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How to uninstall NetDataSearch adware from the Mac operating system

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

How to remove NetDataSearch adware from Mac computers

What is NetDataSearch?

Part of the AdLoad malware family, NetDataSearch is classified as adware and possesses browser hijacker capabilities. It delivers intrusive, annoying, untrusted and even harmful advertisements. NetDataSearch browser hijacking characteristics include browser modification and promotion of fake search engines. Furthermore, adware and browser hijackers usually have data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing activity. Most users install this application unintentionally, and therefore it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). NetDataSearch is known to proliferate through bogus Flash Player updates. Note that fake updaters can spread Trojans, ransomware and other malware.

NetDataSearch adware promoted using fake Flash Player updates

NetDataSearch adware delivers a wide variety of intrusive ads such as pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and so on. These significantly diminish the browsing experience, since they reduce browsing speed and limit website visibility (by overlaying page content). When clicked, intrusive advertisements redirect to sale-based, untrusted, rogue, deceptive, compromised, scam and malicious web pages. They can even be triggered (when clicked) to execute scripts designed to download/install software (e.g. PUAs) without users' permission. Browser hijackers (with which NetDataSearch shares qualities) modify browser settings: they reassign the default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URLs to the addresses of their fake search engines. Therefore, each new browser tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to the fake search engine. These bogus search engines are useless, as they are usually unable to generate unique results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Bing, Yahoo and other genuine sites. Furthermore, these alterations are not easy to undo, since any changes users attempt to make are automatically rest, if access to the settings is allowed at all. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the app responsible for the hijacking to recover the affected browser. PUAs can also track data. They monitor users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other sensitive details). This vulnerable data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for financial gain. To summarize, the presence of PUAs on devices can lead to various infiltration and infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure browser and system, and user safety, remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by NetDataSearch
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.Adloa), 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.

SmartToolboxSearchProcessLocator, and AphroditeResults are some examples of software classified as adware. It may seem legitimate and useful, and users are often tempted into download/installation with offers of various "useful" features, however, these are rarely operational. In fact, this extends to most PUAs. The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than working as promised, PUAs run intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects to untrusted/malicious websites and collect private data.

How did NetDataSearch install on my computer?

Infiltrating systems via fake updaters is just one way that PUAs proliferate. They are also downloaded/installed with other software. "Bundling" is the term used to define this deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing normal products with unwanted or malicious additions. Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. using pre-sets, skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content onto devices. Some PUAs have "official" promotional web pages, 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

You are strongly advised to research all products before download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sites such as free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive or bundled content. When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads may seem legitimate and innocuous, however, they can redirect to highly dubious pages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling and others). If you encounter these advertisements/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with NetDataSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to NetDataSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetDataSearch/NetDataSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetDataSearchDaemon/NetDataSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.NetDataSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.NetDataSearchDaemon.plis

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote NetDataSearch (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 three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

NetDataSearch adware removal:

Remove NetDataSearch-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 netdatasearch 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 NetDataSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by netdatasearch 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 netdatasearch 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 netdatasearch 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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 NetDataSearch 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 NetDataSearch on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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