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How to uninstall the SimpleProjectSearch adware?

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

How to remove SimpleProjectSearch from Mac?

What is SimpleProjectSearch?

SimpleProjectSearch is classified as adware and a browser hijacker - it generates advertisements and promotes a fake search engine (by making certain changes in settings of a web browser). It is common that both adware-type apps and browser hijackers gather information about users as well. It is noteworthy that most of the times, apps of this kind get downloaded and installed by users without them knowing about it because they are distributed using questionable, deceptive methods. Therefore, SimpleProjectSearch and other apps of this kind are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). It is known that SimpleProjectSearch is distributed via a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

SimpleProjectSearch adware

The main purpose of adware-type applications like SimpleProjectSearch is to display advertisements (e.g., coupons, banners, pop-up ads, surveys). It is common that those ads advertise questionable websites (e.g., download pages for potentially unwanted applications). Although, adware can display ads designed to run certain scripts and cause unwanted downloads or even installations. For this reason, it is recommended not to click on ads that apps like SimpleProjectSearch generate. Furthermore, SimpleProjectSearch promotes a fake search engine - it hijacks a browser by changing its settings. More precisely, it changes the address of the homepage, new tab, and default search engine to force its users to use a fake search engine. In such cases, a browser goes to a certain address after entering a search query into the URL bar, opening a new window or new tab. It is important to mention that most browser hijackers prevent users from removing the address of a fake search engine from the settings of the affected browsers - it can be done when those apps are no longer installed on browsers or computers.

It is likely that SimpleProjectSearch collects information like addresses of visited pages, geolocation, IP address, entered search queries, and other browsing data. However, there are many examples of adware that can access sensitive information such as credit card details, passwords, telephone numbers. It is strongly recommended not to have apps of this kind installed. Their developers could monetize gathered data by selling it to third parties, using it for marketing purposes. When installed adware is capable of accessing sensitive information, that data could be used to steal identities, personal accounts, make unauthorized transactions, purchases, or for other purposes.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SimpleProjectSearch
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.

A couple of examples of similar adware are OriginalGrowthSystem, SearchForWords, and PublicConsoleSearch. The main similarities are that apps of this type generate advertisements and hijack browsers (promote fake search engines). In most cases, apps like SimpleProjectSearch are useless even if advertised as useful. Most of them are designed only to generate revenue. In one way or another, adware and browser hijackers are not the apps that are safe to have installed on a browser or the operating system.

How did SimpleProjectSearch install on my computer?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, the installer for SimpleProjectSearch is designed to look like the installer for Adobe Flash Player. Individuals behind SimpleProjectSearch distribute this app using a fake, deceptive installer. It is important to know that fake installers can be used to trick users into installing ransomware, trojans, and other malicious software too. Another popular method to distribute potentially unwanted applications is to bundle them with other programs. In such cases, PUAs are included in downloaders, installers for other programs as additional offers. Usually, these offers can be declined via "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" (or other) settings, or checkboxes. Users agree to download or install PUAs when they do not check (and change) those settings. One more deceptive way to distribute such apps is via ads - by designing deceptive ads to run certain scripts. They cause unwanted downloads, installations when users click on them.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Downloaders and installed with settings like "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual", etc., should be checked for offers to download or install potentially unwanted apps. Unwanted apps should be opted out before finishing downloads, installations. Files and apps should be downloaded only from official pages, or App Store, and via direct download links. Other sources like Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages, free file hosting websites, third-party downloaders, etc., can be used to distribute malicious files, programs. Advertisements on questionable websites should not be clicked - it is common for those ads to be used to promote untrustworthy websites. In some cases, they are used to distribute unwanted apps. Suspicious, unwanted PUAs (plug-ins, add-ons, or extensions) installed on a browser should be removed. Programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with SimpleProjectSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SimpleProjectSearch/SimpleProjectSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.SimpleProjectSearchDaemon/SimpleProjectSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.SimpleProjectSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.SimpleProjectSearchDaemon.plist

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

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

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

SimpleProjectSearch adware removal:

Remove SimpleProjectSearch-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 simpleprojectsearch 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 SimpleProjectSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by simpleprojectsearch 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 simpleprojectsearch 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 simpleprojectsearch 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 SimpleProjectSearch 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 SimpleProjectSearch on your mobile device.
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