If your browser homepage or search queries are being redirected through Search.pricklybears.com, then you have a browser hijacker installed that is causing these redirects.
What is Search.pricklybears.com?
Pricklybear is a browser hijacker that will change the homepage and default search engine for your web browser to https://search.pricklybears.com. This browser redirect happens because the “Pricklybears” browser extension or program is installed on your computer.
When installed on a computer, the Pricklybear browser hijacker will change the browser homepage to https://search.pricklybears.com. This browser hijacker will also redirect your browser search queries to https://search.pricklybears.com, which will redirect to search result pages from search.yahoo.com. This is most likely done to generate advertising revenue by using Yahoo Search for its search results.
The Search.pricklybears.com browser hijacker will also track your searches and display advertisements on Search.pricklybears.com.
When the Search.pricklybears.com browser hijacker is installed on a computer, common symptoms include:
- Your web browser’s default homepage is Search.pricklybears.com
- Your browser default search engine is changed to Search.pricklybears.com
- Your browser’s search queries are redirected through https://search.pricklybears.com
- The Pricklybears browser extension or program is installed on your computer
Why is my browser redirected to Search.pricklybears.com?
Your browser is being redirected to Search.pricklybears.com because a browser hijacker is installed on your computer. Often, this type of program is offered through advertisements or bundled with other software, leaving the user puzzled where this software came from.
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 Search.pricklybears.com browser hijacker and check your computer for other malicious programs, please use the free malware removal guide below.
How to remove Search.pricklybears.com redirect (Virus Removal Guide)
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 Search.pricklybears.com browser hijacker, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Remove Pricklybears from Mac
- STEP 2: Uninstall Search.pricklybears.com extension from Safari, Chrome, or Firefox
- STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes for Mac to remove Search.pricklybears.com redirect
STEP 1: Remove Pricklybears from Mac
In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious app that might be installed on your device.
Pricklybears might create a new group policy for your computer, so before we proceed with the other steps we need to remove these unwanted changes.
- Go to System Preferences.
- Click Profiles.
- If there is any suspicious profile, select it 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.
Click the Finder application on your dock.
Click on “Applications”
In the Finder left pane, click on “Applications“.
Find and remove the Pricklybears 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 Pricklybears 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.
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.
This malicious program might add a widget on the menu bar, if you see the Pricklybears icon in the right end of the menu bar, click on it and then select “Close” or “Quit”.
Next, click the desktop to make sure you’re in the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder, then go to the below folders and delete the Pricklybears files or folders.
STEP 2: Uninstall Pricklybears extension from Safari, Chrome, or Firefox
Go to Safari’s “Preferences”.
On the menu bar, click the “Safari” menu and select “Preferences”.
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.
Next, click on the “Extensions” tab.
Find and uninstall the Pricklybears 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 Pricklybears 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.
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.
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“.
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).
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.
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.
In many cases, changes to Chrome may not be fixed with a simple browser reset. In such a case, it’s very possible that a malicious program has created unwanted policies on your browser. You can check if any unwanted policies are loaded into the browser by typing chrome://policy into the URL bar.
To reset these policies, follow these steps:
- Open a new Terminal window. (Finder > Go > Utilities > Terminal)
- Enter the following commands, pressing enter after each line:
defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageIsNewTabPage -bool false
defaults write com.google.Chrome NewTabPageLocation -string "https://www.google.com/"
defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageLocation -string "https://www.google.com/"
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderSearchURL
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderNewTabURL
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderName
- After running these commands, quit Chrome if you haven’t already done so, then launch it again and check chrome://policy to see if the same keys are still present (you may need to click the “Reload policies” button for changes to show up). If they’re gone, you should be able to change your search engine and home page back to your preferred defaults in Chrome’s settings.
If resetting the Google Chrome policies didn’t fix the issue, it will be easier to completely remove Chrome and all data, then reinstall the browser. 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.
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.
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.
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 “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.
Click on “Refresh Firefox”
Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
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“.
STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes for Mac to remove Search.pricklybears.com redirect
Malwarebytes Free is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, 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.
Download Malwarebytes Free.
You can download Malwarebytes for Mac 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)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the setup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes for Mac Installer which will guide you through the installation process. Click “Continue“, then keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process.
When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.
Select “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer”.
The Malwarebytes Welcome screen will first ask you on what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
Select “Use Malwarebytes Free”.
You’ll be then prompted to select between the Malwarebytes Free and the Premium version. The Malwarebytes Premium edition includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and ransomware protection, however, we will use the Free version to clean up the computer.
Click on “Use Malwarebytes Free“.
Click on “Scan”.
To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware and other malicious programs. 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.
Click on “Quarantine”.
When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
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 computer.
Your computer should now be free of the Search.pricklybears.com browser hijacker. If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove the Search.pricklybears.com browser hijacker from your Mac computer, please ask for help in our Malware Removal Assistance for Mac forum.