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How to eliminate FocusGuide adware and the advertisements it displays?

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

What is FocusGuide?

FocusGuide is an adware-type app with browser hijacker qualities. Due to the questionable methods used to distribute such software products, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

FocusGuide adware

FocusGuide adware overview

Adware enables the placement of third-party graphical content on any visited website and/or different interfaces. This software can display pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, and other intrusive ads. They diminish the browsing experience and endanger device/user safety.

These advertisements promote various untrustworthy, sale-based, rogue, scam, and even malicious sites. Furthermore, some intrusive adverts can infiltrate software (e.g., PUAs) into systems - upon being clicked.

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

Fraudulent search engines are typically unable to provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate ones. Browser hijackers also use persistence-ensuring techniques to stop users from restoring their browsers.

Most adware-types and browser hijackers can track data. Targeted information includes browsing activity, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, etc. The collected information is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.

In summary, unwanted applications can cause system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by FocusGuide
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-AW [Adw]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.G), Fortinet (Adware/Synataeb!OSX), GData (Archive.Application.Agent.IBQGKJ), 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

LatestStructuredWindowsMegabyteLinkInfo, BoostSign, and CheckLetter are some examples of adware. This software appears innocuous and promises "handy" functionalities that seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.

This applies to nearly all PUAs. The sole goal of unwanted apps is to generate revenue at user expense; they have no real value to users.

How did FocusGuide install on my computer?

PUAs are spread using the "bundling" marketing tactic - packing regular programs with various supplements. Rushed download/installation processes increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations. PUAs may also have "official" promotional/download sites.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

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

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

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

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

Pop-up displayed once FocusGuide installation is complete

FocusGuide adware's installation folder:

FocusGuide 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 FocusGuide adware using Combo Cleaner:

FocusGuide adware removal:

Remove FocusGuide-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 focusguide 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 FocusGuide removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by focusguide 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 focusguide 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 focusguide 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 experience and decrease system performance. Most adware-type apps also have data tracking abilities, which make them a privacy threat. Adware-delivered adverts can be deceptive/malicious and cause other serious issues.

What does adware do?

Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It is designed to deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns, i.e., display various ads on any visited website and/or different interfaces.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware generates revenue mainly through affiliate programs by promoting various websites, apps, products, services, and similar.

Will Combo Cleaner remove FocusGuide adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate installed adware-type applications. On the other hand, manual removal might not be thorough enough. In some cases, various remnants (files) remain hidden in the system even after the software itself is (manually) removed. Furthermore, such components can continue running and causing problems.

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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
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