How to uninstall SkilledObject adware?

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

How to remove SkilledObject from Mac?

What is SkilledObject?

Typically, apps that are classified as adware serve advertisements. However, this particular app promotes address of some fake search engine by making certain changes in browser's settings and possibly collects some data as well. Simply said, SkilledObject functions both as adware and a browser hijacker. It is known that SkilledObject is distributed via fake installer that is designed to look like an installer for the Adobe Flash Player. Typically, users do not download and install such apps knowingly, for this reason they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

SkilledObject adware

Examples of types of ads that apps like SkilledObject serve are pop-up ads, banners, coupons, surveys. It is common that those ads not only cover contents of visited sites but also promote various questionable, or even malicious pages. In some cases they are designed to cause downloads and/or installations of unwanted apps by executing certain scripts. Therefore, ads that SkilledObject generates should not be clicked. Furthermore, SkilledObject promotes address of some fake search engine. It changes the address of a homepage, new tab and default search engines an address of the address of its fake search engine. It is worthwhile to mention that users cannot undo the changes that were made by browser hijackers unless they uninstall them from browsers and/computers. Additionally, it is likely that SkilledObject collects IP addresses, addresses of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations and/or other data, or even more sensitive details. It means that its developers could misuse gathered information to generate revenue. For example, they could sell it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals). Therefore, users who have such app installed on a browser and/or computer may become victims of identity theft, encounter problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, and/or other issues.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SkilledObject
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Agent-MT [Trj]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.AdLoad.ACF), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.m), Full List (VirusTotal)
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 like SkilledObject are InitialSkill, GuideRecord and CleanParameter. It is common that advertisement-supported apps are advertised as legitimate, useful. Although, most of them are useless to their users and designed only to generate revenue for their developers. Therefore, such apps should not be downloaded and installed.

How did SkilledObject install on my computer?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, this particular app is distributed via fake Adobe Flash Player installer. Such installers can be used to distribute not only PUAs but also malicious programs, like Trojans, ransomware-type programs, etc. Another popular way to distribute potentially unwanted apps is to include them in download and/or installation setups of other, mainly free programs. This distribution method is known as "bundling". As a rule, users can decline such offers by unticking certain checkboxes or via "Manual", "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings if they are available in download and/or installation setups. When users complete downloads and/or installations without doing that, they download and/or install included PUAs too. Sometimes users cause unwanted downloads and/or installations by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended not to finish any download and/or installation process without checking whether download and/or installation setup has any "Custom", "Advanced and other similar settings, or some checkboxes that could be used to decline offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Also, is advised to download software and files only from official websites and via direct download links. Third party downloaders, installers Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, unofficial sites, etc., should bot be used neither to download or install any programs. Ads on unreliable, dubious websites (e.g., on pages related to pornography, adult dating, gambling should not be clicked as well. They could be designed to promote other pages of this kind or cause unwanted downloads and/or installations. Any unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins that are already installed on a web browser should be removed. Software of this kind that is installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with SkilledObject, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Screenshot of the fake installer that is used to distribute SkilledObject (first installation step):

skilledobject adware installer step 1

Screenshot of the fake installer that is used to distribute SkilledObject (second installation step):

skilledobject adware installer step 2

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/Services/com.SkilledObject.service.app
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SkilledObject.service.plist
  • /Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/System/com.SkilledObject.system
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SkilledObject.system.plist

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 SkilledObject adware using Combo Cleaner:

SkilledObject adware removal:

Remove SkilledObject-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 skilledobject 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 SkilledObject removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by skilledobject 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 skilledobject 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 skilledobject 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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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 SkilledObject 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 SkilledObject on your mobile device.
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