MacOSDefender Virus (Mac)

Also Known As: MacOSDefender malware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove MacOSDefender browser hijacker from Mac?

What is MacOSDefender?

MacOSDefender is a rogue application designed to take control of installed web browsers. Developers proliferate MacOSDefender using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", and thus it often infiltrates systems without permission. Research shows that, after hijacking browsers, MacOSDefender causes unwanted redirects and might also record various sensitive information.

MacOSDefender browser hijacker on a Mac computer

MacOSDefender is related to another browser-hijacking app called Genieo. After successful infiltration, MacOSDefender displays a pop-up message asking users to grant access to their web browsers (e.g., Safari). The rogue app process runs continually, since MacOSDefender is designed to restart every time it is terminated by the user. After infiltrating the system, MacOSDefender forces visits to a number of dubious sites when users search via the URL bar or simply open a new browser tab. This app is designed to cause the following redirect chain: google.com->goto-searchitnow.global.ssl.fastly.net->my-search.com->searchroute-1560352588.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com->alphashoppers.co. Therefore, after entering a search query, users end up searching via alphashoppers.co (a fake search engine). These redirects significantly diminish the browsing experience (users are redirected against their will). Browser-hijacking applications also record data relating to users' web browsing activity. Collected data (IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) usually includes personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). These people misuse private information to generate revenue. Therefore, information tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. The MacOSDefender application file is stored in the "/Users/test/Library/Application Support/.dir/MacOSDefender.app/Contents/MacOS/" directory. Furthermore, its associated process ("MacOSDefender.app") can be seen in Activity Monitor. Therefore, determining MacOSDefender's presence is straightforward. If you observe MacOSDefender's process in the Activity Monitor, identify associated files present, and encounter unwanted redirects, immediately scan the system with Spyhunter for Windows and eliminate this threat.

As mentioned above, MacOSDefender is categorized as a browser hijacker. Therefore, it shares similarities with other similar apps, such as Any Search Manager, Lavradoor, etc. These apps offer "useful functionality", but few provide the functions promised. Most serve only one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, these unwanted applications modify browser options (thereby promoting rogue sites) and record user-system information. In doing so, they diminish the browsing experience and pose a direct threat to your privacy and browsing safety (promoted websites might contain malicious content).

How did MacOSDefender install on my computer?

Developers promote MacOSDefender using the "bundling" method - stealth installation of third party programs with regular software. Developers are not honest enough to adequately disclose installation of these applications. Therefore, they are hidden within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users are likely rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Behavior that often leads to inadvertent installation of unwanted programs - users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the web and downloading/installing software. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze all steps of the download/installation procedures. Opt-out of additionally-included apps and decline offers to download/install them. We also advise you to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since most are promoted using rogue software. Apps should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. Potentially unwanted applications are also distributed using intrusive advertisements that redirect to malicious sites and execute scripts designed to download/install malware. Most are delivered by adware-type applications. Thus, if you encounter these dubious redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. Key to safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

MacOSDefender displays a pop-up asking users to grant access to their web browsers:

MacOSDefender displaying pop-up

Text presented within this pop-up:

"MacOSDefender.app" wants access to control "Safari.app". Allowing control will provide access to documents and data in "Safari.app", and to perform actions within that app.

MacOSDefender process in Mac Activity Monitor:

MacOSDefender process in the Activity Monitor

MacOSDefender application in the system ("/Users/test/Library/Application Support/.dir/MacOSDefender.app/Contents/MacOS/") directory:

MacOSDefender app in the system

Instant automatic removal of MacOSDefender malware: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of MacOSDefender malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to eliminate MacOSDefender virus using Combo Cleaner:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select “Applications”. In the applications folder, look for “MPlayerX”,“NicePlayer”, or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove macosdefender malware related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

MacOSDefender malware removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove macosdefender malware related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove macosdefender malware related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove macosdefender malware related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

How to remove MacOSDefender browser hijacker from Mac?

What is MacOSDefender?

MacOSDefender is a rogue application designed to take control of installed web browsers. Developers proliferate MacOSDefender using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", and thus it often infiltrates systems without permission. Research shows that, after hijacking browsers, MacOSDefender causes unwanted redirects and might also record various sensitive information.


MacOSDefender browser hijacker on a Mac computer

MacOSDefender is related to another browser-hijacking app called Genieo. After successful infiltration, MacOSDefender displays a pop-up message asking users to grant access to their web browsers (e.g., Safari). The rogue app process runs continually, since MacOSDefender is designed to restart every time it is terminated by the user. After infiltrating the system, MacOSDefender forces visits to a number of dubious websites when users search via the URL bar or simply open a new browser tab. This app is designed to cause the following redirect chain: google.com->goto-searchitnow.global.ssl.fastly.net->my-search.com->searchroute-1560352588.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com->alphashoppers.co. Therefore, after entering a search query, users end up searching via alphashoppers.co (a fake search engine). These redirects significantly diminish the browsing experience (users are redirected against their will). Browser-hijacking applications also record data about relating to users' web browsing activity. Collected data (IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) usually includes personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). These people misuse private information to generate revenue. Therefore, information tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. The MacOSDefender application file is stored in the "/Users/test/Library/Application Support/.dir/MacOSDefender.app/Contents/MacOS/" directory. Furthermore, its associated process ("MacOSDefender.app") can be seen in Activity Monitor. Therefore, determining MacOSDefender's presence is straightforward. If you observe MacOSDefender's process in the Activity Monitor, identify associated files present, and encounter unwanted redirects, immediately scan the system with Spyhunter for Windows and eliminate this threat.

As mentioned above, MacOSDefender is categorized as a browser hijacker. Therefore, it shares similarities with other similar apps, such as Any Search ManagerLavradoor, etc. These apps offer "useful functionality", but few provide the functions promised. Most serve only one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, these unwanted applications modify browser options (thereby promoting rogue sites) and record user-system information. In doing so, they diminish the browsing experience and pose a direct threat to your privacy and browsing safety (promoted websites might contain malicious content).

How did MacOSDefender install on my computer?

Developers promote MacOSDefender using the "bundling" method - stealth installation of third party programs with regular software. Developers are not honest enough to adequately disclose installation of these applications. Therefore, they are hidden within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users are likely rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Behavior that often leads to inadvertent installation of unwanted programs - users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the web, and downloading/installing software. Always select "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze all steps of the download/installation procedures. While doing so, opt-out additionally-included apps and decline offers to download/install them. We also advise to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since most are promoted using rogue software. apps should be downloaded from official sources only, using a direct download links. Potentially unwanted applications are also often distributed using intrusive advertisements which redirect to malicious sites, and execute scripts designed to download/install malware. Most are delivered by adware-type applications, Thus, if you encounter dubious redirects should immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. Key to safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

MacOSDefender displays a pop-up asking users to grant access to web browsers:

MacOSDefender displaying pop-up

Text presented within this pop-up:

"MacOSDefender.app" wants access to control "Safari.app". Allowing control will provide access to documents and data in "Safari.app", and to perform actions within that app.

MacOSDefender's process in Mac Activity Monitor:

MacOSDefender process in the Activity Monitor

MacOSDefender application in the system ("/Users/test/Library/Application Support/.dir/MacOSDefender.app/Contents/MacOS/" directory):

MacOSDefender app in the system

Instant automatic removal of MacOSDefender malware: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of MacOSDefender malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to eliminate MacOSDefender virus using Combo Cleaner:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select “Applications”. In the applications folder, look for “MPlayerX”,“NicePlayer”, or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove macosdefender malware related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar, choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example, “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

MacOSDefender malware homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove macosdefender malware related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser. From the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing homepage in safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "General" tab. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage field. You can also click the “Set to Current Page” button if you wish to set your homepage to the website you are currently visiting.

Change your default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "Search" tab. Here you will find a drop-down menu labelled "Search engine:" Simply select your preferred search engine from the drop-down list.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove macosdefender malware related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing mozilla firefox homepage

To change your homepage, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage Page.

Change default search engine:

mozilla firefox about config

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.

changing mozilla firefox default Internet search engine

In the "Search:" field, type the name of the browser hijacker. Right click on each of the found preferences and click "Reset" from the drop-down menu.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove macosdefender malware related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing Google Chrome homepage

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "On Startup" section, click the "Set pages" link near to the "Open a specific page or set of pages" option. Remove the URL of the browser hijacker (for example trovi.com) and enter your preferred URL (for example, google.com).

Change default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Google Chrome

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "Search" section, click the "Manage search engines..." button. In the opened window, remove the unwanted Internet search engine by clicking the "X" button next to it. Select your preferred Internet search engine from the list and click the "Make default" button next to it.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.