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How to remove ElementaryOptimizer adware

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

How to remove ElementaryOptimizer adware from Mac computers

What is ElementaryOptimizer adware?

ElementaryOptimizer is an adware-type app that also possesses browser hijacker traits. Following successful installation, it runs intrusive ad campaigns and makes alterations to browser settings in order to promote bogus search engines. ElementaryOptimizer promotes (via akamaihd.net) Safe Finder in this way. It is highly likely that ElementaryOptimizer also has data tracking capabilities, which is common to adware-type apps and browser hijackers. Additionally, due to the dubious techniques used to proliferate ElementaryOptimizer, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).

ElementaryOptimizer adware

Adware delivers various unwanted and harmful intrusive advertisements such as pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and others. These significantly affect the browsing experience, since they reduce browsing speed and limit web page visibility. Once clicked, intrusive advertisements redirect to sale-based/promotional, rogue, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious sites. Clicking can also trigger the ads to stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers assign the addresses of fake search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. Therefore, with this type of software installed, each new browser tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar, redirects to the promoted address. ElementaryOptimizer promotes akamaihd.net through Safe Finder in this way. Fake search engines are rarely capable of providing search results, and so they redirect to Yahoo, Bing, Google and other genuine sites. Furthermore, recovering an affected browser is impossible without removing the software hijacking it. Most adware and browser hijackers record browsing-related information, and this is likely to include ElementaryOptimizer. These unwanted apps can usually monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The vulnerable data is often shared with and/or sold to third parties. To summarize, the presence of data-tracking content on devices can result in financial loss, serious privacy issues 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 ElementaryOptimizer
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.

LeadingAdviseSearchManagerBoost and OperativeField are some examples of other adware-type apps. They often seem legitimate and useful, and users are enticed into download/installation with offers of "useful" functionality. These features are rarely operational, and this is true of most PUAs. These unwanted applications have just one purpose: to generate profit at users' expense. PUAs deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns, modify browsers, cause redirects and track private data.

How did ElementaryOptimizer install on my computer?

Certain PUAs have "official" promotional web pages from which they can be downloaded. These apps can also be downloaded/installed with other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing normal software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive ads also proliferate these apps. When clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting (freeware) websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive and bundled content, and are therefore untrusted. When downloading/installing, you are advised to read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive ads may seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to dubious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with ElementaryOptimizer, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once ElementaryOptimizer installation is complete:

pop-up displayed once ElementaryOptimizer installation is done

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

ElementaryOptimizer redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

ElementaryOptimizer adware installation folder:

ElementaryOptimizer adware install 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 ElementaryOptimizer adware using Combo Cleaner:

ElementaryOptimizer adware removal:

Remove ElementaryOptimizer-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 elementaryoptimizer 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 ElementaryOptimizer removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by elementaryoptimizer 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 elementaryoptimizer 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 elementaryoptimizer 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 ElementaryOptimizer 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 ElementaryOptimizer on your mobile device.
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