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An adware displays advertising content, often in a manner or context that may be unexpected and unwanted. Adware programs often create unwanted effects on a system like displaying pop-up advertisements and in some instances, there will be a decrease in network speed and overall system performance.

Remove pop up ads on Mac

Some adware can also collect the system's browsing information (e.g. sites visited) and send the information to a remote server on the Internet. The gathered information is used by a remote Web site or user for marketing purposes. Unwanted extensions in your Internet browsers often causes the emergence of adware on your Mac.

1. Remove suspicious Login Items

Most adware are enabled automatically when you logon to your Mac. To delete suspicious login items:

  1. On the upper-left corner, click the Apple icon, and then choose System Preferences.

    Open System Preferences to remove adware

  2. Select Users & Groups.

    Choose Users & Groups to remove adware

  3. Click Login Items.

    Make sure your username under Current User is highlighted.

    Check if the highlighted user is you.

  4. Select the recently added suspicious applications, and then click the - icon to disable the application.

    Remove malicious login items.

  5. Restart your Mac for the changes to take effect.

2. Remove malicious profiles

Some adware installs a malicious profile forcibly from the home page of your browser. Profiles will not be visible until you have at least one profile on your Mac installed. If there is none, you may skip this step.

  1. On the upper-left corner, click the Apple icon, and then choose System Preferences.

    Open System Preferences to remove malicious profiles

  2. Select Profiles. A new window will appear.

    Open Profile Settings to remove malicious profiles

  3. Check and choose any profile that you did not set up on your Mac (e.g. AdminPrefs), and then delete it. To delete a profile, select the profile you want to delete, and then click the - icon to remove it.

    Removing malicious Profiles

3. Stop potentially unwanted processes running on your Mac

Get rid of processes you are not familiar with that may cause the adware to pop up.

  1. From the system tray, click Go, and then click Utilities.

    Open Utilities to stop unwanted processes

  2. Select Activity Monitor.

    Opening Activity Monitor to stop unwanted processes

  3. Look for any suspicious or unfamiliar running processes.
  4. Double click the suspicious process. A new window will appear, and then click Quit.

    A pop-up will appear to confirm in stopping the process. Click Force Quit to proceed.

4. Remove potentially unwanted applications

Get rid of applications you are not familiar with that may cause the adware to pop up.

  1. From the system tray, click Go, and then click Applications.

    Open Applications to remove potentially unwanted apps

  2. Check for any recently added suspicious applications, and then drag them to the Trash icon.

5. Remove malicious extensions on the web browsers

Get rid of malicious extensions depending on the browser you use:

Expand All
Remove extensions in Apple Safari
Remove extensions in Google Chrome
Remove extensions in Mozilla Firefox

6. Remove suspicious folders and files

Delete suspicious files and folders to help remove adware on your Mac.

  1. From the system tray, click Go, and then select Go to Folder....
    A pop-up for Go to Folder will appear.

    Remove suspicious folders and files

  2. Enter the following locations one at time, and then click Go.

    Search for suspicious files inside the following locations.

    • ~/Library/ApplicationSupport
    • ~/Library/Caches
    • ~/Library/containers
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    • ~/Library/Logs
    • ~/Library/Preferences
    • ~/Library/Webkit
    • /Library/ApplicationSupport
    • /Library/Caches
    • /Library/Frameworks
    • /Library/LaunchAgents
    • /Library/LaunchDaemons
    • /Library/Preferences
    • /Library/Logs
    • /Library/Webkit
  3. Check and choose any suspicious files the following locations, and then drag and drop it to the Trash.

7. Restart your Mac

Make sure that all the steps have been completed, and then empty all the deleted files in the Trash.

8. Reset the web browser settings

Before you reset your browser settings, make sure you have a back up of all your bookmarks and saved websites.

Expand All
Reset browser settings in Apple Safari
Reset browser settings in Google Chrome

Remove adware on Mac with Antivirus One

It may take some time to go through every browser and settings mentioned in all the steps listed above.

Antivirus One can protect your Mac from all potential risks and attacks, so you can enjoy browsing online. It also provides real-time scanning and eliminates browser hijackers before they even leave a trace.

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