How to Remove Adware for Mac OS, Mac OSX

Remove adware from Mac OSX Safari, Chrome or Firefox

Updated: April 26, 2017 (we keep updating this instruction, added videos.)
This instruction has helped lots of people. We recommend following the entire instruction to clean you precious Mac.

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. ChumSearch, Advanced Mac Cleaner, Genieo, Spigot, Yontoo, Macvx, SurfBuyer 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 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 location based on provider and IP-address, your current browser, browser screen size, operation system used 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. Be aware at what you install on your Mac click the “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.

By overviewing the details using an installation you might prevent installation of unwanted adware, potentially unwanted programs or malware in general.

Example of a custom build Mac OS Adware Bundle 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.

An example of MacOS adware bundle installer.

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.

An example of MacOS scam, which can be caused by adware.


Virus, Adware, Malware Removal Guide for MacOS


MacOS Anti-Malware tools (automatic clean-up)

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

MacOS Manual instructions (Remove Browser Extensions and Reset Browser(s))

computer_icon_32Step 1 – Remove Malicious Browser Extensions from Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox

computer_icon_32Step 2 – Reset Browser(s) Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox

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 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.

How to Scan for Adware and viruses with Combo Cleaner Antivirus MacOS

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 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.

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. The custom-built technology detects and removes adware. The proprietary database identifies over 160 adware variants.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware removes adware, potentially unwanted programs and malware from your Mac, including Trojans.

Remove MacOS Adware with MalwareBytes

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 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.

It’s is still advised to also run an automated removal tool as advised in this instruction to check your computer for related adware files.

osx safari Remove Adware and Malicious Browser Extension(s) from MacOS Safari

  • Open Safari
  • Go to Safari in the MacOS menu and select Preferences

safari 1

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

safari 2

google-chrome-logo Remove Browser Extension(s) from Google Chrome for MacOS

  • 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

mozilla-firefox-logo Remove Browser Extensions extension(s) from Mozilla Firefox for MacOS

  • Open Firefox
  • Go to Firefox MacOS menu select Preferences

firefox 1

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

google chrome 2

computer_icon_32Reset Browser(s) Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox

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 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 ( 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 follow text in the Terminal Window.
rm -rf ~/Library/Safari/;rm -rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/*;rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/*;rm -rf ~/Library/Cookies/*;rm -rf ~/Library/Preferences/*

  • 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

How to Reset Safari on MacOS (Works for all MacOS versions)

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

  1. Click the Chrome menu on Chrome menu 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 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.

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

  1. Click the menu button.
  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.
  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.
  6. Click Finish and Firefox will open.

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

bitdefender logoBitdefender Antivirus for Mac and PC

There is a difference between an 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 advice is to scan with Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and PC. Tested as best Antivirus for MacOS by

Bitdefender Internet Security
Grade: BEST PERFORMANCE, 02/2016

Buy BitDefender Antivirus for Mac and PC