How to uninstall the InetWebSearch unwanted app

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

How to remove InetWebSearch from Mac computers

What is InetWebSearch?

InetWebSearch displays advertisements and changes certain browser settings (to promote a fake search engine). Therefore, this app is classified as adware and a browser hijacker. These apps often collect browsing-related (and other data), and this is likely to be the case with InetWebSearch. People often download and install these rogue apps inadvertently - this particular type is installed via a deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer. Apps that people download and install unintentionally are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

InetWebSearch adware

After installation, InetWebSearch starts to display various ads. In most cases, adware-type apps feed users with coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and others. When clicked, these tend to open dubious websites. Some advertisements can be designed to download and/or install unwanted software by running certain scripts. InetWebSearch promotes the address of a fake search engine. Typically, PUAs promote these search engines by modifying browser settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab (they assign them to the address of a fake search engine). The changes can be undone only when the app that made them is no longer installed. In this case, InetWebSearch must be uninstalled. Apps that hijack browsers reassign settings after each attempt is made to modify them. Additionally, InetWebSearch and similar apps often gather data. Commonly, they target browsing-related information (users' IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of opened/visited websites, etc.). Installed adware/browser hijackers might also record private, sensitive details. The developers sell the information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) or misuse it in other ways to generate revenue. This can lead to problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy, and other issues such as identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by InetWebSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus.
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.
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InetWebSearch is virtually identical to SearchLetters, Tituricsec, MacAppsHD and numerous other apps. They serve ads, change browser settings, and collect various user-system information. Users often install InetWebSearch when they use a deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer. These installers can also infiltrate ransomware, Trojan-type programs, and other types of malware.

How did InetWebSearch install on my computer?

Commonly, unwanted, potentially malicious apps are distributed through fake, deceptive installers and through the set-ups of other programs and deceptive ads. PUAs are often included into the set-ups as 'additional offers', which can be found in "Advanced" or "Custom" settings. Many users download and install their software without changing these settings, thereby allowing additionally-included apps to infiltrate. This method to distribute PUAs is called "bundling". Downloads and installations through deceptive ads happen when they are clicked and then go on to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Do not download programs or files from unofficial websites, through third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, or other similar channels. Also avoid third party installers. Use official web pages and direct download links. Check all set-ups for "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings, and decline any offers to download or install additionally-included apps. Do not click intrusive advertisements that appear on dubious web pages, since they can open potentially malicious web pages or even cause unwanted installations. Remove any suspicious/unwanted extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on the browser, and programs of this type installed on the computer. If your computer is already infected with InetWebSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to InetWebSearch adware that need to be removed:

    • ~/Library/Application Support/com.InetWebSearch/InetWebSearch
    • ~/Library/Application Support/com.InetWebSearchDaemon/InetWebSearch
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.InetWebSearch.plist
    • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.InetWebSearchDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote InetWebSearch (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:

InetWebSearch adware removal:

Remove InetWebSearch-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 inetwebsearch 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 InetWebSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by inetwebsearch 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 inetwebsearch 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 inetwebsearch 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.

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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 InetWebSearch 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 InetWebSearch on your mobile device.
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