How to uninstall DataSearchLaunch adware?

Also Known As: Ads by DataSearchLauncher
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove DataSearchLauncher from Mac?

What is DataSearchLauncher?

DataSearchLauncher is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) which has traits of both adware-type app and a browser hijacker. To be more precise, it serves advertisements and changes certain browser's settings (promotes address of a fake search engine). Such apps are cateogorized as PUAs mostly because users often download and install them unknowingly, accidentally. Research shows that users install DataSearchLauncher through a deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer. Another detail about such PUAs is that they often are designed to gather certain data.

DataSearchLauncher adware

Typically, adware is designed to display banners, coupons, pop-ups, surveys, and/or other types of ads. Displayed ads not only cover contents of websites thats users visit but also tend to open untrustworthy pages or even cause downloads, installations of unwanted applications by executing certain scripts. Therefore, such ads should not be clicked. Additionally, DataSearchLauncher changes certain browser's settings to an address of a fake search engine. Typically, apps of this type promote fake search engines by changing settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab and do not allow users to undo these changes as long as they are installed. The problem with fake search engines is that they are designed either to generate misleading results or display results generated by some other, legitimate (or questionable) engine. Furthermore, it is very likely that DataSearchLauncher is designed to collect various data. For example, addresses of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses and other details of this kind. Although, in some cases such apps can access sensitive information as well. People behind PUAs can misuse gathered data to generate revenue in various ways, for example, by selling it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals). Having DataSearchLauncher installed on a browser and/or computer may lead to problems related to online privacy, browsing safety or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by DataSearchLauncher
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.

Some examples of other apps like DataSearchLauncher are LookWebResults, SearchMainInfo and ResultsSearchTool. Quite often such apps are advertised as legitimate and useful. Nevertheless, not many of them include any features or are useful in any other way. On the contrary, they are designed only to display ads and gather various information which could be the reason behind various issues.

How did DataSearchLauncher install on my computer?

It is very likely that most users install DataSearchLauncher via deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer which installs this PUA instead the actual Adobe Flash Player. It is common that such installers are used to distribute not only PUAs but also malware like ransomware, Trojan-type programs, etc. Also, PUAs often get downloaded and/or installed through download and/or installation setups of other programs - when they are included in their setups as additional offers. This distribution method is known as "bundling", it is used to trick users into downloading and/or installing PUAs together with some other, intentionally downloaded and/or installed programs. In most cases information about additional downloads and/or installations can be declined in settings of setups like "Custom", "Advanced". Although, not all users check and change them and that is exactly how they agree with offers to download and/or install included unwanted apps. In some cases PUAs can be downloaded and/or installed by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Programs, files should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. Other channels, sources like third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), etc., should not be used as tools to download and/or install any software. Quite often they are used to distribute various unwanted, potentially malicious applications. Download and/or installation setups that include settings like "Custom", "Advanced" should be always checked for offers to download and/or install additional software. Additionally, it is not recommended to click intrusive ads that are displayed on questionable websites. Those ads often are designed to promote (open) untrustworthy pages or even download, install unwanted, potentially malicious software. If there are any suspicious, unwanted extensions, plug-ins and/or add-ons installed on a browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system, then they should be uninstalled right away. If your computer is already infected with DataSearchLauncher, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.DataSearchLauncher/DataSearchLauncher
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.DataSearchLauncherDaemon/DataSearchLauncher
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.DataSearchLauncher.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.DataSearchLauncherDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote DataSearchLauncher (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:

DataSearchLauncher adware removal:

Remove DataSearchLauncher-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 datasearchlauncher 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 DataSearchLauncher removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by datasearchlauncher 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 datasearchlauncher 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 datasearchlauncher 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 DataSearchLauncher 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 DataSearchLauncher on your mobile device.
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