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How to uninstall MicroLauncher from the operating system?

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

What is MicroLauncher adware?

MicroLauncher is the name of advertising-supported that has qualities of a browser hijacker - it generates advertisements and modifies web browser's settings to promote a fake search engine. It is also possible that MicroLauncher also collects various information. Usually, apps of this type are distributed using deceptive methods.

MicroLauncher adware

MicroLauncher adware in detail

Adware-type applications like MicroLauncher generate revenue for their developers by displaying banners, pop-ups, coupons, surveys, and other advertisements. Ads displayed by adware can promote deceptive websites designed to trick users into providing sensitive information, downloading shady apps, and other untrustworthy pages.

MicroLauncher might generate advertisements designed to open websites like "MALWARE DETECTED Action Required", "Receive iPhone 12", "Apple Platform Security", and so on. Also, its ads may be designed to download or install questionable software by executing specific scripts. Another problem with MicroLauncher is that it hijacks a web browser.

MicroLauncher changes the address of a homepage, default search engine, and new tab to an address of a fake search engine. Thus, MicroLauncher opens a specific address each time its users open a browser, enter search queries in the address bar, or open a new tab. All the modifications made by MicroLauncher can be undone once it is removed.

It is noteworthy that fake search engines can show results generated by legitimate and (or) other untrustworthy search engines. Fake search engines that generate their results or show results generated by other search engines of this type can be designed to advertise/promote potentially malicious websites.

It is possible that MicroLauncher not only generates advertisements and promotes a fake search engine but also collects browsing-related and (or) sensitive information. More precisely, it may be designed to gather IP addresses, entered search queries, visited pages and (or) credit card details, passwords, or other personal data.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by MicroLauncher
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.j), 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.
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MicroLauncher in detail

MicroLauncher generates revenue for its developer by displaying annoying advertisements and promoting a questionable search engine. As a rule, users install apps like MicroLauncher unintentionally. Therefore, they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). More adware examples are WebKey, NetFunctionSearch, and FlexibleOrigin.

How did MicroLauncher install on my computer?

Quite often, users download and install potentially unwanted applications (including apps like MicroLauncher) through downloaders and installers for other programs. More precisely, when those PUAs are included in those downloaders, installers as optional offers and users do not deselect them.

In  most cases, PUAs can be found and deselected via "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual", or other settings (and) or by unticking ticked checkboxes. Users agree to download or install additionally included applications when they do not change those settings. This distribution method for PUAs is known as bundling.

In other cases, users unknowingly download or install PUAs via deceptive advertisements. Users cause it by clicking advertisements designed to run certain scripts. It is important to mention that ads of this type rarely appear on legitimate pages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Applications should be downloaded from trustworthy, official sites and via direct download links. It is not recommended to use any other sources for that. Examples of unreliable sources are Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, third-party downloaders. Third-party installers should not be used as well.

Downloaders, installers that have settings should be checked for offers to dowload or install unwanted applications. Typically, apps of this kind can be deselected via "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" or other settings or by unticking checkboxes. it is worth mentioning that most PUAs are distributed through downloaders and installers for free programs.

Also, unexpected unwanted downloads, installations can be avoided by not trusting (clicking) advertisements that various untrustworthy pages have on them. Those ads can be designed to open other dubious pages or cause unwanted downloads, installations.

Lastly, there should not be any unwanted, unknown apps (add-ons, plug-ins, or extensions) installed on a browser and programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with MicroLauncher, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up that appears after the installation:

microlauncher adware pop-up displayed once installation is finished

MicroLauncher's Contents folder:

microlauncher 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 three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove MicroLauncher adware using Combo Cleaner:

MicroLauncher adware removal:

Remove MicroLauncher-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 microlauncher 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 MicroLauncher removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

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