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How to uninstall the PublicToolboxLookup adware?

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

How to remove PublicToolboxLookup from Mac?

What is PublicToolboxLookup?

PublicToolboxLookup is a type of potentially unwanted application (PUA) that generates advertisements. Also, this app promotes a fake search engine by making changes in browser settings. Therefore, PublicToolboxLookup is an adware-type that has functionality of a browser hijacker. It is common that apps of this type can access and collect various information as well. Usually, users download and install adware, browser hijackers unknowingly because they are distributed using deceptive techniques. It is known that this particular app is distributed using a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

PublicToolboxLookup adware

It is common that applications like PublicToolboxLookup generate advertisements (coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads, etc.) used to promote untrustworthy websites. For example, pages designed to trick visitors into providing personal information, installing unwanted software (or even paying for it), and so on. In some cases, adware-type apps can display ads designed to run certain scripts and cause download or even installation of unwanted software. For these reasons, it is strongly advisable not to click ads generated by apps like PublicToolboxLookup. Furthermore, PublicToolboxLookup changes browser settings to promote a fake search engine (its address). As a rule, apps that function as browser hijackers change settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Their main goal is to push users to use a fake search engine to browse the web. Usually, fake search engines show results generated by Yahoo, Google, or other legitimate search engines. However, many fake search engines generate misleading results or show results generated by untrustworthy search engines. Either way, it is strongly recommended not to use fake search engines. It is noteworthy that users of hijacked browsers can remove an unwanted address (fake search engine) from the settings of those browsers only when a browser hijacker is no longer installed.

One more important detail about apps like PublicToolboxLookup is that they can be designed to collect information that could be used for marketing purposes, sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), to steal identities, accounts, make unauthorized transactions, purchases, etc. It is more common that PUAs collect details IP addresses, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations, and other browsing data. Although, some of those apps can access credit card details, passwords, telephone numbers, and other sensitive information. If PublicToolboxLookup or a similar app is installed on a browser or the operating system, then it should be uninstalled immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by PublicToolboxLookup
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.

There are many applications like PublicToolboxLookup. A couple of them are OriginalUnitValue, MainBoardSearch, and OriginalTechSearch. As a rule, adware-type apps are designed to serve advertisements. However, they can be designed to collect information and promote questionable addresses as well. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, apps of this type can be the reason behind various problems. It is noteworthy that they can be advertised as useful and legitimate. In one way or another, adware (and browser hijackers) should never be downloaded and installed.

How did PublicToolboxLookup install on my computer?

Research shows that the installer for PublicToolboxLookup is designed to look like the installer for Adobe Flash Player. Typically, fake installers are promoted on untrustworthy, deceptive websites. It is important to know that such installers can be used to distribute malicious software (e.g., ransomware, trojan). Another popular method to distribute potentially unwanted applications is to bundle them with other (mainly free) programs - to include PUAs in downloaders or installers for other programs as extra offers. Typically, users can decline offers to download or install bundled apps through "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings (or by unticking ticked checkboxes). Users who finish downloads and installations without changing those settings allow for bundled applications to be downloaded and installed too. In some cases, users download or install PUAs through deceptive advertisements - by clicking ads designed to run certain scripts after.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Applications, files downloaded from unofficial pages, via third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, and other sources of this kind should not be opened. It is common that those sources are used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious software. It is recommended to use only official pages and direct links. Furthermore, downloaders and installers with settings like "Custom", "Advanced" (or ticked checkboxes) should be looked over. It is common that those downloaders, installers are used to distribute potentially unwanted applications. Advertisements on untrustworthy websites (e.g., on pages related to pornography, gambling, adult dating) should not be trusted. Quite often, those ads are designed to promote various untrustworthy, potentially malicious websites. In some cases, they are designed to download or even install PUAs. Unwanted, suspicious apps (extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons) installed on a web browser and programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed. If your computer is already infected with PublicToolboxLookup, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to PublicToolboxLookup adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.PublicToolboxLookup/PublicToolboxLookup
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.PublicToolboxLookupDaemon/PublicToolboxLookup
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.PublicToolboxLookup.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.PublicToolboxLookupDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the PublicToolboxLookup 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 "PublicToolboxLookup" 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 PublicToolboxLookup adware using Combo Cleaner:

PublicToolboxLookup adware removal:

Remove PublicToolboxLookup-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 publictoolboxlookup 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 PublicToolboxLookup removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by publictoolboxlookup 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 publictoolboxlookup 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 publictoolboxlookup 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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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 PublicToolboxLookup 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 PublicToolboxLookup on your mobile device.
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