Remove InstantFresh – Mac Adware

Adware is an actual component of the online ecosystem, and both PC and Mac users are susceptible to its dangers. Whether a user is merely browsing the internet or downloading software from their preferred provider, it is simple to trap one. Attackers are using email transmissions as a means of installing adware on the computer. The subject of discussion for this particular article is InstantFresh. Although it doesn’t sound dangerous, diagnostics show that this browser extension is a member of a sizable adware family.

More about the InstantFresh App

A threat that is depicted by an icon symbol, as shown in the image below, is already known to many Mac users. It wasn’t because it was a useful tool that made it memorable to them; rather, it caused major problems and made their web surfing and searches a disaster. ExtendedTech and OperativeQueue are the names of certain previously published browser extensions that Mac users find to be annoying.

Screenshot of InstantFresh App

It is obvious that this most current threat, InstantFresh, comes from the aforementioned gang because it uses the same icon. In actuality, diagnostic results reveal that InstantFresh is just an updated version of earlier attacks. The same infection approach is used, and it takes control of the computer while blending in with Mac users’ online surfing and search habits.

It is important to note that InstantFresh is standard adware that generates income for its developers by abusing internet programs. Particularly when a Mac user is engaged in a browsing session, its aggressive activities are frequently characterized by the excessive issuance of advertising. This method involves a number of redirections that will ultimately lead the browser to unidentified sites that are not frequently requested.

There is no assurance that the privacy of Mac users will be protected while their browser application is ensnared in this unyielding spyware. Adware as a whole was created to collect information from browsers, and it usually targets sensitive data, including usernames, passwords, IP addresses, browser type and version information, and operating system specifics.

Restoring the browser program

It is obvious that uninstalling InstantFresh is the only way to return the browser program to its prior state of safety and privacy. Bad effects would result if the threat was ignored and nothing was done, which would have an overall negative impact on the operating system and browser. We are providing a straightforward guide on this page as part of our effort to combat adware like InstantFresh. Additionally, there are programs like anti-virus and anti-malware, which efficiently search the computer for harmful items.

Procedures to Remove InstantFresh 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.

Quick Fix - Scan the Mac Computer 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 InstantFresh. 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.

Install Combo Cleaner

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing InstantFresh.

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 1 : Delete InstantFresh 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 InstantFresh or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.

Delete Unwanted App

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

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

Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to InstantFresh

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 Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located InstantFresh, 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 InstantFresh

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.InstantFresh
  • 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:

- InstantFresh

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

- InstantFresh

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 Apps

3. Click on Force Quit button.

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

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

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

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