How to remove OperativeState adware from a browser and computer?

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

How to remove OperativeState from Mac?

What is OperativeState?

OperativeState promotes z6airr.com and adjustablesample.com addresses by changing browser settings, serves various advertisements and gathers sensitive information. Simply said, this app functions as adware, browser hijacker and information tracking tool. Most of the times users do not download and install apps like OperativeState on purpose, knowingly, for this reason they are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

OperativeState adware

OperativeState promotes z6airr.com (on Safari) and adjustablesample.com (on Chrome) by assigning one or another address (depending on which browser is hijacked by OperativeState) as default search engine, homepage and new tab URL. Therefore, users who have OperativeState installed on a browser and/or computer are forced to visit z6airr.com or adjustablesample.com when they open a browser, enter search queries into URL bar and open new browser tab. Z6airr.com is designed to provide results generated by Yahoo (it redirects users to search.yahoo.com), adjustablesample.com generates its own results that may include links to untrustworthy pages. In one way or another, search engines that are promoted by browser hijackers or adware should not be trusted/used. It is common that users can undo the changes that were made by apps like OperativeState only after their uninstallation. Furthermore, OperativeState is designed to serve advertisements. In most cases adware-type apps serve banners, coupons, surveys, pop-up ads, etc. More often than not those ads are used to promote shady websites, also, sometimes they can be designed to cause downloads and/or installations of PUAs by executing certain scripts. One more reason to not trust OperativeState (or other similar apps) is that it can read sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, telephone numbers, and some other data. Its developers may sell collected details to third parties (potentially cyber criminals), use them to steal identities, personal accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, of for other malicious purposes. These are the main reasons why users should never download and install apps like OperativeState.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by OperativeState
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), AVG (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.h), 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.

It is worthwhile to mention that quite often apps like OperativeState are advertised as legitimate, useful. However, most of them are useless to their users and can be the culprit of various problems. In other words, most of the times such apps are designed only to generate revenue for their developers. A couple examples of other apps like OperativeState are InitialWindow, ConnectionFormat and ExpandedSkill.

How did OperativeState install on my computer?

One of the most popular ways to distribute PUAs is to include them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as additional offers. This distribution method is called "bundling". Users download and/or install PUAs together with other programs when they leave settings like "Advanced", "Custom" of their setups unchanged. In other words, whey they do not decline offers to download and/or install additionally included apps. Also, sometimes users cause unwanted downloads and/or installations by clicking deceptive advertisements. However, it happens only when they click ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download and/or installation setups that have settings like "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" (or include checkboxes) should be checked for offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official pages and via direct download links. Other sources, channels like Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial sites, free file hosting sites, third party downloaders can be used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious files, programs. Advertisements that are displayed on questionable websites should not be clicked as well: it is common that they are used to promote untrustworthy websites or distribute (download and/or install) unwanted apps. If some PUA (plug-in, add-on or extension) is already installed on a browser, then it should be removed. Programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with OperativeState, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Z6airr.com redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):

z6airr.com redirects to search.yahoo.com

Adjustablesample.com generates its own results (GIF):

adjustablesample.com generates its results

Pop-up window displayed once OperativeState installation is over:

operativestate adware pop-up displayed once installation is over

OperativeState installed on Safari:

operativestate adware installed on safari

OperativeState's installation folder:

operativestate adware contents 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 OperativeState adware using Combo Cleaner:

OperativeState adware removal:

Remove OperativeState-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 operativestate 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 OperativeState removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by operativestate 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 operativestate 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 operativestate 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 OperativeState 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 OperativeState on your mobile device.
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