How to remove SearchArchive adware from operating systems

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

How to remove SearchArchive adware from Mac computers

What is SearchArchive?

SearchArchive is a rogue application classified as adware, which also has browser hijacker traits. After successful installation, SearchArchive delivers intrusive ad campaigns, modifies browser settings and promotes bogus search engines. Most adware programs and browser hijackers collect browsing-related information, and it is highly likely this will be the case with SearchArchive. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate this app, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). It has has been observed that SearchArchive was distributed through fake Adobe Flash Player updates. Note that bogus software updaters/installers are commonly used to distribute Trojans, ransomware and other malware.

SearchArchive adware distributed via fake Flash Player updater/installer

Adware enables the placement of intrusive advertisements (e.g. pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc.), typically on any visited website. This significantly diminishes the browsing experience, as these ads overlay web page content and limit browsing speed. Additionally, when clicked, intrusive ads redirect to untrusted/malicious sites and some can even stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers operate by assigning the addresses of fake 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 promoted address. Rogue search engines are seldom capable of generating unique results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Yahoo, Google, Bing and other genuine sites. Recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it, since access to browser settings is restricted/denied, and any permitted changes made, automatically reset. As mentioned, most PUAs have data tracking capabilities. They can record users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) and collect personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is typically shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), seeking to misuse it for profit. Therefore, the presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SearchArchive
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.
▼ 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.

SearchStudioConnectedBoost and DiscoverResults are some examples of other adware programs. They may seem legitimate and useful, and users are often lured into download/installation with a wide variety of "useful" functionalities, however, these features are usually nonoperational. In fact, this applies to most PUAs. These unwanted applications have just one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive no real value. PUAs run intrusive ad campaigns, modify browsers, cause redirects and collect private data.

How did SearchArchive install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via the download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing tactic of packing normal software with unwanted or malicious content is termed "bundling". Rushing downloads/installations (e.g. ignoring terms, using presets, skipping steps, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertently allowing dubious and/or bundled content into the system. Some PUAs have "official" download sites. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. When clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are strongly advised to research all software prior to download/installation. Use only official and verified download channels. Untrusted sources such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, you are advised to read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, functions, and so on. Intrusive ads may seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you encounter advertisements/redirects of this kind, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with SearchArchive, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchArchive/SearchArchive
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchArchiveDaemon/SearchArchive
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SearchArchive.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SearchArchiveDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote SearchArchive (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:

SearchArchive adware removal:

Remove SearchArchive-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 searcharchive 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 SearchArchive removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by searcharchive 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 searcharchive 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 searcharchive 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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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 SearchArchive 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 SearchArchive on your mobile device.
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