How to uninstall the StandardBoost adware?

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

How to remove StandardBoost adware from Mac?

What is StandardBoost?

StandardBoost is an adware-type application with browser hijacker traits. It operates by delivering intrusive advertisement campaigns and make changes to browser settings - in promotion of fake search engines. Additionally, most adwares and browser hijackers have data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on users' browsing activity. Since users typically download/install this app inadvertently, it is also classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). One of the dubious techniques used in StandardBoost's distribution is proliferation through fake Adobe Flash Player updates. It is worth noting that illegitimate updaters/installers are employed to spread not only PUAs but trojans, ransomware and other malware as well.

StandardBoost adware detections on VirusTotal

Adware enables the placement of third party graphical content - usually, on any visited website. In other words, it delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons and other intrusive advertisements - that overlay page content and slow down the browsing speed. Furthermore, these ads pose a threat to device/user safety. Since upon being clicked, intrusive adverts redirect to various unreliable/malicious sites and some can even infiltrate software (e.g. PUAs) into systems. Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs - to the addresses of fake web searchers. Hence, new browser tabs/windows opened and web searches done via the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address. Fake search engines are seldom able to provide search results, so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Bing, Yahoo and other legitimate ones. To ensure persistence, browser hijackers can undo any changes users attempt to make to their browsers and/or restrict/deny access to the browsers' settings outright. As mentioned in the introduction, most PUAs can track data. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect sensitive information inferred from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is highly likely to contain personally identifiable information. PUA developers then monetized the obtained information by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). To summarize, presence of unwanted software can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by StandardBoost
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Agent-MT [Trj]), Fortinet (Adware/Cimpli!OSX), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.m), 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.

SkilledObjectSearchUp and InitialSkill are a couple examples of other apps within the adware classification. They appear ordinary and innocuous. Users are lured into download/installation with offers of various "useful" features. However, the advertised functionalities are seldom operational. In fact, this applies to practically all PUAs. Functionality and user safety are irrelevant, as the only goal of unwanted software is to generate revenue for the developers. Hence, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can run intrusive advert campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects and gather private data.

How did StandardBoost install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed through download/installation setups of other software. "Bundling" is the name of this false marketing technique of pre-packing regular programs with unwanted or malicious additions. Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive ads proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the advertisements can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user consent. Select PUAs have "official" download webpages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and verified download channels should be used. Since untrustworthy sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, study all available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate, however they redirect to various unreliable and questionable sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so forth). In case of encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with StandardBoost, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Screenshots of StandardBoost adware distributed via fake Flash Player updater/installer (installation steps):

StandardBoost adware installer step 1 StandardBoost adware installer step 2

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/Services/com.StandardBoost.service.app
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.StandardBoost.service.plist
  • /Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/System/com.StandardBoost.system
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.StandardBoost.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 StandardBoost adware using Combo Cleaner:

StandardBoost adware removal:

Remove StandardBoost-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 standardboost 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 StandardBoost removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by standardboost 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 standardboost 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 standardboost 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 StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost on your mobile device.
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