How to uninstall CommonGeneration adware from the operating system?

Also Known As: Ads by CommonGeneration
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove CommonGeneration adware from Mac?

What is CommonGeneration?

CommonGeneration is an adware-type app with browser hijacker traits. Following successful infiltration, it runs intrusive advertisement campaigns and modifies browser settings - in order to promote fake search engines. Due to the dubious methods used to distribute CommonGeneration, it is also classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) have data tracking abilities, which are employed to collect browsing-related information.

CommonGeneration adware

Adware enables the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page and other intrusive advertisements - typically, on any visited website. The ads seriously diminish the browsing activity, since they overlay webpage content and slow down the browsing speed. Additionally, upon being clicked, intrusive adverts redirect to various unreliable/malicious sites 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 a fake web searchers. Hence, with a browser hijacker installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and web searches done via the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address. Furthermore, illegitimate search engines are usually unable to provide search results, so they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine ones. Recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it, as browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to the browsers' settings and/or undo any permitted changes made. As mentioned in the introduction, most PUAs can track data. They can record browsing activity (visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, etc.) and gather personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This sensitive data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to system infections, financial losses, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To protect device integrity and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by CommonGeneration
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), Sophos AV (AdLoad (PUA)), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), 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.

OptimalStateElementaryUnit and ProductiveRotator are a few examples of other apps within the adware category. They appear ordinary and offer a broad range of "handy" functionalities. However, despite how good the promised features may sound - they are rarely operational. In fact, this is true of practically all PUAs. Functionality, user convenience and safety are irrelevant, since the only goal of unwanted software is to generate profit for the developers. PUAs are designed to deliver intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects and collect private data.

How did CommonGeneration install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via download/installation setups of other software. "Bundling" is the name of this deceptive marketing technique. 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 also proliferate PUAs. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission. 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 products prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and trustworthy download channels must be used. Since dubious sources, like: unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer harmful 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 advertisements appear legitimate, however they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and others). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with CommonGeneration, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once CommonGeneration adware's installation is over:

Pop-up displayed once CommonGeneration installation is complete

CommonGeneration adware installed onto the Safari browser:

CommonGeneration adware installed onto Safari

CommonGeneration adware's installation folder:

CommonGeneration 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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

CommonGeneration adware removal:

Remove CommonGeneration-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 commongeneration 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 CommonGeneration removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by commongeneration 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 commongeneration 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 commongeneration 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 CommonGeneration 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 CommonGeneration on your mobile device.
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