Safari highlighted ad words

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by abz1981, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    HI all

    Don't know where to put this post. Hope someone can help. Recently i have noticed random words being highlighted when I am using safari, when I put my mouse over these words, it brings up some ad. For example while writing this. I can see the Total private messages under my username highlighted green. If I hover over it, i get an ad saying total mac rumors mac and it says I have no idea how I got this on my mac. I have ad blocker, but don't know where this came from. Can anyone help?
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Check Safari menu > Preferences > Extensions and Safari menu > Preferences > Security > Manage Website Settings to see if there's an extension or plug-in you don't recognize.

    If you find a plug-in, you can block there - or you can find them in /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ or in ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ and remove them.
  3. abz1981, Apr 12, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014

    abz1981 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011

    I tried that but still doesn't work. I think its some sort of malware/adware or something on my mac. I think its related to imesh i see this in some ads and not sure if its anything else too. I simply don't know how to get rid of it. I have re-set safari a few times too.

    am also getting like pop up ads on apples website and another ad that has a x button telling me to close the ad. Its a mixture of things, so its either text that is in green, random text and if i move my mouse over it, it brings up a small pop up, asking me to go somewhere else, and then i get these coupon type ads on app website and other sites. (confused)

    Okay an update to this. I spoke to AppleCare via the chat service. Tested the safari ad/malware issue via a test account and still same problem. I have downloaded firefox and the problem has gone now. So it seems to be isolated to safari only. Any way to uninstall and completely remove safari and re-install it again to solve this issue on safari? I was going to do a erase and re-install from timemachine backup, but i forgot my timecapsule password, so dont want to go down that route. any suggestions be great.
  4. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    Can you screenshot the problem? I'm curious to see what it looks like.

    I'm assuming you are on Mavericks. As you can't just download Safari, I'd download the 10.9.2 Combo Update and reinstall that. It *Should* replace Safari with the older 7.0.2 version and place it back to stock.

    Link to 10.9.2 combo update:

    Be sure to backup anything you might lose.
  5. abz1981 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    Hey yes I am on Mavericks. I just dont seem to understand how I have this. Okay I did download some torrent music files and a movie and it did ask me to download some sort of mpxplayer i think its called. but I have uninstalled all of that by dragging it into the trash can etc. Dont have the torrents anymore. But dont know if this got onto my mac with what I downloaded, but its only safari. I have deleted all possible plug ins for internet as possible. Not sure what it is. One of the ads says imesh, I went onto imesh site, but cant find a way to uninstall for safari, but i dont have anything called imesh on my mba. Here are screen shots attached. 11.jpg




    So just to confirm and summarize the following. Some websites show some words in green text which is underscored__ and when I move my mouse over it, it brings up some ad, telling me to click on something. Some websites I get a pop up ad, some websites it just shows a big download ad button. Possibly due to torrent download ( i know its something i should avoid and i will in future, before anyone says anything) I have deleted all relevant internet plug ins I can think of, all extensions been deleted too. I have also created a test admin account, and problem still shows. It seems to be a safari only issue. Other browers such as firefox is actually fine and no problems.
  6. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    You have the iMesh search assistant. Its kind of a pain to remove. Here are the steps to remove it.

    Go here: /Library/Application Support/

    Remove the "VSearch" folder.

    Then remove the following plists and folders:

    (If some of these files aren't there, just skip them and go to the next one.)

    Then go into Safari and from the menu, go to: Safari>Preferences>Extensions

    And look for anything with "Spigot" and remove it. If you aren't sure, just remove the extension. Reboot.

    This should remove the issue.
  7. abz1981 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    OMG your a life saver :) Thank you so much. Its worked your instructions. God what a horrible piece of search assistant I ended up getting my my mac. I was just thinking of using another browser till next update of OS lol. Was checking out firefox and Opera Next, but will keep a second one just incase. I take it you have had trouble with this search assistant before too?? Just glad to get rid of it now.


  8. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    Indeed, I have had trouble with this, just under a different name. Glad it worked and that your Mac is behaving normally again.
  9. Flautoita, Apr 17, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014

    Flautoita macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2014
    Dear All, my osx is 10.7.5 I have deleted the files (I find some of those mentioned above), rebooted, but the problem is still there.
    Does anyone know how to get rid of it on 10.7.5?
    Happy Easter.
  10. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    As far as I know, the instructions are universal to all OS X versions. Did you remove all "unknown" extensions from Safari/Firefox/Chrome?

    It could also be that you are not experiencing the same symptoms of the original poster. Could you screenshot your symptoms and post it here?
  11. fjc macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2014
    Having the same problem!

    I'm having this same annoying problem and the below instruction didn't work for me unfortunately. My screen looks like the above images. I'm wondering if this has somehow gotten on here when my husband uses this computer to stream NBA games (the pop up ads are insane on those sites!)

  12. cschuk macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2014
    Thank you!

    Thank you for this -- I have been tearing my hair out because those green popups are more than annoying -- they really interfere with my work.

  13. simbad0102 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014
    Safari highlighted ad words

    to bobdamnit:
    Thanks for this explanation!!
    It works wonderful :) :)
  14. askyourwish macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2014
    It worked for me too!

    Hi thank you soooo much, I had the same problem and this worked for me.


  15. Zootghost macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2014
    Help Needed please

    Hello Sorry to jump in on the question I really could do with some help.

    I am using chrome on OSX 10.8.5 and have the exact same Problem with I am worried because I was using my paypal account & online banking account with Chrome yesterday and only noticed the malware this morning.

    Would they now have my password my banking accounts?

    Also how can I remove this problem from my browser.

    Any help would be extremely appreciated.
  16. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    Depending on what it does, it could very well have your Paypal account info. Or any other account info you've input into your browser since it has been installed. Better be safe and update your info from a non-compromised machine.

    Lately, it has been much easier to recommend this lovely guide for identifying and removing adware from your Mac. Its a great write up that gets updated frequently, and offers free (donations not required) companion software to help you out. Or, in some cases, the companion software download is blocked. In this case, the dude that wrote the removal guide does offer a manual removal guide also, however the software is pretty decent.


    FWIW, I am not the author of this software or website. However his website and software have helped me in the past, so I recommend it often.
  17. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    Would you be willing to try this? It looks drastic, but it is something I do once a week, at minimum:

    1.) Quit Safari.

    2.) Open up YourUsername/Library/Safari and delete *everything* and I mean *everything* in there, EXCEPT your bookmarks.

    3.) Open up YourUsername/Library/Caches and completely delete the folder.

    3.) Start up Safari, and go up to the word "Safari" on the top of your screen, and down to Reset Safari.

    4.) Then, finally, go into Preferences (up to the word "Safari" and down to "Preferences"), click on Extensions, and unless you *Really Need* the extensions, turn them off. In fact, if you don't use/need any of them, go ahead and turn the Extension Switch completely off.

    See if that fixes it.

    Again, I do this, myself, at least once a week, usually daily (via an Apple Script, to save time), and keeps Safari running really fast. But, if you have LOTS and lots of Site Passwords, and Form-Fill-in stuff, and you want Safari to remember everything, then just ignore my post. :)

    The other advice given in this thread is really good. This post of mine, here, is "just my two cents."
  18. bogart1071 macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2015

    Where is Library in the menu? I don't see library and will this remove the highlighted words I keep getting on safari?
  19. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    Download EasyFind application from the App Store and there in "Search" type all the files that bobdamnit mentioned in his post. It will find all those files and you will have an option to delete them.

    And you can use AdwareMedic ( as well which removes all known adware.
  20. bogart1071 macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2015

    Thank you for your help.
  21. bobdamnit macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    Yes, I now suggest using AdwareMedic to remove this pesky search assistant. It does a wonderful job.
  22. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    You are welcome, please report back how it went.
  23. drlou macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2015
    Adware Words are everywhere - Any help?

    I mistakenly ran an application that was supposed to install java on my safari but it installed this AD word demon. It puts Blue Highlighted words all through any text and puts a small green circle with an arrow to the upper right in them all. It is obviously running after the page loads as the page comes up clean then key words change so that ads pop up on roll over....I would NEVER buy anything from a company that put such a thing on my system, but beyond that, it isn't the VSearch problem because none of those files exist in the system. Can anyone help?
  24. Ulenspiegel, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015

    Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    Lou, please do the following:

    1. Run AdwareMedic (
    2. Clean website data and the cashe of your browser.
    3. Check your browser's extensions. If you find anything that should not be there, uninstall it. (Especially MacVX or VidX or similarly named extension).
    4. Install AdBlock or Adblock Plus (,
    5. Reboot.
  25. drlou macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2015
    Is there a manual way?

    I really dislike any adware software or programs that help.
    I would prefer to search and destroy the files myself it at all possible...
    Does anyone know a way like the one earlier which suggested removing files from Library, etc?

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