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How to uninstall NetToolboxSearch from your operating system

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

What is NetToolboxSearch?

NetToolboxSearch is a rogue app belonging to the AdLoad adware family. Following successful installation, it operates by running intrusive ad campaigns. Therefore, it delivers unwanted and dangerous ads. NetToolboxSearch also has certain browser hijacking qualities: modification of browser settings and promotion of bogus search engines.

It has been observed proliferating via fake Flash Player updaters, and thus it is additionally categorized as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). Furthermore, fake software updates are often used to proliferate PUAs and even malicious content (e.g. trojans, ransomware and other malware).

Note that most PUAs (including adware and browser hijackers) monitor browsing activity.

NetToolboxSearch adware

Adware delivers intrusive advertisements such as pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons and so on. These ads are more than just a nuisance, they seriously impact the browsing experience by limiting browsing speed and web page visibility. When intrusive ads are clicked, they can redirect to sale-based, untrusted, rogue, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious sites.

They can also execute scripts to download/install rogue content (e.g. PUAs) without users' consent. Intrusive ads are thus classed as a threat to device health and user safety. NetToolboxSearch has browser hijacker traits. This software reassigns the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs to the addresses of fake search engines.

Most bogus search engines cannot provide unique results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) a legitimate site (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.).

Furthermore, recovering the affected browser is impossible without removal of the browser hijacker, since any changes users attempt to make to their browsers are automatically reset (if access is allowed at all). PUAs often have data tracking capabilities.

They can monitor users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is often shared with third parties intent on misusing it for profit, potentially, by putting it to criminal use.

To summarize, PUAs can cause various browser/system infiltration and infections, lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. Therefore, you are advised to remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by NetToolboxSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [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.k), 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.

MajorChannelSearchSmartWebSearchPanelStart, and UpgradeSearchSystem are a number examples of other adware-type apps. PUAs (including adware) often seems legitimate and lures users into downloading/installing with offers of "useful" functions.

These features rarely work as advertised and, in most cases, do not work at all. The only purpose of all PUAs is to generate revenue for the developers at users' expense.

Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs operate by running intrusive ad campaigns, force-opening untrusted and malicious websites, modifying browsers to promote fake search engines, and tracking private data.

How did NetToolboxSearch install on my computer?

PUAs can infiltrate devices through rogue software updaters (e.g. fake Flash Player updates, which are commonly promoted by scam web pages including "Latest version of Adobe Flash Player"). These apps also proliferate via the download/installation set-ups of other products.

This deceptive marketing tactic of pre-packing regular content with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". By rushing downloads/installations (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.), users endanger their devices with potential infiltration and infections.

Some PUAs have "official" promotional sites from which they can be downloaded. When intrusive ads are clicked, they can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All products should be researched before download/installation. Use only official and verified download sources. Untrustworthy sites such as P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), free file-hosting websites and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive and/or bundled content.

Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and decline download/installation of additional apps, tools, features, etc. Update software using tools/functions provided by legitimate developers.

Intrusive ads typically seem normal and harmless, however, they can cause redirects to highly dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and so on).

If you encounter these advertisements/redirects, check the system and immediately eliminate all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with NetToolboxSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to NetToolboxSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetToolboxSearch/NetToolboxSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetToolboxSearchDaemon/NetToolboxSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.NetToolboxSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.NetToolboxSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote NetToolboxSearch adware are designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:

1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles".

NetToolboxSearch preferences step 1

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

NetToolboxSearch 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 malware.

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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

NetToolboxSearch adware removal:

Remove NetToolboxSearch-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 adware-related files and folders

Mac Go To Folder step

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

Mac removing related files and folders - step 1Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 2Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/Application Support/

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - 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.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 3Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 4Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - step 1

In the "Go to Folder..." bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - 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.

Mac removing malware related files and folders - step 5Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps correctly, your Mac should be clean of infections. To ensure 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 the 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 its virus definition database and click the "Start Combo Scan" button.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 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.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Remove malicious extensions from Internet browsers

Safari iconRemove malicious Safari extensions:

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 1

Open the Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 2

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 regular browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) and select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

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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.

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