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How to remove the NetLookupSearch adware from the operating system?

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

What is NetLookupSearch adware?

NetLookupSearch generates annoying advertisements and hijacks a web browser by modifying its settings. This application functions as advertising-supported software and a browser hijacker. Another important about NetLookupSearch is that its developers use a fake installer to trick users into downloading and installing it.

NetLookupSearch adware

NetLookupSearch adware in detail

NetLookupSearch displays advertisements (pop-up ads, banners, surveys, coupons, or other ads) that might be designed to open deceptive, potentially malicious websites designed to trick users into installing unwanted software or providing personal information (like credit card details, names, surnames, passwords).

A couple of examples of websites that ads generated by NetLookupSearch may be designed to promote are "We Have Detected A Potential Risk Of Unsecured Connection", "Receive iPhone 12", "Apple Platform Security". Also, NetLookupSearch may display ads designed to download or install unwanted applications by executing certain scripts.

Furthermore, NetLookupSearch is designed to promote a fake search engine (its address) by changing a browser's settings, such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Like most browser hijackers, NetLookupSearch prevents users from removing a fake search engine from the settings mentioned above.

Usually, users can remove the address promoted by a browser hijacker once that app is no longer installed. It is worth mentioning that fake search engines can show misleading results (promote untrustworthy websites) and unwanted advertisements. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to use Google, Yahoo, or other legitimate search engines.

One more problem with the NetLookupSearch application is that it may be designed to collect entered search queries, visited websites, IP addresses, and other browsing-related information. What is worse, it may be collecting sensitive information as well (for example, login credentials, credit card details).

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by NetLookupSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), 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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Adware and other potentially unwanted applications in general

Typically, users do not download and install apps like NetLookupSearch intentionally. Therefore, they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). It is very common for PUAs to be distributed using questionable, deceptive methods. More adware examples are ProductiveUnit, ValidManager, and MainSearchBoard.

How did NetLookupSearch install on my computer?

This particular application is distributed via a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. Fake installers can be used to distribute malware. To trick users into using fake installers, their developers use deceptive websites. Sometimes, PUAs are distributed via ads by designing them to run certain scripts.

Another way to distribute PUAs is to bundle them together with other (usually, free) programs. In such cases, PUAs can be found in downloaders and installers for other programs as optional offers - they can be found (and deselected) in "Custom", "Advanced", or other settings. Users download and install PUAs when they leave those settings unchanged.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended not to use third-party downloaders and installers to download or install the software. Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial websites, and other sources should not be trusted as well. Files and apps should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and via direct download links.

Another way to avoid unwanted downloads and installations is not to complete downloads and installations without checking whether there are any "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual", or other settings that could be used to decline offers to download or install PUAs. Additionally, it is recommended not to trust ads that appear on shady websites.

Ads displayed on untrustworthy pages may open other sites of this kind or cause unexpected downloads or installations. Unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on a browser should be removed. The same applies to programs of this kind installed on a computer. If your computer is already infected with NetLookupSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetLookupSearch/NetLookupSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetLookupSearchDaemon/NetLookupSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.NetLookupSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.NetLookupSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the NetLookupSearch adware 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 (Dock) and select "Profiles".

Remove malicious profiles added by NetLookupSearch (step 1)

2) Locate all suspicious profiles and delete them.

Remove malicious profiles added by NetLookupSearch (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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove NetLookupSearch adware using Combo Cleaner:

NetLookupSearch adware removal:

Remove NetLookupSearch-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 netlookupsearch 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 NetLookupSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by netlookupsearch 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 netlookupsearch 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 netlookupsearch 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
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