Remove ExpandedSkill – Mac Adware

If ExpandedSkill is present as browser extension on Mac, it signifies of ongoing computer risks. Therefore, user should deal with this potentially unwanted application (PUA) as soon as possible. ExpandedSkill is flagged as malicious browser extension that can cause misbehavior to internet browser application as Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. There is no reason to allow ExpandedSkill app to operate on the browser, as it is not helpful and only cause annoyances to web users.

More about ExpandedSkill

Looking at the icon and interface of ExtendedLibrary and ExtendedProcesser, it is obvious that ExpandedSkill is just a remake of the mentioned questionable browser extension. All of these threats originate from a large adware group that has sole intention of dominating the browser program to execute several illicit operations such as the following:

Search hijacking – ExpandedSkill app was designed to hijack search operations on internet browser programs. When Mac user performs an online search, this threat will redirect the queries to predefined server to extract certain information. As cover up, it then displays the final search outcome on a legitimate search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

Exhibit advertisements – Like all other PUA, ExpandedSkill is capable of displaying various advertisements on the infected internet software. The ads could appear on every visited pages and sites of Mac user. In fact, it can even pop-up on every corner as long as the infected browser program is active. Obviously, makers of ExpandedSkill are exploiting the compromised browser to generate online profit.

Data tracking – ExpandedSkill injects certain internet cookies and codes that allows it to track web user’s browsing activities. Adware like this is clever in pulling out information that is stored on the browser and data that web users are submitting online. Eventually, this illegal operation of ExpandedSkill can eventually end up on privacy theft.

It is time to get rid of ExpandedSkill App

Before anything worst can happen to the compute, browser, and web user’s data, Mac user should act immediately to remove ExpandedSkill. Letting this adware to stay on the browser could mean additional risks and threats. Ads shown by ExpandedSkill can contain links that can land web user to websites that hosts adware, malware, or virus. Thus, the moment that this adware is seen on the browser, perform the removal steps below at once. Also, do not forget to scan Mac computer with efficient anti-malware and anti-virus tools.

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

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 ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill or any unwanted program.

4. Drag ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill

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 ExpandedSkill, 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 ExpandedSkill

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.

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

  • com.ExpandedSkill
  • 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:

- ExtendedLibrary, ExtendedProcesser

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

~/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.

- ExtendedLibrary, ExtendedProcesser

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 ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill.

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, ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill. 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 ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill. 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 ExpandedSkill 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 ExpandedSkill.

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