How to remove the AssistiveFile adware from your operating system?

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

How to remove AssistiveFile adware from Mac?

What is AssistiveFile?

AssistiveFile is a rogue application, classified as adware and it also has browser hijacker traits. Following successful infiltration, it delivers intrusive advert campaigns and makes alterations to browser settings - in order to promote fake search engines. Adware and browser hijackers typically have data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on users' browsing activity. Due to the dubious techniques employed to distribute AssistiveFile, it is considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).

AssistiveFile adware

Adware delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page and other intrusive advertisements. They seriously cripple the browsing experience, since they overlay page content and slow down the browsing speed. Furthermore, intrusive ads are deemed to be dangerous. Once clicked on, these adverts redirect to various untrustworthy/malicious sites and some can even stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers operate by assigning the addresses of fake web searchers as browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. These seemingly minor modifications affect the browsing quality, as every single search query typed into the URL bar and new browser tab/window opened - redirect to the address of the promoted search engine. Illegitimate web searchers are usually unable to provide search results, so they redirect tend to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other genuine search engines, Additionally, most browser hijackers can reset any changes users attempt to make to their browsers, if they permit access to the browser's settings in the first place. As mentioned in the introduction, most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This sensitive data is then shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). Therefore, presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by AssistiveFile
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
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.

AdjustableProductOperativeState and BoostCoordinator are a few examples of other adware-type apps. They appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "useful" functionalities. However, the promised features rarely work. In fact, this is true of practically all PUAs. The sole purpose of unwanted software is to generate revenue for the developers. Hence, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can run intrusive advertisement campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects and gather private information.

How did AssistiveFile install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via download/installation setups of other products. This false marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Select PUAs have "official" download websites. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads should only be done from official and verified sources. Since untrustworthy channels, e.g. 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 possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts usually appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to various unreliable and 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 suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with AssistiveFile, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

Pop-up displayed once AssistiveFile installation is done

AssistiveFile adware's installation folder:

AssistiveFile 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 AssistiveFile adware using Combo Cleaner:

AssistiveFile adware removal:

Remove AssistiveFile-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 assistivefile 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 AssistiveFile removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by assistivefile 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 assistivefile 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 assistivefile 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 AssistiveFile 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 AssistiveFile on your mobile device.
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