How To Remove AdLoad Mac Malware

How To Remove AdLoad Mac Malware (2021 Update)

AdLoad Mac Malware Removal Guide

Threat Overview
Name AdLoad
Category Adware, Mac malware, Mac Threat, Adware.MAC.Adload (See Full Report On VirusTotal)
  • Drops other Adware programs on Mac.
  • Takes over the homepage by modifying default homepage address.
  • Manipulates search queries to display results ad-specific search results.
  • Delivers plenty of ads, pop-ups, banners and sponsored contents to the search results window.
  • Degraded browsing experience, pages crash down, messed up searches and slowdown of overall Mac performance.
Occurrence installs via fake update of Adobe Flash Players, clicking on pop-up ads, freeware downloads from unsafe sites.
Severity Level Medium
Damages Changes of browser preferences without user’s consent, data-tracking, search redirects, ads placed on top of search results.
Removal Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner to detect files related to AdLoad Adware.

What is AdLoad?

AdLoad is a Mac malware that if often detected as a generic name for various adware-type of threats targeting Mac computers. It is capable to tampering various settings of the system to gain persistence and prevent users from removing it.  The malware can have various aliases and files, that it drops in library folders.

Unfortunately, this category of threat has the main objective to target the web browsers, hijack it by modifying their default settings. Thus, users may see their browser controlled by some unknown program that activates in the form of extensions, plug-ins, search helper objects and search engines. However, they are of no good to users, as they keep on redirecting to potentially unsafe websites, encourage fake downloads and earn their profit.

Adload malware is also capable to collecting various data like IP address, browsing history, geo-location, keywords, website visits and so on.

So, if you have AdLoad malware or any of its variants, then you should run a scan to your Mac to detect and remove them immediately.

How AdLoad Got Inside my Mac?

AdLoad relies on dubious installers of Flash Player, fake browser update links and freeware distribution to get installed. Typically, they are presented as an urgent warning to update the software to continue browsing without any inconvenience. However, they are meant to drop other PUA that hide within the main installer.

Adload Malware Mac Distribution
Adload Malware Mac Distribution

Adload comes bundled with other adware-type programs:

ArtemisSearch ResultsValue IndexerProject
NetworkSync StartEssentials CharacterSearch
DataFormatSearch TypeInitiator TabHelper
ResultsSync QuicklookPI SearchArchive
GlobalSearchSystem TechFunctionSearch DefaultUpgrade
ExploreSync IdeaShared OperativeResults
AreaProduct ApolloSearch WebSearchUpgrade
Kreberisec LocalTech LookupTool
TypicalProcess ValidMemory LeadingSearchService
PublicAdviseSearch SkilledProjectSearch DataFormatSearch

So, better to keep a watch on your online activities. Here I explained my users about the 10 Best Ways To Protect A Mac Computer From Viruses.

AdLoad Mac Adware-What It can do?

When installed, the Adload malware will host its files in various directories of Mac system. Following after gaining the admin access at the time of installation. So by taking its advantage it creates and stores it files on various directories:

  • 2 two LaunchDaemon files within the ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.appname.plist
  • Also, adds Launch Agents to the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.appname/appname.
  • You will also see files added to the Application support library under the local user: ~/Library/Application Support/com.appnameDaemon/appname and “com.appnameP.plist” that targets the Mach-O executable as “appnameDaemon” in /private/var/root/.appname/appname.

For example: /private/var/root/.GlobalSearchSystem/GlobalSearchSystem

  • Next, Adload opens a remote host by calling a python script
  • Further, it goes on creating a hidden directory that restricts its manual removal, as /var/root/.mitmproxy.
  • Finally, the Adload also goes on installing user cronjob along with an executable file in the Library Application Support’s subfolder. This helps it to run at a schedules time.

Being an adware-type malware, it will ruin your browsing, slowdown its performance and allow installation of other damaging programs.

Follow the below removal steps to remove AdLoad malware and its malicious programs.

How To Remove AdLoad From Mac

Manually removing Adload requires lots of patience and understanding of various components of the Mac environment like launch agent, launch daemon, cron job files, and other proccess like “/var/root”. So, if you unknowingly deleted any other file, or failed to remove a malicious one, then Adload will not go away. And in fact, it can reappear due to incomplete removal.

However, in this guide, we are going to explain both the methods one-by-one.

For automatic and safe removal, scan with Combo Cleaner and get rid of it quickly.

Remove AdLoad Adware From Mac
Is Your Mac Infected with Malware?


PUA like AdLoad may appear again even after removing it. Such programs manages to change various settings on the mac, like adding fake profiles, changing default search engine and adding files to library which restricts the permanent removal. Therefore, we advise to download Combo Cleaner to scan your Mac for these annoying stuffs.
Detect & Remove Malware with Combo Cleaner for FREE!. This way, you can ensure safe removal and save your time. 

Check Combo Cleaner For Mac – Full Review    ComboCleaner

How To Remove AdLoad Malware From Mac Manually

To remove AdLoad extension, follow the steps:

  • Open your Safari browser, From top menu, choose Safari > choose Preferences.
  • Go to Extensions tab.
  • Locate AdLoad extension.
  • To remove AdLoad click on “uninstall” button.

To completely remove AdLoad malware from Mac, follow these steps  carefully: 

Remove AdLoad Malware From Mac Applications

  1. On the Finder window, click Go→ Applications;
  2. Look through the Application window to find AdLoad or any other malicious app like DataSearch, GlobalSearchSystem, or ArtemisSearch;
    Remove Adware Application From Mac
    Remove AdLoad Malware From Mac
  3. To remove AdLoad from Mac, right-click on it and choose “Move To Trash”;
  4. After that, Click on the “Empty Trash” by right-click on the Trash icon on your dock.
    Empty Trash
    Empty Trash
  5. Restart your Mac to make changes into effect.

Remove AdLoad LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons From Library

Removing Launching Daemon and Agents associated with AdLoad is an important step. As these helps the program run in the background automatically. These works as agents specified to work for a specified user. 

To Remove AdLoad LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemon, follow the steps here: 

  1. Open Finder window and then select: Go → Go to Folder;
    Go To Folder Mac
    Go To Folder Mac
  2. Now, you need find any malicious agents related to AdLoad within the following locations, and delete if find any;
    • /Library/LaunchAgents
    • /Library/LaunchDaemons
    • /System/Library/LaunchAgents
    • /System/Library/LaunchDaemons
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    • ~/Library/Application Support
    • /private/var/root/.appname/appname
  3. Enter the path to the “Go To Folder” and click “Go”;
    LaunchAgents Mac
    LaunchAgents Mac
  4. Now, check, if there is any AdLoad related entries, if found delete them one-by-one.
    Remove Malicious Launch Agents and Daemons From Mac
    Remove AdLoad Launch Agents and Daemons From Mac
Be careful while doing so, as if you delete any important entry, then the application associated with will not work properly. If you are not sure of this, then better to use Combocleaner to scan and remove them.

3Remove AdLoad Fake Profiles From Mac

Configuration profiles in Mac OS, defines set of rules letting administrations or workplaces to standardize settings on devices. As, as admin can create profiles to configure wi-fi settings, mail accounts, VPN, server connections and more. 

Often malicious programs like Safe Finder, Search Mine, Advanced Mac Cleaner leverages this setting to configure profile settings that connect to specific URL, restrict removal and so on. Thus, you should check for any profile configuration created by malicious programs. So you need to find and remove fake profiles.

To do so, you must login to your Mac as administrative account. By deleting the malicious profiles , you will be able to make changes to restricted settings.

  • Choose Apple menu→ System Preferences → Profiles .
    Note: If there is no profiles on your Mac, then you may not see the profile icon. Then skip to the next step.
  • Once the profile Windows opens, check for unknown Profile.
    AphroditeTechResults Fake Profiles Removal
    AdLoad Fake Profiles Removal
  • To Remove AdLoad Profile, select it and click the Remove button (—) minus button in the bottom.

4Remove AdLoad Extensions From Web browsers

Next, step is to find unwanted extension, fake search engine and revoke other settings that happens due to any Adware. So, most of the users use Safari, Chrome and Mozilla browsers on their Mac OS.

So, here we are going to explain all the three one-by-one.


Delete AdLoad Extensions From Safari

AdLoad may install as extensions which triggers pop-up ads, homepage redirects and so on. So, it is important to find and remove adware extensions.

  • Click on Safari menu →Preferences → go to Extensions Tab;
    Safari Prefeneces
    Safari Preferences
  • Look for AdLoad unwanted extensions active on your Safari;
    Safari Uninstall Extension
    Uninstall AdLoad Extension From Safari
  • To remove AdLoad extension from Safari, Select it and click on “Uninstall”.

Restore Your Homepage

Many time, AdLoad promotes fake search engine, so they set unknown URL as default homepage. So, if you don’t want them, then here is what to do to remove them:

  • Click on Safari menu →Preferences → go to General Tab;
  • Under the “Homepage” field, remove unknown URL related to AdLoad and enter address of your choice like “” as click “set as default”.
    Remove Unknown Homepage from Safari Mac
    Remove Unknown Homepage from Safari Mac

This should help fix your issue, but if not, then here is the guide explaining to reset Safari browser.

Google Chrome

Remove AdLoad Extension

  • To open Extensions page on Chrome type chrome://extensions/ on your address bar;
  • Now, check for AdLoad extension active on the browser;
    Remove Unknown Extension From chrome
    Remove AdLoad Extension From chrome
  • To remove AdLoad Extension from Chrome, click on “Remove” beside it.

Restore Your Homepage

  • To access Homepage setting on Chrome type chrome://settings/appearance;
  • Here you see default homepage URL that opens every time you launch your browser. Remove AdLoad related URL and type the new one you want.
    Remove Unknown Homepage URL From chrome
    Remove Unknown Homepage URL From chrome
  • Next, remove fake search engine promoted by AdLoad, by typing chrome://settings/search
  • Under “Manage search engines”, click on the search engine you want to remove;
    Remove Fake Search Engine From chrome
    Remove Fake Search Engine From chrome
  • To remove AdLoad search engine from Chrome, click on the 3-vertical dots beside its name and click on “Remove from list”.

Here is the guide on how to Reset Chrome Browser on Mac and Windows.


Remove AdLoad Extension From Firefox

  • To open Extension menu, type about:addons on your Firefox address bar;
  • Choose “Extensions” from the left menu;
    Remove Extensions From Firefox
    Remove Extensions From Firefox
  • To remove AdLoad extension from Firefox browser, click on “Remove” beside the extension name.

Restore Homepage

  • To access Homepage Setting on Firefox, type about:preferences#home on the address bar;
  • Under “New Windows and Tabs” field, enter your favorite URL to set as homepage and New tab.
    Remove Unknown Homepage From Firefox
    Remove Unknown Homepage From Firefox
  • To Remove Fake search engine from Firefox about:preferences#search, under search shortcuts section, click on the URLs you want to remove;
  • Next click on the “Remove” button on the bottom.

To completely Reset Mozilla Firefox Browser on Safari and Windows click here.

Remove AdLoad Malware From Mac Using Combo Cleaner

  • Follow the link to Download Combo Cleaner“;
  • A .dmg file will download, double-click on it to start installation process;
  • Once you see the below window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon to your “Applications folder”;
    Combo Cleaner Drag to Application Folder
    Combo Cleaner Drag to Application Folder
  •  Click on the “Combo Cleaner” icon from the “Launchpad” on your dock;
    Combo Cleaner Installation
    Combo Cleaner Installation
  • Follow the on-screen instruction to finish the setup. The combo cleaner will quickly update its Virus database. After which, Combo cleaner will launch the program;
    Combo Cleaner Dashboard
    Combo Cleaner Dashboard
  • You can either click on “Start Combo Scan” or click on the “Antivirus” tab and choose various scan options. There are 3 scan options: Quick, Full, and custom. (We will recommend to do full scan for first time)
    Combo Cleaner Scan
    Combo Cleaner Scan
  • After the scan completes, it will show the threats if found. So, click on “Remove All Threats”;
    Combo Cleaner Virus Removal
    Combo Cleaner Virus Removal
  • Next, go to “Uninstaller” Tab to find and remove malicious extensions and other programs from web browsers and Mac. Select unwanted program and also their related files and then click on “Remove Selected Items“
    Combo Cleaner Uninstaller
    Remove AdLoad Malware using Combo Cleaner Uninstaller Tool

How to avoid installing AdLoad Malware On Mac?

You should follow the proactive approach to restrict adware-type applications like AdLoad from getting installed.

  • Always, visit official website and trusted sources to download and install applications.
  • Do a little research before downloading or clicking on any ads, commercials or pop-ups that come in your way.
  • Avoid peer-to-Peer file sharing networks, torrents, freeware downloads and software crack tools and so on. As these are often carry payloads of additional malware.
  • Always, read the terms and conditions, before installing any software. As, the default installation comes with additional components that get easily installed. So, better opt for “Custom/Advanced” option during the set-up.
  • Most importantly, avoid click on redirect pages or ads driven by unsafe sites, as well as do not click on push notification pop-ups. As they start to directly deliver unstoppable ads on the browser. Often accidental clicks leads of adware/malware infiltration.

Finally, if you think you Mac is infected with adware/malware, then we recommend to scan it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. This will ensure complete removal of threats and safeguard from future risks.

So, this is how to remove AdLoad Mac Malware.

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