How to remove FreshSkill (Mac)

This page is a revelation about the harmful actions that FreshSkill adware will carry out on the Mac computer during contamination. Additional contents of this post are Easy Fix solution, Manual Removal Guide, and cleaning the Homepage and Search section of infected browser tool.

People behind FreshSkill described it as useful application that helps in the betterment of online searching and browsing. However, it is just a technique of its developers to introduce their malicious program and hope to deceive Mac users. It is just a marketing strategy to spread FreshSkill adware so online users will have interest to install the application on browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Developers designed FreshSkill to hijack web browsers. Though it claims to be a legitimate program, it operates otherwise. It functions maliciously while installed on the computer. That is the main reason why it was classed as potentially unwanted program (PUP). The real purpose of FreshSkill is to spy on the browser and modify its settings.

How FreshSkill works?

When FreshSkill installed on the Mac computer, it will begin to track and record the browsing habits of online user. Such activities include the inputs of web user in the browser, visited websites, viewed web pages, clicked ads, IP address, geo-location of computer user. Aside from this monitoring action, FreshSkill also modifies security and default setting of infected browser program. Home page, new tab page, and search engine will change into an unknown search engine page.

Moreover, FreshSkill adware can locate valuable information about web users. Such data includes name, address, contact numbers, emails, passwords, and so on. These instances alone can really prove that it is not a beneficial application, but rather an invasive program that could possibly lead to privacy issues.

Intrusive ads and redirects

Like SearchAim, TradeValor, and NetMacro, FreshSkill can produce numerous ads and pop-ups causing redirection to dubious websites. When it is running on the computer, the browser will start to show ads and pop-ups consistently. FreshSkill incorporates such adverts to display continuously on the browser. It diminishes browsing experience of online users and web page visibility. Usually, ads overlays page contents limiting the view of the whole site. Oftentimes, pop-ups appear anywhere on computer screen. Clicking such could redirect internet browsers to suspicious sites, including unofficial download sites, frauds and phishing sites, illicit streaming platforms, torrent sites, or adult-related websites. These are all inappropriate and unsuitable for online users.

Screenshot of FreshSkill App

Is FreshSkill a virus?

Remember that even if FreshSkill is intrusive, it is not considered as a virus. It is an unwanted program that typically enters the computer without consent from web users. It usually included in software bundles or some intrusive ads installed it on the operating system. Always make sure to download apps on legitimate websites, the programs are sure to be useful and infection-free. When installing freeware, check carefully the apps before proceeding just to make sure that it does not pose any threat to computer’s safety. Also, do not just click on anything while using the internet. Intrusive ads can be displayed here and there, it might install an unwanted app like FreshSkill straight to the operating system. Web users might be surprised that a malicious program is causing the misbehavior on the computer.

Procedures to Remove FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill. 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 FreshSkill.

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 FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill

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 FreshSkill, 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 FreshSkill

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.FreshSkill
  • 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:

- Fresh Skill App

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

- Fresh Skill App

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 FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill.

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, FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill. 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 FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill. 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 FreshSkill 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 FreshSkill.

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