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How to uninstall the LaunchEntry unwanted application?

Also Known As: Ads by LaunchEntry
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove LaunchEntry from Mac?

What is LaunchEntry?

Typically, users install applications like LaunchEntry unintentionally. For this reason, this and other apps of this kind are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Research shows that to trick users into installing LaunchEntry its developers use a fake installer that looks like the installer for Adobe Flash Player. LaunchEntry is a PUA that functions as adware and a browser hijacker - it displays advertisements and changes browser settings to promote a fake search engine (its address). It is possible that it collects information about its users as well. Either way, it is strongly recommended not to download and install this application.

LaunchEntry adware

Adware-type applications like LaunchEntry can be designed to displays pop-up ads, coupons, banners, surveys, or other advertisements. Usually, their advertisements cover contents of visited websites, advertise questionable web pages, and can be designed to distribute unwanted apps (run certain scripts to download or even install apps). Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to click ads that apps like LaunchEntry generate. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this app promotes a fake search engine (its address). Like most browser hijackers, after installation, it changes browser settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. It forces users to visit a certain address when they enter search queries into the browser's URL bar, open a browser, or new tab. It is important to mention that fake search engines can include untrustworthy websites and unwanted advertisements in their results. Although, there are many fake search engines that simply show results generated by legitimate search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing. Usually, changes made by an app like LaunchEntry can be undone when that app is no longer installed.

It is likely that LaunchEntry collects browsing data (e.g., Internet Protocol addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations. Although, it is possible that it can read sensitive information (e.g., passwords, credit card details) as well. Data gathered by apps like LaunchEntry may be misused for malicious purposes. It may be used to steal personal accounts, identities, make unauthorized purchases, transactions, and so on. Therefore, it is never safe to have apps like LaunchEntry installed on browsers or computers. It is noteworthy that individuals behind such apps may sell collected information to third parties (potentially cybercriminals).

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by LaunchEntry
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.

More adware examples are ExtendedField, OriginalUnitValue, and BoostConsole. Usually, the main purpose of adware is to generate advertisements. However, there are many adware-type apps that promote fake search engines and (or) gather various data as well. In one way or another, most of them generate revenue for their developers without being useful to their users. It is important to remember that users of apps like LaunchEntry may become victims of identity theft, suffer monetary loss, or encounter other problems related to online privacy, browsing safety.

How did LaunchEntry install on my computer?

LaunchEntry is distributed via a deceptive installer that is designed to look like the installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is common that fake installers are used to distribute malware, e.g., ransomware, trojans, and other malware. Another popular way to distribute adware and other potentially unwanted apps is to bundle them with other programs (to include those apps in downloaders, installers for other programs). Usually, offers to download, install additionally included apps can be declined via "Advanced", "Custom", and other similar settings or by unticking ticked checkboxes. Users who leave those settings unchanged download or install both wanted and unwanted apps. Sometimes, PUAs are distributed through advertisements by designing them to run certain scripts. Although, users download or install those apps only if they click on those ads.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Downloaders and installers that have settings like "Advanced" "Custom", "Manual", or ticked checkboxes should be analyzed - they should be checked for unwanted offers. Downloads and installations should be finished after declining unwanted offers. Files and applications should be downloaded from official sites via direct links only. It is not safe to open files or install programs downloaded from unofficial pages, via third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, or other channels of this kind. Third-party installers should not be used too. It is also advisable not to click advertisements that appear on questionable pages - those ads tend to be designed to open other sites of this kind. Sometimes they can execute scripts designed to cause unwanted downloads, installations. All unwanted, unknown, or suspicious apps (extensions, plug-ins, add-ons) installed on a browser should be removed from it as soon as possible. Any software of this kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with LaunchEntry, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Text presented in the pop-up window displayed when LaunchEntry adware is present on the system:

"LaunchEntryd" will damage your computer.
 
This file was downloaded on an unknown date.
 
OK
Show in Finder

Fake installer used to distribute LaunchEntry (first installation step):

launchentry adware installer step 1

Fake installer used to distribute LaunchEntry (second installation step):

launchentry adware installer step 2

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/Services/com.LaunchEntry.service.app
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.LaunchEntry.service.plist
  • /Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/System/com.LaunchEntry.system
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.LaunchEntry.system.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! In some cases malicious applications like LaunchEntry alter system proxy settings, thereby causing unwanted redirects to a variety of questionable websites.

The redirects are likely to remain even after removing the application itself. Thus, you'll have to restore them manually.

Step 1: Click on the gear icon in the Dock to navigate to the system settings. If the icon is not present in the Dock, you can find it in the Launchpad.

Changing proxy settings - navigate to the system settings

Step 2: Navigate to the Network settings.

Changing proxy settings - navigate to the network settings

Step 3: Select the connected network and click "Advanced...".

Changing proxy settings - select the connected network and click Advanced...

Step 4: Click on the "Proxies" tab and untick all the protocols. You should also set the settings of each protocol to default - "*.local, 169.254/16".

Changing proxy settings - untick all the options and set their settings to default

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 LaunchEntry adware using Combo Cleaner:

LaunchEntry adware removal:

Remove LaunchEntry-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 launchentry 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 LaunchEntry removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by launchentry 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 launchentry 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 launchentry 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 LaunchEntry 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 LaunchEntry on your mobile device.
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