An unwanted browser add-on for Mac is called ActiveLink. It is quite aggressive in its attempt to take over the browser software and replace the default search engine. These pointless modifications are just typical of adware infection, especially in the family of potentially unwanted applications (PUA) to which ActiveLink belongs. It is anticipated that the Safari or Google Chrome browsers will be the hardest hit by this specific threat because it targets Mac systems.
More about the ActiveLink App
This browser add-on is meant to improve online browsing and searching for Mac users. As a result, after the ActiveLink app has been installed, the performance contradicts the campaign, and the browser program may experience various inconsistencies and misbehavior. ActiveLink, for instance, plans to implement homepage and search engine changes that completely disregard Mac users’ preferences. Web users may see several redirects that send the internet application to a variety of unwanted sites while it is still in the browser.
The purpose of the ActiveLink app’s fraud was to make money through a traffic referral program. The creators of this adware don’t care about the wellbeing of users and will compel people to engage in these types of illegal activities in order to increase their internet revenue. The victims of this adware frequently struggle to halt the reroute, especially those who lack experience with computer software.
The unwanted installation of ActiveLink
Mac users need to be aware of the penetration techniques in order to prevent contamination. ActiveLink has so far been made available in a variety of ways. Consequently, there are a few techniques that aid in the extensive dissemination of this adware. The first method uses infected software bundles. Mac users frequently choose to download and install freeware on their own, regardless of the source’s reputation. They are unaware that this questionable shareware frequently distributes ActiveLink or other adware like PowerAnalytics, ClassicFind, and many more. The integrated adware is also loaded during the mentioned free application’s installation, and the procedure is covert.
Another method that aids in the dissemination of the ActiveLink app is bogus software updates masquerading as legitimate system notifications. This pop-up typically claims to have discovered serious problems brought on by out-of-date software, and the recommended fix is to download an update. However, rather than the anticipated enhanced application, ActiveLink will be installed throughout this process.
In conclusion, the ActiveLink app poses a risk to the internet privacy and security of Mac users. Therefore, we strongly recommend that this adware be removed right away. Please see the next section for a detailed guide.
Procedures to Remove ActiveLink from Mac
This area contains comprehensive procedures to help you remove adware and potentially unwanted program from the computer.
Guide on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.
Quick Fix - Scan the Mac Computer with Combo Cleaner
Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of adware like ActiveLink. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.
1. Download the tool from the following page:
2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.
3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.
4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.
5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing ActiveLink.
6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.
Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.
Step 1 : Delete ActiveLink from Mac Applications
1. Go to Finder.
2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.
3. Find ActiveLink or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag ActiveLink to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.
5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.
Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to ActiveLink
1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the adware. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.
Safari - Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.
Chrome - Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.
Firefox - Choose Add-ons from the Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.
2. Once you have located ActiveLink, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.
3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.
Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed ActiveLink
1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.
2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...
3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.
4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:
The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may masks the actual name with following:
- Active Link App
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing ActiveLink to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.
Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.
5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.
6. Please restart the computer.
7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.
8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.
9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):
10. Lastly, go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.
- Active Link App
Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:
1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.
2. Select the process you want to quit.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to ActiveLink adware.
Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:
2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including ActiveLink.
3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.
4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, ActiveLink is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 5 : Remove ActiveLink from Homepage and Search
- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove ActiveLink from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing ActiveLink. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.
- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace ActiveLink settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.
Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:
Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by ActiveLink. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:
1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.
2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.
3. Select ActiveLink or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.
5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with ActiveLink.