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How to remove HotComplete adware

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

What kind of application is HotComplete?

We have discovered the HotComplete application while examining untrustworthy websites. After downloading and installing the app, we found that it generates annoying/intrusive advertisements. For this reason, we have classified HotComplete as an advertising-supported application.

HotComplete adware

More about the HotComplete adware

Clicking on advertisements generated by adware like HotComplete can open shady websites asking to provide sensitive information, download potentially malicious software, call fake technical support numbers, etc. Also, clicking them can cause unexpected downloads or even installations.

After examining plenty of apps similar to HotComplete we found that some of them can hijack web browsers by changing their settings. They are used to feed users with unwanted ads and force them to browse the Internet using fake search engines. Search engines of this kind can promote untrustworthy websites and show results by shady search engines.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by HotComplete
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-AW [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.26519), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.G), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Searchproxy.a), Full List (VirusTotal)
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

It is common for advertising-supported applications to be promoted as legitimate/useful apps. Also, they tend to be distributed using questionable methods (e.g., deceptive pages, dubious advertisements). It is highly advisable not to have any adware installed on a computer.

More adware examples are ProgressionLegion, SampleLight, and LaunchHistoryResults.

How did HotComplete install on my computer?

Apps like HotComplete often are distributed via fake installers disguised as legitimate installers for the Adobe Flash Player. In other cases, they get downloaded via shady ads or installed alongside other programs.

When adware is bundled with other software, that software has "Custom", "Advanced", or similar settings in its installer. Unwanted downloads and installations are caused by leaving the aforementioned settings unchanged.

How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?

Do not click on advertisements displayed on questionable websites. Download applications (and files) from legitimate sources such as official pages and direct download links. Avoid using unofficial pages, third-party downloaders, P2P networks, etc., as sources for downloading software.

Also, deselect unwanted applications included in downloaders/installers before downloading/installing software. As we mentioned in the previous section, it can be achieved by changing certain settings. If your computer is already infected with HotComplete, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

A pop-up that appears after installation:

hotcomplete adware pop-up displayed once installation is doneHotComplete installed on Safari (it can read sensitive information such as credit card details, passwords, and more):

hotcomplete adware installed on safari

HotComplete's Contents folder:

hotcomplete adware contents 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 HotComplete adware using Combo Cleaner:

HotComplete adware removal:

Remove HotComplete-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 hotcomplete 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 HotComplete removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by hotcomplete 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 hotcomplete 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 hotcomplete 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?

Having adware installed on your computer can cause different problems. The most common ones are diminished web browsing experience, decreased computer performance, and (or) invaded privacy.

What does adware do?

Adware generates intrusive advertisements. It is also known that adware can be designed to hijack web browsers and collect data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

In most cases, they participate in affiliate programs and promote various products, services, websites, etc.

Will Combo Cleaner remove HotComplete adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and remove all adware-type applications. It is important to know that it can be difficult to remove adware manually - files belonging to adware may remain in the operating system even after the removal. Thus, we recommend using apps like Combo Cleaner for removal.

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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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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 HotComplete QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by HotComplete on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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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.