How to remove CapitalCharacterSearch adware?

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

How to remove CapitalCharacterSearch from Mac?

What is CapitalCharacterSearch?

CapitalCharacterSearch functions not only as adware, but also as a browser hijacker: it serves advertisements and promotes a fake search engine (its address) by modifying certain browser's settings. It is very likely that CapitalCharacterSearch gathers browsing data as well. Browser hijackers and adware-type apps are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), it is because users often download and install them without knowing about it. It is very likely that in this case it happens when users use a deceptive, fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

CapitalCharacterSearch adware

Adware is a type of software that generates advertisements (e.g., banners, coupons, surveys, pop-ups) that, when clicked, may open questionable websites or even cause unwanted downloads, installations by running certain scripts. It is common that ads displayed by adware are intrusive, e.g., they cover website content. Since CapitalCharacterSearch functions not only as adware but also as a browser hijacker, it promotes a fake search engine by changing browser's settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and/or new tab. Browser hijackers change those settings so that users would visit a certain address when they open a browser, new tab and/or enter search queries into URL bar. Usually, the only way to undo, remove those changes is to uninstall the app that made them (in this case it would be CapitalCharacterSearch). Furthermore, it is possible that CapitalCharacterSearch is designed to collect various data as well. It is common that adware, browser hijackers target browsing data such as entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, IP addresses, geolocations. Although, apps of this type can be designed to gather sensitive details too. Either way, collected information may be misused to generate revenue and/or sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals). Therefore, having apps like CapitalCharacterSearch installed on a browser and/or operating system may be the reason behind problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft. Additionally, it is worthwhile to mention that fake Adobe Flash installers often are used to distribute not only apps like CapitalCharacterSearch but also malicious programs like ransomware, Trojans, and other high-risk malware.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by CapitalCharacterSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), 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 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
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Some more examples of apps like CapitalCharacterSearch are SimpleGuideSearch, SearchExplore and LunarLookup. It is not uncommon that PUAs are advertised as useful, legitimate. However, most of them are designed only to feed users with advertisements, and/or promote some fake search engine. Also, very often they function as information tracking tools. In other words, they are useless and designed only to help generate revenue for their developers. Therefore, if CapitalCharacterSearch or any other app of this type is already installed on a browser and/or computer, then it should be uninstalled from it as soon as possible.

How did CapitalCharacterSearch install on my computer?

Research shows that CapitalCharacterSearch is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. Simply said, it is common that users install this adware/browser hijacker instead of Flash Player when they use an unofficial, deceptive installer. Although, it is common that such apps are distributed through setups of other programs as well. To be more precise, they are distributed by including them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as additional offers. This distribution method is called "bundling". Although, PUAs get downloaded and/or installed this way only when users do not change "Custom", "Advanced" or other similar settings setup's settings. As a rule, offers to download and/or install PUAs can be declined through those settings. When users leave them unchanged, they allow for PUAs to be downloaded and/or installed together with some other, intentionally downloaded and/or installed software. Sometimes PUAs can be downloaded and/or installed through deceptive advertisements. Nevertheless, it happens only when users click ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to download software only from trustworthy, official websites and through direct links. Third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, and other channels, sources of this kind are often monetized by using them as tools to distribute PUAs (or even malicious apps). Downloads, installations should not be completed without checking setup's settings like "Custom", "Advanced" and declining offers to download and/or install additional, unwanted apps. Intrusive ads that appear on questionable pages should not be trusted (clicked). It is common that those ads open untrustworthy websites or even download, install unwanted software. Also, there should not be any unwanted, unknown apps (extensions, add-ons or plug-ins) installed on a web browser and software of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with CapitalCharacterSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to the CapitalCharacterSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.CapitalCharacterSearch/CapitalCharacterSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.CapitalCharacterSearchDaemon/CapitalCharacterSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.CapitalCharacterSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.CapitalCharacterSearch.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote CapitalCharacterSearch (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/browser hijacker.

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:

CapitalCharacterSearch adware removal:

Remove CapitalCharacterSearch-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 capitalcharactersearch 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 CapitalCharacterSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by capitalcharactersearch 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 capitalcharactersearch 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 capitalcharactersearch 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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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 CapitalCharacterSearch 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 CapitalCharacterSearch on your mobile device.
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