How to get rid of OnlineToolSearch adware?

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

How to remove OnlineToolSearch from Mac?

What is OnlineToolSearch?

OnlineToolSearch is classified as adware, although, it functions as a browser hijacker too: it feeds users with advertisements and promotes address of some fake search engine by changing browser settings. It is common that apps lie OnlineToolSearch collect information related to user's browsing habits (and/or other data) as well. This app is distributed via fake/deceptive Adobe Flash Player installer, therefore, it is very likely that users who have OnlineToolSearch installed on a browser and/or computer installed it unknowingly. Apps that users download and install unintentionally are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

OnlineToolSearch adware

Typically, apps like OnlineToolSearch serve advertisements in forms of banners, coupons, pop-ups, surveys. It is common that ads displayed by such adware are designed to promote (open) questionable websites. Also, they can be designed to cause downloads and/or installations of unwanted software. Therefore, ads displayed by OnlineToolSea (or other similar adware) should not be clicked. Furthermore, OnlineToolSearch functions as a browser hijacker, which means it promotes address of some fake search engine by changing browser settings such as address of a homepage, new tab and/or default search engine. It means that its users are forced to visit a certain address when they open a browser, new tab and/or enter search queries into URL bar. Typically, changes made by a browser hijacker can be undone when it is not longer installed. Additionally, OnlineToolSearch could be designed to collect information like entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, IP addresses, and/or other browsing-related details. There are adware-type apps that are designed to record personal, sensitive information as well. It is possible that OnlineTool is one of those apps. The problem with apps designed to collect various information is that their developers could misuse it generate revenue by selling collected it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or in other ways.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by OnlineToolSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AD), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Wacatac.C!ml), 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.

To sum up, OnlineToolSearch feeds users with ads, forces them to visit a certain address, and it possibly collects various information. Therefore, its users may cause unwanted downloads, installations, experience problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, or even become victims of identity theft. It is strongly recommended not to download and install OnlineToolSearch, or any other similar app. More examples of apps like OnlineToolSearch are LeadingServiceSearch, ExploreParameter and GeneralBoardSearch.

How did OnlineToolSearch install on my computer?

OnlineToolSearch is distributed through a deceptive, fake Adobe Flash Player installer. It is worthwhile to mention that third party, unofficial installers can be used to distribute malicious software like ransomware, Trojans, and other malware. Also, quite often users download and/or install unwanted apps like OnlineToolSearch through download and/or installation setups of other programs - when they are included in their setups as additional offers. This distribution method is known as "bundling". In most cases information about additional downloads and/or installations can be declined in "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings of setups. Although, not all users check and change them. By not doing so they agree with offers to download and/or install included unwanted apps. Additionally, PUAs can be downloaded and/or installed by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Programs, files should not be downloaded from unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, etc., or installed through third party installers. It is advised to use only official pages and direct links for that. Furthermore, it is important to always check download and/or installation setups for "Custom", "Advanced" settngs - they often mention offers to download and/or install additional, unwanted software. One more way to prevent unwanted downloads and/or installations is by not clicking advertisements that appear on questionable pages. It is common that such ads open other questionable websites or even cause unwanted downloads, installations. If there are any unwanted extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on a browser and/or programs of this kind installed on the operating system, then they should be uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with OnlineToolSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.OnlineToolSearch/OnlineToolSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.OnlineToolSearchDaemon/OnlineToolSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.OnlineToolSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.OnlineToolSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the OnlineToolSearch 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 pavadinimas (Step 1)

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote pavadinimas (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:

OnlineToolSearch adware removal:

Remove OnlineToolSearch-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 onlinetoolsearch 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 OnlineToolSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by onlinetoolsearch 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 onlinetoolsearch 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 onlinetoolsearch 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 OnlineToolSearch 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 OnlineToolSearch on your mobile device.
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