Updated: September 2017 – Updated content, images and details.
Adware and Malware are not only for Microsoft Windows. Adware and scam software make their way to Mac OS, specifically, the Mac OS browsers, Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
We found lots of new Adware infections for MacOS in 2016 and 2017 e.g.
Codec-M, FkCodec, Yontoo, Torrenthandler, ClickAgent, Fake Flash Player installations, ChatZum, Conduit, MyBrand, Trovi, Search Protect, SP, Searchme, Slick Savings, Amazon Shopping Assistant, Ebay Shopping Assistant, Domain Error Assistant, Set Search Settings, Searchtab,, GoPhoto.it, Omnibar, GoldenBoy, Texiday, Listchack, InKeepr, Nariabox, Celipsow, savekeep, saVe keeep, suave keepo, jollywallet, Vidx, Viddxx, Vidox, Viidax, ViiDDx, MacVX, MacVaX, MacCaptain, MacPriceCut, SaveOnMac, Mac Global Deals or MacDeals, MacSter, MacXcoupon, Shop, Brain, SShoP Braaiin, MacMin, MaucMino, VidX, Awesome Screenshot, Shopy Mate, PalMall, FlashMall, Cinema-Plus Pro, Search App by Ask, MacShop, MacSmart, News Ticker Remover, Shopper Helper Pro, Photo Zoom, Best YouTube Downloader, ArcadeYum, Extended protection, Video, Download helper, FlashFree, RecipeHub, iLivid, CustomSearchForSafari, Media Player, MusixLib, GoMovix, MovixHub, AdBlock Super, Webpage, Screenshot, NewTabTV, WalletBee, PremierOpinion, Opti-Page, Toppy, Shoppy
What does adware on MacOS do?
MacOS adware might display pop-up advertisements, inline-text or audio advertisements. Adware is also known to cause browser redirects to suspicious downloads or technical support scams.
Unwanted advertisements and browser redirects are valuable for its developers because it makes money by redirecting your browser to suspicious pay-per-click or affiliate advertisement networks.
MacOS adware is not to be found key logging, spreading itself throughout your network or infecting system files. Adware is known to collect Personally identifiable information (PII) such as your IP address, login codes such as passwords, your current location-based on provider and IP-address, your default installed browser, browser screen size, operation system version and even your browsing history.
How to prevent adware on MacOS?
MacOS Adware often installs itself on your computer by custom build bundled installation software known as “Pay Per Install” software.
Be aware at what you install on your Mac click the “Custom” or “Advanced” button during installation. See if it expose any offers and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and uncheck the offers and PUPs before clicking any Next or Install button.
By overseeing the details using an installation you might prevent installation of unwanted adware, potentially unwanted programs and malware in general. This is very important to note, always look carefully at what is installed.
Example of a Pay Per Install Mac OS Adware installer
Look carefully, clicking the Accept button results in a replacement of your default homepage with Yahoo Search and installs a Safari extension named “Search-Assist”. This is just an example of many.
To prevent this, select the Advanced button and uncheck the replacement of your browser with Yahoo and their Search-assist extension.
Or Simply click the Skip button.
Example of a Mac OS Adware Scam
These pop-ups are created and shown using adware installed on your Mac. This is also an example of many, but these pop-ups often result in more infections and unwanted software on your Mac OS system.
How to Remove Malware, Virus, Adware from MacOS
Automatic Malware Removal Tools from MacOS
Manual Malware Removal instructions
Recommended: Combo Cleaner to Clean your Mac from Viruses, Junkware and Uninstall Unwanted Applications
Combo Cleaner is the utility toolkit to optimize and protect your precious Mac against malware, viruses, adware and potentially unwanted programs. Combo Cleaner is a professional Mac antivirus with hourly malware, viruses, and adware definition updates.
Combo Cleaner provides the following features, a Disk Cleaner, remove big files and find duplicate files using its comprehensive scanner to save gigabytes of valuable disk space. Combo Cleaner also has a Privacy shield that eliminates various information stored when browsing the Internet. It’s the all in one security solution for your Mac.
- Install Combo Cleaner by Downloading it from the official Apple Mac App Store.
- Open your Applications folder
- Open Combo Cleaner by double-clicking its Application.
- The first thing to do is to confirm your Home Directory and your Applications Directory.
- Select your Home directory (most of the time this is default) and click Allow access
- Select your Applications directory (most of the time this is default) and click Allow access
- Now Combo Cleaner is ready to clean your Mac, select the Start Combo Scan button.
- Hang on, your Mac is scanned, optimized and the latest virus definitions are downloaded to protect your Mac against the latest threats.
- If threats are found and you want to optimize your Mac, you must upgrade to Premium to do so. Combo Cleaner has a free feature Disk Cleaner. Using this feature will clear all Application cache, the Trashcan and Application logs.
- We highly recommend reviewing Combo Cleaner, try it and buy its Premium features.
Malwarebytes for Mac – How to Use
Before installing Malwarebytes for Mac you need the following specifications, MacOS 10.10 or higher and a working internet connection for product and malware definition updates.
Hardware specifications; Core 2 Duo CPU or faster with 2 GB RAM, 40 MB free hard disk space and an 800×650 minimum screen resolution.
Open the installation setup you just downloaded from the link above.
Double click “Install Malwarebytes 3.pkg“.
Read the information and click Continue.
Read the License Agreements and Click Continue.
You must agree to their terms and agreements to install Malwarebytes, click Agree to continue.
Click Install to install Malwarebytes for Mac.
Enter your owner (administrator) credentials to install Malwarebytes for Mac. Enter the details and click Install Software.
Hang on while Malwarebytes for MacOS is installing. Click Close and Keep or remove the installation file.
Select Scan Now to start scanning your Mac for adware, potentially unwanted programs, and other malware.
Malwarebytes for Mac Features
- Cleans infected Mac from Adware, Potentially Unwanted Programs and malware such as Ransomware, Spyware, Viruses.
- Prevents Mac virus, spyware, and malware infections from drive-by infections or Pay Per Install download managers.
- Proactively blocks adware and unwanted programs from infecting you Mac and Browser. No more toolbars, pop-up redirects and browser hijackers.Updates to the latest Malwarebytes protection automatically. The latest updates are protecting your MacOS computer daily from the newest infections.
- free and fully to use 30 days trial.
Remove Browser Extensions from Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox MacOS
Adware on MacOS behaves almost the same on a Windows computer and often use a Browser Extension to promote its advertisement or redirects. In this manual removal instruction, we are going to remove the possible browser extension for Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.
We advised to also run an automated removal tool as advised in this instruction to check your computer for related adware files. Malware leaves traces, they should be removed to complete the malware removal process.
Remove Adware and Malicious Browser Extension(s) from MacOS Safari
- Open Safari
- Go to Safari in the MacOS menu and select Preferences
- Go to tab Extensions and remove all extension you don’t know or need, listed in the panel using the Uninstall button.
Remove Browser Extension(s) from Google Chrome for MacOS
- Open Google Chrome
- Select the Google Chrome menu in the menu select More Tools then select Extensions.
- On the left select Extensions and remove all extension listed in the panel using the trash can icon.
Remove Browser Extensions extension(s) from Mozilla Firefox for MacOS
- Open Firefox
- Go to Firefox MacOS menu select Preferences
- On the left select Extensions and remove all extensions listed in the panel.
Reset Browser(s) Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox
Reset Safari MacOS prior to version 8
When u need to reset Safari to default settings and thereby replace your default homepage back to the Apple website, follow this easy instruction.
- Open Safari from the MacOS menu
- Click Reset Safari
- Enable all items in the checklist
- Click Reset button
Hard Reset Safari for all MacOS versions.
If nothing works, and you want to completely reset MacOS Safari to default settings, this is the instruction for you.
Remember, nothing is saved from Safari!
- Close Safari first, open this website (https://www.fixyourbrowser.com/how-to/remove-adware-mac-osx-safari-chrome-firefox/#reset) in another browser or device. Or copy the text in a text editor.
- Press CMD+Spacebar the same time
- Enter Terminal
- Terminal is open now
- Copy the following text in the Terminal Window.
rm -rf ~/Library/Safari/;rm -rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.apple.Safari*;rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari*;rm -rf ~/Library/Cookies/com.apple.Safari*;rm -rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari*
- Restart Safari
- Enjoy a clean and brand new Safari. (this reset method is not supported by Apple).
Video instruction on our YouTube channel to see the Safari Reset in action
Reset Google Chrome to default settings MacOS
- On your computer, open Google Chrome.
- At the top right, click More Settings.
- At the bottom, click Advanced.
- Under the section “Reset,” click Reset.
- Confirm by clicking Reset.
Resetting your browser settings will impact the settings below:
- Default search engine and saved search engines will be reset and to their original defaults.
- Homepage button will be hidden and the URL that you previously set will be removed.
- Default startup tabs will be cleared. The browser will show a new tab when you start-up or continue where you left off if you’re on a Chromebook.
- New Tab page will be empty unless you have a version of Chrome with an extension that controls it. In that case, your page may be preserved.
- Pinned tabs will be unpinned.
- Content settings will be cleared and reset to their installation defaults.
- Cookies and site data will be cleared.
- Extensions and themes will be disabled.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to default settings MacOS
- Click the menu button (3 stripes in the right top corner) and then click help (the question mark icon in the bottom).
- From the Help menu choose 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 the Refresh Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
- To continue, click Refresh Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
- Firefox will close to refresh itself. When finished, a window will list your imported information.
- Click Finish and Firefox will open.