Remove ConnectionOptimizer (Mac OS)

ConnectionOptimizer is a typical adware that aims to infect Mac OS computers. The makers of this unwanted browser tool promote the ConnectionOptimizer app as an add-on that improves the online browsing experience of Mac users. It claims to provide fast search results with an accurate and useful outcome. Hence, as the ConnectionOptimizer app keeps on spreading aggressively on Mac computers, it acts unnaturally, and users become suspicious of this browser application. In fact, computer security experts have already dubbed it adware.

The ConnectionOptimizer Adware

ConnectionOptimizer operates just like older versions such as HelperFlow, IntegrationAdmin, and FileClick. All of these threats can infiltrate Mac devices without being detected. In some instances, adware developers market their programs through bundling, which they include along with other apps in a single executable setup file. It is generally free to download from various sources, so Mac users may be tempted to install it, thinking that it can benefit them. It is also possible that packing ConnectionOptimizer along with a fake software update allows it to enter the computer without being detected by Mac users.

Effects of ConnectionOptimizer App

Activation of ConnectionOptimizer on a Mac computer could lead to other complications in the browser program. It can generate intrusive advertisements or campaigns that are consistently displayed on the browser screen. Since ConnectionOptimizer is adware, it is common to track the data of Mac users, like browsing activity and even their sensitive personal information.

The ads generated by ConnectionOptimizer can be in the form of pop-ups, banners, surveys, or coupons. The constant display of these annoying ads can reduce the browsing experience of Mac users, which is the opposite of how developers are endorsing ConnectionOptimizer. Intrusive ads that appear on screen can be risky to Mac users when clicked. It can redirect the browser’s pages to unwanted websites containing unexpected contents and malicious links. In addition, ads associated with ConnectionOptimizer can have the ability to inject potentially unwanted applications (PUA) or other adware on Mac devices.

Screenshot of ConnectionOptimizer App

The presence of ConnectionOptimizer on the computer brings no benefit to the end user. In fact, it just causes infections and trouble for Mac and browser programs as well. Instead of enhancing the functions of internet software, it operates otherwise. Installing ConnectionOptimizer.app is not beneficial to Mac users. In the worst-case scenario, exposing tracked data caused by unwanted apps or adware can be used for cybercrime purposes.

Procedures to Remove ConnectionOptimizer 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.

Step 1 : - 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 malicious browser hijacker like ConnectionOptimizer.

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 ConnectionOptimizer.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner Dashboard

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 2 : Delete ConnectionOptimizer 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 ConnectionOptimizer or any unwanted program.

Screenshot of Deleting App

4. Drag ConnectionOptimizer to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Next, go to the Dock, right-click on the Trash icon, and click on Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to ConnectionOptimizer

Most adware and unwanted programs use an application called a "browser extension" to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to ConnectionOptimizer. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Google Chrome

Remove the ConnectionOptimizer Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Input the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://extensions/

Screenshot of Chrome Extensions in PC

3. Find ConnectionOptimizer or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Safari

Remove Malicious Extension from Safari

1. Open the Safari browser.

2. On the top menu, click Safari > Settings or Preferences.

3. The Safari settings window will open. Please select the Extensions tab.

Screenshot of Safari Extension Removal

4. Locate the suspicious extension and click the Uninstall button to remove it from Safari.

5. You may now close the window and restart Safari.

Microsoft Edge

Remove ConnectionOptimizer from Microsoft Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge program.

2. Input or copy and paste the following string in the address bar. Press press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://extensions/

Screenshot of Edge Extension on Mac

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for ConnectionOptimizer from the Installed Extensions area.

Screenshot of Edge Extension Removal - Mac

4. You may now close the window and restart the Microsoft Edge browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Uninstall the ConnectionOptimizer Extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

about:addons

Screenshot of Firefox Extension

3. Click on Extensions from the sidebar menu.

4. Look for an entry that pertains to ConnectionOptimizer and Disable or Remove it from the browser using the options button.

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed ConnectionOptimizer

1. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar, please select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Input the following string and press Enter on the keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

Screenshot of Go To Folder

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

  • com.ConnectionOptimizer.plist
  • unknown.service.plist
  • unknown.system.plist
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

4. The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may use the following file names:

- Connection Optimizer App, (random characters).plist

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing ConnectionOptimizer to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files.

5. Please click on "Show items as..."

Screenshot of LaunhAgents Folder

6. To arrange the items in chronological order, click Date Modified.

7. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files, as you may also delete the same item in another folder as we go on.

8. Please restart the Mac computer.

9. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and paste the following string to easily locate the folder:

~/Library/Application Support

Screenshot of Go to Folder

10. Select any suspicious items that you have noted previously. Drag them to the Trash.

11. Repeat the process in the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

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

12. Lastly, go to your Finder > Go and open the Applications folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

- Connection Optimizer App

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad > Other folder, open the Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

3. In the upper part of the window, click the Stop button.

Screenshot of Force Quit

4. Click on Force Quit button.

5. You may now delete or remove the locked file that belongs to ConnectionOptimizer homepage hijacker.

Step 5 : Double-check with Malwarebytes for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac from the link below.

2. Locate the downloaded Malwarebytes-Mac.pkg and install it with the default settings.

3. Run Malwarebytes for Mac. It will check for updates and download the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including ConnectionOptimizer.

4. Once you are on the Malwarebytes dashboard, please click on the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Dashboard

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes for Mac will display a list of identified threats, and ConnectionOptimizer is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 6 : Fixing the Homepage and Search Engine

Google Chrome

Remove ConnectionOptimizer from the Homepage and Search of Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser and type the following on the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://settings

Screenshot of Chrome Settings

2. Go to the left sidebar and click On Startup.

3. Select "Open a specific page or set of pages" in the right panel.

Screenshot of Chrome Startup

4. Locate the unwanted Homepage URL, click on More Actions (3-dot icon), and select Edit.

5. Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing ConnectionOptimizer. Click Save.

6. To set the default search engine, go to the sidebar, and this time, select Search Engine.

Screenshot of Default Search

7. Click on the Manage search engines and site search button in the right panel.

8. Find the unwanted Search Engine in the list. Click on More Actions, and then click Delete.

9. Go back to the left side bar and click Search Engine.

Screenshot of Search Engine Address Bar

10. In the right panel, choose a valid entry from the "Search engine used in the address bar."

You can now restart the Google Chrome browser to see if the unwanted homepage and search engine related to ConnectionOptimizer are gone.

Safari

Get Rid of ConnectionOptimizer from Safari's Homepage and Search

1. Open your Safari browser.

2. Go to the Safari Menu located in the upper left-hand corner, and then select Settings or Preferences.

3. In the General tab, remove the ConnectionOptimizer item or unwanted URL from the Homepage section. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Screenshot of Safari Home Settings

4. Next, be sure that the "New windows open with" and "New tabs open with" fields are set to "Homepage".

5. Please click on the Search tab, and in the "Search engine" section, select Google or any valid search engine.

Screenshot of Safari Search Settings

6. You may now restart the Safari browser.

Microsoft Edge

Remove ConnectionOptimizer from the Homepage of Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser on your Mac computer.

2. In the address bar, type or copy and paste the string below, then press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://settings/startHomeNTP

Screenshot of Edge Homepage Settings on Mac

3. Go to the "When Edge Starts" area. Under the "Open these pages" section, click More Actions (3-dot).

4. Select Edit to open the Edit Page window.

5. Input your desired address to replace the homepage settings of ConnectionOptimizer.

Screenshot of Edge for Mac Default Homepage

6. Click the Save button. You may now restart Microsoft Edge for Mac.

Mozilla Firefox

Delete ConnectionOptimizer from the Homepage and Search of Firefox.

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser on your Mac computer.

2. Type the following on the address bar, then press Enter on the keyboard:

about:preferences

3. Click Home in the sidebar area.

Screenshot of Firefox Homepage Settings

4. Under "Homepage and new windows", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs.

5. If you chose Custom URLs, input the desired URL to replace ConnectionOptimizer settings.

6. To configure the default search engine, select Search in the sidebar to display the settings.

Screenshot of Firefox Search Settings

7. Under the Default Search Engine list, please select a legitimate one (i.e., Google).

8. Scroll down to "Search Shortcuts" and select an unwanted search engine.

Screenshot of Deleting Search

9. Click on the Remove button to delete the unwanted search engine. You may now restart the Mozilla Firefox for Mac.

ConnectionOptimizer and "Managed by your organization" Policy

If the Google Chrome browser states that it is "Managed by the organization," it means that ConnectionOptimizer has made drastic changes that resulted to this restriction. In this case, we need to revise the policy and it can be done by executing the following steps:

1. Please download the by Stefan Vd. (See VirusTotal Scan Result for this file)

2. If  there are currently running applications, please close all of them.

3. Unzip or extract the downloaded file.

4. Run the tool by double-clicking on “Chrome-Policy-Remover-for-Mac”.

5. Please restart Google Chrome browser. Sometimes, a complete restart of the Mac computer is needed to complete the process.

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