How To Remove Weknow.ac Malware (macOS)

Weknow.ac is malware or malicious software. It is basically a program that can hurt your Mac. This particular malware is a fake search engine (www.weknow.ac). It may look innocent but we know.ac records your activity without your permission. On your computer, weknow.ac is probably installed via a fake Adobe Flash update. A fake Adobe Flash will install this. It targets Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. The way it operates is to hijack your browser settings and then to change your default search engine to https://www.weknow.ac without your participation.

If you have this. You definitely should remove it. This article explains how you can uninstall the weknow.ac malware.

See also: Amazon Winner, Free Gift Card, Congratulations Scams & How To Stop Them

How to remove weknow.ac

Before we continue,

Please do not trust the Fake Adobe Flash Player installer pop-up:

fake Adobe Installer

Please pay special attention what you install. As you can see below, read carefully what is being installed. It is not easy to completely remove this but it is possible.

weknow.ac installer Steps:

Please follow the steps below to switch the hijacked default search engine in your browser (Chrome or Safari) back to your default search engine (e.g, Google or Bing etc):

During the steps, please note that if you see these names anywhere (MacSaver, MacVX, MacVaX, MacCaptain, MacPriceCut, SaveOnMac, Mac Global Deals or MacDeals, MacSter, MacXcoupon, Shop Brain, SShoP Brain, PalMall, MacShop, MacSmart, News Ticker Remover, Shopper Helper Pro, Photo Zoom, Best YouTube Downloader, ArcadeYum, Extended protection, Video download helper, FlashFree, GoldenBoy, Genieo, Inkeeper, InstallMac, CleanYourMac, MacKeeper, SoftwareUpdater), remove them.

See also: Critical Security Warning! Your Mac is Infected…Fix

1-Remove the weknow.ac profile. Here is how:

  1. On your Mac, open System Preferences (click the System Preferences icon in the dock)
  2. Click Profiles
  3. Select AdminPrefs
  4. Delete this profile (AdminPrefs) by pressing the minus icon.
  5. Now delete search engine settings:
    1. Chrome: chrome://settings/searchEngines
    2. Safari: Safari > Preferences > Search

2-Delete weknow.ac. Remove anything weknow.ac related. Remove anything suspicious apps to the Trash folder. Look for recently added apps.

  1. Open the Applications folder
  2. Delete Weknow.ac or Weknow.ac.app also look for “MPlayerX”,“NicePlayer”. Look for suspicious apps.
  3. Empty Trash

3-Remove the weknow addon

  1. Safari: Safari > Preferences > Extensions > Locate the weknow.ac extension and remove it
  2. Google Chrome: Go to chrome://extensions/ and find the weknow.ac addon and remove it.
  3. Firefox: Go to about:addons and remove the addon.

4-Delete weknow files:

  1. Go > Go to Folder (or press Shift + Cmd + G)
  2. Enter /Library/LaunchAgents and click Go
  3. Look for suspicious files such as “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”. Some other names you should look for Genieo, Inkeeper, InstallMac, CleanYourMac, MacKeeper, SoftwareUpdater, MplayerX, NicePlayer, installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist, com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, “com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”. If you see any of them, drag them to the Trash folder and then empty Trash.
  4. And now repeat the same process on the following folders:
    1. /Library/Application Support
    2. /Library/LaunchDaemons

5-If your browser is Chrome, follow the steps below to change some Chrome policies, if you are still having the problem:

  1. Open the Terminal app (Go > Utilities > Terminal or press Command+Space and search Terminal)
  2. Enter the commands below, hit Enter after each
  3. defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageIsNewTabPage -bool false
  4. defaults write com.google.Chrome NewTabPageLocation -string “https://www.google.com/”
  5. defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageLocation -string “https://www.google.com/”
  6. defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderSearchURL
  7. defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderNewTabURL
  8. defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderName
  9. Restart Chrome

Please note that the developers behind weknow.ac are very sneaky and they will likely further develop this malware so this means that those tips may not work in near future. We will try to keep updating this posts.

You may also want to install and run MalwareBytes.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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100 thoughts on “How To Remove Weknow.ac Malware (macOS)”

  1. How do you find “profiles” in system preferences? I have a Mac and I am using High Sierra. I cannot find “profiles” anywhere on my system

    Reply
  2. Hi. these tips did not help. In my case weknow has become the organization manager of my chrome. I am locked out of deleting profiles. I’ve uninstalled chrome, I tried tip 5, I could not find the folders /Library/LaunchAgents etc. shift, command, g did not work, but I tried to find it using the search in finder and it returned no results. The first 3 steps were not on my Mac as well.

    Reply
    • I found the library. On my Mac its just LIB
      I went through the steps to look and remove files. I decided to delete all files related to chrome.

      Reply
  3. Thank you so much…the terminal commands finally did the trick. You people are awesome for posting these instructions!

    Reply
  4. Please help! i did all the steps and cleaned my computer with two malware cleaners. im still having uses. what more can i do? i have spent hours trying to remove weknow from my mac and nothing has worked

    Reply
  5. I tried to remove weknow.ac via the terminal [see Youtube video] but that didnot remove all of the malware from my computer. This guidance was immediately helpful!

    Reply
  6. I was possessed by weknow, and it had given my standalone Mac an administrator. I deleted the AdminPrefs profile from my profile and ran the terminal scripts. I could never find hide nor hair of weknow on my system; it must be hiding as something else. Two things remain: Chrome still thinks it is managed by my organization, and my system preferences no longer has a profiles tab. Neither of these is a problem . . . yet!

    Many thanks for this article!!

    Reply
  7. Removing these policies from the command line was the only thing that worked! I had trouble finding the specific files within my computer that were causing the problems; I was not able to delete them as a result. This helped me locate and delete them easily. I would suggest deleting all preferences rather than rewriting them. Also, check chrome://policy to see which ones are actually affecting your browser; they varied for me.

    Thank you!

    Reply

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