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How to uninstall the PublicConsoleSearch application from the operating system?

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

How to remove PublicConsoleSearch from Mac?

What is PublicConsoleSearch?

Adware is a type of software that displays advertisements and sometimes changes browser settings. Research shows that PublicConsoleSearch does both. Therefore, this app is categorized as adware and a browser hijacker. It noteworthy that apps of this type often are designed to collect information about their users as well. This particular app is distributed by disguising its installer as the installer for Adobe Flash Player (via fake installer). Most users download and install apps that are distributed using deceptive methods unknowingly, accidentally. For this reason, PublicConsoleSearch and other apps of this kind are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

PublicConsoleSearch adware

Typically, adware-type applications display banners, coupons, pop-up ads, surveys, and other advertisements. It is common that their ads cover content on opened websites and are annoying, disturbing in other ways. Also, those ads often are used to advertise questionable websites. In some cases, they are used to distribute unwanted applications by designing them to run certain scripts (they can cause unwanted downloads, installations). Therefore, it is strongly advisable not to click on ads that applications like PublicConsoleSearch display. Another issue with this app is that it modifies browser settings. More precisely, it changes the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab to an address of a fake search engine.

Search engines promoted via apps like PublicConsoleSearch are called fake because they are useless - if used, they show results generated by Google, Yahoo, Bing, or some other search engine. Although, not all fake search engines show results from legitimate search engines. Quite often, they generate misleading results, display shady ads alongside their search results, or show results generated by dubious search engines. In one way or another, search engines promoted by adware, browser hijackers should not be trusted, used. Typically, users can undo the changes made by an app like PublicConsoleSearch only when that app is no longer installed on the operating system or a web browser. It is because most of these apps are designed to prevent users from changing the affected settings.

One more reason not to have adware or any browser hijackers installed is that they tend to be designed to gather data related to user's browsing habits. Usually, they collect information like Internet Protocol addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited sites, geolocations, etc. Nevertheless, sometimes they collect sensitive details (e.g., credit card details, passwords) as well. Moreover, gathered information could be sold to third parties (who may be cybercriminals), used for marketing purposes, or monetized using other methods. Apps of this type can cause problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, collected data may be misused to steal identities. In one way or another, it is strongly recommended not to have PublicConsoleSearch and similar apps installed.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by PublicConsoleSearch
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.

WebSearchUpgrade, GlobalSearchSystem, and MainBoardSearch are more examples of PUAs that are very similar to PublicConsoleSearch (although there are many more apps like it). As a rule, they generate revenue for their developers by displaying ads and promoting questionable search engines. It is common that individuals behind adware-type apps, browser hijackers, and other apps of this kind advertise them as useful, legitimate apps. However, most of their apps are useless to their users and can cause them various issues. As mentioned in the first paragraph, it is uncommon for apps like PublicConsoleSearch to be downloaded and installed by users intentionally.

How did PublicConsoleSearch install on my computer?

PublicConsoleSearch is distributed via a fake installer that looks like the installer for Adobe Flash Player. PublicConsoleSearch is not the only app distributed by disguising its installer as legitimate. It is important to know that fake installers can be used to distribute malicious software (e.g., ransomware). Another popular way to trick users into downloading, installing PUAs is to bundle them with other programs (include them in downloaders, installers for other programs). Usually, additional downloads, installations can be declined using "Custom", "Advanced," and other settings or via available checkboxes. When users download or install software (mainly freeware) without checking and changing those settings, they allow for bundled PUAs to be downloaded or installed too. Sometimes, PUAs are distributed via deceptive ads by designing them to run certain scripts. Those ads cause unwanted downloads, installations when users click on them.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to use legitimate (official) websites and direct download links as sources to download files, programs. Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and other similar tools), third-party downloaders and installers, unofficial websites, and other similar sources can be used to distribute unwanted and even malicious software. Furthermore, it is advisable not to finish downloads or installations without checking whether downloaders, installers have settings like "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings that could be used to opt out unwanted offers. One more way to avoid unwanted downloads, installations is not to click on ads if they appear on pages related to gambling, adult dating, and other questionable sites. Unwanted, suspicious programs installed on the operating system should be uninstalled. The same should be applied to extensions, add-ons or plug-ins of this kind installed on a browser. If your computer is already infected with PublicConsoleSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.PublicConsoleSearch/PublicConsoleSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.PublicConsoleSearchDaemon/PublicConsoleSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.PublicConsoleSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.PublicConsoleSearchDaemon.plist

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

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

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

PublicConsoleSearch adware removal:

Remove PublicConsoleSearch-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 publicconsolesearch 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 PublicConsoleSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by publicconsolesearch 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 publicconsolesearch 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 publicconsolesearch 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 PublicConsoleSearch 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 PublicConsoleSearch on your mobile device.
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