When you open your browser and you noticed that the homepage or the default search engine has changed, this means that you have malware on your Mac. This is called browser hijacking when the malware modifies some of the settings of the browser to align with its purpose. For example, adware usually redirects user queries to websites where the ads are hosted or being shown. The goal here is to increase the clicks of the ads and boost the revenue of the advertiser.
When it comes to adware, one of the most popular ones is the search85642244-a.akamaihd.net on Mac. According to users who were unfortunate to encounter the malware, the browser named Akamaihd.net was locked as the default search engine for their browsers, including Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Whenever they use the browser to search or visit a website, they are always redirected to websites that are full of ads, phishing offers, online scams, and malware. According to the affected users, most of the security software they downloaded were not able to detect nor remove the search85642244-a.akamaihd.net on Mac.
Dealing with the pesky ads brought by the search85642244-a.akamaihd.net adware can be frustrating, especially those which are persistent and can’t be closed normally. You can’t use your browser to do what you need to do because the adware will just keep on redirecting you to those annoying websites.
If your Mac is unfortunate enough to be infected with the search85642244-a.akamaihd.net adware and you’re at your wit’s end trying to figure out what to do, don’t worry because there’s hope for you. This guide should give you clear instructions on how to get rid of search85642244-a.akamaihd.net on Catalina and other versions of macOS.
What is Search85642244-a.akamaihd.net?
The search85642244-a.akamaihd.net is an adware that takes advantage of the legitimate Akamaihd content delivery network. The Akamaihd service and content hosting provider is often abused by adware to deliver various advertisements and redirect browsers to unsecure sites. Popular websites, including Facebook and Steam, use this service to host some of their content to minimize the load on their own servers.
Unfortunately, adware often uses legitimate networks, such as Akamaihd, to infect thousands of users and redirect them to affiliate websites. They insert pop-ups, banner ads, in-text links, and other commercial text into the web browsers without the user’s permission.
Once the search85642244-a.akamaihd.net has been downloaded on your Mac, it creates multiple entries within the system, modifies the web browser settings, installs dubious browser extensions, displays intrusive ads, and redirects webpages to affiliate domains.
Browser hijackers, such as search85642244-a.akamaihd.net, are not considered as malicious because they are not able to infect your device without your input. This means that somehow, somewhere, you downloaded or installed software with the adware bundled with it. What makes it dangerous is when the adware redirects you to websites that host potentially unwanted programs or other types of malware.
What happens when you get infected with search85642244-a.akamaihd.net on Catalina? Here are some of the symptoms you should watch out for:
- Ads appear everywhere. You see them even in places they shouldn’t be.
- You noticed that your web browser’s homepage was mysteriously replaced without your permission.
- Web pages that you usually visit are not displaying properly.
- Clicking website links redirects to websites that are different from what you expected.
- Browser pop-ups show up frequently, recommending fake updates or other software.
- Other unwanted apps might get installed without your permission.
How to Remove Search85642244-a.akamaihd.net on Mac
Once you’ve ascertained that your device has been infected with the search85642244-a.akamaihd.net adware, deleting it should be your priority. You can refer to our search85642244-a.akamaihd.net removal guide outlined below.
But before you do so, here are some steps you should take:
- Look for the search85642244-a.akamaihd.net process using Activity Monitor, then quit the running processes.
- Search the following folders for malicious files and drag them to the Trash:
- /Library/Application Support
- Boot into Safe Mode and get rid of infected files using Outbyte MacRepair.
- Restart your Mac and perform the troubleshooting steps below.
How to Avoid Future Search85642244-a.akamaihd.net Infection
Once you have experienced how nasty adware can be, you’ll definitely want to avoid getting entangled with it in the future. It may not be as dangerous as the other types of malware, but they can be extremely annoying and frustrating.
Here are some effective tips to stay away from adware such as search85642244-a.akamaihd.net:
- Keep your operating system and programs updated to patch up possible vulnerabilities in your system.
- Make use of your firewall. Make sure it is turned on at all times.
- Be vigilant when installing programs or apps. Download the installers from trusted sources only and don’t forget to read the fine print.
- Watch what you click. Keep away from pop-up messages and ads.
- Install an ad blocker. You won’t be able to click what you don’t see.