FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

How to remove WebAidSearch adware from the operating system

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

What is WebAidSearch?

WebAidSearch is a rogue application belonging to the AdLoad adware family. Apps classified as adware operate by running intrusive advertisement campaigns. Therefore, WebAidSearch delivers various unwanted and harmful ads.

Furthermore, this piece of software shares common traits with browser hijackers, such as browser modification and promotion of fake search engines. Most adware-types and browser hijackers monitor users' browsing habits as well. Since most users download/install WebAidSearch unintentionally, it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).

It has known to be proliferated using fake Adobe Flash Player installers and updaters. Note that bogus installers/updaters are often used to spread PUAs and malware (e.g. Trojans, ransomware and other malicious software).

WebAidSearch adware

WebAidSearch adware delivers various ads, such as pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc. These intrusive advertisements diminish the browsing experience by limiting browsing speed and website content visibility. Additionally, when clicked, they redirect to sale-oriented, untrusted, rogue, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious web pages.

Some of these ads can even be triggered (when clicked) to execute scripts designed to download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs) without users' consent. As mentioned, WebAidSearch also has browser hijacker qualities. It reassigns the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs to the address of a bogus search engine.

Therefore, each new browser tab/window opened and each search made via the URL bar redirects to the fake web search address. Few of these bogus search tools can provide unique results, and so they typically redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Yahoo, Bing or other genuine search engines.

Furthermore, any changes users attempt to make to their browsers are undone (if access to the settings is allowed at all. Therefore, the hijacker software must be removed to recover the affected browser. Most PUAs (including adware and browser hijackers) have data tracking capabilities.

They can monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect users' personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This private data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for profit.

To summarize, the presence of PUAs can cause browser/system infiltration and infections, lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by WebAidSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Adload.4), 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.

LeadingSignSearchSkilledDeskSearch, and TotalSearch are some examples of other adware-type apps. They usually seem legitimate and entice users into download/installation with offers of "useful" features, however, in most cases, the functions promised are nonoperational.

In fact, this is true of most PUAs. Despite how genuine this unwanted software may seem, it rarely works as advertised. The only purpose of these applications is to generate revenue at users' expense. PUAs deliver intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects to untrusted/malicious websites and gather sensitive data.

How did WebAidSearch install on my computer?

PUAs proliferate through the download/install set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". By rushing though download/installation processes (e.g. skipping steps and sections, etc.), many users endanger their devices with potential infiltration and infections.

Some PUAs have "official" download sites. Once clicked, intrusive ads can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are advised to research all products, prior to download/installation or purchase. All downloads should be performed only from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy sites such as free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive or bundled content.

When downloading/installing, it is important to read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads often seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. adult-dating, pornography, gambling and others).

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

Files related to WebAidSearch adware that must be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.WebAidSearch/WebAidSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.WebAidSearchDaemon/WebAidSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.WebAidSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.WebAidSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote WebAidSearch 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"

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote pavadinimas (Step 1)

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote pavadinimas (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 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:

WebAidSearch adware removal:

Remove WebAidSearch-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.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

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 WebAidSearch QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by WebAidSearch on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

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.