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TopicLookup Adware (Mac)

Also Known As: Ads by TopicLookup
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is TopicLookup?

TopicLookup is promoted as a legitimate tool (app), however, it is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA), an adware-type app that deploys intrusive advertisements. Additionally, these apps often gather information - usually relating to users' browsing habits.

TopicLookup adware

Adware is a type of software that, once installed, starts serving users with various annoying, unwanted advertisements. For example, coupons, banners, pop-up ads, surveys, and so on. Typically, they occupy website space and conceal underlying content.

If clicked, ads displayed by adware often cause unwanted redirects to dubious, potentially malicious websites. In other cases, they might run scripts designed to download and install other PUAs. Another common problem with having apps of this type installed is information tracking.

They are often designed to collect browsing-related (and other) information: IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations, and so on. People who create these apps often share the data with other parties, potentially cyber criminals.

These third parties then misuse the details to generate revenue. To keep computers safe from unwanted installations, computer infections, and avoid experiencing problems relating to browsing safety and privacy, we recommend that you uninstall all PUAs (adware-type and others) immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by TopicLookup
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-J [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.AdLoad.1), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.Q), Kaspersky (not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.d), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
TopicLookup's Location (File Path) /Users/user-name/Library/Application Support/com.TopicLookup/TopicLookup
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 browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Very often developers present adware and other potentially unwanted software as useful and legitimate, however, when installed, apps of this type rarely operate as they supposed to (as promoted).

Typically, their developers use them to generate revenue and their users receive nothing in return (PUAs do not provide them with any value). Some examples of other adware-type unwanted apps are ChangeToPDF, PDF Mac Master and Snap Media Player.

How did TopicLookup install on my computer?

Typically, unwanted apps are installed when people download and install other software without dismissing them. I.e., when they leave all software setup settings (such as "Custom", "Advanced", and others) unchecked and unchanged. Developers often include unwanted apps into the setups of other, regular software.

This marketing method is called "bundling". They hide information about the inclusion of unwanted apps into setups (settings). In this way, many people allow unwanted apps to be installed together with regular software that they wish to download and install.

Another way to cause unintentional downloads/installations is by clicking (intrusive) advertisements - these should not be trusted.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Do not use third party software downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule etc.), dubious, unofficial websites and other similar sources to download software. Download using official, trustworthy websites and direct download links. It is important to check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of software setup and deselect unwanted apps.

Otherwise, they are downloaded and installed with your chosen software. We also recommend that you avoid clicking intrusive advertisements, especially if they are displayed on untrustworthy pages. When clicked, they often redirect people to untrustworthy websites such as gambling, pornography, adult dating, and so on.

If you encounter these redirects or ads, check for unwanted/unknown extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the default browser. Also check the list of the installed programs on the operating system and remove all suspicious, unwanted apps/programs immediately.

If your computer is already infected with TopicLookup, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

TopicLookup adware installer:

Delusive installer used to promote TopicLookup

Screenshot of installer bundling TopicLookup:

topiclookup installer containing bundled apps

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the TopicLookup application are designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles".

pavadinimas preferences step 1

2) Select the "AdminPrefs" profile and delete it.

pavadinimas preferences step 2

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this browser hijacker.

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: 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 Mac malware. 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. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

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

TopicLookup adware removal:

Remove TopicLookup-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 ads by topiclookup 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.

Ads by TopicLookup removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by topiclookup 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 ads by topiclookup 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 ads by topiclookup 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.

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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.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Ads by TopicLookup QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by TopicLookup on your mobile device.
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