How to uninstall PrimaryIndexer adware

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

How to remove PrimaryIndexer from Mac computers

What is PrimaryIndexer?

PrimaryIndexer is designed to serve advertisements, promote the Safe Finder website (by opening it through akamaihd.net) and change certain browser settings to the address of a fake search engine. In this way, the app functions as adware and a browser hijacker. Research shows that PrimaryIndexer can read sensitive information as well. Commonly, people do not download adware intentionally and, therefore, apps of this type are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

PrimaryIndexer adware

In most cases, apps such as PrimaryIndexer serve banners, coupons, surveys, pop-ups and others. When clicked, they open dubious websites and, in some cases, cause unwanted downloads and installations by executing certain scripts. Adware-type applications often collect browsing data (e.g., entered search queries, addresses of visited websites, IP addresses, geolocations). PrimaryIndexer can read sensitive data such as passwords, credit card details, telephone numbers and other personal information as well. These details are misused to steal accounts, identities, and make fraudulent purchases, transactions, etc. Therefore, users who have PrimaryIndexer installed on the browsers and/or computers might become victims of identity theft, suffer monetary loss, lose access to personal accounts, experience problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy or other issues. Additionally, this app changes browser settings to promote the address of a fake search engine. Generally, apps that are designed to promote fake search engines modify settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Therefore, people are forced to visit a specific address when they open a browser, new tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar. Commonly, users cannot undo those changes as long as the app that made them is installed. These are the main reasons why PrimaryIndexer cannot be trusted and should never be downloaded or installed.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by PrimaryIndexer
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), AVG (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.C), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.h), 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.

PrimaryIndexer is very similar to many other apps of this type including, for example, VentureSprint, RotatorAssist and OperationArchive. Developers often advertise PUAs as useful and legitimate applications, however, they are useless and designed only to display advertisements, gather data, and promote fake search engines. If PrimaryIndexer or other adware-type software is already installed on the browser and/or computer, remove it immediately.

How did PrimaryIndexer install on my computer?

In most cases, people download and install adware and other PUAs when they click deceptive advertisements, or when they download/install other programs that have unwanted apps included into the set-ups as 'additional offers'. Unwanted downloads and installations through deceptive ads occur when PUAs execute certain scripts, however, this happens only if people click them. As mentioned, PUAs are commonly downloaded and installed through download/installation set-ups. Typically, information about these additionally-included apps can be found in "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings, however, many people leave these settings unchanged, thereby allowing additional PUAs to infiltrate with their regular software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

To prevent unwanted downloads and installations, download all software only from official websites and through direct download links. It is not safe to use third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks or other such tools to download or install your software - they are often used to distribute PUAs and malicious apps. Check "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings and decline offers to download or install additionally-included apps. Do not to click advertisements that appear on on dubious web pages. When clicked, these can open untrusted websites or cause unwanted downloads and installations. Remove any unwanted extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the browser, and programs of this kind installed on the operating system immediately. If your computer is already infected with PrimaryIndexer, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once PrimaryIndexer installation is complete:

pop-up displayed once PrimaryIndexer installation is done

PrimaryIndexer redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net:

PrimaryIndexer redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

PrimaryIndexer installed on Safari:

primaryindexer adware safari extension

PrimaryIndexer installation folder:

primaryindexer adware contents folder

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:

PrimaryIndexer adware removal:

Remove PrimaryIndexer-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 primaryindexer 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 PrimaryIndexer removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by primaryindexer 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 primaryindexer 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 primaryindexer 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 PrimaryIndexer 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 PrimaryIndexer on your mobile device.
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