How to remove FocusBrowse (Mac)

By | Posted on February 22, 2020 |

FocusBrowse adware normally targets Mac OS because of the huge amount of users that are hook to this high-end system. The main intention of this adware is to implicate Mac computers with multiple types of advertisements, which is exhibiting continuously on the device. Such ads can result to unwanted visits to harmful websites.

FocusBrowse Infection

Like older versions as ProcessFresh, ContentStyles, and UpgardeIdeas, the FocusBrowse adware can spread through Mac OS by means of several techniques executed by its developers. Furthermore, the most effective and common way include:

Download and install – There are download sites that offers freeware bundles. These bundled applications are sometimes suspicious. Usually, developers market their invasive programs by incorporating it to other software for download and installation. Moreover, there are applications that requests extra software installs, apparently, unwanted programs like FocusBrowse could be present on that options.

Clicking on advertisements – While browsing different websites on the internet, web users tend to encounter numerous ads in different forms. Sometimes, there are ads powered by malicious software to spread on browsers trying to trick internet users. Clicking these adverts can result to installation of Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) or adware on the operating system, since some ads are design to execute script to inject malware on computers.

More about FocusBrowse

Developers presents FocusBrowse as a useful and legitimate application improving the way of using Mac computers, most especially on browsing functions. However, their objectives are far different on how they declare to be. When FocusBrowse is present on Mac computers, it will begin to show intrusive advertisements such as:

  • Browser redirects
  • Pop-up ads
  • Push notification alerts
  • Ad-supported search results web pages
  • Campaign banners

Advertisements by FocusBrowse can possibly have trackers, which help developers to determine browsing-related details as well as personal information of Mac users. Such trackers could probably include Browser cookies, Geo-locators, and Tags.

FocusBrowse PUP

FocusBrowse associated browser redirects can link Mac users into different kinds of websites. Typically, it is dangerous and dubious web pages. Examples of such sites include:

  • Fraud sites
  • Phishing sites
  • Online gambling sites
  • Illicit streaming platforms
  • Sale or commission-based sites
  • Adult related sites

For safety of Mac device as well as the user, getting rid of FocusBrowse as soon as possible helps to eliminate threat from minor to serious infections it may further cause. There are tools or applications available on the internet for checking Mac computers if there are malicious operation on the system. Using an appropriate and legitimate program is strongly advisable.

Procedures to Remove FocusBrowse 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 FocusBrowse. 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 FocusBrowse.

Start Combo Scan

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 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to FocusBrowse

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 FocusBrowse, 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 FocusBrowse

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.FocusBrowse
  • 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:

- BrowserToday, HelperPages

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

- BrowserToday, HelperPages

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 FocusBrowse adware.

Step 4 : 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 FocusBrowse.

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.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, FocusBrowse 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 FocusBrowse 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 FocusBrowse 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 FocusBrowse. 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 FocusBrowse 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 FocusBrowse. 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 FocusBrowse 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 FocusBrowse.

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