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How to uninstall AssistiveMode adware?

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

What is AssistiveMode adware?

AssistiveMode generates revenue for its developer by automatically generating advertisements. Additionally, this app changes browser's settings to push users to use a fake search engine. AssistiveMode functions as advertising-supported software and a browser hijacker. Usually, apps o this type are distributed using deceptive methods.

AssistiveMode adware

AssistiveMode adware in detail

It is common that adware-type applications display advertisements while users browse the web with an Internet browser and cover website contents. Another problem with ads generated by apps like AssistiveMode is that they can be designed to promote untrustworthy websites (for example, download pages for PUAs, pages designed to extract sensitive information).

Those ads can be designed to open pages like "Your MAC Has Been Blocked Due To Suspicious Activity!", "Your System Is Infected With 3 Viruses", "Receive iPhone 12", and other websites of this kind. Also, ads displayed by AssistiveMode may be designed to download or install unwanted programs by executing certain scripts.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, AssistiveMode modifying browser's settings - it hijacks browsers by changing the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to an address of a fake search engine. Fake search engines can show results generated by legitimate search engines like Google, Yahoo, and generate misleading results (promote shady websites).

Also, fake search engines can show results generated by other questionable search engines. In one way or another, it is strongly recommended not to browse the web with search engines that PUAs like AssistiveMode promote. It is worth mentioning the settings changed by AssistiveMode can be reverted only when this app is no longer installed.

Additionally, it is likely that AssistiveMode gathers information related to user's browsing activities. For example, Internet Protocol addresses, entered search queries, visited pages, geolocations. Lots of apps like AssistiveMode can read sensitive data such as credit card details, passwords, telephone numbers. It is not safe to have PUAs that can access personal information installed on browsers or computers.

Data gathered by an app like AssistiveMode could be sold to third parties, used for marketing purposes, or monetized using other methods. Also, collected data may be misused to steal identities, accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions. These are the main reasons not to trust AssistiveMode and any other similar apps.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by AssistiveMode
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), 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.

AssistiveMode adware in general

AssistiveMode displays advertisements and opens a specific address when users open a browser or new tab or enter search queries using the URL bar. It is very unlikely that it has any useful features. On the contrary, AssistiveMode may be the reason behind a variety of issues. It is similar to many other apps, for example, ExpandedActivity, ValidManager, and AdminRemote.

How did AssistiveMode install on my computer?

Potentially unwanted applications are often distributed through downloaders and installers for other (mainly free) programs. This distribution method is called bundling. This method works when users allow for bundled applications to be downloaded and installed together with desired ones.

Typically, users allow unwanted downloads, installations by leaving "Manual", "Advanced", "Custom", and other similar settings unchanged, checkboxes ticked. Those settings can be used to deselect optional downloads or installations. In some cases, unwanted downloads and installations occur when users click deceptive advertisements designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Downloaders and installers with settings like "Advanced" "Custom", "Manual", etc., or checkboxes often have other applications in them. Downloads and installations should not be finished without declining unwanted offers. Furthermore, files and software should be downloaded from official sites via direct links.

Unofficial pages, third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, or other sources for downloading files, programs can be used to distribute unwanted and malicious software. Advertisements on questionable pages should not be clicked as well. Those ads can be designed to cause unwanted downloads and installation.

Any unwanted, unknown, or suspicious apps (extensions, plug-ins, add-ons) a browser has installed on it should be removed. The same applies to programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with AssistiveMode, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up that appears after the installation:

assistivemode adware pop-up displayed once installation is done

AssistiveMode's Contents folder:

assistivemode 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 AssistiveMode adware using Combo Cleaner:

AssistiveMode adware removal:

Remove AssistiveMode-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 assistivemode 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 AssistiveMode removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by assistivemode 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 assistivemode 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 assistivemode 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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Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by AssistiveMode on your mobile device.
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