Remove UniversalHelper (Mac OS)

UniversalHelper is offered as a browser tool that makes online browsing and searching easier. It installs its own search engine and also modifies the default homepage, new tab, or search window. Normally, Mac users may acquire this adware via third-party software hosted on various questionable web sites. It is also endorsed on spam email messages and social media sites, so every online user is a target of this UniversalHelper adware.

Where does UniversalHelper come from?

Common sources of Mac adware like UniversalHelper include downloading and installing software from untrusted or unofficial websites. It may also be bundled with free applications or software obtained from less reputable sources. Clicking on deceptive advertisements or links, especially those claiming to offer software updates or security tools, can lead to adware infections. Additionally, pirated content, such as cracked software or media obtained from unauthorized sources, may carry UniversalHelper payloads.

UniversalHelper is an adware

Adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUP) like UniversalHelper can also be installed as browser objects in Google Chrome or Safari. On the compromised internet browser application, UniversalHelper Search will be pushing its own search outcome that showcases different advertisements. The adware is capable of changing settings in order to perform the said task. If installed completely, Mac users will begin to see ads by UniversalHelper, especially when browsing the internet. It can be in the form of pop-up ads, banners, or redirects.

Because the objective of UniversalHelper is to generate online revenue through its own ad scheme, malware researchers preferred it to be called Adware or Ad-Supported software. Keep in mind that the advertisements arising from its existence may cause serious issues. It could redirect the browser to sites that host malware, adware, and viruses.

Screenshot of UniversalHelper

UniversalHelperfld will damage your computer

Be advised that on some Mac OS, the file may be named UniversalHelperfld. But then again, this variant is very similar in terms of risks, and therefore, Mac users must stay away from it. In order to shield your Mac from any damage, it is imperative that you delete any harmful files that have been found. A malicious program like UniversalHelperfld has the potential to steal confidential data, jeopardize computer security, and have other negative impacts. Use dependable antivirus software to examine your Mac and find harmful files. In order to protect the security and integrity of your system, always heed the warning that “UniversalHelperfld will damage your computer.”

Getting rid of UniversalHelper app

The adware gets into the Mac computer quickly and easily, with less effort, taking advantage of the Mac user’s lack of knowledge when installing freeware. However, if you decide to remove UniversalHelper from the computer, you will likely deal with lots of complexities. Unlike other normal programs, this adware cannot be removed with a single click.

To perform the effective way of uninstalling UniversalHelper, please follow the guide as instructed on this page. Scan the computer with the suggested tools to ensure that no more entities of the adware will be left inside the Mac system.

Procedures to Remove UniversalHelper 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 UniversalHelper. You may need to purchase the full version if you want 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 your antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates.

6. Next, click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing UniversalHelper.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

7. 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 manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 1 : Delete UniversalHelper 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 UniversalHelper or any unwanted program and suspicious item. It may also disguise itself as a different file with random names.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag the suspicious file to the 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 UniversalHelper

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 UniversalHelper, 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 UniversalHelper

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.UniversalHelper.plist
  • unknown.service.plist
  • unknown.system.plist
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may use the following file names:

- UniversalHelperfld, (random characters).plist

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

- UniversalHelperfld

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 UniversalHelper 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 the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including UniversalHelper.

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 the 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, and UniversalHelper is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 5 : Remove UniversalHelper from Homepage and Search

Safari

- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to the Safari Menu located in the upper left-hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under the General tab, navigate to the Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that the "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove UniversalHelper from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Google Chrome

- Open the Google Chrome browser.
- Input the following on the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area on the sidebar.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Choose the unwanted homepage, and click on Ellipses (three dots) and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your homepage, replacing the UniversalHelper setting. Click Save.
- To set the default search engine, go to the Search Engine area from the sidebar link.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Select the questionable Search Engine and click on Ellipses (three dots). ClickDelete. to remove it from the list.
- Go back to the Search Engine area and choose a valid entry (i.e., Google) 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
- Click Home on the sidebar area.
- Under "New Windows and Tabs", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs. - Input the desired URL to replace UniversalHelper settings if you chose Custom URLs.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on the sidebar to display the settings.
- Under the Default Search Engine list, please select one (i.e., Google).
- On the same page, you have the option to Remove unwanted search engines.

Optional : If you are unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:

Some users complain that there is no way to change browser settings because they are grayed out by UniversalHelper. In such a situation, it is important to check if there is an 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 UniversalHelper or any relevant profile from the left pane. See the image below.

Remove Mac Profile

4. At the bottom of this window, click the minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to the image above.

5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with UniversalHelper.

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