How to uninstall PanelStart adware

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

How to remove PanelStart from Mac computers

What is PanelStart?

PanelStart is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) designed to improve the browsing experience, however, it is categorized as adware, and thus it feeds users with various intrusive advertisements. These applications also gather details relating to users' browsing activities. In most cases, adware and other PUAs are downloaded and installed inadvertently.

PanelStart adware

Typically, adware such as PanelStart displays advertisements that conceal underlying content of visited websites. When clicked, the ads open dubious, potentially malicious pages or run scripts that cause download/installation of other PUAs. It is possible that they might also cause download/installation of malware. Examples of ads that adware-type apps display include coupons, surveys, pop-ups, and banners. Furthermore, adware can record browsing data such as addresses of visited web pages, entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses, and other similar details. In some cases these apps record private, sensitive information. Adware developers often sell the information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. Apps such as PanelStart can be the reason behind identity theft, issues with browsing safety, privacy, and other problems. Therefore, remove these apps from the browser and operating system immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by PanelStart
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
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.

Some examples of other apps that are categorized as adware include SystemSpot, CentralRush and ContentStyles. Developers advertise this as useful software that supposedly delivers features, improves the browsing experience, and so on. In fact, few apps of this type operate as advertised. They simply feed users with intrusive ads and gather information. Furthermore, adware users risk experiencing various problems. Software of this type should never be downloaded or installed.

How did PanelStart install on my computer?

In most cases, people unintentionally download and install PUAs by clicking deceptive ads that execute certain scripts, or by downloading and/or installing programs that have PUAs included in the set-ups. This latter PUA distribution method is called "bundling" and is used to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted software by including it into the set-ups as "additional offers". In most cases, these offers can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings. Many people download and install programs without checking or changing these settings, thereby agreeing by default with offers to download and install additionally-included software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Unwanted downloads and installations can be avoided by downloading software only from official websites and via direct links. Various third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), dubious websites, and other similar sources/channels are often used to distribute unwanted software. Check "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the download/installation setup and decline offers to download or install additionally-included applications. Do not click intrusive ads that appear on dubious web pages - they can open untrusted or potentially malicious websites or cause download/installation of unwanted software. Remove all unwanted, suspicious applications (extensions, plug-ins, add-ons)  from the browser immediately. Also apply this to software of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PanelStart, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once PanelStart installation is complete:

pop-up displayed once PanelStart installation is done

 Installation folder and files of PanelStart adware:

 panelstart adware 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:

PanelStart adware removal:

Remove PanelStart-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 panelstart 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 PanelStart removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by panelstart 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 panelstart 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 panelstart 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 PanelStart 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 PanelStart on your mobile device.
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