Remove DiscoveryEngine adware from your Mac

Also Known As: Ads by DiscoveryEngine
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove DiscoveryEngine from Mac computers

What is DiscoveryEngine?

DiscoveryEngine is a rogue application, promoted as a tool capable of improving the browsing experience. It can supposedly provide fast and accurate search results, however, it acts as adware, running intrusive advertisement campaigns, delivering undesirable and possibly dangerous ads. Adware often has data tracking abilities, which are employed to record information relating to users' browsing activity. Furthermore, DiscoveryEngine is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) due to its dubious proliferation methods.

DiscoveryEngine adware

Adware-type applications display a wide variety of intrusive advertisements, such as pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, and so on. These severely diminish the browsing experience by limiting browsing speed and site visibility (i.e. the ads overlay web page content). More than just a nuisance, they are also a threat to device and user safety. When clicked, the ads can redirect to various sale-oriented, untrustworthy, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious websites. Additionally, some can execute scripts designed to download/install unwanted content (such as PUAs). As well as running advertisement campaigns, PUAs can also generate redirects to likewise harmful web pages. Other types can make unauthorized changes to browsers (hijack them) and limit/deny access to their settings. Most PUAs possess data tracking abilities, which they employ to monitor users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This private data can then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for financial gain. Therefore, applications under this classification might cause browser/system infiltration and infections, and lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss, or even identity theft. You are advised to uninstall DiscoveryEngine without delay. To ensure device integrity and user safety, remove all dubious apps and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by DiscoveryEngine
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Full List (VirusTotal)
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 three days free trial available.

Most adware shares certain similarities, as is the case with PUAs. LogicalSearchNeedWebSearch, and MightyBrowser are some examples of applications similar to DiscoveryEngine. They often seem legitimate and entice users into downloading/installing with offers of "useful" and "beneficial" functions, however, these features are rarely operational (even if they do work, then it is not as advertised). The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers - they are not designed with regular users in mind and have no genuine value to them. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs run intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects to untrustworthy/malicious sites and record sensitive data.

How did DiscoveryEngine install on my computer?

Typically, PUAs infiltrate devices through the download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling". By rushing through the download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring or skimming terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.), many users risk inadvertently allowing bundled applications onto their systems. Certain PUAs have "official" web pages, from which they can often be downloaded "free". When clicked, intrusive ads stealthily download/install these apps.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are advised to research content to verify its legitimacy, before downloading/installing. All downloads should be done only from official and verified sources. Download channels such as Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting websites and other third party downloaders are classed as untrustworthy. These sources should be avoided, as they can offer deceptive and bundled software. Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and decline offers to download/install additional apps, tools, functions, etc. Intrusive ads usually seem normal and harmless, however, they can redirect to various dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). If you encounter advertisements/redirects of this nature, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with DiscoveryEngine, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once DiscoveryEngine installation is complete:

pop-up displayed once pavadinimas installation is done

DiscoveryEngine installed on Safari:

DiscoveryEngine on Safari

DiscoveryEngine installation folder and files:

DiscoveryEngine folder

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 three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove DiscoveryEngine adware using Combo Cleaner:

DiscoveryEngine adware removal:

Remove DiscoveryEngine-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 discoveryengine 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 DiscoveryEngine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by discoveryengine 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 discoveryengine 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 discoveryengine 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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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 DiscoveryEngine 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 Ads by DiscoveryEngine on your mobile device.
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