How to uninstall ProductiveOperation adware?

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

How to remove ProductiveOperation adware from Mac?

What is ProductiveOperation adware?

ProductiveOperation is a piece of rogue software, classified as adware and it also has browser hijacker traits. It runs intrusive advertisement campaigns, modifies browsers in order to promote fake search engines. ProductiveOperation promotes (via akamaihd.net)  Safe Finder. Due to the questionable used to proliferate this app, it is considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Furthermore, most PUAs have data tracking abilities, which are employed to spy on users' browsing activity.

ProductiveOperation adware

Adware-type applications deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons and other intrusive ads. This severely diminishes the browsing activity, since they overlay the page content and limit the browsing speed. When clicked on, they can redirect to untrustworthy/rogue, sale-based, deceptive, scam and malicious websites. Additionally, some intrusive adverts can even stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers assign the addresses of illegitimate web searchers as browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. Hence, every single search query typed into the URL bar and new browser tab/window opened - redirect to the promoted address. ProductiveOperation promotes Safe Finder (through akamaihd.net) in this manner. Fake search engines are rarely capable of providing search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine ones. Browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to the browser's settings and/or reset any permitted changes made. As mentioned in the introduction, most adwares and browser hijackers can track data. They can monitor users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data typically contains personally identifiable information. What is more, PUA developers monetize this information by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties. Therefore, presence of unwanted apps on devices can result in system infections, financial losses, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ProductiveOperation
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.

Adware usually appears legitimate and useful; e.g. RequestTopUpgradeAnalog and OdysseusLookup - to name a few. Users are tempted into download/installation with offers of various functionalities. The advertised features seldom work and even if they do work - then, not as promised. This is true of practically all PUAs. The sole purpose of unwanted applications is to generate revenue for the developers; to users - they have no real value and can instead cause severe issues. PUAs are designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns, cause undesirable redirects, modify browsers and gather private data.

How did ProductiveOperation install on my computer?

Intrusive ads proliferate PUAs. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts designed to download/install these apps without user permission. Select PUAs have "official" download webpages. However, these applications are most commonly downloaded/installed together with other products. "Bundling" is the term used to define this false marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions. Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. skimmed or ignored terms, skipped steps and used pre-set options, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertent installation of dubious and/or bundled content.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and verified download channels should be used. Untrustworthy sources, like: unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive advertisements tend to appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to various highly questionable pages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.). In case of encounters with adverts/redirects of this kind, users must inspect the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions from it. If your computer is already infected with ProductiveOperation, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once ProductiveOperation installation is over:

pop-up displayed once ProductiveOperation installation is done

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

ProductiveOperation redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

ProductiveOperation adware's installation folder:

ProductiveOperation 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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

ProductiveOperation adware removal:

Remove ProductiveOperation-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 productiveoperation 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 ProductiveOperation removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by productiveoperation 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 productiveoperation 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 productiveoperation 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 ProductiveOperation 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 ProductiveOperation on your mobile device.
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