Remove OpticalSkill (Mac Adware)

When Mac computers are experiencing some changes in their usual functions, it might be because of adware infecting the operating system. One of the adware programs that can cause this unusual behavior is called OpticalSkill.

OpticalSkill is a kind of adware program that has implications for Mac computers. Applications of this type are usually endorsed as an essential tool for enhancing online browsing and the search experience of Mac users. Once it enters that computer, it can affect the speed of the computer as well as the internet connection. OpticalSkill also causes the browser to function maliciously, such as by displaying a lot of advertisements and generating pop-ups, resulting in redirections to questionable web pages. Mac users are also forced to open websites they do not intend to view. Another thing is that OpticalSkill can bring other potentially unwanted applications (PUA) onto Mac computers, including SmartCharacter, UpgradeSection, and many more.

Risks to online privacy and safety

The installation of OpticalSkill or any kind of adware software can threaten the safety of a computer and even the Mac user’s privacy. The developers designed OpticalSkill to have tracking abilities to locate important data, including IP addresses, geo-location of web users, browsing habits, and real-life details of Mac users. This invasive manner of OpticalSkill really indicates that installing this kind of application is considerably not recommended for Mac computers. Developers of OpticalSkill can contact cybercriminals to sell the gathered information in order to produce more income.

Screenshot of OpticalSkill

The OpticalSkill Mac Infection

OpticalSkill is usually included in the software bundles downloaded from the internet, especially from suspicious sites. Typically, applications incorporating adware are free of charge. This kind of freeware is mostly free games, tools, or fake software updates. Some installers will automatically include OpticalSkill on the installation without properly stating disclaimers, so Mac users will never know that an untrustworthy application is included. If ever OpticalSkill has infected your Mac computer, there are reliable programs to remove adware or any malware from the computer. It is much better to use a suitable and appropriate cleaner on an infected Mac to ensure the safety and success of the OpticalSkill removal method.

Avoiding OpticalSkill adware is important

OpticalSkill adware should be avoided on Macs in order to keep them operating normally. This adware may significantly affect the speed and user experience on a Mac by bombarding the system with unwanted advertisements, creating slowdowns, and disturbing regular activities. Additionally, OpticalSkill adware may monitor and breach user privacy by gathering sensitive information without authorization. To guarantee the best running and security of your Mac, it’s essential to take preventative actions, such as installing reliable antivirus software, following safe surfing habits, and swiftly resolving any indicators of OpticalSkill infection. This helps to maintain the regular operating state of your Mac and guarantees a smoother and more secure computing experience.

Procedures to Remove OpticalSkill 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 : - 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 malicious browser hijacker like OpticalSkill.

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 its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing OpticalSkill.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner Dashboard

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 2 : Delete OpticalSkill 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 OpticalSkill or any unwanted program.

Screenshot of Deleting App

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

5. Next, go to the Dock, right-click on the Trash icon, and click on Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to OpticalSkill

Most adware and unwanted programs use an application called a "browser extension" to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to OpticalSkill. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Google Chrome

Remove the OpticalSkill Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Input the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://extensions/

Screenshot of Chrome Extensions in PC

3. Find OpticalSkill or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Safari

Remove Malicious Extension from Safari

1. Open the Safari browser.

2. On the top menu, click Safari > Settings or Preferences.

3. The Safari settings window will open. Please select the Extensions tab.

Screenshot of Safari Extension Removal

4. Locate the suspicious extension and click the Uninstall button to remove it from Safari.

5. You may now close the window and restart Safari.

Microsoft Edge

Remove OpticalSkill from Microsoft Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge program.

2. Input or copy and paste the following string in the address bar. Press press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://extensions/

Screenshot of Edge Extension on Mac

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for OpticalSkill from the Installed Extensions area.

Screenshot of Edge Extension Removal - Mac

4. You may now close the window and restart the Microsoft Edge browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Uninstall the OpticalSkill Extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

about:addons

Screenshot of Firefox Extension

3. Click on Extensions from the sidebar menu.

4. Look for an entry that pertains to OpticalSkill and Disable or Remove it from the browser using the options button.

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed OpticalSkill

1. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar, please select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Input the following string and press Enter on the keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

Screenshot of Go To Folder

3. You will now see a hidden folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • com.OpticalSkill.plist
  • unknown.service.plist
  • unknown.system.plist
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

4. The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may use the following file names:

- OpticalSkill, (random characters).plist

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing OpticalSkill to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files.

5. Please click on "Show items as..."

Screenshot of LaunhAgents Folder

6. To arrange the items in chronological order, click Date Modified.

7. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files, as you may also delete the same item in another folder as we go on.

8. Please restart the Mac computer.

9. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and paste the following string to easily locate the folder:

~/Library/Application Support

Screenshot of Go to Folder

10. Select any suspicious items that you have noted previously. Drag them to the Trash.

11. Repeat the process in the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support

12. Lastly, go to your Finder > Go and open the Applications folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

- OpticalSkill

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad > Other folder, open the Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

3. In the upper part of the window, click the Stop button.

Screenshot of Force Quit

4. Click on Force Quit button.

5. You may now delete or remove the locked file that belongs to OpticalSkill homepage hijacker.

Step 5 : Double-check with Malwarebytes for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac from the link below.

2. Locate the downloaded Malwarebytes-Mac.pkg and install it with the default settings.

3. Run Malwarebytes for Mac. It will check for updates and download the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including OpticalSkill.

4. Once you are on the Malwarebytes dashboard, please click on the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Dashboard

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes for Mac will display a list of identified threats, and OpticalSkill is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 6 : Fixing the Homepage and Search Engine

Google Chrome

Remove OpticalSkill from the Homepage and Search of Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser and type the following on the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://settings

Screenshot of Chrome Settings

2. Go to the left sidebar and click On Startup.

3. Select "Open a specific page or set of pages" in the right panel.

Screenshot of Chrome Startup

4. Locate the unwanted Homepage URL, click on More Actions (3-dot icon), and select Edit.

5. Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing OpticalSkill. Click Save.

6. To set the default search engine, go to the sidebar, and this time, select Search Engine.

Screenshot of Default Search

7. Click on the Manage search engines and site search button in the right panel.

8. Find the unwanted Search Engine in the list. Click on More Actions, and then click Delete.

9. Go back to the left side bar and click Search Engine.

Screenshot of Search Engine Address Bar

10. In the right panel, choose a valid entry from the "Search engine used in the address bar."

You can now restart the Google Chrome browser to see if the unwanted homepage and search engine related to OpticalSkill are gone.

Safari

Get Rid of OpticalSkill from Safari's Homepage and Search

1. Open your Safari browser.

2. Go to the Safari Menu located in the upper left-hand corner, and then select Settings or Preferences.

3. In the General tab, remove the OpticalSkill item or unwanted URL from the Homepage section. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Screenshot of Safari Home Settings

4. Next, be sure that the "New windows open with" and "New tabs open with" fields are set to "Homepage".

5. Please click on the Search tab, and in the "Search engine" section, select Google or any valid search engine.

Screenshot of Safari Search Settings

6. You may now restart the Safari browser.

Microsoft Edge

Remove OpticalSkill from the Homepage of Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser on your Mac computer.

2. In the address bar, type or copy and paste the string below, then press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://settings/startHomeNTP

Screenshot of Edge Homepage Settings on Mac

3. Go to the "When Edge Starts" area. Under the "Open these pages" section, click More Actions (3-dot).

4. Select Edit to open the Edit Page window.

5. Input your desired address to replace the homepage settings of OpticalSkill.

Screenshot of Edge for Mac Default Homepage

6. Click the Save button. You may now restart Microsoft Edge for Mac.

Mozilla Firefox

Delete OpticalSkill from the Homepage and Search of Firefox.

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser on your Mac computer.

2. Type the following on the address bar, then press Enter on the keyboard:

about:preferences

3. Click Home in the sidebar area.

Screenshot of Firefox Homepage Settings

4. Under "Homepage and new windows", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs.

5. If you chose Custom URLs, input the desired URL to replace OpticalSkill settings.

6. To configure the default search engine, select Search in the sidebar to display the settings.

Screenshot of Firefox Search Settings

7. Under the Default Search Engine list, please select a legitimate one (i.e., Google).

8. Scroll down to "Search Shortcuts" and select an unwanted search engine.

Screenshot of Deleting Search

9. Click on the Remove button to delete the unwanted search engine. You may now restart the Mozilla Firefox for Mac.

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