Remove adware from Mac OSX Safari, Chrome or Firefox

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Updated: December 22, 2016 (we keep updating this instruction)

Adware is not only for Microsoft Windows operating systems. Adware makes it’s way to MacOS, Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. We found lots of new Adware infections for MacOS e.g. Genieo, Spigot, Yontoo, Macvx and more.

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 it’s 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,  your location, your current browser and even your browsing habits.

How to prevent adware on MacOS?

MacOS Adware often installs itself on your computer by custom bundled installation software. Be aware at what you install on your Mac and click any “Custom”  or “Advanced” button during installation.

Expose any possible offers or Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and uncheck the offers or PUPs before clicking any Next or Install button.

Example of a Mac OS Adware Bundle

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 a example of many.

mac-os-adware-bundle
Example of MacOS adware bundle installer.

Example of a Mac OS Adware Scam

Example of MacOS scam, which can be caused by adware.

Adware & Malware Removal for MacOS

MacOS cleaning  – Quick menu

follow-all-steps

Step 1 – Combo Cleaner to Clean your Mac – Viruses, Junk, Unwanted Software

Step 2 – Scan your Mac for Adware and PUPs with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

Step 3 – Remove malicious extensions from Safari, Google Chrome or Firefoxcomputer_icon_32

Use Combo Cleaner to Clean your Mac from Viruses, Junk 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 it’s 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.

Download Combo Cleaner Free From Apple Mac App Store

  • Install Combo Cleaner by Downloading it from the official Apple Mac App Store.
  • Open your Applications folder

  • Open Combo Cleaner by double-clicking it’s 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 Trash can and Application logs.

  • We highly recommend reviewing Combo Cleaner, try it and buy it’s Premium features.

Scan your Mac for Adware and PUPs with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac scans for and removes code that degrades performance or attacks your system. Making your Mac, once again, your Mac. Custom-built technology detects and removes adware. Proprietary database identifies over 160 adware variants.

Anti-malware removes malware from your Mac, including Trojans.

Download MalwareBytes for Mac

  • Install MalwareBytes for Mac by Downloading it the link above.
  • Drag MalwareBytes to your Applications folder to install

  • Open MalwareBytes from your Applications folder.
  • MalwareBytes Anti-Malware needs to install a helper tool in order to scan and directory’s and files were malware is located.
    Enter your User Name and Password and click Install Helper
  • Accept the EULA

  • MalwareBytes Anti-Malware will automatically update it’s malware definitions.
  • Select the Scan button to start

  • If malware is found the follow display appears, select everything (most of the time already selected) and click Remove Selected Items.

  • MalwareBytes Anti-Malware requires a reboot of your Mac in order to remove the found malware.
    Reboot your Mac by selecting Yes.


computer_icon_32Remove Extensions from Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox MacOS

Adware on Mac behaves almost the same on a Windows computer and often use a Browser Extension to promote it’s advertisement or redirects. In this manual removal instruction we are going to remove the possible browser extension for Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It’s is still advised to also run a automated removal tool as supplied in this instruction to check your computer for related adware files.

osx safari Remove adware from Safari

  • Open Safari
  • Goto Safari in the MacOS menu and select Preferences

safari 1

  • Goto tab Extensions and remove all extension listed in the panel using the Uninstall button.

safari 2

osx safari 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

osx safari Reset Safari MacOS version 8 (MacOS Yosemite)

In Safari version 8 for Mac OS Yosemite, you cannot reset Safari by clicking some easy buttons. You need to go into the system files and remove anything plugged into Safari 8.0.
There is a easy way to reset your homepage.

  • Select LEFT Shift button your keyboard
  • While holding the LEFT shift, open the Safari browser by clicking the icon on your desktop or Dock.
  • Goto the website you want as homepage for example: www.google.com and stay on this website
  • Goto Safari in the menu
  • Select Preferences
  • By Homepage: click the button Set to Current Page.
  • Close Safari and open again
  • Your default homepage is now the homepage of your choice (if not, perform a scan with AdwareMedic as supplied in this instruction).

google-chrome-logo Remove adware from Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome
  • Select the Google Chrome menu and then Settings

google chrome 1

  • On the left select Extensions and remove all extension listed in the panel using the trash can icon.

google chrome 2

google-chrome-logo Reset Google Chrome to default settings MacOS

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Show advanced settings and find the “Reset browser settings” section.
  4. Click Reset browser settings.
  5. In the dialog that appears, click Reset. Note: When the “Help make Google Chrome better by reporting the current settings” checkbox is selected you are anonymously sending Google your Chrome settings. Reporting these settings allows us to analyze trends and work to prevent future unwanted settings changes.

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 startup 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.

mozilla-firefox-logo Remove adware extension(s) from Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Firefox
  • Goto Firefox MacOS menu select Preferences

firefox 1

  • On the left select Extensions and remove all extensions listed in the panel.

google chrome 2

mozilla-firefox-logo Reset Mozilla Firefox to default settings MacOS

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click help Help-29 .
  2. 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.
  3. Click the Reset Firefox… button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
    Reset 29 Mac
  4. To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
  5. Firefox will close and be reset. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish and Firefox will open.

** Remember to also scan your computer for adware using the free tools in the top of this instruction.

bitdefender logoBitdefender Antivirus for Mac and PC

There is a difference between a adware and a virus scan. The virus scan has much more virus-definitions to scan your Mac. It’s recommended to have a good virus scanner for MacOS. There are free and premium paid alternatives if it comes to Antivirus software for MacOS.


Our advise is to scan with Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and PC. Tested as best Antivirus for MacOS by AvTest.org

Bitdefender Internet Security
Grade: BEST PERFORMANCE
av-test.org, 02/2016

Buy BitDefender Antivirus for Mac and PC


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