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How to uninstall the VPNrecommended adware from your operating system?

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

How to remove VPNrecommended adware from Mac?

What is VPNrecommended?

VPNrecommended is a piece of suspicious software, endorsed as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tool. Since most users download/install this app inadvertently, it is classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). While VPNrecommended may be a legitimate tool, it is bundled (i.e., packed together) with adware and/or browser hijackers. Hence, with VPNrecommended infiltrated into the systems, users can encounter misleading/malicious advertisements and redirects to similarly dangerous sites. Additionally, adware-types and browser hijackers are considered to be a serious privacy concern as they typically have data tracking abilities.

VPNrecommended application

Adware enables the placement of banners, pop-ups, coupons, surveys, full-page, and other intrusive ads - on any visited website and/or different interfaces. The delivered advertisements severely diminish the browsing experience by limiting webpage visibility and browsing speed. Intrusive adverts also pose a threat to device/user safety. Once clicked on, they redirect to untrustworthy/malicious sites, and some can stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs).

Browser hijackers reassign browsers' default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URLs - to the addresses of fake search engines. Therefore, every new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to the fake web searcher's address. The promoted search engines are rarely able to provide search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other legitimate ones. Even when illegitimate web searchers can generate search results - they tend to be inaccurate and/or promote unreliable and harmful websites. Recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it, as browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to browser settings and/or undo any permitted changes made.

As mentioned in the introduction, most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, etc.) and gather sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details). The collected data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, unwanted software can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. To protect device integrity and user privacy, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by VPNrecommended
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (installer)
Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Generic.19817), Ikarus (Trojan-Downloader.OSX.ShlayerVPNrecommended), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Bnodlero.bg), 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.

ConfigTypeDeskProductRotatorBoxStandartProduct - are some examples of adware-type apps. They appear legitimate and offer various "handy" functionalities. However, the advertised functions are seldom operational. In fact, this applies to practically all PUAs. The only goal of unwanted software is to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user safety are irrelevant. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can run intrusive advertisement campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects, and collect private data.

How did VPNrecommended install on my computer?

VPNrecommended has been observed being distributed through a scam website hosted on Amazon AWS. Deceptive sites and "official" promotional/download pages are often used to spread PUAs; however, they are more commonly downloaded/installed together with other products. The false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Dubious download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - can offer harmful and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate; however, they redirect to highly questionable webpages (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so on). In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the system must be inspected and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with VPNrecommended, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Delusive installer promoting VPNrecommended;

First installation step:

Delusive installer used to promote VPNrecommended (step 1)

Second installation step:

Delusive installer used to promote VPNrecommended (step 2)

VPNrecommended in the applications folder:

VPNrecommended in apps folder

Scam website hosted on Amazon AWS, which promotes VPNrecommended installer:

Dubious website used to promote VPNrecommended

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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

VPNrecommended adware removal:

Remove VPNrecommended-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 vpnrecommended 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 VPNrecommended removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by vpnrecommended 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 vpnrecommended 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 vpnrecommended 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 VPNrecommended 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 VPNrecommended on your mobile device.
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