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How to eliminate the OptimalSource adware from your operating system?

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

What is OptimalSource?

OptimalSource is a rogue app categorized as adware. It also has browser hijacker qualities. Furthermore, due to the dubious techniques used to distribute software products within these categories, they are also considered to be PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

OptimalSource adware

OptimalSource adware in detail

Adware delivers various intrusive advertisements (e.g., pop-ups, coupons, banners, etc.). In addition to seriously diminishing the browsing experience, these ads also endanger device/user safety. Adware-displayed adverts endorse a variety of sale-based, rogue, untrustworthy, scam, and malicious websites. Some intrusive advertisements can even be triggered (by being clicked on) to download/install software (e.g., PUAs) stealthily.

Browser hijackers assign fake web searcher addresses as browsers' default search engine, new tab/window, and homepage URLs. Therefore, new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address.

Fake search engines are seldom able to provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate ones. Browser hijackers also use persistence-ensuring methods to prevent users from recovering their browsers.

What is more, most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes browsing and search engine histories, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, etc. The gathered 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, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by OptimalSource
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.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.

Adware in general

AnalyzerWindowDataExplorer, and BrowserState are a few examples of apps within the adware category. They appear ordinary and offer various "handy" functionalities, which are rarely operational. This applies to practically all PUAs. Instead of delivering on any promises, unwanted applications can run intrusive ad campaigns, cause redirects, hijack browsers, and collect private data.

How did OptimalSource install on my computer?

PUAs are spread using the "bundling" technique - packing regular programs with unwanted/malicious additions. Rushed download/installation processes increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission. Some PUAs may also have "official" download webpages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to always research software and download from official/trustworthy sources. Dubious download channels, e.g., Pee-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware websites, etc. - often offer bundled content.

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

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

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

Pop-up displayed once OptimalSource installation is complete

OptimalSource adware's installation folder:

OptimalSource 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 OptimalSource adware using Combo Cleaner:

OptimalSource adware removal:

Remove OptimalSource-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 optimalsource 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 OptimalSource removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by optimalsource 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 optimalsource 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 optimalsource 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 diminish the browsing quality and system performance. This software often has data tracking abilities, which makes it a threat to user privacy. Furthermore, adware-displayed ads typically endorse various dubious and even malicious sites and applications.

What does adware do?

Advertising-supported software or adware - is designed to deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, this software displays various ads on any visited website and/or different interfaces.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware generates revenue through affiliate programs by promoting various websites, apps, products, services, etc.

Will Combo Cleaner remove OptimalSource adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning devices and eliminating adware-type apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal is not ideal in some cases, since even after the software is eliminated - file leftovers may remain hiding within the system. The remaining components can continue running and causing issues.

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