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How to uninstall UpgradeActivity adware from the operating system?

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

What is UpgradeActivity?

UpgradeActivity is an adware-type application with browser hijacker traits. Since users typically download/install software products of this kind inadvertently - they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

UpgradeActivity adware

UpgradeActivity adware in detail

Adware enables the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, and other intrusive ads on any visited website and/or different interfaces. In addition to severely diminishing the browsing experience, the delivered advertisements endanger device/user safety. Once clicked on, the adverts redirect to untrustworthy/malicious sites, and some of them can even stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs).

Browser hijackers assign fake web searcher addresses as browsers' homepage, default search engine, 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 the promoted address.

Illegitimate web searchers usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other genuine search engines. Browser hijackers also use persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers.

Most PUAs have data tracking abilities. Targeted information includes: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, and so on. The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.

In summary, the presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by UpgradeActivity
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.AdLoad.13), 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

AccessibilityMethodSmartResultsNavigation, and WebResultsTool are some examples of apps within the adware classification. Most PUAs (adware included) lure users into download/installation with promises of "handy" features, which are typically nonoperational.

Functionality and user safety are irrelevant, since the only aim of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. PUAs are designed to run intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects, and collect private data.

How did UpgradeActivity install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed by using the "bundling" method - packing regular programs with unwanted/malicious additions. Rushed downloads/installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device. Intrusive advertisements are also used to proliferate PUAs. Once clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission. Some PUAs may have "official" download webpages as well.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software and download only from official/verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - offer bundled content.

When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from all additions. Intrusive advertisements appear harmless; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

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

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

Pop-up displayed once UpgradeActivity installation is complete

UpgradeActivity adware's installation folder:

UpgradeActivity 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 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 UpgradeActivity adware using Combo Cleaner:

UpgradeActivity adware removal:

Remove UpgradeActivity-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 upgradeactivity 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 UpgradeActivity removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by upgradeactivity 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 upgradeactivity 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 upgradeactivity 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.

QR Code
Ads by UpgradeActivity QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by UpgradeActivity on your mobile device.
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