ExplorerRecord Mac Adware – Removal Guide

Many programs are classified as adware because, once installed on the computer, they exploit the situation to display an excessive number of ads in order to generate revenue. Unfortunately, the aforementioned aggressive advertising is risky since it frequently stimulates the download and installation of questionable software, such as bogus system optimizers or antivirus products. Furthermore, it is not recommended to click on any advertisements linked to adware because doing so may redirect the browser to unwanted websites such as adult, gaming, phishing, and fraudulent survey sites. ExplorerRecord, an adware program, is capable of performing these heinous acts on a Mac computer.

What is ExplorerRecord?

ExplorerRecord was originally a Mac adware program aimed at generating revenue online by running a self-serve pay-per-click advertising program on the infected computer. Online advertising is prevalent, but the content that ExplorerRecord displays is completely irrelevant. Furthermore, it frequently displays advertising that may harm the computer, especially when it pushes counterfeit software. ExplorerRecord also jeopardizes online users’ privacy. It has been discovered that the additional advertisements it displays on the browser include links to online surveys designed to collect personal information from website users.

ExplorerRecord is not only classified as adware but also as a potentially unwanted application. It’s very similar to FocusStill, OptimalAnalyzer, and many more . These apps are adept at invading computers and installing themselves, even with the Mac user’s permission.

Screenshot of ExplorerRecord

How can it infect the Mac computer?

ExplorerRecord usually infects Mac computers by using deceptive techniques. It is often disguised as legitimate software or bundled with other free applications downloaded from the internet. These malicious programs are exploiting vulnerabilities in the operating system or internet browser software, such as Safari or Google Chrome.

Once the adware is installed, ExplorerRecord embeds itself within the system. It also modifies the browser settings and injects aggressive types of advertisements into web pages visited by Mac users. This can lead to an annoying browsing experience and potential privacy breaches as the ExplorerRecord adware collects user data for targeted advertising purposes.

Additionally, ExplorerRecord adware may spread through malicious ads or phishing emails, enticing users to click on links or download attachments that contain the harmful software. One example of the malicious ads are fake software updates pretending to be from Adobe or Google Chrome.

Avoiding ExplorerRecord

This threat is commonly distributed online as a hidden app embedded in software installers for pirated software, freeware, shareware, or bogus software upgrades (see image below). Installing the aforementioned hosts file will remove the ExplorerRecord application from the computer without Mac users’ consent.

If users had handled the installation carefully, they could have avoided the malware creators’ ruse. As advised by security experts, run the setup file in Custom or Advanced mode to examine its contents, especially if it is a bundled app. Using this method, a Mac user can avoid the installation of ExplorerRecord or any other malicious program. However, because the installation is done the old-fashioned way, users wind up automatically loading unnecessary and unwanted programs.

Procedures to Remove ExplorerRecord 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 ExplorerRecord. 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.

Install Combo Cleaner

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 ExplorerRecord.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

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 ExplorerRecord 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 ExplorerRecord or any unwanted program and suspicious item. It may also disguise itself as a different file with random names.

Delete Unwanted App

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 ExplorerRecord

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 ExplorerRecord, 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 ExplorerRecord

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.ExplorerRecord.plist
  • unknown.service.plist
  • unknown.system.plist
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

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

- ExplorerRecord, (random characters).plist

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

- ExplorerRecord

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 ExplorerRecord 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 ExplorerRecord.

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.

MBAM for Mac

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

Safari

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

Google Chrome

- 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 ExplorerRecord 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'.

Mozilla Firefox

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

Remove Mac Profile

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 ExplorerRecord.

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