We love using Safari and Google, so when Safari suddenly redirects us to Bing as its browser, it’s trouble with a capital T!
Unfortunately, if Bing is hijacking Safari it’s often a sign of something more serious–like malware. So let’s learn how to regain control and eliminate that Bing redirect for good.
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Recently, we have seen numerous reports of readers complaining that whey they use Safari on their MacBook and perform a search; the search operation gets redirected to Bing instead of Google Search.
If you are experiencing this, chances are that you may have picked up some browser-based malware during your browsing.
Here are a few steps that will help you deal with this issue on your MacBook.
How do I get Bing off my safari?
#1 Clear Safari browser history and cache
The first thing to do is to clear your Safari browser history and other website data.
In order to do so,
- Click on Safari > Clear History… and then choose ‘All Data’.
- Next, Click on Safari Preferences > Advanced and choose ‘Show Develop Menu’.
- Once you choose this option, find the Develop menu on the Safari top menu.
- Now click on the top Safari menu
- Choose Develop and then choose ‘Empty Caches’.
#2 Reset Safari options to get rid of Bing redirects
Now that we have cleared the Safari History and emptied the cache, follow the steps below to get rid of any browser malware that may have associated itself as an extension and is causing the Bing redirect.
- Click on Safari > Preferences.
- Click on the Extensions tab at the top.
- Any malware that has gotten associated may show up as a browser extension here.
- Uninstall any recent browser extensions by clicking on the Uninstall button next to the extension.
- Now click on the General tab at the top. Here you will need to change the default Homepage if you see an unfamiliar URL. Suggest you choose Apple or other trusted site.
- Next, go to the Search tab and change your default search engine to Google.
Restart your MacBook, open Safari and check if the Browser redirect issue has been resolved.
I still can’t remove the Bing redirect!
If those steps didn’t remove your Safari’s Bing Redirect, try using a reputable antivirus or anti-malware program like MalwareBytes and run a full system scan.
Stop Safari Pop-up or redirects by cleaning Mac Folders
If you are unsure about using any third party software, you can clean up some of the key areas in your Mac yourself. When a browser hijack program infects your Mac, there are only a handful of places where it gets attached and therefore can be easily removed.
Sometimes these programs will mess with your launch programs on your Mac and will automatically override Safari sessions. Once you have cleared the Safari Cache and Safari history following instructions in the prior sections, you can look a little deeper and clean any of these programs.
Use Finder app. Click on Go > Go To and check the following folders and directories for any suspicious programs that you dont recognize.
It’s also a good idea to check your System hosts file for any unknown entries. Open your Terminal app on your MacBook and type in sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
You can delete any suspicious looking items from the above locations and then restart your MacBook.
You can also find additional information from this Apple’s support guide on this issue.
How do I stop Safari from redirecting on my Mac?
- Open Safari
- Select Preferences
- Choose Privacy
- Under Website Tracking, tick the boxes for Prevent cross-site tracking and Ask websites not to track me
- Next, go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Privacy and Security
- Open the General tab
- Look for the section Allow apps downloaded from and select App Store as the default
Protect your Mac from malware
It is important to remember to not visit suspicious third-party sites that often offer free software downloads.
When it comes to protecting your MacBook from malicious software, your best bet is to use the Apple App Store to obtain your software.
A popular third-party app that can help with Safari malware related issues is MalwareBytes. Feel free to check them out.
Stay away from messages about updating Flash!
The other thing to keep in mind is to stay away from the Flash software on your MacBook–especially any pop-ups asking you to update your Mac’s Flash!
If you want to update flash, do it via Adobe’s website or via your System Preferences.
Use Adobe Flash As Needed
If you open a web page and need Flash to play or control the content, then use the Flash player plug-in.
Enable the flash plugin via Safari Preferences.
- Go to Safari > Preferences
- Choose Websites
- Locate the Plug-ins section
- Tap Adobe Flash Player
- Tick the checkbox to enable Flash Player
- Select which site(s) you want to allow flash by choosing On or Ask from the drop-down menu
- Close Preferences once you set-up your flash plug-in settings
We hope that you found this short article helpful.
Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions.
- If you run Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp or Parallels, the problem might be with internet explorer or Microsoft edge. Make sure these have Google as a search engine option and make it your default. You can also delete Bing as a search engine option if you want. Once you set Google as the default, restart and check Safari
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.
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