ExplorerIndex Adware Removal (Mac)

A sort of potentially unwanted program (PUP) that might infiltrate the Mac computer without permission is ExplorerIndex. Additionally, this dubious program displays obtrusive browser advertisements that may fully cover the content of the webpage. Security experts for Mac have also referred to ExplorerIndex as Adware or ad-supported software because of its involvement in the excessive display of advertisements. In addition to the strange pop-up, this adware also results in recurring browser redirects that send the pages to dubious websites.

Unwanted installation of ExplorerIndex

The majority of the malicious freeware or shareware that was downloaded is to blame for ExplorerIndex’s abrupt appearance on the Mac computer. Mac users are still unaware that some free apps are being used to spread malicious software online. As a result, in addition to ExplorerIndex, similar undesirable programs like CreedNetwork and NativeLightning were discovered as embedded objects in freeware, especially if distributed on dubious sources. Therefore, Mac users should only get freeware from well-known and dependable vendors.

There are instances where the developers of the ExplorerIndex software use malicious ads to spread adware. Some advertisements promote the program as a useful tool for enhancing web browser applications. They claim that adding the ExplorerIndex software to the browser will improve web surfing and searching for Mac users. ExplorerIndex may be embedded to a bogus software update that is being provided through a pop-up ad posing as a system alert on other parts of this malicious ad campaign. It poses as a system warning that purportedly discovered problems with the system as a result of outdated software. Its recommendation is to download the suggested software update, which will load the ExplorerIndex adware on the Mac computer.

Screenshot of ExplorerIndex App

Risks of having ExplorerIndex

Users of Mac computers may notice strange behavior when using the internet browser program when ExplorerIndex is loaded. Online consumers will be diverted by the unusually high number of pop-up ads and redirection that appear in the browser window. Furthermore, this activity by the adware may cause the internet connection to lag if too many ad requests are made.

The harmful ads and links from ExplorerIndex might also put the Mac computer at risk of exposure to online attacks. Therefore, it is advised to take urgent action to remove this adware in order to prevent any more hazards and return the browser application to its original, clean form.

Procedures to Remove ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex. 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 ExplorerIndex.

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

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex

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 ExplorerIndex, 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 ExplorerIndex

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.ExplorerIndex
  • 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:

- Explorer Index App

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

- Explorer Index 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 ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex.

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, ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex. 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 ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex. 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 ExplorerIndex 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 ExplorerIndex.

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