Remove AdvancedDisplay (Mac Adware)

This article explains the dangers of having the questionable browser extension called AdvancedDisplay. To get rid of it, provided on this page are Removal Tool, Steps for Manual Removal, and cleaning the Homepage and Search of compromised browser program.

AdvancedDisplay is a suspicious browser extension because of its unexpected appearance in internet programs, especially ones that are operating on Mac OS environment. AdvancedDisplay may be suddenly present in Applications folder, Dock, or browser settings. Due to this infiltration, the majority of Mac users deemed it as virus attack. The good thing is, AdvancedDisplay is not considered as a virus and is not a very hazardous threat.

Looking at its icon and browser extension interface, one can clearly compare AdvancedDisplay app to other threats as MicroLocator, LauncherRecord, and ObjectRemote. It is indeed that AdvancedDisplay belongs to the same group of adware and therefore we can easily assess that this threat also falls under the category of potentially unwanted application (PUA). AdvancedDisplay usually gains entry on the computer via different deceitful techniques employed by its handlers to widely spread the app.

Sources of AdvancedDisplay App

The entire group of adware threat spreads via the same online channels and most of them are able to penetrate the computer through the installation of dubious software bundle. The source could be a free game, tools, creativity app, media player, file converter, or any attractive freeware that was obtained from a distrustful location like Torrent sites and questionable file servers.

Aside from software bundling tactics, the people who created AdvancedDisplay app are also relying on aggressive ads to distribute the browser extension. Via this method, it is hiding in the face of important software update. The ad was designed to appear as system warning, which supposedly identified obsolete programs and immediate update is required to fix issues and avoid further computer problems. Installation of the said fake software updates gives way for the discreet setup of AdvancedDisplay adware. A sample of the bogus software update pop-up is presented below.

Screenshot of AdvancedDisplay App

AdvancedDisplay App Infection

Once the browser is infected with AdvancedDisplay, Mac users may experience unusual browsing activities especially the considerable amount of ads appearing on the browser. Ads by AdvancedDisplay persistently load on every web page that users are browsing. There are times that ads are overlaying type, which actually covers the view of online clients. Be careful of such ads because majority of them consists of malicious links that when clicked will land the browser program to sites with malicious objects or pages that automates the download and installation of extra malware. Due to this suspicious act, the browser application may issue a warning that “AdvancedDisplay will damage your computer.”

Although AdvancedDisplay app is not a virus, it still possesses several risk factors that endanger web users’ online privacy and security. Therefore, it is recommended to remove the threat as soon as possible to prevent any further harm to the computer.

Procedures to Remove AdvancedDisplay 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 AdvancedDisplay. 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.

Install Combo Cleaner

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 AdvancedDisplay.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

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 AdvancedDisplay 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 AdvancedDisplay or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag AdvancedDisplay 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 AdvancedDisplay

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 AdvancedDisplay, 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 AdvancedDisplay

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

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.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • com.AdvancedDisplay
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may masks the actual name with following:

- Advanced Display App

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing AdvancedDisplay 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.

Option+Command+4

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.

~/Library/Application Support

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 ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support

10. Lastly, go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

- Advanced Display 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.

Force Quit Apps

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to AdvancedDisplay 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 AdvancedDisplay.

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.

MBAM for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, AdvancedDisplay 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 AdvancedDisplay from Homepage and Search

Safari

- 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 AdvancedDisplay from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Google Chrome

- 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 AdvancedDisplay. 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.

Mozilla Firefox

- 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 AdvancedDisplay 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 AdvancedDisplay. 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 AdvancedDisplay or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.

Remove Profile

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 AdvancedDisplay.

About the author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *