How to uninstall OperativeDesktop adware from your operating system?

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

How to remove OperativeDesktop adware from Mac?

What is OperativeDesktop?

OperativeDesktop is a piece of dubious software, classified as adware with browser hijacker traits. Following successful installation, this app runs intrusive advert campaigns, makes alterations to browser settings in order to promote fake search engines. OperativeDesktop promotes Safe Finder via akamaihd.net. Additionally, most adware-types and browser hijackers can track and collect browsing-related data. Since most uses download/install OperativeDesktop inadvertently, it is also considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).

OperativeDesktop adware

Adware enables the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page and other intrusive advertisements - usually, on any visited website. These ads overlay page content and significantly slow down the browsing speed, thereby diminish the browsing experience. Furthermore, upon being clicked, intrusive adverts redirect to untrustworthy/malicious sites and some of them can even stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers assign the addresses of illegitimate search engines of browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. Hence, with such a piece of software installed, every new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address. OperativeDesktop promotes (through akamaihd.net) Safe Finder - in this manner. Fake search engines are usually unable to generate search results, so they tend to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine ones. Browser hijackers can limit/deny access to the browser's settings and/or undo any permitted changes made. Therefore, recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it. As mentioned in the introduction, most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) have data tracking abilities. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is typically shared with and/or sold to third parties. In summary, presence of unwanted apps on devices can result in system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. It is strongly recommended to immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by OperativeDesktop
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), Endgame (Malicious (high Confidence)), 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.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

ArchimedesLookupEngageSearchBinarySignSearchDynamicAnalog - are some examples of other adwares. These apps appear ordinary and harmless. Users are enticed into download/installation with a broad range of "useful" functionalities, which are rarely operational. In fact, this is true of practically all PUAs. The sole purpose of unwanted applications is to generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs run intrusive advertisement campaigns, make modifications to browsers, cause redirects and track private information.

How did OperativeDesktop install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed through download/installation setups of other programs. This false marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. by skipping steps and sections, etc.) - users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Some PUAs have "official" promotional webpages, from which they can be downloaded. Once clicked on, intrusive ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

All products should be researched prior to download/installation and/or purchase. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - can offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate, however they redirect to various unreliable and questionable pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so on). In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the system must be inspected and all suspect applications and likewise suspicious browser extensions/plug-ins - removed without delay. If your computer is already infected with OperativeDesktop, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once OperativeDesktop installation is over:

pop-up displayed once OperativeDesktop installation is done

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

OperativeDesktop redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

OperativeDesktop adware's installation folder:

OperativeDesktop adware install folder

OperativeDesktop adware installed onto the Safari browser:

OperativeDesktop adware installed onto Safari

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:

OperativeDesktop adware removal:

Remove OperativeDesktop-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 operativedesktop 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 OperativeDesktop removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by operativedesktop 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 operativedesktop 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 operativedesktop 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 OperativeDesktop 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 OperativeDesktop on your mobile device.
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