How to remove OperativeField unwanted application?

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

How to remove OperativeField from Mac?

What is OperativeField?

OperativeField is designed to serve advertisements, promote Safe Finder via akamaihd.net, collect sensitive information and change some browser's settings (promote a fake search engine). It operates as adware and a browser hijacker. More often than not users download and install apps of this type unknowingly, unintentionally. Therefore, such apps are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

OperativeField adware

Typically, adware serves coupons, surveys, banners, pop-ups and/or other types of advertisements. It is common that by clicking those ads users allow the to open questionable, potentially malicious pages or even cause unwanted downloads and/or installations. As mentioned in the introduction, OperativeField is designed to hijack browsers by changing browser's settings such as address of a new tab, homepage and default search engine to an address of some fake search engine. Such search engines should not be trusted: in most cases they either display results generated by other (often legitimate) search engines or generate misleading results. It is worthwhile to mention that changes made by a browser hijacker can be undone only after uninstallation of that app. Furthermore, OperativeField can read sensitive information from websites such as passwords, credit card details, phone numbers and some other data. Such information can be misused for various malicious purposes, for example, to steal accounts, identities, make fraudulent purchases, transactions. Therefore, users who have OperativeField installed on a browser and operating system may become victims of identity theft, lose access to personal accounts, suffer monetary loss, experience issues related to browsing safety, online privacy, and/or other serious problems. It is common that apps like OperativeField collect browsing data too, for example, IP addresses, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by OperativeField
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Rload.4), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.C), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.i), 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.

A couple more examples of PUAs like OperativeField are BasicDesktop, TypicalFraction and UpgradeCoordinator. It is common that such apps are advertised as legitimate, useful, etc. Although, most of them are designed only to help their developers to generate revenue by serving ads and collecting various data. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this particular app can access sensitive details, therefore, it is strongly recommended not to trust this adware/browser hijacker. If it is already installed on a browser and/or computer, then it should be uninstalled immediately.

How did OperativeField install on my computer?

Quite often users download and/or install unwanted applications together with some other, mainly free programs. To be more precise, when PUAs are included in their download and/or installation setups as extra offers. Typically, such offers are mentioned and can be declined in "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" or other settings of setups. Users who download and/or install programs without changing those settings allow for apps that are included in their setups to be downloaded and/or installed as well. This software distribution method is known as "bundling". In some cases such downloads and/or installations happen when users click deceptive advertisements that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download and installation setups should be always checked for offers to download and/or install additional apps. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, such offers can be declined in "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings of setups. Also, software (and files) should be downloaded only from official, trustworthy web pages and via direct links. It is not safe to use third party downloaders (and installers), unofficial sites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), or other channels, sources. It is common that they are monetized by using them as tools to distribute unwanted, in some cases even malicious programs. Additionally, it is recommended not to click advertisements that appear on questionable websites. Those ads tend to be designed to open other pages of this kind or even cause unwanted downloads and/or installation by running certain scripts. If some unwanted app (extension, plug-in or add-on) is already installed on a browser, then it should be uninstalled. Programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with OperativeField, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once OperativeField installation is over:

pop-up displayed once OperativeField installation is done

OperativeField redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net:

OperativeField redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

OperativeField installed on Safari:

operativefield adware safari extension

OperativeField's Contents folder:

operativefield adware installation folder

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:

OperativeField adware removal:

Remove OperativeField-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 operativefield 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 OperativeField removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by operativefield 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 operativefield 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 operativefield 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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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 OperativeField 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 OperativeField on your mobile device.
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