How to remove SectionAssist from Mac

This article shows the risks of installing a dubious browser plug-in named SectionAssist. Also provided on this page are Easy Fix solution, Manual Removal Guide, and cleaning the Homepage and Search section of infected internet program.

SectionAssist app is an intrusive form of browser extension and is believed to be a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that infiltrates a computer behind the user’s view. The common way for this adware to spread across the Internet is to access the freeware market and ask developers to include SectionAssist in the distribution of bundled products. Although this technique is primitive, it’s just recently that cyber crooks have been able to exploit it to get their corrupt programs across the web. Another routine to promote the scam browser extension is to use the malicious advertising scheme, which have the intention of redirecting the user’s browser to a landing page of SectionAssist website.

SectionAssist is an Adware

Software and websites endorse the dubious application as an essential browser supplement, which makes it easy for web search users. It also states to provide rapid access to online content directly on their own home page or new tab window. This may seem useful but the practice of imposing this feature even without user approval is something that disturbs us. As indicated, it can use typical distribution scheme, but SectionAssist has this unusual way of controlling the browser. Upon entry, it acts on the unsolicited alteration of the home page and new tab settings to set up SectionAssist as the new browser search standards. While its primary area of concern is homepage and new tab access, it is atypical to see that it has completely exceeded even online search parameters.

Screenshot of SectionAssist App

Another thing that makes sense why SectionAssist is in the category of Adware is that it may alter the settings of browser applications like Google Chrome and Firefox. In doing so, it features different types of adverts, including paid links, pop-ups, redirections, and banners. These inconveniences undoubtedly add up for users to disdain the presence of SectionAssist on their browser. Because of this growing hate about the unwanted program, users found themselves looking for ways to remove it. So we made a simple guide with the corresponding virus and malware removal tool to help users eradicate that adware for good.

Procedures to Remove SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist. 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 SectionAssist.

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 SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist

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 SectionAssist, 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 SectionAssist

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.SectionAssist
  • 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:

- Section Assist

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

- Section Assist

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 SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist.

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, SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist. 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 SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist. 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 SectionAssist 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 SectionAssist.

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