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How to remove ActionHow adware

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

What is ActionHow?

ActionHow software is promoted as improving the browsing experience. It is supposedly capable of providing fast searches, accurate results, and so on. In fact, this adware diminishes the browsing experience by running intrusive advertisement campaigns (i.e., delivering unwanted and even harmful ads).

Most adware-type apps also have data tracking capabilities. Due to its dubious proliferation methods, ActionHow is also categorized as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).

ActionHow adware

Adware-type apps deliver a wide variety of advertisements. For example, pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, etc. They affect browsing by slowing browsing speed and limiting website visibility (by overlaying page content). Furthermore, when clicked, these ads redirect to various sale-oriented, untrustworthy/rogue, compromised, deceptive/scam and even malicious web pages.

Clicking can even trigger them to download/install software without users' permission. An example of content infiltrated into devices in this fashion are PUAs. Note that adware is commonly capable of monitoring users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collecting personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details).

This sensitive data can then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for financial gain. Therefore, adware can cause browser and system infiltration/infections and also lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss or even identity theft.

To protect device integrity and ensure user safety, you are strongly advised to remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ActionHow
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AB [Trj]), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Script.SearchE), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AB [Trj]), ZoneAlarm by Check Point (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Script.SearchExt.gen), 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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Adware is a common form of PUA. Other examples include ExploreSearchResultsGlobalAdviseSearch and EngineFiles. They may seem legitimate and often tempt users into downloading/installing them with offers of "useful" and "beneficial" functions. In fact, these features rarely work as promised and, in most cases, are nonoperational.

In fact, this applies to all PUAs. At first glance, they may seem no different from normal software. Following installation, however, it is clear that they are nonfunctional and useless. The only purpose of PUAs is to generate profit for the developers at the expense of users.

They run intrusive advertisement campaigns, force-open untrustworthy and malicious sites, hijack browsers and promote fake search engines, and gather private data.

How did ActionHow install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed together with other software. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular products with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling".

By rushing through download and installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, using pre-set options, skipping steps and sections, etc.), users endanger their devices with potential infiltration and infections via bundled applications. Some PUAs also have "official" download pages. Once clicked, intrusive ads can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All content should be researched to verify its legitimacy, prior to download/installation. Use only official and verified download channels. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting websites, third party downloaders and similar are untrusted sources and should be avoided.

Treat download and installation processes with caution. When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and so on.

Intrusive advertisements may seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling and many others). If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately.

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

Pop-up window displayed once ActionHow installation is over:

pop-up displayed once ActionHow installation is done

Screenshot of ActionHow adware installation folder:

ActionHow adware install folder

Screenshot of ActionHow adware extension on Safari browser:

ActionHow adware on Safari

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 ActionHow adware using Combo Cleaner:

ActionHow adware removal:

Remove ActionHow-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 actionhow 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 ActionHow removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by actionhow 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 actionhow 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 actionhow 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.

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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.

QR Code
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