How to uninstall UpgradeAssist adware

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

How to remove UpgradeAssist from Mac computers

What is UpgradeAssist?

UpgradeAssist feeds users with intrusive advertisements, promotes the Safe Finder website (it opens this site via akamaihd.net) and collects various user-system information. Most users download and install adware inadvertently. Therefore, these programs are also known as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

upgradeassist adware main

Adware-type applications usually serve advertisements in the form of pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc. The ads conceal underlying content of opened/visited pages and can also open various untrustworthy, malicious web pages or cause download/installation of unwanted apps by executing certain scripts, however, they cannot perform these actions without first being clicked. PUAs often collect browsing data. For example, entered search queries, addresses of visited/opened websites, geolocations, IP addresses and other details of this kind. UpgradeAssist targets private, sensitive information such as credit card details, telephone numbers, passwords, and other personal data as well. Developers might sell recorded data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). It is possible that UpgradeAssist's developers or third parties could use the data to make fraudulent purchases and transactions, steal online accounts and users' identities. Therefore, UpgradeAssist users can become victims of identity theft, suffer monetary loss, experience problems relating to privacy, browsing safety and other issues. For these reasons UpgradeAssist and other adware should never be downloaded or installed.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by UpgradeAssist
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AB [Trj]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AB [Trj]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.C), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.g), Full List (VirusTotal)
Additional Information This application belongs to the Adload malware family.
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.

UpgradeAssist is similar to CommonBrand, ProcessSignTaskBrowser, and many other apps of this type. Typically, installed adware displays various advertisements. PUAs also gather browsing-related (and other) information - they deliver no real value and can cause serious problems. If UpgradeAssist and other apps of this type are installed on the browser and/or operating system, removed them immediately.

How did UpgradeAssist install on my computer?

Typically, people download and install browser hijackers and other apps of this kind (PUAs) unintentionally. In some cases, this happens when they click deceptive ads that run certain scripts, however, PUAs are more commonly downloaded and installed together with other (usually free) software - PUAs are distributed by including them into the set-ups of other programs. This PUA distribution method is called "bundling". Generally, additionally-included apps are mentioned in "Custom" or "Advanced" settings of the set-ups. People often allow PUAs to infiltrate through the set-ups of other programs when they download and install their software without checking and changing the aforementioned settings.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients and so on), unofficial pages, various third party downloaders, installers, etc., should not be used to download or install software, since they can be used to distribute unwanted or even malicious software. All programs and files should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. Check all settings (such as "Advanced", "Manual, "Custom") and dismiss offers to download or install unwanted software before completing the download/install process. Do not trust or click intrusive ads that are displayed on dubious web pages, since they can open rogue web pages or run scripts that cause download/installation of unwanted software. If the browser causes unwanted redirects or displays various ads, remove all unwanted, suspicious/unknown extensions, add-ons and plug-ins immediately. Also remove programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with UpgradeAssist, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once UpgradeAssist installation is complete:

pop-up displayed once UpgradeAssist installation is done

UpgradeAssist redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net:

UpgradeAssist redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

UpgradeAssist installed on Safari:

upgradeassist adware safari extension

UpgradeAssist folder and its contents:

upgradeassist installation folder and files

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 UpgradeAssist adware using Combo Cleaner:

UpgradeAssist adware removal:

Remove UpgradeAssist-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 upgradeassist 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 UpgradeAssist removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by upgradeassist 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 upgradeassist 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 upgradeassist 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 UpgradeAssist 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 UpgradeAssist on your mobile device.
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