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How to uninstall SearchBrowserSky adware?

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

How to remove SearchBrowserSky from Mac?

What is SearchBrowserSky?

SearchBrowserSky is then the name of an application that is distributed using a fake installer (an installer that looks like the installer for Adobe Flash Player). It is very uncommon for apps that are distributed using such methods to be downloaded and installed by users knowingly, on purpose. Apps that users download, install unintentionally are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). SearchBrowserSky functions as adware and a browser hijacker: it displays advertisements and promotes a fake search engine by making certain changes in browser settings. Quite often, apps like SearchBrowserSky collect information relating to browsing habits or other data as well.

SearchBrowserSky adware

Usually, the main purpose of adware is to generate advertisements. It is common for ads that adware-type apps generate to be used to promote questionable websites. In some cases, they are used to distribute PUAs: if clicked, those ads run certain scripts and download, or even install some potentially unwanted software. For these reasons, it is not recommended to trust any ads that apps like SearchBrowserSky serve. Another problem with such apps is that sometimes they can access sensitive information. For example, credit card details, passwords, telephone numbers. Such information can be used for malicious purposes. For instance, to steal accounts, make unauthorized transactions, purchases, steal identities. Although it is more common that they target browsing-related data like IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited sites. In one way or another, there is always a possibility that adware developers will monetize collected information in one or another way.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, SearchBrowserSky hijacks a browser to promote a fake search engine by changing its settings. In most cases, an app of this type changes settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. It changes them to an address of a fake search engine. More often than not, fake search engines do not generate any unique results and show results generated by legitimate search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing). However, some fake search engines generate their own results and include links to shady websites in their results and (or) display ads. Either way, it is strongly recommended not to use any fake search engine to browse the Internet. It is worthwhile to mention that when an app like SearchBrowserSky hijacks a browser, the address of a fake search engine cannot be removed from its settings until that browser hijacker is no longer installed.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SearchBrowserSky
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.

More adware examples are SimpleSignSearch, ConfigType, and DeskProduct. It is common that adware-type apps are designed not only to serve advertisements but also to promote a certain fake search engine, and (or) collect various data. In one way or another, adware is a type of software that is useless to its users and can be the culprit of problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, or even monetary loss, identity theft, or other issues. Users who have an app like SearchBrowserSky installed on a browser or the operating system should remove it as soon as possible.

How did SearchBrowserSky install on my computer?

It is known that the installer for the SearchBrowserSky app is disguised as the installer for Adobe Flash Player. Usually, fake installers are available for download on deceptive websites (on pages that use deception to promote software). It is important to mention that fake installers can be used to distribute Trojans, ransomware, and other malicious software. Furthermore, users often download, install PUAs through deceptive advertisements (by clicking on ads that are designed to run certain scripts) or when software developers use a "bundling" method to distribute such apps. Users download or install PUAs that are bundled together with other programs when they finish their downloads, installations without changing "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings, or unticking checkboxes. It is common that those settings (and checkboxes) can be used to decline unwanted offers.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Fake installers should never be used. Third-party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule and other channels for downloading files or programs of this kind should not be used too. Downloaders, installers that have "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings, or some checkboxes should be inspected. It is common that those downloaders, installers are bundled with potentially unwanted applications. In such cases, offers to download, install PUAs should be declined before finishing downloads, installations. Advertisements appearing on shady pages should not be trusted as well. Many of those ads are used to promote questionable websites. Some of them can be capable of causing unwanted downloads, installations. There should not be any unwanted applications (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) installed on a web browser and programs of this kind installed on a computer/the operating system. If your computer is already infected with SearchBrowserSky, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to SearchBrowserSky adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchBrowserSky/SearchBrowserSky
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SearchBrowserSkyDaemon/SearchBrowserSky
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SearchBrowserSky.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SearchBrowserSkyDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote SearchBrowserSky (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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

SearchBrowserSky adware removal:

Remove SearchBrowserSky-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 searchbrowsersky 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 SearchBrowserSky removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by searchbrowsersky 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 searchbrowsersky 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 searchbrowsersky 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 SearchBrowserSky 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 SearchBrowserSky on your mobile device.
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