How to uninstall ExpandedSkill adware from the operating system?

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

How to remove ExpandedSkill adware from Mac?

What is ExpandedSkill?

ExpandedSkill is a piece of rogue software. This application is classified as adware and it also possesses browser hijacker traits. Following successful infiltration, ExpandedSkill runs intrusive advertisement campaigns, makes alterations to browser settings and promotes fake search engines. Additionally, most adware and browser hijackers have data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on users' browsing activity. Due to the questionable methods employed to distribute ExpandedSkill, it is considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) as well.

ExpandedSkill adware

Adware delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page and other intrusive adverts. They seriously diminish the browsing quality, as the ads overlay page content and slow down the browsing speed. Aside from being a nuisance, intrusive advertisements are are also deemed to be harmful. Upon being clicked, these adverts redirect to various untrustworthy/malicious websites and some can even stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs - to the addresses of fake search engines. To elaborate how this affects browsing: every new browser tab/window opened and web search done via the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address. Illegitimate search engines are typically unable to provide search results, so they redirect to Yahoo, Bing, Google and other genuine ones. Browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to the browser's settings and/or reset any permitted changes made. Therefore, recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it. What is more, most PUAs can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and extract personal information from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices can result in system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ExpandedSkill
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), Sophos ML (AdLoad (PUA)), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.C), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.j), 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.

CoordinatorBoostExtendedLibraryExtendedProcesser and DynamicImprovment are some examples of other aware-type applications. They appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "useful" features. However, despite how good the promised features may sound - they are rarely operational. In fact, this applies to practically all PUAs. Functionality and user safety are irrelevant, as the only goal of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. PUAs are designed to run intrusive ad campaigns, cause redirects, hijack browsers and track sensitive data.

How did ExpandedSkill install on my computer?

PUAs are proliferated via download/installation setups of other products. This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, used pre-set options, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing dangerous and/or bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements can infiltrate PUAs into devices as well. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations. Select PUAs can also have "official" download websites.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to always research products before download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - are untrustworthy, as they often offer 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 additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate and innocuous, however they redirect to highly questionable webpages (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 dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with ExpandedSkill, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once ExpandedSkill adware installation is over:

Pop-up displayed once ExpandedSkill installation is done

ExpandedSkill adware installed onto the Safari browser:

ExpandedSkill adware installed onto Safari

ExpandedSkill adware's installation folder:

ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill adware using Combo Cleaner:

ExpandedSkill adware removal:

Remove ExpandedSkill-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 expandedskill 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 ExpandedSkill removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by expandedskill 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 expandedskill 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 expandedskill 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 ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill on your mobile device.
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