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How to uninstall the SimpleSignSearch adware?

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

How to remove SimpleSignSearch from Mac?

What is SimpleSignSearch?

SimpleSignSearch generates revenue for its developer by serving advertisements, promoting a fake search engine. It functions as adware and a browser hijacker. It is noteworthy that apps of this type can collect data relating to Internet browsing activities. Typically, users download and install apps like SimpleSignSearch unknowingly. For this reason, they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). It is known that SimpleSignSearch installs through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

SimpleSignSearch adware

Usually, apps like SimpleSignSearch generate ads used to promote questionable websites (e.g., download pages for PUAs, various scams). In some cases, their ads can be used to distribute PUAs by designing them to run certain scripts. In one way or another, it is strongly advisable not to click on ads that appear because of some installed adware (in this case, SimpleSignSearch). Some examples of ads that adware-type apps generate are banners, coupons, surveys, pop-up ads. Furthermore, SimpleSignSearch promotes a fake search engine (its address). As a rule, apps of this type do that by changing the browser's settings, such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Quite often, fake search engines show results generated by legitimate search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo). However, they can generate their own results as well. It is common that their results include links to potentially malicious pages and questionable advertisements. Also, fake search engines can show results from other untrustworthy search engines. It is important to know that an address of a fake search engine can be removed from a hijacked browser only when the app that has hijacked it is no longer installed.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, apps like SimpleSignSearch can be designed to collect browsing-related information. For instance, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites, geolocations. However, there are adware-type apps that can access sensitive information as well (e.g., passwords, credit card details). It means that users of apps like SimpleSignSearch could encounter problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, become victims of identity theft, lose access to personal accounts or money.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SimpleSignSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AD), 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.

There are many apps that are similar to SimpleSignSearch. Some examples are TechResultsSearch, UniversalToolSearch, and SkilledPanelSearch. It is strongly recommended not to have apps of this type installed on browsers or computers, even if their developers advertise them as legitimate, useful applications. As mentioned in the first paragraph, it is uncommon for apps like SkilledPanelSearch to be downloaded and installed on purpose.

How did SimpleSignSearch install on my computer?

Research shows that SimpleSignSearch is distributed via a fake installer that looks like the installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is important to know those deceptive installers can be used to distribute ransomware, Trojans, and other malware. Also, users often download, install potentially unwanted applications together with other programs that are freely available for download on the Internet - when PUAs are included in their downloaders, installers. Usually, additionally included apps can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings, or near checkboxes that downloaders, installers have. When users download, install programs without checking and changing those settings, they agree to download, install bundled applications too. Sometimes users unintentionally download, install PUAs is by clicking on deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Applications should be downloaded from reliable, official pages and via direct download links. It is not safe to use other sources for downloading files, programs. For example, various Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, third-party downloaders, installers. Downloaders, installers should be checked for bundled applications. Typically, such apps can be opted out using "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" or other settings that certain downloaders, installers have. One more way to avoid unwanted downloads, installations is not to click on ads that appear while visiting shady websites (those ads could be designed to open malicious pages or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Also, there should not be any unwanted, unknown apps (add-ons, plug-ins, or extensions) installed on a browser and programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with SimpleSignSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to SimpleSignSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SimpleSignSearch/SimpleSignSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SimpleSignSearchDaemon/SimpleSignSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SimpleSignSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SimpleSignSearchDaemon.plist

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

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

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

SimpleSignSearch adware removal:

Remove SimpleSignSearch-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 simplesignsearch 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 SimpleSignSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by simplesignsearch 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 simplesignsearch 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 simplesignsearch 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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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 SimpleSignSearch 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 SimpleSignSearch on your mobile device.
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