Remove AlgorithmFormula (Mac Adware)

By reading this post, Mac users will learn the basic on how to protect the computer against AlgorithmFormula malicious app. To eliminate the stated Mac OS threat, included on this page are Removal Tool, Steps for Manual Removal, and cleaning the Homepage and Search of compromised browser program.

The entry of AlgorithmFormula app on the computer is an indication of succeeding issues on the browser. It can affect how web users browse the internet. Sadly, this can cause pop-ups, redirects, and search engine malfunctions. In fact, AlgorithmFormula itself is an adware and its presence on the Mac computer can exploit the infected browser program to bring-in more similar threats. In addition, ads from AlgorithmFormula often contain malicious links and once Mac users were enticed to click on it, extensive computer and browser issues may arise.

AlgorithmFormula is a PUA

The installation of this questionable program is unusual and it gets inside the Mac computer without an authorization. This is certainly the reason why Mac computer security experts dubbed it as a potentially unwanted application (PUA). People behind AlgorithmFormula initiates the attack by employing several tricky schemes to penetrate the computer. Of all the techniques currently being used, it was observed that the majority of AlgorithmFormula infection is through software bundling hoax. Aside from the stated threat, similar PUA as OptimizationLaunch and NetPanelSearch are also distributed in the same manner.

Because of the sudden appearance of AlgorithmFormula on the Mac computer, some users sense it as a virus infection. But as we discussed earlier, computer security experts rightfully categorized the threat as PUA. In the first place, AlgorithmFormula is not contagious. Its main goal is to take control of the internet browser program to perform its tasks.

Screenshot of AlgorithmFormula App

The effects of AlgorithmFormula app

When fully installed and operational on the Mac computer, AlgorithmFormula app starts to display pop-up ads and redirects. Mac users may also witness search hijacking. Each time an online search is performed, the result page displays those of an unsolicited search engine.

The many unnecessary processes of AlgorithmFormula could cause browser unresponsiveness and later leads to software crashes. That being said, we strongly recommend the removal of AlgorithmFormula by following the guide below. Please note that it is important to scan the computer with effective virus and malware removal tools to ensure complete disinfection of the system.

Procedures to Remove AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula. 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 AlgorithmFormula.

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 AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula

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 AlgorithmFormula, 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 AlgorithmFormula

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.AlgorithmFormula
  • 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:

- Algorithm Formula

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

- Algorithm Formula

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 AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula.

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, AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula. 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 AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula. 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 AlgorithmFormula 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 AlgorithmFormula.

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