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How to remove LaunchOptimization adware from your operating device?

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

What is LaunchOptimization?

LaunchOptimization is a rogue app. It operates by running intrusive advert campaigns (adware) and modifying browser settings to promote fake search engines (browser hijacker). Additionally, LaunchOptimization likely has data tracking abilities. Since most users download/install adware and browser hijackers unintentionally, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

LaunchOptimization adware

LaunchOptimization adware in detail

Adware delivers pop-ups, coupons, banners, surveys, and other intrusive advertisements. The displayed ads can be placed on any visited website and/or different interfaces. They severely diminish the browsing experience by overlaying webpage content and/or slowing down the browsing speed.

Furthermore, intrusive adverts endanger device and user safety. The advertisements endorse a wide variety of untrustworthy, deceptive/scam, compromised, and even malicious sites. Some of these ads can be triggered (by being clicked on) to stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs).

Browser hijackers assign fake web searcher addresses as browsers' default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URLs. With such a piece of software installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and web searches done via the URL bar - redirect to fake search engines.

The promoted web searchers usually cannot provide search results, sot they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading to) Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other legitimate ones.

Browser hijackers can restrict or deny access to the browser settings. Alternatively, they can reset any changes users try to make to their browsers. Therefore, recovering an affected browser is impossible without eliminating the software hijacking it.

Most PUAs have data tracking functionalities; hence, LaunchOptimization likely has such as well. Information of interest includes (but is not limited to): URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, and personally identifiable details. PUA developers monetize the gathered data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties.

In summary, the presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by LaunchOptimization
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.23571), 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.
▼ 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 in general

WebKeyLookupDisplay, and NetFunctionSearch are a few examples of adware similar to LaunchOptimization. This software appears legitimate and innocuous. Users are lured into download/installation with "handy" features, which are typically nonoperational.

In fact, nearly all PUAs advertised nonexistent abilities. The only goal of unwanted apps is to generate profit for the developers; they have no genuine value to users. PUAs are designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects, and collect private information.

How did LaunchOptimization install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed alongside other programs. This fake marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

Intrusive adverts are also employed to proliferate PUAs. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user consent. Some PUAs may have "official" promotional webpages from which they can be downloaded and/or purchased.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and trustworthy sources. Dubious download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer bundled and harmful content.

When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate; however, they redirect to various questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so forth).

In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately from it. If your computer is already infected with LaunchOptimization, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once LaunchOptimization adware's installation is over:

Pop-up displayed once LaunchOptimization installation is complete

LaunchOptimization adware's installation folder:

LaunchOptimization adware install 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 LaunchOptimization adware using Combo Cleaner:

LaunchOptimization adware removal:

Remove LaunchOptimization-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 launchoptimization 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 LaunchOptimization removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

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