SmartLauncher may drive Mac users into using an unwanted search engine that performs a bit strange as compare to legitimate ones like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. SmartLauncher is endorsed as browser extension that enhances web user’s online search experience. However, the actual functions of this suspicious tool are contradicting. Its presence can yield to display of aggressive pop-up ads as well as persistent browser redirects that distract web user’s online activities.
Unwanted installation of SmartLauncher
The majority of Mac computer users who presently have SmartLauncher on their browser applications might wonder how it was able to enter the computer without their approval. Just like older versions as ProcessorCactus and FeaturePremium, SmartLauncher is using a software bundling scheme to get installed while the user is setting up a freeware or shareware they have downloaded from a distrustful source. SmartLauncher is embedded to various freeware that are often offered on file-sharing sites as utilities, creativity apps, media player, internet speed booster, download manager, and so on.
Once the carrier file is run on the Mac computer, SmartLauncher loads secretly in the background and abruptly infiltrate the internet browser application. It assigns an unwanted URL as the lead homepage and search manager. This unauthorized alteration of the unwanted program is not for the benefit of the end user, but was accomplished to serve the purpose of adware makers.
Ads and redirects by SmartLauncher
Various modifications executed on the browser can cause different browser disturbances. It can lead to too much display of pop-up advertisements and redirects. Moreover, installation of SmartLauncher can cause persistent redirects, especially its search functions. Instead of delivering a useful result, search outcome from this adware are filled with paid links and ads that intends to forward the browser pages to malicious sites.
To conclude, SmartLauncher is a ‘must remove’ browser extension. Users should uninstall this tool as soon as possible to avoid contaminating the computer with extra malware. Follow the guide on next section to completely remove SmartLauncher along with other adware that may have arrived with it.
Procedures to Remove SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher. 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 SmartLauncher.
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 SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher
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 SmartLauncher, 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 SmartLauncher
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:
- Smart Launcher App
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing SmartLauncher 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.
- Smart Launcher 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 SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher.
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, SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher. 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 SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher. 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 SmartLauncher 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 SmartLauncher.