SampleLight is deemed as potentially unwanted application (PUA) due to its employing of intrusive techniques in order to get inside Mac computers. It is advertised as useful browser extension that supposedly makes web user’s online browsing and searching more enjoyable and efficient. But in reality, the objective of SampleLight app is to promote an unknown search engine, which it will placed as the new default setup after it gains entry on Mac system.
How SampleLight enters Mac computer?
In majority of infection cases, there is a possibility that Mac user have installed this PUA without a notice while it is embedded to freeware or shareware that was meant to use as spreader of SampleLight app or similar malicious browser extensions as LaunchHistoryResults, InfoMajorSearch, and so on. Dubious apps like these are commonly integrated to attractive applications like free utilities, games, media player, file converter, and so on. Many of these free software comes with an optional offers. Hence, we cannot guarantee that Mac user have any options during setup process as most of the included surplus apps are hidden and set to run a simultaneous install. Probably, the ‘option’ window is only available on legitimate and clean freeware apps, but not with the carrier of SampleLight or similar PUA.
There are also cases that Mac user accidentally loads SampleLight app upon accessing a software update offered by some website pop-ups. Unknown to Mac user, these are deceitful ads purporting as system alert and hoping to lure them to execute a fake software update that will instead load SampleLight app onto the computer.
Risks of having SampleLight App
Both Adware and potentially unwanted application (PUA) characterize SampleLight app. This only denotes that this browser extension commonly enters the computer uninvited and after gaining access, it performs different malicious actions to generate profit. Normally, SampleLight accomplishes this by displaying unusual ads and redirects on internet browser program. Mac users who will access these ads have a potential of infecting the computer with separate malware because the pop-ups and redirects are meant to divert the browser pages to malicious websites.
How to prevent SampleLight attack?
One effective way to avoid any adware or malware infection is to equip the device with effective and reliable security software. There are many anti-virus and anti-malware applications to choose from. All of them provide real-time scanning that block malicious files from entering the computer. In addition, having a security application can deter any malicious online traffic and thus, user can avoid any sites that hosts SampleLight app or similar threats.
Procedures to Remove SampleLight 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 SampleLight. 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 SampleLight.
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 SampleLight 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 SampleLight or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag SampleLight 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 SampleLight
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 SampleLight, 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 SampleLight
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:
- Sample Light App
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing SampleLight 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.
- Sample Light 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.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to SampleLight 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 SampleLight.
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, SampleLight 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 SampleLight 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 SampleLight 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 SampleLight. 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 SampleLight 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 SampleLight. 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 SampleLight 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 SampleLight.