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Removal instructions for WheelInstant adware and adverts it delivers

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

What is WheelInstant?

WheelInstant is a rogue application that our researchers found while inspecting new submissions to VirusTotal. Our analysis of this app revealed that it operates as advertising-supported software (adware) and belongs to the AdLoad malware family.

WheelInstant adware

WheelInstant adware overview

Adware is designed to display ads (e.g., pop-ups, banners, coupons, etc.) on visited websites and/or other interfaces. These advertisements endorse various scams, untrustworthy/harmful sites and software, and even malware. Additionally, some intrusive adverts are capable of performing stealthy downloads/installations upon being clicked.

It is pertinent to mention that any legitimate products encountered through these advertisements are highly unlikely to be promoted by their developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers abusing the products' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.

It is noteworthy that advertising-supported may require certain conditions to run intrusive advertisement campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system or user geolocation, visits to particular websites, etc.). Regardless of whether WheelInstant (or other adware) delivers adverts or not, its presence on a system endangers device/user safety.

Furthermore, WheelInstant may have browser hijacker traits as that is common for AdLoad adware, although this app did not exhibit such abilities during testing.

What is more, advertising-supported software usually has data tracking abilities, and this likely applies to WheelInstant. Information of interest can include: browsing and search engine histories, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, financial/banking data, etc. The collected information is monetized via sale to third-parties.

To summarize, the presence of adware on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by WheelInstant
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Agent-TX [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.26790), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.G), Fortinet (Adware/Synataeb!OSX), 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 examples

We have analyzed thousands of adware-type apps; ExpressionCargoProfessionalHelperDockModule, and AdvanceServices are just some examples.

This software typically appears legitimate and offers various functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. Therefore, not only is advertising-supported software useless, but it also endangers device integrity and user privacy.

How did WheelInstant install on my computer?

Adware is proliferated using the bundling technique - packing ordinary program installers with unwanted/malicious supplements. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations increase the risk of inadvertently permitting bundled content into the system.

Intrusive advertisements are used to spread advertising-supported software as well. Once clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission. Fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are also used in distribution.

Additionally, adware is promoted through its "official" download webpages and scam sites. Most users enter these websites via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, pages using rogue advertising networks, intrusive adverts, spam browser notifications, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).

How to avoid installation of adware?

We strongly recommend researching software and downloading from official/verified channels. Furthermore, when installing, it is important to read terms, inspect available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all additions.

Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing - since illegitimate and malicious content usually appears innocuous. For example, intrusive advertisements look legitimate and harmless - however, they redirect to questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

If you experience adverts/redirects of this kind, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with WheelInstant, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

Pop-up displayed once WheelInstant installation is complete

WheelInstant adware's installation folder:

WheelInstant 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 WheelInstant adware using Combo Cleaner:

WheelInstant adware removal:

Remove WheelInstant-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 adware-related files and folders

Mac Go To Folder step

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

Mac removing related files and folders - step 1Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 2Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/Application Support/

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - 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.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 3Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 4Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - step 1

In the "Go to Folder..." bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - 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.

Mac removing malware related files and folders - step 5Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps correctly, your Mac should be clean of infections. To ensure 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 the 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 its virus definition database and click the "Start Combo Scan" button.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 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.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Remove malicious extensions from Internet browsers

Safari iconRemove malicious Safari extensions:

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 1

Open the Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 2

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 regular browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) and select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What harm can adware cause?

Adware can diminish the browsing experience and system performance. This software usually has data tracking abilities, which make it a threat to user privacy. Furthermore, adware-displayed advertisements promote deceptive/malicious material that can cause serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware is designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, advertising-supported software displayed ads on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Additionally, it may be capable of force-opening sites and gathering private data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware generates most of its revenue through affiliate programs by promoting various websites, apps, products, services, etc. The developers may earn commission from ad clicks, site visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.

Will Combo Cleaner remove WheelInstant adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate detected adware-type applications. Note that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal. In some instances, despite the adware itself having been (manually) removed - file leftovers remain hidden in the system. What is more, these remnants might continue running and causing issues. Therefore, thoroughness is crucial for adware 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.

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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.