How to uninstall ExclusiveAction adware

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

How to remove ExclusiveAction from Mac computers

What is ExclusiveAction?

There are many adware-type applications on the internet, including ExclusiveAction, which is part of the AdLoad adware family. It is designed to feed users with various advertisements. Research shows that ExclusiveAction also operates as a browser hijacker to promote the address of a fake search engine. Furthermore, it might also gather various information. Typically, people download and install adware inadvertently. Therefore, apps of this type are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Note that ExclusiveAction is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

ExclusiveAction adware

Typically, installed adware displays intrusive ads in the form of coupons, surveys, banners, pop-ups, and so on. It is not safe to click these ads, since they often open untrusted, potentially malicious pages or run scripts designed to cause download/installation of unwanted applications. ExclusiveAction also promotes a fake search engine. Typically, fake search engines are promoted by changing browser settings (e.g. address of a default search engine, homepage, new tab). It is impossible to undo those changes unless the app that made them it uninstalled. It is possible that ExclusiveAction will collect various user-system information. These apps gather browsing-related details including, for example, addresses of opened (visited) web pages, entered search queries, IP addresses, geolocations, etc, Some adware-type apps also record confidential information. The data might be sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who would misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. As mentioned, ExclusiveAction is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer (updater). In most cases, these installers do not install or update the genuine Adobe Flash Player - they install PUAs. In some cases, these installers are used to infect systems with ransomware, Trojans, or other malware. Therefore, never use fake Adobe Flash Players, since they might cause problems such as data/financial loss, serious privacy issues, and other problems.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ExclusiveAction
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AB [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Adload.5), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Didnarbois.A), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.g), 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.

Some more examples of adware-type applications are AproditeSearch, AddUpgrade and NetDataSearch. People who develop adware often advertise these apps as tools that supposedly improve the browsing experience, deliver features or are useful in other ways, however, adware simply causes problems (unwanted downloads, installations, redirects to untrusted pages, etc.). This particular app can lead to problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy or even identity theft. Therefore, ExclusiveAction and other adware should never be installed.

How did ExclusiveAction install on my computer?

ExclusiveAction and a number of other apps from the AdLoad family are distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer, however, PUAs are also downloaded and installed when they are included into the set-ups of other programs (i.e., when they are included into the set-ups as "additional offers"). This distribution method is known as "bundling". Generally, offers to download or install additional apps (PUAs) can be found in settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", or "Manual". PUAs are also downloaded and installed when users attempt to acquire software without checking and changing settings that are included in the set-ups. PUAs are also downloaded and installed through certain, deceptive ads. When clicked, these can execute scripts designed to cause unwanted downloads and installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Software should not be downloaded or installed through third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks such as eMule, torrent clients (and other such tools), unofficial pages, and so on. These channels are often used to distribute unwanted, malicious applications. The safest way to download files and programs is using official websites and direct download links. Check all download/installation "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual", and other similar settings and decline any offers to download or install unwanted software. Do not click advertisements that appear on dubious web pages, since they often open untrusted sites or cause download/installation of unwanted apps. Remove any suspicious, unknown or unwanted extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on the browser immediately. This should also be applied to software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with ExclusiveAction, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to AproditeSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ExclusiveAction/ExclusiveAction
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ExclusiveActionDaemon/ExclusiveAction
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.ExclusiveAction.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.ExclusiveActionDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote ExclusiveAction (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:

ExclusiveAction adware removal:

Remove ExclusiveAction-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 exclusiveaction 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 ExclusiveAction removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by exclusiveaction 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 exclusiveaction 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 exclusiveaction 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 ExclusiveAction 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 ExclusiveAction on your mobile device.
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