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How to remove ads and redirects caused by InfoSearch adware

Also Known As: Ads by InfoSearch
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

How to remove InfoSearch adware from Mac computers

What is InfoSearch?

InfoSearch is a rogue application classified as adware. It operates by enabling the placement of various intrusive advertisements on any visited website. This app also shares characteristics with browser hijackers such as browser settings modification and fake search engine promotion. Additionally, most adware programs and browser hijackers can track browsing-related information. Due to these dubious InfoSearch proliferation methods, it is also categorized as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). One such distribution tactic of this application is through a fake Adobe Flash Player. Note that bogus software updaters and installers are often used to proliferate PUAs and even Trojans, ransomware and other malware.

InfoSearch adware distributed using fake Flash Player updater/installer

InfoSearch adware can deliver pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons and other intrusive ads. These diminish the browsing experience by overlaying web page content and reducing browsing speed. When clicked, these ads redirect to untrusted and malicious websites, and some can even execute scripts to download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs) without users' permission. Browser hijackers assign the addresses of bogus search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. Therefore, with this software installed, each new browser tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to the address of a fake search engine. These web search tools usually cannot generate unique results, and so, to increase the impression of legitimacy or for monetization, they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing or other legitimate search engines. Furthermore, any changes users attempt to make to their browsers are automatically reset, if access to the settings is permitted at all. Therefore, to recover an affected browser, it is necessary to remove the browser hijacker. It is highly likely that InfoSearch can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). Typically, the gathered data is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for profit. To summarize, the presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to various system infiltration and infections, financial loss, serious issues and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by InfoSearch
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.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.k), 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.

ExperienceLine, PanelStyle, AppliedReview and NationalSpecial are some examples of other adware-type apps. They often seem legitimate and lure people into download/installation with offers of "useful" functions, however, the advertised features seldom work as promised and, in most cases, are nonoperational. In fact, this applies to all PUAs. Functionality, user convenience and safety are irrelevant, since the only purpose of unwanted applications is to generate revenue for the developers. PUAs deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns, cause redirects, hijack browsers and collect sensitive data.

How did InfoSearch install on my computer?

PUAs are commonly downloaded unintentionally with other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing normal software with unwanted or malicious additions is termed "bundling". By rushing downloads/installations (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using presets, etc.), many users risk inadvertently allowing bundled content onto their devices. Certain PUAs have "official" download sites. Intrusive ads can infiltrate such applications into systems as well. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are advised to research products to verify their legitimacy, before download/installation. All downloads should be performed only from official sources. Untrustworthy download channels 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. When downloading/installing, it is important to read the terms, study available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads often seem legitimate and innocuous, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, gambling, etc.). If you encounter advertisements/redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with InfoSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to InfoSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.InfoSearch/InfoSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.InfoSearchDaemon/InfoSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.InfoSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.InfoSearchDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote InfoSearch (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:

InfoSearch adware removal:

Remove InfoSearch-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 infosearch 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 InfoSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by infosearch 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 infosearch 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 infosearch 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.

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