How to remove the MacWebService adware from your operating system?

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

How to remove MacWebService adware from Mac?

What is MacWebService?

MacWebService is an adware-type application with browser hijacker traits. It operates by delivering intrusive advertisement campaigns and making modifications to browser settings - in order to promote fake search engines. Additionally, this app is highly likely to have data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on users' browsing habits. Due to the dubious techniques employed to distribute MacWebService, it is also deemed to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). One of these questionable methods is proliferation via fake Adobe Flash Player updaters. It is noteworthy that illegitimate software updaters/installers are used to distribute not only PUAs but trojans, ransomware and other malware as well.

MacWebService adware distributed via fake Flash Player updater/installer

Adware enables the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and other intrusive advertisements - typically, on any visited website. The delivered ads overlay page content and limit the browsing speed. Furthermore, upon being clicked on, intrusive adverts redirect to various untrustworthy/malicious webpages 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 web searchers. Hence, with a browser hijacker installed: every new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar- redirect to the promoted address. Illegitimate search engines are usually unable to provide search results, so they tend to redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine ones. Furthermore, browser hijackers can reset any changes users attempt to make, 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 collect personal information extracted 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 integrity and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by MacWebService
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Rload.5), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.l), 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.

Consumer Opinion, TotalConsoleSearch, AnalyzerSkill and SearchNetCharacter are some examples of other adware-type apps. They appear ordinary and offer a wide variety of "useful" features. However, the promised functionalities are rarely operational. In fact, this applies to practically all PUAs. Unwanted software has but one goal - to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user safety are irrelevant. PUAs are designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns, modify browsers, cause redirects and collect private data.

How did MacWebService install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed together with other products. This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, used pre-set options, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user consent. Select PUAs have "official" promotional webpages, from which they can be downloaded.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Since untrustworthy channels, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive ads typically appear legitimate, however they redirect to various unreliable and questionable sites (e.g. gambling. pornography, adult-dating, and so on). In case of encounters with such advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, users must inspect their systems and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins from them. If your computer is already infected with MacWebService, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.MacWebService/MacWebService
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.MacWebServiceDaemon/MacWebService
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.MacWebService.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.MacWebServiceDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote MacWebService 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 MacWebService (Step 1)

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote MacWebService (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.

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:

MacWebService adware removal:

Remove MacWebService-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 macwebservice 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 MacWebService removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by macwebservice 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 macwebservice 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 macwebservice 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 MacWebService 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 MacWebService on your mobile device.
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