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How to remove the FlexibleSector adware?

Also Known As: Ads by FlexibleSector
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is FlexibleSector?

FlexibleSector is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) designed to generate advertisements, modify browser settings and collect browsing-related and sensitive information. This app functions as adware and a browser hijacker.

FlexibleSector is a PUA because of the deceptive method its developers use to distribute it. In other words, FlexibleSector is called potentially unwanted because most users download and install apps of this kind unintentionally.

FlexibleSector adware

Usually, applications like FlexibleSector generate banners, pop-up ads, surveys, coupons, or other unwanted advertisements. Their ads tend to be used to advertise questionable pages.

It is important to mention that sometimes apps like FlexibleSector can show ads designed to distribute unwanted software - after clicking on them, they run certain scripts designed to download or even install some application. Therefore, advertisements generated by apps like FlexibleSector should not be clicked.

Another reason not to have the FlexibleSector app installed on a browser or the operating system is that it promotes a fake search engine (its address). This app is designed to changes browser settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to an address of its fake search engine.

Like most apps of this type, FlexibleSector does not allow to modify those settings. It means that its users can stop a browser hijacked by FlexibleSector only by uninstalling this app from it.

It is known that FlexibleSector can read information related to browsing activities. It is common that apps of this kind gather IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, and other browsing data.

The bigger problem is that FlexibleSector can read sensitive information such as saved passwords, credit card details, and telephone numbers. Such information could be misused to steal personal accounts, make unauthorized purchases, transactions, or monetized in some other way.

It is also possible that gathered details could be sold to third parties on a darkweb. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended not to have FlexibleSector or any other app that serves ads, promotes a fake search engine, and (or) collects personal information installed on a browser or the operating system.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by FlexibleSector
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.F), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.h), 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 like FlexibleSector. Some examples are CacheImprovment, ProcesserLog, and OpticalPartition. It is noteworthy that apps of this kind can be advertised as legitimate and useful applications.

Although, most of them are useless to their users. Usually, they help their developers to generate revenue by displaying ads, promoting various addresses, and gathering browsing-related or even personal data.

Therefore, users who have an app of this kind installed on a browser and (or) the operating system should remove it as soon as possible and never download, install it again.

How did FlexibleSector install on my computer?

It is very common for potentially unwanted applications to be distributed, promoted by bundling them together with other programs. Usually, they are included in downloaders, installers for free programs as additional offers.

Those downloaders, installers have "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual", and other similar settings or some checkboxes. Users can use those settings to decline unwanted offers.

Users agree to download or install PUAs alongside other programs when they finish downloads, installations without changing the settings mentioned above. In some cases, users cause unexpected downloads, installations by clicking on deceptive advertisements.

More precisely, when they click on ads designed to run certain scripts. As a rule, deceptive ads of this type appear on untrustworthy pages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Downloads and installations should be finished only after checking downloaders, installers for "Manual", "Custom", "Advanced" or other similar settings (or ticked checkboxes). It is common that those settings (or checkboxes) can be used to decline unwanted offers.

Applications and files should be downloaded from official websites, platforms like App Store, and via direct download links. It is advisable not to trust downloads that come via third-party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like eMule, torrent clients).

Third-party installers should not be used as well. Additionally, it is advisable not to click on advertisements displayed on questionable pages.

Quite often, those ads are used to advertise unreliable pages. In some cases, they can cause unwanted downloads, installations.

Unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on a browser should be removed. Software of this kind installed the operating system should be uninstalled too.

If your computer is already infected with FlexibleSector, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once FlexibleSector installation is over:

flexiblesector adware pop-up displayed once installation is done

FlexibleSector installed on Safari:

flexiblesector adware installed on safari

FlexibleSector's Contents folder:

flexiblesector adware contents folder

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 FlexibleSector adware using Combo Cleaner:

FlexibleSector adware removal:

Remove FlexibleSector-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 flexiblesector 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 FlexibleSector removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by flexiblesector 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 flexiblesector 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 flexiblesector 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 FlexibleSector QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by FlexibleSector on your mobile device.
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