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How to get rid of the SkilledPanelSearch application?

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

How to remove SkilledPanelSearch from Mac?

What is SkilledPanelSearch?

SkilledPanelSearch generates advertisements and alters the settings of a web browser to promote a fake search engine (its address). For this reason, SkilledPanelSearch is not only an adware-type app but also a browser hijacker. It is common for apps of this type to be designed to gather information relating to Internet browsing activities, or even more personal information. Typically, users install apps like SkilledPanelSearch on their browsers or computers unknowingly. Therefore, SkilledPanelSearch and other apps of this type are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). This app is distributed through a deceptive installer which looks like the installer for the Adobe Flash Player.

SkilledPanelSearch adware

It is common for apps like SkilledPanelSearch to display ads on the websites that their users visit. Users who click on those ads open questionable websites or allow those ads to run certain scripts that download or even install unwanted software. Usually, adware-type apps display banners, coupons, pop-up ads, surveys, or other advertisements. Additionally, SkilledPanelSearch changes the settings of a web browser, it hijacks it by changing the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to an address of a fake search engine. Therefore, users of the SkilledPanelSearch app are forced to visit a certain address every time they open the hijacked browser, enter search queries into the URL bar, or open a new tab. It is noteworthy that most browser hijackers are designed to keep their settings unchangeable unless users remove them from hijacked browsers and (or) the operating systems.

It is possible that SkilledPanelSearch collects browsing-related data, for example, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations, Internet Protocol addresses, or other details of this kind. Moreover, it is possible that SkilledPanelSearch collects sensitive data, too, for example, credit card details, saved passwords, or other personal information. Such information could be misused to steal identities, online accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, or misused for other purposes. Therefore, it is strongly advisable not to have apps like SkilledPanelSearch installed on the browser or the operating system.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SkilledPanelSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Rload.5), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.l), 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.

To summarize, adware-type applications have one main purpose: to generate revenue for their developers. Usually, they do it by generating online advertisements. However, it is common that apps of this type promote certain addresses by changing the browser's settings and collect various information as well. In one way or another, programs like SkilledPanelSearch are not only useless to their users but also can cause issues with online privacy, browsing safety, or other problems. More adware examples are AdvancedSprint, ValidMemory, and RecordMapper.

How did SkilledPanelSearch install on my computer?

SkilledPanelSearch is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer that is available for download on questionable websites. It is important to known that deceptive installers can be used to deliver malware (e.g., Trojans, ransomware). Also, it is common that users download, install adware or other PUAs through setups of other programs - when apps of this type are included in their downloaders, installers (bundled together with other programs). As a rule, offers to download or install PUAs can be declined by unticking some checkboxes or by opting them out via "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings. When users do not check and change these settings, they allow for PUAs to be downloaded or installed together with other desired programs (with programs that are bundled with those PUAs). In some cases, unwanted downloads and installations are caused by clicking on deceptive advertisements that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to download applications from official and trustworthy websites (and via direct links). Third-party downloaders (and installers), unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), and other similar sources/channels for downloading (or installing) applications are not trustworthy - they can be used to distribute potentially malicious apps. Also, it is advisable to always check downloaders and installers for bundled applications and make sure to decline unwanted offers before finishing downloads, installations. Additionally, it is recommended not to trust ads that appear on shady pages. Usually, those ads are used to promote untrustworthy websites or even to distribute PUAs. Also, there should not be any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on a browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with SkilledPanelSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to SkilledPanelSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SkilledPanelSearch/SkilledPanelSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SkilledPanelSearchDaemon/SkilledPanelSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SkilledPanelSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SkilledPanelSearch.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote pavadinimas (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 SkilledPanelSearch adware using Combo Cleaner:

SkilledPanelSearch adware removal:

Remove SkilledPanelSearch-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 skilledpanelsearch 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 SkilledPanelSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by skilledpanelsearch 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 skilledpanelsearch 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 skilledpanelsearch 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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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 SkilledPanelSearch 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 SkilledPanelSearch on your mobile device.
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