FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

How to eliminate CleanSearch adware?

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

What is CleanSearch adware?

CleanSearch generates advertisements and makes changes in the affected browser's settings (hijacks a web browser). CleanSearch is classified as adware and a browser hijacker. It is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

CleanSearch adware

CleanSearch adware in detail

Advertisements displayed by CleanSearch could open untrustworthy websites designed to extract personal information (like passwords, credit card details, bank account numbers, and to promote other PUAs. CleanSearch could generate pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, and other types of advertisements.

The web browser's settings that CleanSearch changes are a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. It changes them to a fake search engine (its address). Fake search engines can generate misleading results (promote shady websites) or show results generate by other questionable search engines.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by CleanSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.AdloadTR.10), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.l), 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.

More details about CleanSearch application

CleanSearch may collect IP addresses, search queries, and other browsing data and (or) sensitive information. Data collected by CleanSearch could be misused to steal online accounts, identities, or other malicious purposes. More adware examples are SampleSkilled, ValidNetBoost, and ValidConfigType.

How did CleanSearch install on my computer?

CleanSearch is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer that is promoted on deceptive websites. Also, it could be distributed via downloaders and installers for other programs and advertisements designed to run certain scripts. Downloaders and installers used to distribute PUAs have "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings.

Users agree to download or install PUAs when they leave the aforementioned settings unchanged. Advertisements cannot cause unexpected downloads or installations unless users click on them.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Applications (and files) should be downloaded only from legitimate sources like official websites. Downloaders and installers that have any settings or ticked checkboxes should be checked optional downloads or installations. Advertisements displayed on questionable pages or by installed PUAs should not be clicked.

If your computer is already infected with CleanSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to the CleanSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.CleanSearch/CleanSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.CleanSearchDaemon/CleanSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.CleanSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.CleanSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the CleanSearch adware are designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar (Dock) and select "Profiles".

Remove malicious profiles added by CleanSearch (step 1)

2) Locate all suspicious profiles and delete them.

Remove malicious profiles added by CleanSearch (step 2)

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this adware/browser hijacker.

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 CleanSearch adware using Combo Cleaner:

CleanSearch adware removal:

Remove CleanSearch-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 cleansearch 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 CleanSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by cleansearch 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 cleansearch 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 cleansearch 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What harm can adware cause?

Adware can affect web browsing experience in a negative way. Also, it could slow down a computer and cause problems related to browsing safety, online privacy.

What does adware do?

The main purpose of adware is to generate revenue for its developers by displaying ads. In some cases, adware can be monetized by promoting fake search engines.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers generate revenue by promoting various products, websites, services. The biggest part of their money come from affiliate programs.

Will Combo Cleaner remove CleanSearch adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate CleanSearch and other installed adware-type applications. Pretty often, it is necessary to remove software of this type with an application like Combo Cleaner because various file leftovers may remain hiding in the system by removing it manually (some of its components might still be present and running).

Click to post a comment

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

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 CleanSearch QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by CleanSearch on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

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.