MacAppExtensions Browser Hijacker (Mac)

Also Known As: MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove MacAppExtensions browser hijacker from Mac?

What is MacAppExtensions?

MacAppExtensions is a potentially unwanted application (PUA), a browser app installed by adware-type apps that are already present on the Mac system or browser. Once installed, MacAppExtensions hijacks browsers (changes settings) and gathers information relating to users' browsing activity.

MacAppExtensions browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Most PUAs can be installed on Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Once installed, MacAppExtensions appoints search.tapufind.com as the homepage, search engine, and new tab URL. Therefore, people with MacAppExtensions installed are forced to visit search.tapufind.com when they open a browser, new browser tab, or search using the URL bar. Note that search.tapufind.com is a fake search engine that provides no unique results. It simply redirects users to search.yahoo.com (a legitimate search engine belonging to Yahoo). Another problem with having MacAppExtensions installed is that this app (and search.tapufind.com and associated adware) records information relating to users' browsing habits. It gathers geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, IP addresses, and so on. Developers share the data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Some of the shared data might contain personal details. Remember that MacAppExtensions is installed through adware-type apps already present on the system. Most of these applications serve users with intrusive, deceptive ads such as pop-up ads, coupons, banners, surveys, and so on. When clicked, they redirect people to untrustworthy (or even malicious) websites or execute scripts designed to download and install unwanted apps. We recommend that you uninstall all potentially unwanted apps immediately. Having them installed on your system might cause privacy/browsing safety issues or even lead to identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

There are countless apps that hijack browsers and change settings. Typically, they are promoted as 'useful' - supposedly provide users with tools, features, and so on, however, having apps of this type installed usually leads to problems. Furthermore, they deliver none of the functionality promised and are designed only to generate revenue for their developers.

MacAppExtensions browser hijacker technical analysis:

  • Detection names: BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Linkury.C)
  • Full list of antivirus detections: VirusTotal
  • Executable filename: MacAppExtensions.app.zip
  • Sample first submitted: 2019-02-14

How did MacAppExtensions install on my computer?

In this particular case, the potentially unwanted app, MacAppExtensions, is installed through potentially unwanted, adware-type applications already installed on the system. People usually install these apps unintentionally when they click untrustworthy ads or download/install software without paying attention to the details. To trick people into downloading and installing PUAs, developers use a method called "bundling". They bundle (include) unwanted apps into download or installation set-ups of other software. I.e., they hide information regarding the inclusion of these apps in "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar parts of the set-ups. Unwanted downloads and installations usually happen when people download or install software without changing (or even checking) available settings.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Be very cautious when browsing the web, and downloading and installing software, especially if it is free (free apps are often ad-supportive). Carefully study the "Custom", "Advanced" settings of any download or installation setup. Deselect additionally-included software (applications) and only then finish installing or downloading software. There are many untrustworthy, intrusive ads that, once clicked, redirect people to dubious/untrustworthy websites such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc. They can also cause download and installation of PUAs. If you encounter such redirects or ads, check for unwanted apps installed on the computer or browser. Remove all dubious, unwanted browser plug-ins, add-ons, extensions from the browser, and programs from the Mac computer immediately. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of a browser hijacked by adware:

appearance of a hijacked browser

Pop-up window opened by installed adware that promotes MacAppExtensions:

pop-up caused by adware that promotes MacAppExtensions

Instant automatic removal of MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac 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 Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

MacAppExtensions redirect removal:

Remove MacAppExtensions-related 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 macappextension.app browser hijacker 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.

MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove macappextension.app browser hijacker 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 macappextension.app browser hijacker 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 macappextension.app browser hijacker 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.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of MacAppExtension.app browser hijacker today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.