS

  4. Find and uninstall the malicious extension.

    The “Extensions” screen will be displayed with a list of all the extensions installed on Safari. Scroll through the list until you find the “ProdigySearch” malicious extension, and then click on “Uninstall” to remove it. By default, there are no extensions installed on Safari.

    The malicious extension may have a different name on your device. If you cannot find any malicious extension, you can proceed with the next step.

    Click on Uninstall to remove malicious extension virus

Google Chrome

Google Chrome has an option that will reset itself to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programs. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.

  1. Open Chrome’s “Settings” menu.

    Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Settings“.
    Click on the Chrome menu button then on the Settings button MacOS

  2. At the bottom, click “Advanced”.

    Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link (as seen in the below example).
    Click on the Advanced button MacOS

  3. Under the section “Reset,” click “Reset”.

    Chrome’s advanced settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
    Scroll down and click on the Reset button MacOS

  4. Confirm by clicking “Reset”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button.
    Click on Reset Settings to restore Google Chrome to its default settings MacOS

In many cases, changes to Chrome may not be fixed with a simple browser reset. In such a case, it will be easier to completely remove Chrome and all data, then reinstall. To do this, click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder, then paste one of the below paths into the window that opens.

You will need to delete all of the below items, but before doing this be aware that this will delete all data for all Google apps you have installed, such as your bookmarks, so you will need to export them before doing this.

/Applications/Chrome.app
/Library/Application Support/Google/
/Library/Google/
~/Library/Application Support/Google/
~/Library/Google/
~/Library/Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist

After deleting all of the above files, restart your device. You can now download and re-install Google Chrome on your device. You will need to import any exported bookmarks or other data, and may need to reinstall any other Google apps that you use.

Mozilla Firefox

If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history, and open tabs.

  1. Go to the “Help” menu.

    Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
    Click on the Firefox Menu button then select Help MacOS

  2. Click “Troubleshooting Information”.

    From the Help menu, click on “Troubleshooting Information“.

    If you’re unable to access the “Help” menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.

    Troubleshooting Information option in Firefox MacOS

  3. Click on “Refresh Firefox”

    Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    Click on the Refresh Firefox button MacOS

  4. Confirm.

    To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Click again on Refresh Firefox button macos

  5. Click on “Finish”.

    Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes for Mac to remove ProdigySearch adware

Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware apps, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

The first time you install Malwarebytes, you’re given a free 30-days trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After 30 days, it automatically reverts to the basic free version that will detect and clean up malware infections only when you run a scan.

  1. Download Malwarebytes.

    You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR MAC DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Mac)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the Malwarebytes-Mac-3.x.y.zzz.pkg file to install Malwarebytes on your device. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file Mac

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The setup wizard displays an introduction to Malwarebytes for Mac. Click on “Continue” to complete the installation process.

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install Part 2

    Next, click on “Install“.

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install Part 3

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install Part 4

  4. Click on “Scan Now”.

    Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To perform a system scan, click on the “Scan Now” button.

    Malwarebytes for Mac Scan Now

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning your Mac for adware and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes for Mac scanning for virus

  6. Click on “Confirm”.

    When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Confirm” button.
    Malwarebytes for Mac - Remove Malware
    Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.


Your computer should now be free of the ProdigySearch adware. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove the ProdigySearch adware from your Mac, please ask for help in our Malware Removal Assistance for Mac forum.

If we have managed to help you, please share this guide to help others.

We're here to help!

If your device is infected with malware, you can ask for free malware removal support in the Malware Removal Assistance forum. In this support forum, a trained staff member will help you clean-up your device by using advanced tools. Never used a forum? Learn how.

Go to Support Forums

Leave a Comment