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

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

How to remove ConsumerSurvey from Mac?

What is ConsumerSurvey?

ConsumerSurvey is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that is designed to function as a browser hijacker and adware. More precisely, this app changes certain browser settings to an address of a fake search engine and serves advertisements. Another problem with ConsumerSurvey is that it can read sensitive information. Apps like this one are called PUAs because very often users download and install them unintentionally (unknowingly). It is known that this particular app is distributed via deceptive installer which is disguised as the installer for Adobe Flash Player.

ConsumerSurvey adware

Usually when adware is installed on a browser and/or computer, it serves banners, coupons, pop-ups, surveys and/or other types of advertisements. It is common that those ads are designed to promote (open) questionable pages. In some cases they are designed to cause unwanted download and/or installation of unwanted software by running some scripts. Since ConsumerSurvey functions not only as adware but also as a browser hijacker, it changes browser settings such as address of a homepage, default search engine and/or new tab to an address of some fake search engine. The problem with such search engines is that they do not generate unique results, or they generate results that may include links to shady sites. Typically, users can remove address of a fake search engine from browser settings (stop a browser from opening that address on certain occasions) only when the app that promotes it is no longer installed. Once more problem with having ConsumerSurvey installed on a browser and the operating system is that it can access data from websites such as credit card details, passwords, telephone numbers and other sensitive information. This kind of information, can be misused for various malicious purposes, for example, to steal identities, personal accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ConsumerSurvey
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-L [Adw]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.AdLoad.8), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.C), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.h), 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.

It is worthwhile to mention that very often apps like ConsumerSurvey are advertised as useful, legitimate applications that supposed to include some features, improve browsing experience, and so on. Nevertheless, most of them are designed only to generate revenue for their developers by serving ads, promoting shady addresses and/or gathering various information. Simply said, they are useless to their users and can be the culprit of various issues. A couple of examples of other adware-type apps are InputBalance, TrustedUpdater and DeviceHelper.

How did ConsumerSurvey install on my computer?

It is known there is a certain fake Adobe Flash Player installer that is used for distribution of the ConsumerSurvey adware. It is important to know that such installers can be designed to install ransomware, Trojans, and other malicious software. Also, quite often PUAs are distributed by using method called "bundling". In such cases developers include PUAs in download and/or installation setups of various programs as additional offers. Those offers can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" settings, or near certain checkboxes. However, not all users check setups for those settings when they download and install software. By not doing so they allow for additionally included apps to be downloaded and/or installed too. Also, unwanted downloads and/or installations can be caused by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Unwanted downloads and installations can be prevented by checking "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings (or checkboxes) of download and installation setups and declining offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Also, it can be done by downloading software (and files) only from legitimate, official pages and via direct download links. It is not safe to use other sources, tools like third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (for example, torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, etc. The same applies to third party installers. One more way to prevent unwanted apps from being downloaded and/or installed is by not clicking advertisements that appear on unreliable pages. Those ads can be designed not only to open shady websites bur also to cause downloads, installations of unwanted applications by running certain scripts. Any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and/or add-ons that are already installed on a browser should be removed. It applies to software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with ConsumerSurvey, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once ConsumerSurvey installation is over:

consumersurvey adware pop-up that appears after installation

Fake installer that is designed to install ConsumerSurvey:

consumersurvey adware fake installer used for adware distribution

ConsumerSurvey installed on Safari:

consumersurvey adware installed on safari

ConsumerSurvey's Contents folder:

consumersurvey adware contents 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 ConsumerSurvey adware using Combo Cleaner:

ConsumerSurvey adware removal:

Remove ConsumerSurvey-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 consumersurvey 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 ConsumerSurvey removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by consumersurvey 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 consumersurvey 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 consumersurvey 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 ConsumerSurvey 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 ConsumerSurvey on your mobile device.
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