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How to uninstall the ElementarySignalSearch adware?

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

How to remove ElementarySignalSearch from Mac?

What is ElementarySignalSearch?

ElementarySignalSearch is categorized as adware because it generates unwanted advertisements. It is known that this app changes the browser's settings to promote a fake search engine (it has characteristics of a browser hijacker) and collects information data as well. It is uncommon for apps like ElementarySignalSearch to be downloaded and installed intentionally. For this reason, they are called potentially unwanted applications. It is known that ElementarySignalSearch's developers use a fake installer that looks like the installer for Adobe Flash Player to trick users into downloading and installing this app.

ElementarySignalSearch adware

It is common that adware-type applications serve unwanted banners, pop-ups, coupons, surveys designed to promote questionable websites (e.g., pages designed to extract personal information, promote shady applications). Also, ads generated by PUAs like ElementarySignalSearch can cause unwanted downloads, installations by running certain scripts. Therefore, it not safe to click ads that appear because ElementarySignalSearch or any other app of this kind displays them. Since ElementarySignalSearch is classified both as adware and a browser hijacker, it promotes a fake search engine by changing the browser's settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. This app forces its users to visit a specific address when they open a new window, tab, or search the web via the browser's URL bar. Usually, browser hijackers are designed to prevent users from undoing their changes. Therefore, it is possible to remove a fake search engine's address from the browser's settings only when a browser hijacker is no longer installed. It is worth mentioning that fake search engines do not generate any unique results. They show results generated by other, usually legitimate search engines. Although, there are fake search engines that generate misleading results, display ads.

An additional reason not to have PUAs like ElementarySignalSearch installed is that they can be designed to collect browsing-related details like geolocations, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, IP addresses. Some of those ads can access sensitive information, for example, credit card details, passwords. It is important to know that collected information could be used for marketing purposes, sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), used to steal accounts, identities, etc. It depends on the gathered details and what developers behind PUAs would decide to do with them.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ElementarySignalSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Rload.5), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), 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.

To summarize, ElementarySignalSearch is an application that generates revenue for its developer by displaying advertisements, promoting a fake search engine, and collecting information about its users. It is uncommon for apps like ElementarySignalSearch to have any useful features. On the contrary, most of them are useless and can cause various problems. A couple more examples of apps like ElementarySignalSearch are SmartWebSearch, ExploreSearchResults, and MajorChannelSearch. It is highly advisable not to have apps of this kind installed on browsers or computers.

How did ElementarySignalSearch install on my computer?

One way to distribute apps like ElementarySignalSearch is to make their installers look like the installers for legitimate applications. As mentioned in the first paragraph, ElementarySignalSearch is distributed via a fake installer that is disguised as the installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is important to know that fake, third-party installers can infect computers with malware (install ransomware, trojans, and other malicious programs). Also, users often download and install PUAs together with other programs - when PUAs are distributed by including them in downloaders, installers for other programs as additional offers. Typically, users can decline unwanted offers via available checkboxes or through "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings. If users leave those checkboxes unticked or settings unchanged (finish downloads or installations without changing default settings), then they download or install bundled apps too. Also, unwanted downloads or installation can be caused by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts. As a rule, ads of this type do not appear on legitimate pages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Third-party downloaders and installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), questionable, unofficial websites, and other similar sources should not be used to download or install any files or software. The main reason why they should not be used is that they can be used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious files, programs. Therefore, it is recommended to use official websites and direct links. Furthermore, it is worth remembering that downloaders and installers with "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar often include offers to download or install unwanted apps. Unwanted offers should be declines before finishing downloads or installations. Intrusive advertisements that appearing on untrustworthy pages should not be clicked too. It is common that those ads are designed to open other untrustworthy, potentially malicious pages or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Any suspicious, unwanted, unknown extensions or plug-ins (or add-ons) 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 ElementarySignalSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

List of ElementarySignalSearch's files that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ElementarySignalSearch/ElementarySignalSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.ElementarySignalSearchDaemon/ElementarySignalSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.ElementarySignalSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.ElementarySignalSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the ElementarySignalSearch 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 "ElementarySignalSearch" 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 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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

ElementarySignalSearch adware removal:

Remove ElementarySignalSearch-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 elementarysignalsearch 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 ElementarySignalSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by elementarysignalsearch 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 elementarysignalsearch 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 elementarysignalsearch 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 ElementarySignalSearch 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 ElementarySignalSearch on your mobile device.
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