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How to remove SmartToolboxSearch adware

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

How to remove SmartToolboxSearch from Mac computers

What is SmartToolboxSearch?

The AdLoad adware family includes a number of adware-type applications, including SmartToolboxSearch. Adware programs serve various advertisements, which is the case with this particular app, but SmartToolboxSearch also promotes a fake search engine. It might also gather information. In most cases, users download and install adware unintentionally. Therefore, these apps are also known as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Note that SmartToolboxSearch is installed and distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

SmartToolboxSearch adware

After installation, adware-type applications such as SmartToolboxSearch feed users with intrusive advertisements. If clicked, these open untrusted pages or cause download/installation of unwanted apps by executing certain scripts. In most cases, adware displays ads in the form of pop-ups, banners, surveys and coupons. SmartToolboxSearch promotes the address of a fake search engine, so it operates as adware but also as a browser hijacker. Typically, browser hijackers promote fake search engines by modifying browser settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Fake search engines are useless and redundant, since they provide results generated by other search engines (such as Yahoo, Bing), however, some also provide misleading information. Furthermore, SmartToolboxSearch might also track and record browsing related, and other, data such as geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, IP addresses and other details. It might also collect sensitive, confidential information. The developers seek to generate revenue by selling the data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who could misuse it in other ways. Remove SmartToolboxSearch and any other, similar apps from the browser and operating system immediately. Note that, as well as SmartToolboxSearch, fake Adobe Flash Player installers can be used to promote malicious software such as ransomware, Trojans, etc. These installers should never be used for any purpose.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SmartToolboxSearch
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 three days free trial available.

MajorChannelSearch, SkilledDeskSearch and WebAidSearch are example of apps also part of the AdLoad adware family. Generally, adware-type apps display ads and/or collect data. In any case, most do not deliver any real value and simply cause problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, etc. Adware users can become victims of identity theft and, therefore, this software should never be downloaded or installed.

How did SmartToolboxSearch install on my computer?

Research shows that SmartToolboxSearch can be is installed and distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer, which does not update or install the genuine Adobe Flash Player. People also unintentionally download and install PUAs such as SmartToolboxSearch through deceptive advertisements and via the set-ups of other programs. If clicked, some ads cause download/installation of unwanted apps by running certain scripts. In other cases, PUAs are distributed by including them into the download/installation set-ups of other programs as "additional offers". This distribution method is called "bundling". Generally, offers to download or install PUAs are mentioned in "Advanced", "Custom", or "Manual" settings of the set-ups. Many users allow PUAs to be downloaded and installed together with regular software when they leave the settings unchanged.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients and so on), unofficial pages, third party downloaders, installers, etc., should not be used to download or install software, since they are often used to distribute unwanted or even malicious software. All programs and files should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. Check all download/installation settings ("Advanced", "Manual, "Custom") and dismiss offers to download or install unwanted software. Do not finish any downloads and installations without first checking those settings. Do not click intrusive ads that are displayed on dubious web pages - they can open rogue sites or run scripts that cause download/installation of unwanted software. If the browser causes unwanted redirects and/or displays ads, remove any unwanted, suspicious and unknown extensions, add-ons and plug-ins that are installed on the browser immediately. Also uninstall programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with SmartToolboxSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to SmartToolboxSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SmartToolboxSearch/SmartToolboxSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SmartToolboxSearchDaemon/SmartToolboxSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SmartToolboxSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SmartToolboxSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote SmartToolboxSearch 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 SmartToolboxSearch (Step 1)

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote SmartToolboxSearch (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 browser hijacker.

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:

SmartToolboxSearch adware removal:

Remove SmartToolboxSearch-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 smarttoolboxsearch 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 SmartToolboxSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by smarttoolboxsearch 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 smarttoolboxsearch 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 smarttoolboxsearch 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.

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 SmartToolboxSearch 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 SmartToolboxSearch on your mobile device.
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