How to get rid of GlobalEngineSearch adware?

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

How to remove GlobalEngineSearch from Mac?

What is GlobalEngineSearch?

GlobalEngineSearch is designed to serve advertisements and promote a fake search engine by changing certain browser settings. It is very likely that it is designed to collect browsing-related and/or other information. This app is classified as adware and a browser hijacker. In most cases users download and install apps of this type unknowingly, for this reason GlobalEngineSearch is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUAs). Research shows that this app is distributed through a deceptive (fake) Adobe Flash Player installer.

GlobalEngineSearch adware

It is common that adware-type applications feed users with advertisements (e.g., coupons, surveys, banners, pop-up ads) that are designed to promote questionable pages. In some cases such ads can be designed to cause unwanted downloads and/or installations by executing certain scripts. Browser hijackers promote fake search engines (their addresses) by changing browser settings such as address of a homepage, default search engine and/or new tab. Those search engines are called fake because they do not generate their own results - when used, they display results by some other, legitimate search engine (like Google, Yahoo). Although, in some cases those search engines include links to questionable pages in their results/generate misleading results. Typically, users can remove the address of a fake search engine from browser settings only when an app that changed them is no longer installed on a browser and/or computer. Another problem with apps like GlobalEngineSearch is that they often are designed to collect IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, and/or other browsing data. Although, there are many apps of this type that can access sensitive information as well. As if it were not enough, their developers could sell collected information to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. Therefore, users who have apps like GlobalEngineSearch installed on a browser and/or computer may become victims of identity theft, experience issues related to online privacy, browsing safety and/or other problems.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by GlobalEngineSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names CRDF (Malicious), Emsisoft (Phishing), ESET (Phishing), Sophos AV (Phishing), 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.

More examples of apps like GlobalEngineSearch are SearchStudio, DiscoverResults and GlobalQuestSearch. In most cases they are advertised as legitimate apps that supposed to include some features, improve browsing experience, etc. Nevertheless, more often they are useless to their users and can be the culprit of various problems. If such software is installed on a computer and/or browser, then it should be uninstalled as soon as possible.

How did GlobalEngineSearch install on my computer?

It is known that GlobalEngineSearchs can be installed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer which has nothing to do with the actual Adobe product. It is worthwhile to mention that fake, unofficial installers can be designed to install malicious software, for example, some Trojan, ransomware, or other high-risk malware. It is common that PUAs are distributed through setups of other programs by including them in their setups as additional offers as well. When users download and install programs without checking their setups for offers to download and/or install additionally included apps, they download and/or install those apps alongside with wanted programs. Typically, offers to download and/or install included apps can be declined in "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings of setups. This distribution method is called "bundling". In some cases users unknowingly download and/or install unwanted apps by clicking deceptive ads that are designed to cause it by executing certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is not safe to use unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, etc., to download any files or programs. The same applies to third party installers. Therefore, files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Furthermore, download and installation setups that have settings like "Custom", "Advanced" often include offers to download and/or install additional, unwanted software too. It is important to check those settings and decline offers to download and/or install unwanted applications. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, advertisements that appear on shady pages can be designed to open questionable websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. It is not recommended to trust (click) such advertisements. Any unwanted extensions, plug-ins or add-ons that are installed on a browser, or programs of this kind are installed on the operating system should be uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with GlobalEngineSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to the GlobalEngineSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.GlobalEngineSearch/GlobalEngineSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.GlobalEngineSearchDaemon/GlobalEngineSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.GlobalEngineSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.GlobalEngineSearch.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the GlobalEngineSearch adware are designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles"

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote GlobalEngineSearch (Step 1)

2) Select the "GlobalEngineSearch" profile and delete it.

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote GlobalEngineSearch (Step 2)

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this adware/browser hijacker.

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:

GlobalEngineSearch adware removal:

Remove GlobalEngineSearch-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 globalenginesearch 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 GlobalEngineSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by globalenginesearch 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 globalenginesearch 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 globalenginesearch 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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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 GlobalEngineSearch 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 GlobalEngineSearch on your mobile device.
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