FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

How to uninstall the InstantFresh adware from your Mac

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

What is InstantFresh?

Our research team discovered the InstantFresh app while investigating new submissions to VirusTotal. Our inspection of this application revealed that it is advertising-supported software (adware) belonging to the AdLoad malware family. InstantFresh runs intrusive advertisement campaigns and may have additional harmful abilities.

InstantFresh adware

InstantFresh adware overview

Adware operates by delivering intrusive ad campaigns, i.e., it enables the placement of advertisements on various interfaces. These ads endorse online scams, unreliable/dangerous software, and malware. Some intrusive adverts are even capable of performing stealthy downloads/installations upon being clicked.

It must be noted that any legitimate products or services encountered through these advertisements are unlikely to be promoted by their actual developers/creators. Instead, scammers often abuse affiliate programs of genuine content in order to obtain illegitimate commissions for the endorsement.

Advertising-supported software might need specific conditions to run intrusive advert campaigns, e.g., compatible browser/system or user geolocation, visits to particular websites, etc. However, even if InstantFresh does not display ads – its presence endangers device integrity and user safety.

Additionally, this application might have browser-hijacking qualities since they are common for AdLoad adware, although we did not observe any during testing.

Furthermore, InstantFresh likely gathers private data. Information of interest may include: browsing and search engine histories, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, and so forth. The collected data can be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.

In summary, the presence of adware on a device can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by InstantFresh
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-DH [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Adload.23), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.G), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Search), 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; OperativeQueue, MajorLetterSearch, ExtendedTech, UniversalSource, and EazyBit are merely some examples.

This software typically appears harmless and offers "useful" functionalities. However, these features seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all. Even if such an app operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not proof of either legitimacy or safety.

How did InstantFresh install on my computer?

Adware can be bundled with ordinary programs. Installers packed with unwanted/malicious additions can be downloaded from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.). Additionally, rushing through installation processes (e.g., skipping steps, using "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system.

Advertising-supported software is also proliferated through fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers. It is distributed by intrusive advertisements as well. Once clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.

Furthermore, adware can have "official" download webpages, and it is promoted on scam sites. These deceptive pages are primarily accessed via redirects caused by websites that use rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).

How to avoid installation of adware?

We strongly advise researching software and downloading it only from official/verified sources. It is just as important to treat installation with caution, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of supplementary apps, extensions, features, etc.

Another recommendation is to be vigilant while browsing since fake and malicious content usually appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, intrusive advertisements may look harmless – however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

Should you experience such adverts/redirects, check the device and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with InstantFresh, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

Pop-up displayed once InstantFresh installation is complete

InstantFresh adware's installation folder:

InstantFresh 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 InstantFresh adware using Combo Cleaner:

InstantFresh adware removal:

Remove InstantFresh-related potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

Manual removal of malicious Mac applications

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 decrease browsing quality and system performance. It displays ads promoting deceptive/malicious content capable of causing severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.). Additionally, the software is considered to be a threat to user privacy, as it usually has data-tracking functionalities.

What does adware do?

Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It is designed to display ads on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Some types can also force-open sites and collect private information.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers generate revenue mainly through affiliate programs by endorsing various websites, applications, products, services, and so forth.

Will Combo Cleaner remove InstantFresh adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate installed adware-type apps. It must be stressed that manual removal (performed without the aid of security programs) might not be ideal. Since even after the advertising-supported software has been manually removed – various remnants (files) stay hidden within the system. Furthermore, these components may continue to run and cause issues. Hence, it is paramount to eliminate adware thoroughly.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

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 InstantFresh QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by InstantFresh on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

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.