How to remove ExpertModuleSearch and other adware?

Also Known As: Ads by ExpertModuleSearch
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove ExpertModuleSearch from Mac?

What is ExpertModuleSearch?

ExpertModuleSearch is the name of an application which is a part of AdLoad adware family. Research shows that it is distributed/gets installed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. ExpertModuleSearch is not the only potentially unwanted app (PUA) that gets installed through that installer, another PUA named Safe Finder gets installed too. This app operates as a browser hijacker, it is designed to promote fake search engines by changing browser's settings. Also, apps of this type often are designed to gather browsing data as well.

ExpertModuleSearch adware

ExpertModuleSearch adware is a software that is designed to feed users with a variety of advertisements. Typically, apps of this type serve ads in forms of banners, coupons, pop-ups, surveys, and so on. As a rule, those ads lead people who click them to various untrustworthy, potentially malicious web pages. In some cases they are designed to execute certain scripts that download and/or install some unwanted software. Also, apps like ExpertModuleSearch often are designed to gather browsing-related details. For example, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, IP addresses, and other browsing data. However, apps of this type may be designed to gather sensitive details as well. Their developers usually misuse that data to generate revenue and/or they sell it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals). Safe Finder is a browser hijacker which is designed to operate as information tracking tool as well. Additionally, it changes browser's settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. It may change them to search.safefinderformac.com, search.macsafefinder.com, search.safefinder.com, or address of some other fake search engine. Simply said, users of hijacked browsers are forced to visit/use a certain fake search engine as long as a browser hijacker is installed on them and/or operating systems. Usually the only way to stop that is to uninstall a browser hijacker. Having ExpertModuleSearch and Safe Finder installed may lead to installation of additional PUAs, problems with browsing safety, privacy, it is possible that users may have their identities stolen as well. For these reasons we recommend not to use any fake Adobe Flash installers. If some PUAs are already installed on a browser and/or operating system, then they should be removed as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ExpertModuleSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-M [Trj]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Generic.14616), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.k), Full List (VirusTotal)
Promoted Unwanted Apps Safe Finder
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.
Removal

To eliminate Ads by ExpertModuleSearch 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.

ExpertModuleSearch is similar to ExploreSearchResults, GlobalAdviseSearch and other adware type software. Typically, apps of this type are useless and cause only problems: they serve unwanted, often deceptive advertisements and/or gather various information about their users. It is worth mentioning that the majority of people download and install adware or PUAs of other type unintentionally.

How did ExpertModuleSearch install on my computer?

As we mentioned in the introduction, ExpertModuleSearch is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. It is very common that installers of this type are used to trick people into installing various potentially unwanted, or even malicious software. This distribution method of software is known as "bundling". As a rule, information about additional downloads and/or installations is hidden in "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings of various download and/or installation setups. When people download and/or install various software without checking and changing those settings, then they often allow for various PUAs (or even malware) to be downloaded and/or installed as well. It is worth mentioning that fake Adobe Flash Players can be (and are) used to proliferate malicious program like Trojans, ransomware, and other malware. Additionally, unwanted downloads and/or installations can be caused through deceptive ads too, when those ads are designed to run certain scripts. However, it cannot be caused without having to click them first.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to download all software from trustworthy and official websites and via direct links. Third party downloaders (and installers), Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, unofficial websites and other similar sources, tools should not be used. It is very common that they are used to distribute unwanted, or even malicious programs. Also, "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of any download and/or installation setup should be always checked. Completing downloads and/or installations without checking (and changing) them often leads to downloads and/or installations of additional, potentially unwanted programs. Furthermore, it is not safe to click advertisements that appear on pages related to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other questionable websites. Those ads usually open untrustworthy pages or cause downloads, installations of unwanted apps. If there is a reason to believe that some PUA is already installed, then we recommend to check the list of extensions, plug-ins or add-ons that are installed on a browser and remove all unwanted, unknown or suspicious apps. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with ExpertModuleSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Delusive application installer promoting ExpertModuleSearch adware:

Delusive installer used to promote ExpertModuleSearch

Files related to the ExpertModuleSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ExpertModuleSearch/ExpertModuleSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon/ExpertModuleSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.ExpertModuleSearchP.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the ExpertModuleSearch website are designed to create a new device profile ("ExpertModuleSearch"). Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles"

pavadinimas preferences step 1

2) Select the "AdminPrefs" profile and delete it.

pavadinimas preferences step 2

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this adware.

Instant automatic removal of Ads by ExpertModuleSearch: 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 Ads by ExpertModuleSearch. 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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

ExpertModuleSearch adware removal:

Remove ExpertModuleSearch-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 expertmodulesearch 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 ExpertModuleSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by expertmodulesearch 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 expertmodulesearch 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 expertmodulesearch 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 ExpertModuleSearch 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 ExpertModuleSearch on your mobile device.
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Get rid of Ads by ExpertModuleSearch today:

▼ 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.