How to remove the ControlFraction adware?

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

How to remove ControlFraction adware from Mac?

What is ControlFraction?

ControlFraction is a piece of dubious software, classified as adware. It operates by running intrusive advertisement campaigns (i.e. delivering various ads). However, this application also makes modifications to browser settings in order to promote fake search engines - these abilities are common to browser hijackers. Since most users download/install ControlFraction unintentionally, it is considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Typically, PUAs spy on browsing activity and it is highly likely that ControlFraction does so as well.

ControlFraction adware

Adware enables the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and other intrusive adverts - typically, on any visited webpage. The delivered ads seriously diminish the browsing quality, as they limit site visibility and browsing speed. Once clicked on, intrusive advertisements 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 web searchers. The promoted search engines are seldom capable of providing search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Yahoo, Bing, Google and other legitimate ones. Additionally, browser hijackers can undo any changes users attempt to make to their browsers, if they do not restrict/deny access to the browser's settings outright. Therefore, recovering an affected browser is impossible without eliminating the software hijacking it. Most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) have data tracking abilities. 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), likewise seeking to misuse it for profit. 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 suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ControlFraction
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.

MacWebServiceConsumer OpinionTotalConsoleSearch and AnalyzerSkill are some examples of other apps in the adware classification. They appear ordinary and harmless. Users are lured into download/installation and/or purchase with offers of a broad range of functionalities. However, the advertised features rarely work. This applies to practically all PUAs. The sole purpose of unwanted software is to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user safety are irrelevant. Instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can run intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects and collect private data.

How did ControlFraction install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed through download/installation setups of other products. This false marketing method of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts proliferate PUAs as well. When clicked on, they can execute scripts to download/install this software without user consent. Select PUAs have "official" promotional pages, from which they can be downloaded.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and trustworthy sources. Since dubious channels, like: unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content. Download and installation processes must be treated with caution. That includes - reading terms, exploring all available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings and declining to download/install additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate, however they redirect to unreliable and questionable webpages (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so forth). Should users experience such ads and/or redirects, they must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected. If your computer is already infected with ControlFraction, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

Pop-up displayed once ControlFraction installation is complete

ControlFraction adware's installation folder:

ControlFraction 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 ControlFraction adware using Combo Cleaner:

ControlFraction adware removal:

Remove ControlFraction-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 controlfraction 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 ControlFraction removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by controlfraction 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 controlfraction 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 controlfraction 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.

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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.

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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 ControlFraction 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 ControlFraction on your mobile device.
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