How to uninstall QuestSearch adware

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

How to remove QuestSearch from Mac computers

What is QuestSearch?

QuestSearch is an adware-type application which is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. When installed, it serves a variety of advertisements. Additionally, it functions as a browser hijacker - QuestSearch promotes a fake search engine by changing browser settings. Note that adware can also record data. Few people download or install apps such as QuestSearch intentionally and, therefore, they are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

QuestSearch adware

The main purpose of adware is to feed users with advertisements (e.g., coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and others). When clicked, these ads might open untrusted web pages, and some can even cause download/installation of unwanted software. Therefore, it is not safe to click ads that appear as a result of QuestSearch. This app promotes a fake search engine, functioning as a browser hijacker. Fake search engines are promoted by modifying browser settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Commonly, users cannot remove the address of the fake search engine from these settings as long as the browser hijacker (in this case, QuestSearch) is installed on the browser. Typically, search engines that are promoted by apps of this type do not generate unique results, they display results generated by other search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing. In some cases, fake search engines generate misleading results. Furthermore, adware-type apps and browser hijackers can be designed to track information. Therefore, QuestSearch could be designed to gather browsing data such as IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations and other private, sensitive information. Criminals responsible for apps such as QuestSearch sell the data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. As mentioned, QuestSearch is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. I.e., QuestSearch is distributed by disguising its installer as the official Adobe Flash Player installer. Note that these installers are also used to spread malware including ransomware, Trojans and other malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by QuestSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
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.
Additional Information This application belongs to the Adload malware family.
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 examples of other adware infections include MainPanelSearch, TechAdviseSearch and ExpertProjectSearch. Typically, these apps serve ads and collect data. They are advertised as useful and legitimate, however, most adware simply generates revenue for developers and delivers no real value for regular users. On the contrary, this software can cause problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, and some people might even become victims of identity theft. Therefore, do not download or install QuestSearch, or other similar apps.

How did QuestSearch install on my computer?

Many people install QuestSearch on browsers and operating systems when they use a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. This, however, is not the only way that adware and other PUAs infiltrate. Developers often distribute PUAs using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". PUAs are included into the download/installation set-ups as 'additional offers', which can be found in "Advanced", "Custom", and other similar settings of the set-ups. Many users fail to check and change these settings when they download and install programs, thereby allowing PUAs to infiltrate. In some cases, unwanted downloads and installations are caused by clicking deceptive advertisements that execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are advised to download software from official, trustworthy web pages and via direct links. Other channels such as third party downloaders and installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, etc., should not be used to download or install software - they can be used to distribute unwanted, malicious applications. Check all "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of the download/installation setups. Decline offers to download or install unwanted software before completing the process. Do not click intrusive ads that are displayed on dubious web pages, since they can open other dubious websites. Some intrusive ads cause unwanted downloads and installations and should not be trusted. Remove any unwanted applications (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) installed on the browser immediately. Also remove software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with QuestSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to QuestSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.QuestSearch/QuestSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.QuestSearchDaemon/QuestSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.QuestSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.QuestSearchDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote QuestSearch (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:

QuestSearch adware removal:

Remove QuestSearch-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 questsearch 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 QuestSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by questsearch 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 questsearch 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 questsearch 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.

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 QuestSearch 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 QuestSearch on your mobile device.
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