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How to uninstall ExpandedActivity adware from the operating system?

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

What is ExpandedActivity adware?

ExpandedActivity is designed to display unwanted advertisements and promote a fake search engine by modifying browser's settings. In other words, ExpandedActivity is designed to function as an adware-type application and a browser hijacker. Like most apps of this type, it is distributed using deceptive methods.

ExpandedActivity adware

ExpandedActivity adware in detail

Adware-type applications like ExpandedActivity generate annoying advertisements designed to open questionable websites. In some cases, those ads cause unwanted downloads or even installations by running certain scripts. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended not to trust advertisements generated by ExpandedActivity and similar applications.

A couple of examples of ads that ExpandedActivity is likely to be designed to generate are banners, surveys, coupons, pop-up ads. If clicked, those ads may open websites like "MALWARE DETECTED Action Required", "Receive iPhone 12", "Apple Platform Security", or other pages designed to extract sensitive information or to trick visitors into installing unwanted software.

Furthermore, ExpandedActivity is designed to hijack a browser by changing its settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. It changes those addresses to an address of a fake search engine. Therefore, its users are forced to visit a specific address each time they open a browser, new tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar.

It is worth mentioning that fake search engines can be designed to generate misleading results (to promote shady websites). In other cases, they could show results generated by a legitimate or untrustworthy search engines. Typically, users cannot remove a fake search engine from browser's settings unless they uninstall a browser hijacker.

One more important detail about ExpandedActivity is it may be designed to collect information that could be misused for marketing purposes, sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), used to make unauthorized transactions, purchases, steal identities, or misused in other ways.

Less harmful adware-type apps collect IP addresses, visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations, and other details of this kind. Nevertheless, other adware-type apps can also read credit card details, passwords, telephone numbers, and other sensitive information.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ExpandedActivity
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.23403), 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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

ExpandedActivity adware in general

In conclusion, ExpandedActivity is an untrustworthy application designed to generate advertisements and alter browser's settings. It is not safe to have this app installed on a browser and (or) the operating system. It users should remove it as soon as possible. More adware examples are MainCharacterSearch, AphroditeLookup, and ProductiveUnit.

How did ExpandedActivity install on my computer?

Adware can be distributed through fake installers (many adware-type apps are distributed through fake Adobe Flash Player installers). It is important to know those deceptive installers can be designed to install ransomware, Trojans, or other malicious software. Typically, fake installers are promoted via untrustworthy websites.

Another way to distribute PUAs is to include them in downloaders and installers as optional offers. When users download or install programs that are bundled with PUAs without changing "Custom", "Manual", "Advanced", or other options, they agree to download or install those apps as well.

Also, potentially unwanted applications can be distributed through deceptive advertisements by designing them to execute specific scripts. Those advertisements appear on questionable, untrustworthy websites. Users unknowingly download or install PUAs by clicking them.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended not to use Peer-to-Peer networks (like eMule, torrent clients), unofficial websites, third-party downloaders, and so on as sources for downloading files, programs. Third-party installers should not be used too. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official pages and via direct links.

Downloaders and installers for other programs with settings like "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" should be checked for offers to download or install potentially unwanted apps. Those offers should be declined before completing downloads and installations. Intrusive ads that appear on shady pages should not be trusted (clicked).

By clicking ads on dubious pages, users often open other shady pages or cause unwanted downloads and installations. If there are any suspicious, unwanted extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed on a web browser, they should be removed. The same should be done with software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with ExpandedActivity, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once ExpandedActivity installation is over:

expandedactivity adware pop-up displayed once installation is finished

Screenshot of the ExpandedActivity's Contents folder:

expandedactivity 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 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 ExpandedActivity adware using Combo Cleaner:

ExpandedActivity adware removal:

Remove ExpandedActivity-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 expandedactivity 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 ExpandedActivity removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by expandedactivity 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 expandedactivity 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 expandedactivity 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.

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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.

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