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How to eliminate ExploreService adware from the operating system?

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

What is ExploreService?

ExploreService is an adware-type application with browser hijacker abilities. Due to the questionable methods used to distribute ExploreService, it is also classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).

ExploreService adware

ExploreService adware overview

Adware enables the placement of intrusive adverts (e.g., pop-ups, banners, coupons, etc.) on visited sites and/or other interfaces. The delivered advertisements endorse various sale-based, untrustworthy, deceptive/scam, and even malicious websites. Furthermore, some intrusive ads can download/install software (e.g., PUAs) stealthily - when clicked on.

Browser hijackers assign fake web searchers as browsers' default search engine, new tab/window, and homepage URLs. Hence, web searches done via the URL bar and new browser tabs/windows opened - redirect to the promoted address.

Fraudulent search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate ones. This software also uses persistence-ensuring tactics to prevent browser recovery.

Most adware and browser hijackers can track data. The gathered information (e.g., browsing and search engine histories, personally identifiable details, etc.) is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties. To summarize, the presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ExploreService
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.G), 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

ProductionElementsDeluxeSolutions, and WideCluster are a few examples of apps within the adware classification. They appear legitimate and useful, yet this software seldom works as advertised. This is true of nearly all PUAs. The sole goal of unwanted applications is to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user safety are irrelevant.

How did ExploreService install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed alongside other programs. This marketing tactic of packing regular programs with unwanted/malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Additionally, once clicked on, intrusive adverts can make downloads/installations without user permission. PUAs may also have "official" promotional/download pages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

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

Download/Installation processes must be approached with caution; that includes - reading terms, studying possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additions. Intrusive ads appear innocuous yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

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

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

Pop-up displayed once ExploreService installation is complete

ExploreService adware's installation folder:

ExploreService 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 ExploreService adware using Combo Cleaner:

ExploreService adware removal:

Remove ExploreService-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 exploreservice 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 ExploreService removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by exploreservice 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 exploreservice 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 exploreservice 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. This software typically has data tracking functionalities, which make it a threat to user privacy. Furthermore, adware-displayed ads can be dubious/malicious and cause other problems.

What does adware do?

Advertising-supported software (adware) operates by running intrusive advert campaigns. In other words, it displays various adverts on any visited website and/or different interfaces.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers generate revenue primarily via affiliate programs by endorsing sites, applications, products, services, etc. Commission might be earned from ad clicks, website visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.

Will Combo Cleaner remove ExploreService adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate adware-type apps installed. On the other hand, manual removal may not be a perfect solution. Sometimes, even after the software itself is (manually) removed - file leftovers can remain within the system. Furthermore, such remnants 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.

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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.

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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.