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Terminate AssistEngine adware

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

What is AssistEngine?

AssistEngine is a deceptive application that falsely claims to enhance the internet search experience. Judging on appearance alone, AssistEngine may seem legitimate and useful, however, it is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) and adware.

There are three main reasons for these negative associations: 1) installation without users' consent; 2) tracking of browsing activity, and; 3) display of intrusive advertisements.

AssistEngine adware

After successful infiltration, AssistEngine delivers various intrusive advertisements, such as coupons, banners, pop-ups, and similar. These are delivered using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, they often conceal underlying content, significantly diminishing the browsing experience.

Furthermore, ads of this type usually redirect to dubious websites and, in some cases, execute scripts that download/install unwanted applications. Thus, clicking them is risky and can result in system infections. PUAs also gather IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, queries entered into search engines, and other data relating to browsing activity.

This information often includes personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private data to generate revenue. Thus, data tracking can lead to privacy issues, including identity theft. You should remove AssistEngine adware immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by AssistEngine
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), 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.

AssistEngine is identical to GenerelOpenTechNetSearchWindowArea, and a number of other PUAs. In fact, all adware-type applications are very similar. By offering "useful features", unwanted programs attempt attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install.

The only purpose of most PUAs is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than enabling the functionality promised, they gather data and deliver intrusive advertisements, thereby posing a threat to your privacy/computer safety and significantly diminishing the browsing experience.

How did AssistEngine install on my computer?

To proliferate PUAs such as AssistEngine, criminals employ "bundling" and intrusive advertising methods. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software. Developers know that users often rush download/installation processes and skip steps.

Therefore, "bundled" apps are intentionally hidden behind "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of these procedures. By skipping download/installation steps and clicking advertisements, many users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

Therefore, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To infiltration by PUAs, be very cautious when browsing the internet. Pay close attention during the download/installation processes and when browsing the internet in general. Never rush any download or installation process. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze each step.

Opt-out of additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are often monetized using the "bundling" method, and thus using these tools is very risky.

Developers invest many resources into intrusive ad design, thereby making them seem legitimate, however, they redirect to dubious websites (such as gambling, pornography, adult dating, and similar). If you encounter these ads/redirects, remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins immediately.

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

AssistEngine adware files:

AssistEngine adware files

Pop-up window displayed after AssistEngine adware installation process is complete:

AssistEngine installer popup

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 AssistEngine adware using Combo Cleaner:

AssistEngine adware removal:

Remove AssistEngine-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 adware-related files and folders

Mac Go To Folder step

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

Mac removing related files and folders - step 1Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

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

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 2Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - step 1

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

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - 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.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 3Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

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

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 4Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - step 1

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

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - 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.

Mac removing malware related files and folders - step 5Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps correctly, your Mac should be clean of infections. To ensure 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 the 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 its virus definition database and click the "Start Combo Scan" button.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 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.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 2

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

Remove malicious extensions from Internet browsers

Safari iconRemove malicious Safari extensions:

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 1

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

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 2

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 regular browser operation.

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

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 2

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

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) and select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 2

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

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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.

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Ads by AssistEngine QR code
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