How to uninstall SearchMainInfo adware?

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

How to remove SearchMainInfo from Mac?

What is SearchMainInfo?

SearchMainInfo is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) which functions both as adware and a browser hijacker: it changes certain browser's settings/promotes address of a fake search engine and serves advertisements. Typically, users do not download and install such apps intentionally. It is known that SearchMainInfo is promoted/distributed by using a deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer.

SearchMainInfo adware

Usually adware-type software like SearchMainInfo serves banners, surveys, pop-ups, coupons and/or other types of ads. When clicked, those ads tend to open various questionable pages. In some cases such ads can be designed to cause download and/or installation of some PUA by executing certain scripts. Furthermore, SearchMainInfo is designed to ensure that users would visit the address of some fake search engine when they open a browser, new tab and/or enter search queries into URL bar. It modifies settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. It is common that apps of this type are designed to prevent users from changing the aforementioned settings, it can be done only when a certain app (in this case SearchMainInfo) is no longer installed. Additionally, it is very likely that SearchMainInfo functions as information tracking tool as well - it may be designed to collect browsing-related data (like IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited sites) or even sensitive details. Moreover, its developers could sell gathered data to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. Therefore, SearchMainInfo's users could become victims of identity theft, experience problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, and/or other issues.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SearchMainInfo
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Rload.5), 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
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

SearchMainInfo is very similar to a number of other apps of this type, for example, ResultsSearchTool, SearchArchive and SearchStudio. Such apps should not be trusted (installed), in most cases they are useless and can be the culprit behind various issues. If an app of this type is already installed on a browser and/or computer, then it should be uninstalled right away.

How did SearchMainInfo install on my computer?

Research shows that this particular app is distributed via fake Adobe Flash Player installer. It is worthwhile to mention that such installers can be designed to infect computers with malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojans) as well. Also, users often download and install PUAs through deceptive advertisements or together with other programs. It is common that such apps are included in various download and/or installation setups as additional offers. This distribution method is called "bundling". Typically, information about included apps can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of setups. Users who download and/or install programs without checking (and changing) those settings allow for included PUAs to be downloaded and/or installed too. Deceptive advertisements cause unwanted downloads and/or installations only when they are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Programs, files should be downloaded only from official pages and via direct links. Other channels (e.g., Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, unofficial pages, third party downloaders) can be used to distribute unwanted, sometimes even malicious programs. The same applies to various third party installers. Also, download and installation setups that include "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings should be always checked for offers to download and/or install additionally included apps. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, ads can be the reason behind unwanted downloads, installations too. Therefore, ads that appear on shady websites should not be clicked. If there are any suspicious, unwanted apps (plug-ins, add-ons, extensions etc.) installed on a web browser or programs of this kind installed on a computer, then they should be uninstalled as soon as possible. If your computer is already infected with SearchMainInfo, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchMainInfo/SearchMainInfo
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchMainInfoDaemon/SearchMainInfo
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SearchMainInfo.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SearchMainInfoDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote SearchMainInfo (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:

SearchMainInfo adware removal:

Remove SearchMainInfo-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 searchmaininfo 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 SearchMainInfo removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by searchmaininfo 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 searchmaininfo 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 searchmaininfo 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 SearchMainInfo 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 SearchMainInfo on your mobile device.
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