How to remove WebNewSearch adware?

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

How to remove WebNewSearch from Mac?

What is WebNewSearch?

WebNewSearch is the name of a potentially unwanted application (PUA) which functions as adware and a browser hijacker: it serves advertisements and promotes address of some fake search engine. Additionally, it may be designed to collect various data. Apps like WebNewSearch are called PUAs because in most cases users download and install them unknowingly. It is known that WebNewSearch is distributed via fake installer which is disguised as the installer for Adobe Flash Player.

WebNewSearch adware

Typically, adware-type applications like WebNewSearch are designed to serve coupons, pop-up ads, banners, surveys and/or other type of ads. Quite often users who click such ads end up on questionable websites, or even allow those ads to cause unwanted downloads and/or installations by executing certain scripts. Another issue with WebNewSearch is that it functions as a browser hijacker - it changes settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab to an address of some fake search engine. As a rule, such search engines provide results generated by some other, legitimate search engine (they do not generate unique results). Although, in some cases fake search engines can be designed to provide misleading results - they can be designed to include links to dubious pages in their results. Furthermore, it is common that apps like WebNewSearch are designed to collect information related to user's browsing habits. For example, IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited/opened sites, and/or other browsing data. Although, there are cases where such apps are capable of collecting sensitive information as well. The worst part is that gathered data may be sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misused to generate revenue in other ways. Therefore, apps like WebNewSearch may be reason behind problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by WebNewSearch
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.

More examples of apps that function like WebNewSearch are MacWebService, TotalConsoleSearch and SearchNetCharacter. More often than not apps of this type are promoted as useful, legitimate. Although, it is common that they are useless to their users and can cause them various problems. In other words, most of them are designed only to generate revenue for their developers by serving online advertisements, promoting certain websites and/or collecting various data.

How did WebNewSearch install on my computer?

As mentioned in the introduction, WebNewSearch is distributed via fake Adobe Flash Player installer. It is worthwhile to mention that third party, fake installers can be used to distribute malicious programs too (e.g., ransomware, Trojans). Also, quite often users download and/or install apps of this kind by clicking unreliable, deceptive ads that are designed to execute certain scripts, or when software developers distribute them by using a "bundling" method. In the second case developers include PUAs in download and/or installation setups of other programs as additional offers. Usually, those offers are mentioned and can be declined in "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings of setups, or by unticking certain available checkboxes. When users leave the aforementioned settings unchanged (or checkboxes unticked), they allow for included apps to be downloaded and/or installed alongside with a desired software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised to download files, programs from official websites and via direct download links. Other tools, sources like third party downloaders (and installers), unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients) should not be used neither to download or install any software. Also, downloads and installations should not be finished without checking "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings (or available checkboxes) for offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Ads on questionable websites should bot be clicked as well - they can be designed to open unreliable pages or cause unwanted downloads, installations. And finally, there are no unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on a browser and software of this kind on a computer. If your computer is already infected with WebNewSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.WebNewSearch/WebNewSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.WebNewSearchDaemon/WebNewSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.WebNewSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.WebNewSearchDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote WebNewSearch (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/browser hijacker.

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:

WebNewSearch adware removal:

Remove WebNewSearch-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 webnewsearch 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 WebNewSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by webnewsearch 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 webnewsearch 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 webnewsearch 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.

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 WebNewSearch 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 WebNewSearch on your mobile device.
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