How to remove SearchRange adware

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

How to remove SearchRange from Mac computers

What is SearchRange?

The SearchRange app is often installed unintentionally through a deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer. Therefore, this app is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA). After installation, it hijacks browsers, changes certain browser settings, and starts to display various ads. I.e., SearchRange is both an adware-type app and a browser hijacker. Apps of this type are often designed to gather browsing-related and other information.

SearchRange adware

Typically, adware feeds users with coupons, surveys, banners, pop-ups and other advertisements. By clicking these ads, many users open dubious websites or even allow them to execute certain scripts to download/install unwanted applications. Browser hijackers change browser settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab, to the address of a fake search engine. Typically, these changes cannot be undone unless the browser hijacker that made them is uninstalled. SearchRange might also collect IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites and other information relating to users' browsing habits. It might also record private, sensitive details. People behind these apps can misuse the data to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (possibly cyber criminals), or in other ways. Therefore, to avoid having your browser hijacked, seeing unwanted ads and experiencing problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy or even becoming a victim of identity theft, never trust, download, or install SearchRange or other apps of this type.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SearchRange
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.

SearchRange is virtually identical to many other adware-type apps/browser hijackers such as DataSearchLauncher, LookWebResults, and SearchMainInfo. They generate revenue for developers by serving ads, promoting fake search engines, and gathering various data. Most of these apps are useless and can cause serious problems. If an app of this type is installed on the browser and/or operating system, remove it immediately.

How did SearchRange install on my computer?

Many users install SearchRange when they attempt to update/install Adobe Flash Player with an unofficial, deceptive installer. Note that such installers often install malicious programs like ransomware, Trojans. People also download and install PUAs together with their other, required programs. This happens when PUAs are included into the set-ups as 'additional offers'. Many users do not check the setups, and fail to decline offers within the "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings. In some cases, unwanted downloads and installations are caused by clicking deceptive advertisements that run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Software and files should be downloaded only from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links. Other channels and tools such as third party downloaders/installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (for example, torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages should not be trusted, as they can distribute malware, PUAs, and other unwanted programs. Check all "Custom" and "Advanced" settings and decline offers to download or install included apps. Do not click intrusive advertisements that appear on dubious sites, since they can open various potentially malicious websites or even cause download/installation of unwanted applications. Remove any suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the browser, and programs of this kind installed on the computer. If your computer is already infected with SearchRange, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

SearchRange asking permission to receive incoming network connections:

SearchRange asking for a permission to receive incoming network connections

Files related to SearchRange adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchRange/SearchRange
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchRangeDaemon/SearchRange
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SearchRange.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SearchRangeDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote SearchRange (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:

SearchRange adware removal:

Remove SearchRange-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 searchrange 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 SearchRange removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by searchrange 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 searchrange 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 searchrange 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.

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 SearchRange 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 SearchRange on your mobile device.
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