Remove unwanted applications injected by the maccleaner.pkg file

Also Known As: maccleaner.pkg rogue installer
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to prevent unwanted installation of software distributed through the maccleaner.pkg file

What is maccleaner.pkg?

The maccleaner.pkg file is used to install unwanted software onto MacOS. Examples of applications that might be installed through maccleaner.pkg are Smart Mac Booster, Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Cleanup Pro, MacKeeper, Mac Auto Fixer, and Advanced Mac Tuneup. All of these apps are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), since they are advertised on deceptive websites, distributed through fake Flash Player updaters, and so on. If the maccleaner.pkg software package file appears in the Downloads folder (or others), we strongly recommend that you do not open or execute it.

maccleaner.pkg scam

Unwanted apps are promoted with their associated installation files (including maccleaner.pkg) by advertising them on deceptive websites. For example, when opened, scam web pages display fake virus alerts. They run fake virus scans and trick people into believing that the operating system/computer is infected with a virus and that it can be removed with a certain program (such as Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Cleanup Pro, and so on). Websites of this type and software advertised on them should never be trusted (do not download or install). The maccleaner.pkg file can also be distributed through fake Flash Player updaters. These do not update software, but simply download and install unwanted software. The maccleaner.pkg file might be disguised as an installation file of an updates package for Flash Player (or other software), however, when opened, it will install one of the aforementioned (or other) unwanted applications. In any case, if downloaded from a dubious channel, the maccleaner.pkg file should never be opened. The best option is to delete this file and avoid downloading files of this kind in the future.

Deceptive (scam) pages are used to promote unwanted software or fake updaters by displaying fake notifications about viruses, outdated software, and so on. These sites are usually opened by PUAs already installed on the system. Apps of this type open dubious pages, display unwanted ads, and gather data such as IP addresses, URLs of opened pages, entered search queries, geolocations, and other information relating to users' browsing habits. Developers share this data with other people (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Furthermore, these apps display intrusive ads that, if clicked, open potentially malicious pages or download/install potentially malicious apps. Examples of ads displayed by PUAs include coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name maccleaner.pkg rogue installer
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.
Detection Names (maccleaner.pkg ) Avast (MacOS:Agent-GT [PUP]), BitDefender (Trojan.MAC.Generic.6675), ESET-NOD32 (OSX/GT32SupportGeeks.DG Potentially Unwanted), FireEye (Trojan.MAC.Generic.6675), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads and websites, fake flash player installers, fake virus scanners, torrent file downloads.
Damage Installation of dubious software, possible monetary loss.
Removal

To eliminate maccleaner.pkg rogue installer 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.

The maccleaner.pkg file is used to install apps that are advertised as useful and legitimate, however, files and programs distributed through deceptive pages (or using other dubious methods) cannot be trusted. Some examples of scam pages that advertise unwanted software through files such as maccleaner.pkg include Checkingforward, Fastsearchday, and Falseortruerdr.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Most users install unwanted apps through dubious, deceptive ads that are capable of running certain scripts or when developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". In any case, people install them inadvertently/unintentionally. When developers distribute unwanted apps through download or installation set-ups of other software, they hide related information in "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar parts of the set-ups. Unfortunately, many people leave these settings unchanged or even unchecked, thereby agreeing by default to download or install unwanted software included into the setup.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software from official and trustworthy websites and do not use third party installers, downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks, and so on. Install and download software properly: check "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings of any setup and dismiss offers to download or install additional apps. Intrusive ads often redirect users to untrustworthy, deceptive websites (especially when displayed on dubious pages). Typically, these ads are shown on pages relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on. Another reason not to click them is the possibility of unwanted downloads/installations. Some ads can run scripts that will download and install unwanted software. If the browser opens dubious pages and/or shows unwanted ads, remove all suspicious and unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins immediately. The same applies to apps installed on the MacOS system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Example of a pop-up scam (Truefalserdr) used to distribute the maccleaner.pkg file (unwanted software):

maccleaner.pkg installer promoting pop-up scam (truefalserdr)

 Example of the Smart Mac Booster app that is installed through the maccleaner.pkg file:

maccleaner.pkg installs Smart Mac Booster

Instant automatic removal of maccleaner.pkg rogue installer: 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 maccleaner.pkg rogue installer. 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 unwanted applications distributed via Maccleaner.pkg file 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 maccleaner.pkg rogue installer 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.

maccleaner.pkg rogue installer removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove maccleaner.pkg rogue installer 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 maccleaner.pkg rogue installer 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 maccleaner.pkg rogue installer 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.

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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
maccleaner.pkg rogue installer 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 maccleaner.pkg rogue installer on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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