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How to remove ArtemisSearch adware

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

How to remove ArtemisSearch from Mac computers

What is ArtemisSearch?

ArtemisSearch is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) and part of the AdLoad adware family. Adware-type applications feed users with advertisements and collect various information. Research shows that ArtemisSearch also operates as a browser hijacker, since it promotes a fake search engine by changing browser settings. Adware-type applications are classified as PUAs, since many users download and install them inadvertently. ArtemisSearch is commonly installed via a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. Note that these installers are used to distribute malware such as Trojans, ransomware, and also other malicious programs.

ArtemisSearch adware

Generally, applications such as ArtemisSearch generate revenue for the developers by serving advertisements. They usually display ads in the form of pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, and so on. If clicked, these can open dubious or even malicious websites or even download and install unwanted software by running certain scripts. ArtemisSearch operates as adware and also as a browser hijacker - it modifies certain browser settings. Typically, these apps change the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab to the URL of a fake search engine. In most cases, fake search engines generate misleading results or provide those generated by other search engines. Furthermore, ArtemisSearch can record information (such as IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations). It might also be capable of accessing personal, sensitive information. In any case, the developers misuse the data to generate revenue, or simply sell it to third parties (including cyber criminals). As mentioned, ArtemisSearch is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. Typically, such installers do not deliver the official Adobe Flash Payer, they install various PUAs instead. In some cases, they can cause installation of malware, including ransomware, Trojans or other malicious software. This can cause serious problems such as data and monetary loss, identity theft, issues relating to online privacy, browsing safety, etc. Therefore, third party downloaders, installers should never be trusted, especially if they are promoted through dubious web pages.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ArtemisSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Adload.KC), 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.

There are many applications similar to ArtemisSearch on the internet. Some examples include ActiveTrack, ExclusiveAction and SearchLibrary. Generally, these serve advertisements and do not deliver any useful features or other value. In summary, most adware-type applications are useless and are the reason behind serious problems. Therefore, never download or install ArtemisSearch or other adware.

How did ArtemisSearch install on my computer?

It is likely that many users who have ArtemisSearch installed on their browsers and computers caused this when they attempted to update and install Adobe Flash Player and inadvertently used a fake installer. This situation can also be caused through the set-ups of other (usually free) programs and deceptive advertisements. Developers often include PUAs into the set-ups of other software as "additional offers". This distribution method is called "bundling". In most cases, offers to download and install additionally-included apps can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the software set-ups, however, many people fail to check and change these settings, thereby agreeing by default with offers to download and install unwanted apps. Additionally, rogue downloads and installations can be caused by clicking deceptive advertisements that run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (such as torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial web pages, and other similar channels are often used to distribute various PUAs. In some cases, they are also used to distribute malware. Therefore, software and files should be downloaded only from official pages and through direct links. Furthermore, downloads and installations should not be finished without first checking set-ups for "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings. Commonly, these settings mention offers to download and install additional, unwanted software - dismiss these offers. Furthermore, it is not safe to click advertisements that appear on dubious websites - they can open untrusted websites or cause unwanted downloads and installations. Remove any unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins installed on the browser immediately. Also apply this to software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with ArtemisSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to ArtemisSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ArtemisSearch/ArtemisSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ArtemisSearchDaemon/ArtemisSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.ArtemisSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.ArtemisSearch.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote ArtemisSearch (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:

ArtemisSearch adware removal:

Remove ArtemisSearch-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 artemissearch 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 ArtemisSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by artemissearch 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 artemissearch 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 artemissearch 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 ArtemisSearch 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 ArtemisSearch on your mobile device.
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