Many Mac users are always bothered by several aggressive pop-ups and advertisements while browsing the web. Software that causes this kind of annoyances is often potentially unwanted application or adware that is currently represented as browser extension. One of the said harmful internet software add-on that is presently in circulation is named OperativeField. This threat is targeting browser programs like Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox that operates on a Mac environment.
How OperativeField Spreads
The common ground in deploying dubious browser extension is via software bundling. Authors of OperativeField found high success rate when using this technique because so many Mac users are still fond of downloading and installing freeware no matter who the source is. Once they have downloaded the carrier of OperativeField, this extension will get installed on the browser even without Mac user’s approval.
Aside from software bundling, another popular technique to deploy OperativeField is via aggressive advertisement that purports to be a software update. This scheme can easily deceive web users because the pop-up ad was designed to appear as valid Mac warnings. The ad prompts web users to download the software update claiming that the system requires it. Once downloaded, it installs OperativeField instead of the software patch.
Harmful Effects of OperativeField Infection
As stated, OperativeField is a potentially unwanted application (PUA). This means that it is employing an invasive mechanism to penetrate the computer. Makers of OperativeField app are also relying on other suspicious freeware to install this browser extension without Mac user’s recognition.
In addition to its intrusive traits, OperativeField was made to conduct an aggressive display of advertisements that would cause too much distraction to Mac users online browsing activities. Ads will pop-ups on every corner of the internet program window and browser redirects occurs from time to time as OperativeField aims to promote its advertisers.
With the mentioned disturbances and issues carried out by OperativeField, computer security analyst suggests that removal of the suspicious browser extension is the only solution to restore the browser to previous normal condition.
Procedures to Remove OperativeField 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 OperativeField. 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.
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 OperativeField.
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 OperativeField 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 OperativeField or any unwanted program.
4. Drag OperativeField 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 OperativeField
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 OperativeField, 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 OperativeField
1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.
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.
4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:
The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may masks the actual name with following:
- WindowMode, CoverOpen
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing OperativeField 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.
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.
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 ~):
10. Lastly, go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.
- WindowMode, 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.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to OperativeField adware.
Step 5 : 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 OperativeField.
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.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, OperativeField 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 OperativeField from Homepage and Search
- 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 OperativeField from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- 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 OperativeField. 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.
- 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 OperativeField 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 OperativeField. 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 OperativeField or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
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 OperativeField.