How to uninstall CompeteService adware

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

How to remove CompeteService from Mac computers

What is CompeteService?

CompeteService functions both as adware and a browser hijacker: it feeds users with various advertisements, and promotes a fake search engine by changing browser settings. Research shows that this app promotes the Safe Finder web page (by opening it via akamaihd.net) and collects sensitive information. People often download and install software such as CompeteService inadvertently and, therefore, these apps are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

CompeteService adware

Applications such as CompeteService serve advertisements that open dubious websites and/or even cause unwanted downloads and installations. Therefore, ads that appear due to installed adware should never be clicked. Some examples of ads that programs of this type display are coupons, banners, pop-ups, and surveys. Furthermore, CompeteService promotes the address of a fake search engine by changing browser settings such as the address of the default search engine, new tab and homepage. In this way, they ensure that users are forced visit a specific address when they open a browser, new tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar. They also prevent users from undoing or modifying these settings (the only solution is to uninstall the hijacker). PUAs also collect browsing-related information. For example, entered search queries, IP addresses, addresses of visited websites, geolocations, etc. Sometimes they gather sensitive, personal information as well. This particular app can read credit card details, passwords and other, personal information. These details could be misused to steal accounts, identities, make fraudulent purchases, transactions and/or for other malicious purposes. Therefore, CompeteService users might become victims of identity theft, suffer monetary loss, lose access to personal accounts, experience problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy, and other issues. For these reasons CompeteService and other apps of this type should never be trusted. If it is already installed on the browser and/or operating system, remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by CompeteService
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AB [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Adload.5), 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.

Some more examples of apps similar to CompeteService include VentureSprint, RecordExplorer and RotatorAssist. Adware is often advertised as legitimate, useful software, and yet it is useless and designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Furthermore, these programs can cause serious problems. As mentioned, people often download and install adware (and other PUAs) inadvertently.

How did CompeteService install on my computer?

Many people download and install PUAs through deceptive advertisements, or together with other, mainly free, programs. I.e., when PUAs are included into the download/installation set-ups as 'additional offers'. This distribution method is called "bundling". In most cases, information about additionally-included apps is placed in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings. Many users download and/or install programs without checking and changing these settings - by leaving default settings unchanged, they agree by default with offers to download/install additional apps. Unwanted downloads and installations through deceptive advertisements occur only when the ads are clicked - they then go on to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Do not download files or programs through unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, third party downloaders, etc. Third party installers should also be avoided. These channels/tools are often used to distribute unwanted, malicious apps. All software should be downloaded from official websites and through direct links. Check all settings (such as "Custom", "Advanced") and decline offers to download or install additionally-included software. Do not click ads that are displayed on dubious web pages (e.g., on those relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography), since they can open untrusted websites or cause unwanted downloads and installations. Remove any, suspicious apps (extensions, plug-ins, add-ons) installed on the browser, and programs of this kind installed on the operating system immediately. If your computer is already infected with CompeteService, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once CompeteService installation is complete:

pop-up displayed once CompeteService installation is done

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

CompeteService redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

CompeteService installed on Safari:

competeservice adware safari extension

CompeteService installation folder:

competeservice adware installation 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:

CompeteService adware removal:

Remove CompeteService-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 competeservice 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 CompeteService removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by competeservice 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 competeservice 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 competeservice 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 CompeteService 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 CompeteService on your mobile device.
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