How to remove SimpleSearchApp adware from your operating system

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

How to remove SimpleSearchApp from Mac computers

What is SimpleSearchApp?

SimpleSearchApp is categorized as adware. It is endorsed as tool to enhance the browsing experience by allegedly providing fast searches, accurate and improved search results, etc. In fact, it delivers intrusive ad campaigns. I.e., displays various advertisements, some of which are harmful. Furthermore, due to its dubious proliferation methods, SimpleSearchApp is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).

SimpleSearchApp adware

Adware displays a wide variety of unwanted and intrusive ads including, for example, pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons and so on. Intrusive advertisements significantly diminish the browsing experience. They limit browsing speed and overlay web page content. As well as affecting the browsing experience, these ads possess certain capabilities that endanger device and user safety. When clicked, they redirect to a number of dangerous sites including (but not limited to) untrustworthy, rogue, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious web pages. Clicking can even trigger them to execute scripts designed to stealthily download/install PUAs. Adware is not the only type of unwanted application. Other types can generate redirects to similarly hazardous websites. Some can hijack browsers. This kind make unauthorized changes to browsers, limit/deny access to their settings and promote fake search engines. PUAs commonly have data tracking capabilities. They record users' browsing activity (URLs visited, web pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This vulnerable data can then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for financial gain. Therefore, PUAs can cause browser and system infiltration/infections, and result in financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To protect devices from these risks, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SimpleSearchApp
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.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.h), 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.

SearchAdditionallyElementsCentral, and PhaseSearch are some examples of other adware infections. In general, PUAs share common traits. These apps often seem legitimate and functional. They tempt users to install with various "useful" functions. While the advertised features may sound inviting, they seldom work as promised. In most cases, the features are nonoperational. The sole purpose of all unwanted applications is to generate profit for the developers, whilst regular users receive no value. PUAs run intrusive ad campaigns, force-open untrustworthy and malicious sites, hijack browsers and collect sensitive data.

How did SimpleSearchApp install on my computer?

PUAs commonly proliferate via download/install set-ups of other software. "Bundling" is the term used to describe the deceptive marketing method of pre-packing normal products with unwanted or malicious content. By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.), many users increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled apps onto their devices. Certain PUAs have "official" download web pages. As mentioned, intrusive ads also proliferate these applications. Once these ads are clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Research all content, before downloading/installing. Use only official and verified download sources. Do not use untrustworthy download channels such as P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), free file-hosting websites and other third party downloaders. Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive ads typically seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to highly dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and so on). If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with SimpleSearchApp, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once SimpleSearchApp installation is complete:

pop-up displayed once SimpleSearchApp installation is done

SimpleSearchApp adware installation folder:

SimpleSearchApp adware install 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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

SimpleSearchApp adware removal:

Remove SimpleSearchApp-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 simplesearchapp 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 SimpleSearchApp removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by simplesearchapp 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 simplesearchapp 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 simplesearchapp 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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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 SimpleSearchApp 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 SimpleSearchApp on your mobile device.
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