DominantWebService is another potentially unwanted program (PUP) made specifically to target Mac OS computers. There will be abrupt changes on browser settings after this adware manages to penetrate the computer and is fully installed. Safari or Google Chrome browser suffers much from the attack to the point that it malfunctions and eventually crashes due to excessive running processes of DominantWebService.
DominantWebService infection process
People behind DominantWebService aims to reach their target by utilizing variety of deceitful techniques. Most of the time, Mac user stumbles upon malicious advertisements that encourages the download and installation of the tool, claiming that it enhances online browsing experience. There were also reports that some victims were able to install DominantWebService unexpectedly after executing freeware or shareware obtained from distrustful locations. Mac users should also avoid aggressive pop-up ads that pushes for the installation of critical software update. It could be a bogus one, trying to deceive web users in order to accidentally install DominantWebService. Screenshot of sample fake software update is posted below.
The fact that DominantWebService was able to function inside Mac system even without user’s approval is an indication of its invasive characteristics, which is common to most Adware and PUP. In addition, computer security analyst found a link between DominantWebService and adware such as DiscoveryHandler, PathNetwork, and many more. In fact, these unwanted apps are discovered to be a member of the same adware clan.
Ads by DominantWebService
Bearing the objective of generating profit by exploiting the infected browser application, DominantWebService may display intrusive advertisements on the browser like pop-ups and redirects. Several push notification that shows continuously during user’s browsing moment also aims to serve ads that when clicked, will open up a full browser window to display the actual marketing campaign.
It is obvious that DominantWebService is a worthless app for Mac that causes too much annoyances and browser issues. Therefore, removal of this adware is highly recommended. To automatically get rid of this threat, scanning the system with anti-malware tool is the main solution. Full guide including free malware remover can be found on the next section.
Procedures to Remove DominantWebService 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.
To successfully remove DominantWebService from your Mac, follow the steps below:
- Quick Fix : Scan the computer with the Combo Cleaner tool.
- Step 1 : Uninstall DominantWebService from the Applications folder.
- Step 2 : Remove malicious browser extensions.
- Step 3 : Delete DominantWebService files from your Mac computer.
- Step 4 : Run another scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
- Step 5 : Remove DominantWebService entries from internet browsers.
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 DominantWebService. You may need to purchase the full version if you want 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 your antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates.
6. Next, click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing DominantWebService.
7. 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 manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.
Step 1 : Delete DominantWebService 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 any unwanted programs or suspicious files (i.e., DominantWebService.gqa, DominantWebService.system). It may also disguise itself as a different file.
4. Drag the suspicious file to the 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 DominantWebService
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 DominantWebService, 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 DominantWebService
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 use the following file names:
- Dominant Web Service, (random characters).plist
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing DominantWebService 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.
- Dominant Web Service
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 DominantWebService 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 the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including DominantWebService.
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 the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, and DominantWebService is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 5 : Remove DominantWebService from Homepage and Search
- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to the Safari Menu located in the upper left-hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under the General tab, navigate to the Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that the "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove DominantWebService from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- Open the Google Chrome browser.
- Input the following on the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area on the sidebar.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Choose the unwanted homepage, and click on Ellipses (three dots) and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your homepage, replacing the DominantWebService setting. Click Save.
- To set the default search engine, go to the Search Engine area from the sidebar link.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Select the questionable Search Engine and click on Ellipses (three dots). ClickDelete. to remove it from the list.
- Go back to the Search Engine area and choose a valid entry (i.e., Google) 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
- Click Home on the sidebar area.
- Under "New Windows and Tabs", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs. - Input the desired URL to replace DominantWebService settings if you chose Custom URLs.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on the sidebar to display the settings.
- Under the Default Search Engine list, please select one (i.e., Google).
- On the same page, you have the option to Remove unwanted search engines.
Optional : If you are unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:
Some users complain that there is no way to change browser settings because they are grayed out by DominantWebService. In such a situation, it is important to check if there is an 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 DominantWebService or any relevant profile from the left pane. See the image below.
4. At the bottom of this window, click the minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to the image above.
5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with DominantWebService.