How to uninstall DivisionFormat adware from the operating system?

Also Known As: Ads by DivisionFormat
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove DivisionFormat adware from Mac?

What is DivisionFormat?

DivisionFormat is a rogue application, classified as adware. It also has browser hijacker traits. Following successful installation, it runs intrusive advertisement campaign, makes modifications to browser settings in order to promote fake search engines (for example, search.dominantmethod.com). Additionally, most adware-types and browser hijackers record users' browsing activity. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate DivisionFormat, it is considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). One of the questionable distribution techniques used for this app is via fake Adobe Flash Player updates. Users should note that illegitimate software updaters/installers proliferate malware (e.g. ransomware, trojans, etc.) as well.

DivisionFormat adware

Adware delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page and other intrusive adverts. They seriously diminish the browsing experience by slowing down the browsing speed and overlaying page content. Furthermore, upon being clicked on, these ads redirect to various unreliable/malicious websites and some can even execute scripts to stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers assign the addresses of illegitimate web searchers (e.g. search.dominantmethod.com) as 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. Fake search engines are seldom capable of providing search results, so they redirect to Yahoo, Google, Bing and other legitimate ones. Browser hijackers can also restrict/deny access to the browser's settings and/or undo any permitted changes made. Therefore, recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without eliminating the software affecting it. What is more, most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) have data tracking abilities and it is highly likely that DivisionFormat has such as well. Unwanted applications can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is typically shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, unwanted apps can cause system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even lead to identity theft. To protect device integrity and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by DivisionFormat
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), Sophos AV (Adloadr (PUA)), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.C), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.i), Full List (VirusTotal)
Promoted URL search.dominantmethod.com
Serving IP Address (search.dominantmethod.com) 52.84.53.129
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.

AssistiveRecordAssistiveUnitPracticalDivision and OperativeDesktop are some examples of other adware-type apps. They appear legitimate and useful. However, despite how good their promised functionalities may sound - they are rarely operational. In fact, this is true of nearly all PUAs. Unwanted applications have but one goal - to generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs run intrusive advertisement campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects and gather sensitive information.

How did DivisionFormat install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed together with other products. This deceptive marketing tactic of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, used pre-set options, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Select PUAs have "official" download webpages. Intrusive advertisements can infiltrate these applications into systems as well. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user permission.

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 must be used. Since untrustworthy sources, like: unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive ads appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to various dubious webpages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, and so on). In case of encounters with such adverts and/or redirects, the system must be inspected and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins - immediately removed. If your computer is already infected with DivisionFormat, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

DivisionFormat adware distributed via fake Adobe Flash Player updater/installer:

DivisionFormat adware proliferated through fake Flash Player updater/installer

Pop-up window displayed once DivisionFormat installation is over:

pop-up displayed once DivisionFormat installation is done

Appearance of DivisionFormat adware promoting search.dominantmethod.com, which redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):

DivisionFormat adware appearance (gif)

DivisionFormat adware's installation folder:

DivisionFormat adware install folder

DivisionFormat adware installed onto the Safari browser:

DivisionFormat adware installed onto Safari

DivisionFormat adware promoting search.dominantmethod.com by assigning it as the Google Chrome browser's default search engine:

DivisionFormat adware changes Chrome default search engine to search.dominantmethod.com

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:

DivisionFormat adware removal:

Remove DivisionFormat-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 divisionformat 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 DivisionFormat removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by divisionformat 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 divisionformat 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 divisionformat 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 DivisionFormat 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 DivisionFormat on your mobile device.
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