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How to remove UltraSearchApp adware from your operating system

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

How to remove UltraSearchApp adware from Mac computers

What is UltraSearchApp?

UltraSearchApp is a rogue application belonging to the AdLoad adware family. This app has adware-type and browser hijacker traits. UltraSearchApp runs intrusive advertisement campaigns (i.e., delivers various unwanted and even dangerous ads). It can also alter browser settings to promote a fake search engine. Most software with adware or browser hijacker characteristics can track browsing-related data. Due to UltraSearchApp's dubious proliferation methods, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). This application has been distributed using a fake Adobe Flash Player updater/installer. As well as unwanted software, these bogus updaters/installers often spread Trojans, ransomware and other malware.

UltraSearchApp adware distributed via fake Adobe Flash Player

UltraSearchApp 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 overlay web page content and limit browsing speed. Additionally, once clicked, these advertisements redirects to sale-based, untrusted/rogue, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious websites. Some intrusive ads can execute scripts to stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs) when clicked. As a browser hijacker, UltraSearchApp can reassign the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs to the address of a bogus search engine. Fake search engines often cannot provide unique results, and so they redirect to Google, Bing, Yahoo or other legitimate sites. In cases when fake search engines do generate results, they tend to be inaccurate and/or promote untrusted or malicious sites. Furthermore, any changes users attempt to make to their browsers are automatically undone, if access to the settings is allowed at all. Therefore, the browser hijacker must be removed to recover the affected browser. As mentioned, it is likely that UltraSearchApp can track data. Typically, software of this type can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, web pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is then shared with third parities (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for profit. In summary, the presence of PUAs on systems can lead to various infiltration and infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To protect device integrity and user safety, you are strongly advised to eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by UltraSearchApp
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), DrWeb (Adware.Mac.Loader.17), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adl), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.k), Full List (VirusTotal)
Additional Information This application belongs to 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.

ActiveTrackUpgradeAssist, and GeneralLaunch are some examples of other adware-type apps. They may seem legitimate and harmless, and people are often tempted into download/installation with offers of useful features. These are rarely operational. In fact, this applies to most PUAs. These unwanted applications have just one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers. Regular users receive no real value. PUAs deliver intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause unwanted redirects and collect sensitive data.

How did UltraSearchApp install on my computer?

PUAs proliferate via the download/installation set-ups of other products. "Bundling" is the term used to define this deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions. When downloading/installing, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc. increases the risk of inadvertent installation of bundled content. Some PUAs have "official" download sites. Once clicked, intrusive advertisements can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All products should be researched prior to download/installation or purchase. You are advised to use official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive or bundled content. Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads may seem normal and innocuous, however, they can redirect to highly dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you encounter these ads/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with UltraSearchApp, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to UltraSearchApp adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.UltraSearchApp/UltraSearchApp
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.UltraSearchAppDaemon/UltraSearchApp
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.UltraSearchApp.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.UltraSearchAppDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote UltraSearchApp (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:

UltraSearchApp adware removal:

Remove UltraSearchApp-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 ultrasearchapp 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 UltraSearchApp removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by ultrasearchapp 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 ultrasearchapp 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 ultrasearchapp 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 UltraSearchApp 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 UltraSearchApp on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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