Remove Smbstrhlpr from operating system

Also Known As: Smbstrhlpr unwanted application
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Smbstrhlpr from Mac?

What is Smbstrhlpr?

Mac users who updated their MacOS systems to Catalina often see a pop-up window with the ""smbstruninstall" will damage your computer. You should move it to the Bin." message in it. Research shows that this pop-up appears when the Smbstrhlpr unwanted app is installed on the operating systems. This app gets installed together with another potentially unwanted app (PUA) called Smart Mac Booster. We strongly recommend to remove both Smbstrhlpr and Smart Mac Booster as soon as possible.

Smbstrhlpr scam

Smart Mac Booster is one of the many PUAs that are advertised through deceptive websites. Apps that are promoted on untrustworthy websites should never be trusted. Also, very often their setups include other PUAs, such as adware, browser hijackers, and so on. There is a high possibility that Smbstrhlpr is one of these apps. Either way, there is no reason not to remove such apps from the system. Having such apps installed might lead to unwanted downloads, installations, they might be designed to display unwanted ads, gather various information, and so on. Smbstrhlpr and Smart Mac Booster can be removed by scanning the operating system with a reputable antivirus software (for example, Combo Cleaner). To completely remove Smbstrhlpr from the system it is required to remove all its files, we provided a list of those files and instructions on how to remove them below.

Threat Summary:
Name Smbstrhlpr unwanted application
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady 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), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate Smbstrhlpr unwanted application 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.

Smbstrhlpr is not the only unwanted app that causes the same problem, a couple of other examples are Helpermcp and Helperamc. It is known that these apps get installed mostly on systems that are updated to Catalina (new MacOS version). However, it is possible that users of other versions might have them installed too. Examples of unwanted apps that are designed to distribute the aforementioned programs are Advanced Mac Cleaner and Mac Cleanup Pro.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

To trick people into downloading and installing unwanted apps developers usually use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". In other words, they include such apps in setups of other software. Developers hide information about these apps (offers to download or install them) in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar options/settings of other software's setups. Typically, when people leave such settings unchanged (they do not dismiss offers to download or install unwanted apps), they allow for unwanted apps to be downloaded or installed together with a desired software. In some cases PUAs can be downloaded or installed by clicking deceptive advertisements.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

We recommend to download programs (and files) from official websites and to avoid using third party installers, downloaders, Peer-to-Peer like torrent clients, eMule, and so on. Another way to avoid unwanted downloads or installations is not to click advertisements that are displayed on shady pages. Also, we advise not to finish any download or installation process without checking available "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings and dismissing offers to download additional, unwanted software. If a browser causes redirects to questionable websites or/and serves intrusive advertisements, then all suspicious, unwanted extensions, plug-ins or and add-ons that are installed on it should be removed as soon as possible. If that does not stop ads from appearing or unwanted redirects from happening, then unwanted programs that are installed on the operating system should be removed too. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented within this pop-up:

"smbstruninstall" will damage your computer.

You should move it to the Bin.

This file was downloaded on an unknown date.

Report malware to Apple to protect other users

Screenshot of Smbstrhlpr's files in "~/Library/Application Support/smbstr" folder:

Smbstrhlpr installation folder

List of files that are associated with Smbstrhlpr and should be removed from the operating system:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/smbstr/smbstrhlpr
  • ~/Library/Application Support/smbstr/smbstruninstall
  • ~/Library/Application Support/smbstr/com.smbstrhlpr.smbstrhlpr.plist
  • ~/Library/Application Support/smbstr/com.smbstruninstall.smbstruninstall.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.smbstrhlpr.smbstrhlpr.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Removing the Smbstrhlpr application is a rather complicated process, since deleting this application without firstly terminating its associated process is impossible - the process is automatically re-started immediately it is terminated. Therefore, to remove this application, you must perform the following steps:

1) Navigate to the "~/Library/Application Support/smbstr/" directory, right-click on the "smbstrhlpr" application, and select "Show Package Contents":

Smbstrhlpr Show Package Contents

2) Navigate to the "Contents/MacOS" directory and delete the "smbstrhlpr" application:

Smbstrhlpr delete executable

3) Once the previous steps are performed, the process associated with the Smbstrhlpr application will no longer be automatically re-started and you will be able to easily terminate it and remove the remaining application files:

Smbstrhlpr process in Activity Monitor

Instant automatic removal of Smbstrhlpr unwanted application: 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 Smbstrhlpr unwanted application. 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 "smbstrlpr" unwanted application 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 smbstrhlpr unwanted application 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.

Smbstrhlpr unwanted application removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove smbstrhlpr unwanted application 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 smbstrhlpr unwanted application 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 smbstrhlpr unwanted application 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
Smbstrhlpr unwanted application QR code
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▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

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.