How to remove the NetworkHelper adware from a browser and computer?

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

How to remove NetworkHelper from Mac?

What is NetworkHelper?

NetworkHelper is the name of a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that functions not only as adware-type app but also as a browser hijacker. It serves advertisements and promotes a fake search engine (its address). Additionally, it is capable of accessing sensitive information. NetworkHelper is called a PUA because most of the times users download and install apps like this one unknowingly.

NetworkHelper adware

Some examples of types of ads that apps like NetworkHelper serve are coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups. It is common that those ads cover contents of visited websites. Also, they can be designed to open potentially malicious websites or even download and/or install unwanted software by executing certain scripts. It is known that NetworkHelper is designed to hijack browsers by making changes in their settings. In other words, it is designed to promote some fake each engine by making its address as the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. Usually apps like NetworkHelper are designed to prevent users from undoing changes that were made by them as long as they are installed. Furthermore, NetworkHelper can read sensitive information from websites such as passwords, telephone numbers, credit card details and some other data. This information can be misused to steal identities, various accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, and/or for other malicious purposes. Therefore, NetworkHelper's users can become victims of identity theft, suffer monetary loss, lose access to personal accounts and/or encounter other serious issues.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by NetworkHelper
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), AVG (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), 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.

More examples of apps that function like NetworkHelper (or very similarly) are IndexerInput, OperativeSync and LaunchSystem. It is worthwhile to mention that in most cases apps of this type are promoted as useful, legitimate. However, it is not uncommon that in reality those apps 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.

How did NetworkHelper install on my computer?

It is common for browser hijackers, adware-type apps and other types of potentially unwanted apps to be distributed by including them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as additional offers. This distribution method is known as "bundling". It works when users download and/or install programs without changing "Manual", "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings (or unticking available checkboxes) that are available in their setups. Another way to unknowingly download and/or install some PUA is by clicking a deceptive advertisement that is designed to execute certain scripts. It is worthwhile to mention that in most cases such ads appear on unreliable pages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised to download files and programs only from official, legitimate pages and via direct links. Other sources, tools like third party downloaders, torrent clients, eMule or other Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages, etc., should not be used, as well as various third party installers. Also, it is recommended to always check download and/or installation setups for "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings (or checkboxes) before completing downloads and/or installations. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, ads that appear on shady pages can be designed to cause unwanted downloads or even installations (or open untrustworthy websites). Therefore, they should not be clicked as well. If there are any unknown, unwanted and/or suspicious extensions, plug-ins or add-ons already installed on a browser (or programs of this kind installed on the operating system), then they should be uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with NetworkHelper, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Delusive application installer promoting NetworkHelper adware:

networkhelper adware pop-up displayed once installation is done

NetworkHelper installed on Safari:

networkhelper adware installed on safari

NetworkHelper's installation folder:

networkhelper adware contents folders

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 NetworkHelper adware using Combo Cleaner:

NetworkHelper adware removal:

Remove NetworkHelper-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 networkhelper 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 NetworkHelper removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by networkhelper 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 networkhelper 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 networkhelper 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 NetworkHelper 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 NetworkHelper on your mobile device.
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