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How to remove GlobalSearchSystem adware from the operating system?

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

How to remove GlobalSearchSystem adware from Mac?

What is GlobalSearchSystem?

GlobalSearchSystem is an adware-type application with browser hijacker traits. This piece of software delivers intrusive advertisement campaigns and modifies browser settings to promote illegitimate search engines. Furthermore, most adwares and browser hijackers spy on users' browsing habits and collect vulnerable data. This app has been observed being distributed through fake Adobe Flash Player updates (note, illegitimate updaters/installers may also proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware). Due to the especially dubious methods used to spread GlobalSearchSystem, it is classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) as well.

GlobalSearchSystem adware distributed through fake Flash Player updater/installer

Adware delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page, and other third-party graphical content. These intrusive adverts are more than just a nuisance; they severely diminish the browsing experience. The advertisements limit site visibility and browsing speed (by overlaying webpages). In addition, when clicked on, the ads redirect to unreliable/malicious websites, and some can stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs).

Browser hijackers assign illegitimate web searcher addresses as browsers' default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URLs. With such a piece of software installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and web searches done via the URL bar - redirect to the promoted fake search engine's address. These web searchers are rarely able to generate search results, so they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other legitimate search engines. Furthermore, browser hijackers can undo any changes users try to make to their browsers and/or restrict/deny access to the browser settings. Hence, recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without eliminating the software affecting it.

Most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) have data tracking abilities. This software typically monitors browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gathers sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details, etc.). The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, the presence of unwanted apps on devices - can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. Therefore, it is crucial to remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by GlobalSearchSystem
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
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.

TypicalProcessDiscoveryUnitConvuster, and SearchBrowserSky are some examples of apps within the adware category. They appear ordinary and harmless. Users are enticed into download/installation with various "useful" and "advantageous" functionalities. However, the functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. The sole purpose of unwanted software is to generate profit for the developers. PUAs are designed to run intrusive advert campaigns, force-open untrustworthy and malicious websites, hijack browsers, and collect private information.

How did GlobalSearchSystem install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed through downloaders/installers of other products. "Bundling" is the name of this deceptive marketing technique - pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions. By rushing download/installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, skipping steps, etc.) - users risk inadvertently allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission. PUAs may also have "official" promotional webpages from which they can be downloaded.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and verified download channels must be used. Since dubious download sources, e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer harmful and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore possible options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate; however, they redirect to various unreliable and questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so on). Should users encounter ads and/or redirects of this kind, they must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected. If your computer is already infected with GlobalSearchSystem, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.GlobalSearchSystem/GlobalSearchSystem
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.GlobalSearchSystemDaemon/GlobalSearchSystem
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.GlobalSearchSystem.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.GlobalSearchSystemDaemon.plist

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

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

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote GlobalSearchSystem (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.

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 GlobalSearchSystem adware using Combo Cleaner:

GlobalSearchSystem adware removal:

Remove GlobalSearchSystem-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 globalsearchsystem 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 GlobalSearchSystem removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by globalsearchsystem 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 globalsearchsystem 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 globalsearchsystem 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 GlobalSearchSystem 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 GlobalSearchSystem on your mobile device.
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