How to remove ExtendedTask (Mac)

By Chona Esjay | Posted on July 12, 2020 |

The ExtendedTask adware can infect Mac computers using variations of spread tactics. One of the common grounds when spreading adware is through different kinds of file executable and installers, which are normally freeware or shareware. Attackers usually customized these installers and integrate ExtendedTask into its installation procedure. Therefore, the adware automatically loads once user runs the freeware setup.

ExtendedTask was developed with the same intention of disguising themselves as valuable browser extensions that yields improvement to internet software as Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Using this significant feature, ExtendedTask is similarly distributed on official websites and online storage. To further influence web users, the promotional page contains bias reviews that favor the positive outcome of installing ExtendedTask.

Mac security experts and users that previously encounter similar application like SoftwareHandler, ElementaryOptimizer, and DefaultProcesser know the truth about this browser extension. They can justify that ExtendedTask app is just a remake of the said variants because of its comparable icon, attack mechanism, and bad effects on infected browser program when installed. Like the others, ExtendedTask will take control of the internet software and appoint its own search engine that process all Mac users online search actions.

Other activities of ExtendedTask that do not favor web user are the immeasurable display of advertisements in the form of pop-ups, redirects, banners, and push notifications. This nuisance will endlessly show up on the browser if ExtendedTask app detects that Mac user is having an online session. The will of attackers to further elevate the profit through ad display sometimes leads to privacy theft because they will start to collect valuable information like favorite sites, search keywords, IP address, username, password, and many more. Makers of ExtendedTask evaluate the collected data in order to come up with personalized advertisements that are more appealing to target Mac user.

ExtendedTask App

At any given time, ExtendedTask may reconfigure its attack to implement other payload on the infected browser program. It could also download relevant extension to enhance it is control over the internet software. Therefore, removal of ExtendedTask as early as possible is crucial. For helpful tips in getting rid of ExtendedTask, please refer to the instructions below.

Procedures to Remove ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

Click here to Download Combo Cleaner

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 ExtendedTask.

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 ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwnated App

4. Drag ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask

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 ExtendedTask, 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 ExtendedTask

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.ExtendedTask
  • 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:

- WindowGroup, CoverOpen

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

- WindowGroup, CoverOpen

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 ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask.

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, ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask. 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 ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask. 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 ExtendedTask 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 ExtendedTask.

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