How to remove CentralHere from Mac OS

By Chona Esjay | Posted on December 13, 2019 | Updated on June 27, 2020

CentralHere is another adware that is targeting Mac computer especially internet browser applications installed in it like Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. The objective of this potentially unwanted program (PUP) is to converts browser’s homepage and search provider to its own settings. CentralHere can accomplish this task via integrated browser extension that aside from changes, may also gather sensitive data from internet software.

CentralHere app asserts that it can enhance online search experience of users. Hence, this claim is debatable because most Mac users who have this unwanted browser extension insists that it only causes issues that leads to software crashes. More than that, Mac security enthusiast dubbed it as unwanted software due to its intrusive traits in getting inside the computer even without user’s approval.

Mac users commonly obtained CentralHere.app file in unusual way and more often; this Adware is bundled to freeware, shareware, and third party applications. The installation is also initiated without Mac user’s intervention because the process runs alongside the freeware. Unfortunately, the doubtful free software may have other surplus apps aside from CentralHere. Relevant adware like PhaseSearch and FormList could also be installed discreetly on the computer without requiring for user’s personal approval.

CentralHere

CentralHere have not gain enough trust from Mac users and security analyst as of this date and therefore, having it on the computer is highly questionable. Since it causes troubles once installed, Mac users and computer security professionals mutually agree that removal of CentralHere adware is vital in restoring the browser to its pristine and safe condition. As a result, we made an easy to follow procedures below to properly get rid of CentralHere using manual steps and automatic methods by scanning the computer with legitimate anti-virus and anti-malware tools.

Procedures to Remove CentralHere 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 : Quick Fix - Scan the System 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 CentralHere. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

Download Combo Cleaner Tool

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 it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing CentralHere.

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 2 : Delete CentralHere 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 CentralHere or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwnated App

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

5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to CentralHere

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 Plugins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located CentralHere, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed CentralHere

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.CentralHere
  • 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:

-

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

-

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 Locked Files

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to CentralHere adware.

Step 5 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:

Click here to download MBAM for Mac

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 CentralHere.

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 - Scan

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

Step 6 : Remove CentralHere 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 CentralHere 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 CentralHere. 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 CentralHere 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 CentralHere. 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 CentralHere 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 CentralHere.

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