For those who are still unfamiliar of adware, it is time to get aware with this type of computer threat. Adware stands for ad-supported software. This is a computer hazard that was made to selfishly gain revenue by exploiting internet browser program in order to exhibit excessive advertisements. One example of adware is called UniversalWebResults. Mac OS is the leading target for this type of adware. Having said that, browser applications like Safari, Google, or Firefox operating on this system are at risk if UniversalWebResults was given a chance to sneak inside the computer.
Attackers are using a mixture of approach to penetrate Mac computer but the most favored is the use of software bundles. UniversalWebResults easily gets onboard along with the installation of freeware or shareware that was maliciously modified to integrate the offensive adware code. During the setup process, there will be no indication about the ongoing installation of UniversalWebResults. Only visible on the screen is the setup procedure of the host file or the main program that Mac user have downloaded voluntarily from the internet. This technique is as usual thing during adware infection and for that; UniversalWebResults is also categorized as potentially unwanted application (PUA). Mac user has no little knowledge or is totally uninformed about the additional program especially if the installation was run in a Default mode. Sometimes, there is a chance for Mac users to avoid this unnecessary unloading of adware by running the setup process in Custom or Advanced method. Hence, not all Mac users are aware of this safety feature and as a result, they ended up having PUA or adware on their computer.
Another way to spread UniversalWebResults is through malicious advertisements like pop-ups and redirects showing deceitful contents. As shown below, the misleading ad attempts to mislead web users to download a supposed software update. While Mac users think that this can be productive, what they may obtain is an adware that is damaging to web browser and hampers their online activities.
After installation, UniversalWebResults runs normally as what regular application does. The only time that Mac user may acknowledge its unsolicited presence is when the infected browser program starts to show signs of erratic behavior. UniversalWebResults triggers the browser to display excessive ads and redirects that shows up suspicious web pages as Mac user’s destination. This will persists as long as UniversalWebResults is part of the internet software.
Procedures to Remove UniversalWebResults 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 UniversalWebResults. 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 UniversalWebResults.
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 UniversalWebResults
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 UniversalWebResults, 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 UniversalWebResults
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:
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing UniversalWebResults 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.
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 UniversalWebResults 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 if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including UniversalWebResults.
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, UniversalWebResults 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 UniversalWebResults 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 UniversalWebResults 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 UniversalWebResults. 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 UniversalWebResults 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 UniversalWebResults. 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 UniversalWebResults 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 UniversalWebResults.