Severity scale:  
  (36/100)

Advanced Mac Cleaner is labeled a Virus for a reason

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Mac viruses

Advanced Mac Cleaner – a notorious fake system optimizer that is distributed by multiple Trojans

Advanced Mac Cleaner scan report
Advanced Mac Cleaner is the intruder that starts scanning the system right after getting inside the system. Its scan results cannot be trusted.

Advanced Mac Cleaner is a potentially unwanted program and a so-called system optimizer which initially was spread via software bundle packages. Once installed, the application initiates a scan that deliberately shows multiple false positives (such as alleged Bankworm malware infection) to make users believe that their macOS or Mac OS X systems are in great danger.

Advanced Mac Cleaner is not only a fake tool that will fail to deliver what it promises, but it might also indicate the presence of something much more malicious – a Trojan. This is because the application was widely used in malware campaigns such as CrescentCore or OSX/Shlayer – these Trojans automatically download and install Advanced Mac Cleaner and other bogus apps without permission, as they gain elevated system privileges.

If that is not enough, Advanced Mac Cleaner virus is notorious for being distributed via fake Adobe Flash updates, MPlayerX, 7 zip installers and is often promoted by technical support scam sites like “Your system is infected with 3 viruses.” Thus, if you found this app on your Mac machine all of a sudden, you need to make sure you get rid of it as soon as possible, as it can seriously compromise your security and result in data, as well as money loss.

Questions about Advanced Mac Cleaner virus

The app is identical to other fake optimizers like Smart Mac Booster (previously known as Advanced Mac Booster), Mac Adware Cleaner, Mac Ads Cleaner, and many others. All these malicious apps might engage in illegal sensitive information gathering and use it for future scam campaigns or use phone numbers to contact the infected users and claim fake virus infections on the system, asking for payment for the alleged help.

SUMMARY
Name Advanced Mac Cleaner
Type Malware
Sub-type Fake system optimizer/scareware
Related programs Mac Adware CleanerMac Ads Cleaner, Smart Mac Booster
Operating system macOS, Mac OS X
Distribution Software bundling, official website, suspicious ads
Elimination You can terminate the PUP with the help of anti-malware software or by following manual guide below
recovery & optimization If you need a trustworthy tool that can keep your Mac in the best shape, download and install Reimage Reimage Cleaner

If you checked Internet forums, you could see that they are full of users' complaints and concerns about Advanced Mac Cleaner.[1] Indeed, the indicated program acts like a potentially unwanted program (PUP): it enters your system without asking, causes continuous pop-ups, pushes its users into buying the license and fails to leave the system when being asked. If you checked the Internet, you could see that there are many complaints from users who can't get rid of Mac Cleaner virus.[2] It has also been called a scam[3] and a fake utility that cannot be uninstalled easily.

Nevertheless, finding the main program and moving that file to trash is not enough. This is why Advanced Mac Cleaner is called a virus and is persistent. The application is set to alter startup entries to make sure the tool is launched on the system after each reboot automatically – it then presents users with fake security alerts immediately.

Recently, online forum member reported about a new scam associated with Advanced Mac Cleaner malware. He/she said that, after finding the program on the computer seemingly out of nowhere, a phone call from an individual with an Indian accent came right after.

The person on the phone claimed that the system is infected with malware and that the cost of removing it will be $249. The worst part is that the crook knew the name, phone number, email, and address of the forum user and asked for the credit card details via the phone. Note that you should never provide any details to unknown individuals over the phone, no matter whom they claim to be.

Advanced Mac Cleaner scam
Advanced Mac Cleaner is a technical support scam program that even leads to calls from fake IT specialists who later demand money for their "services".

Initially, Advanced Mac Cleaner may seem harmless, although it is anything but that. Having it installed for a prolonged period of time might result in system damage, stolen credit card or other information, as well as money loss.

Additionally, beware that Advanced Mac Cleaner is closely related to these highly questionable apps that are installed to your device without permission: 

The program causes numerous pop-ups offering these cleaners as another way to improve computer security. In addition, any of these apps can be downloaded in a bundle with this cleaner as it is mentioned in the program's EULA:

The initial term of this Agreement will commence on the date you acquire or download the Software, along with Mac File Opener, which is also a product of Advanced Mac Cleaner. It is downloaded with it.

On the official website, Advance Mac Cleaner is advertised as “a state of the art technology” which was coded by industry experts that have been working on the same projects for over 32 years. The software ostensibly can clean disks, uninstall unwanted apps, and help the user manage files to avoid duplicates and clutter. Of course, such presentation sounds convincing, but you shouldn’t believe it.

Advanced Mac Cleaner PUP
Advanced Mac Cleaner is a PUP that typically states that there is a large number of issues on the system that needs to be solved. You shouldn't rely on this program as its main aim is to trick its users into buying its full version

Once inside the computer, Advanced Mac Cleaner “checks” the system and typically reports thousands of detected errors and security threats. However, you shouldn’t rush to fix them. Keep in mind that the vast majority of these errors are just so-called false-positives meant to trick you into purchasing the full version of the program. So, if you have been wondering whether Advanced Mac Cleaner is a scam, the answer is yes. Its free version is distributed to increase sales of the license which is yet another useless app that displays fewer ads than the trial version.

We find such marketing technique very dishonest, and we don’t recommend such a product for you. Advanced Mac Cleaner pop-ups that it wants to charge its users 39.95 Euros for its license and tries to talk the user into buying Sticky Password software and previously-mentioned apps alongside it. Undoubtedly, we do not recommend obtaining the paid version of the program because personal information that you add while trying to buy it can be reached by program's developers, as it is mentioned in its EULA:

You acknowledge that Advanced Mac Cleaner collects certain information regarding the users of the Software, including certain personally identifiable information. You hereby consent to the software for collection and use of such information, and agree that collection and use of such information will be governed by Privacy Policy and that we may revise the same from time to time. 

It doesn’t matter if you installed the program yourself or if it arrived in a bundle with previously mentioned programs, you should get rid of it right now. We highly recommend completing Advanced Mac Cleaner removal with the help of our recommended tools as there are numerous complains regarding the complicated removal of this app. Thus, scan your machine with anti-malware software to make sure the PUP is removed. Finally, if you want to get software that can optimize and care for your macOS, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner .

Advanced Mac Cleaner fake system optimizer
Advanced Mac Cleaner is the tool that has a main installer which is recognized as malicious by multiple AV engines.

However, if you are looking for instructions on how to remove this PUP from MacBook or other mac os device manually, you should scroll down to the end of the article where you can find a detailed and illustrated the step-by-step guide. Make sure you perform every step in exact order just to make sure that you don't eliminate needed system components.

Warning: if you found Advanced Mac Cleaner on your Mac, it might be infected with a Trojan

Security researchers from Intego reported[4] about a cyberthreat that targets all Mac devices which do not have third-party security software installed. The malware dubbed OSX/CrescentCore is a Trojan that is commonly installed via dodgy and copyright-infringing piracy websites that promote free versions of the paid software or even comic books.

Additionally, experts said that the Trojan is also being distributed with the help of fake Flash Player installers. The pop-ups show up on various websites that claim that Flash Player is outdated and needs an update. This technique has been used for years, as Flash is one of the most common software users have on their machines.

Nevertheless, nobody should be installing the updates that pop-up like that – Flash, in general, will be discontinued by Adobe in 2020,[5] as the software is outdated and full of security holes. The infection of CrescentCore is triggered as soon as the malicious .dmg file is clicked – all while users think it is something entirely different.

CrescentCore then installs a LaunchAgent which prevents its successful removal and proceed with the installation of various unsafe system optimizers, Advanced Mac Cleaner being one of them. Additionally, malware can also install malicious Extensions on the Safari web browser.

The CrescentCore malware campaign shows that Advanced Mac Cleaner is a malicious tool and should always be removed. Besides, Mac malware has become more prominent over the years, so users should be more careful, as Gatekeeper protection is no longer enough.[6]

Advanced Mac Cleaner installed by CrescentCore malware

2019 update: Advanced Mac Cleaner is promoted via sweeps5164.yourmonday97.live and similar fake sites

There are more than one or two websites that appear to promote Advanced Mac Cleaner as a great tool for virus removal. Recently, a scam by the name of sweeps5164.yourmonday97.live was discovered by our experts' team. The suspicious message can be met when browsing through unsecured pages. The notification claims:

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

We have detected a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) on your Mac.

Press OK to begin the repair process.

However, note that this type of content is only one big scam provided by the misleading sweeps5164.yourmonday97.live source. If you click on the “Scan Now” button you will be provided with the imitation of a system scan. After it is finished, a warning of Bankworm virus detected and /os/apps/worm.icv infected file will appear.

All of this is just a lie carried out to trick gullible users. To “fix” all the “problems” and remove the fake cyber threat, sweeps5164.yourmonday97.live virus will offer you to download Advanced Mac Cleaner. As you can see, this is just another way for developers to promote their misleading product and such scams should not be taken seriously.

sweeps5164.yourmonday97.live scam
sweeps5164.yourmonday97.live - is a third-party promotion source of Advanced Mac Cleaner

Sadly, this is not the only scam campaign that aims to promote the fake security tool. There are other scamming viruses such as Advancemactools.live that have the same goals as sweeps5164.yourmonday97.live and operate by using the same principle. If you ever run into such scam, ignore the message, and close the window that is displaying it.

The new version causes even more problems for its users

We noticed a serious increase in users' reports related to this optimizer recently. They claim that they cannot uninstall Advanced Mac Cleaner from the computer easily. The official website offers to download Uninstaller which is supposed to delete the program from the device. However, if users have other antivirus tools installed on the device, they might block this app as potentially unwanted.

So, to use the official uninstaller, users have to turn off real-time protection. Then they can run the uninstall and remove PUP with it. Undoubtedly, the necessity to update security software is a warning sign that this program is suspicious. Do we recommend that? NO, because installation of this tool might lead to the infiltration of previously mentioned Mac Adware Cleaner or Mac Ads Cleaner. 

According to the VirusTotal information, Uninstaller (Advanced Mac Cleaner_mfoawcban.pkg)[7] is recognized by the majority of antivirus and anti-malware utilities. If you are not sure how this service works, we can briefly explain that this project allows inspecting suspicious files or URLs with over 60 antivirus scanners. Thus, chances that at least of half of the security programs deliver false results is hard to believe.

We recommend keeping away from the “official uninstaller” and eliminating the program with a reputable antivirus program. Then you can be sure that any potentially dangerous applications were not installed on your Mac.

Bankworm detected by Mac Cleaner
Advanced Mac Cleaner is the tool that detects fake malware. Try running an alternative scanner to make sure that the detection is invented.

The program is promoted on bogus sites and via bundling

When browsing the web, users can encounter a suspicious website that shows a fake security warning. It reports about detected “Bankworm” on Mac computer. The alert looks like regular security program's window that provides information about the identified cyber threat: it includes the name of the virus, risk level and the location of the infected file.

However, you should not forget that security alerts that pop up on your browser are never real. Such a site is used for spreading a free version of the Cleaner. Though, the “Bankworm” infection is just the imagination of a shady software marketing team. Thus, if you ever end up on such site, you should not click “Remove virus now” button and download this questionable tool.

Protecting your Mac from Advanced Mac Cleaner

Many Mac users believe that these devices are resistant[8] to computer viruses. Sadly, they’re not – scammers and malware developers are slowly trying to take control over this market as well. However, nowadays, many ad-supported applications or questionable system tools, like Advanced Mac Cleaner, hijack[9] Mac computers via other free applications that are not available on the App Store. 

Various free software promotes this tool, so it is possible that you will find this application on your Mac after installing certain third-party program downloaded from the Internet. Due to this feature, users tend to call this program as a virus. However, we want to point out that this application is neither a virus nor malicious. It’s just a potentially unwanted program that cannot do any damage to your PC.

However, if you want to avoid undesired apps:

  • check out comments about certain applications online before installing them on your device;
  • rely on Custom/Advanced installation settings when installing Mac software;
  • unmark all pre-selected programs that might be offered as “optional downloads.”

Advanced Mac Cleaner potentially unwanted program
Advanced Mac Cleaner is the program can be downloaded on the official website. However, in most cases, it enters machines without users permission

To remove AdvancedMacCleaner once and for all, you need to know some tricks 

If you are still wondering how do I get Advanced Mac Cleaner off my mac, you came to the right place. Our team is willing to help you get rid of this potentially unwanted program. We want to remind that you should not download the uninstaller from the official website or other third-party sources. It's a highly suspicious tool that might install additional PUPs to the system.

To delete the PUP from the system, we highly recommend you using automatic removal option. For that, use the anti-malware software that we recommend down below this article. This is the easiest way to find a questionable program's components and remove them completely. However, you can also try to take care of virus removal on your own, but make sure you carefully read the instructions that we prepared.

If, for some reason, you cannot remove this PUP, please send a question to our support team. You might as well want to check out the comment section at the end of this page – you might find useful tips from 2spyware experts who had the “pleasure” to test the described program:

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Advanced Mac Cleaner virus, follow these steps:

Erase Advanced Mac Cleaner from Mac OS X system

1. Select this line:

~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.pcv.hlpramcn.plist

Once you have selected the entire line, right-click on it and select Services ▹ Open in Finder (or Reveal in Finder). Then you should get redirected to a folder that contains the selected item. Move this item to Trash.

2. Go to Library, then to Application Support, and move amc Folder and Advanced Mac Cleaner Folder to Trash. Enter your password if needed. 

3. In Library folder, find Advanced Mac Cleaner and move it to Trash as well.

4. Open Applications folder and find Advanced Mac Cleaner here. Again, move it to Trash. 

5. Right-click on the Trash icon on your Dock and click Empty Trash.

There should be no remains of this questionable application in your Mac now.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Advanced Mac Cleaner or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Remove Advanced Mac Cleaner from Google Chrome

To uninstall Advanced Mac Cleaner from Chrome, you need to reset it with the help of the following guide:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Advanced Mac Cleaner and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Advanced Mac Cleaner removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Advanced Mac Cleaner from Safari

To fix Safari, use steps given below to recover it to its previous state:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Advanced Mac Cleaner or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Advanced Mac Cleaner removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Uninstall Advanced Mac Cleaner from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Advanced Mac Cleaner and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Advanced Mac Cleaner removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete Advanced Mac Cleaner virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Advanced Mac Cleaner should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Eliminate Advanced Mac Cleaner from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Advanced Mac Cleaner and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Advanced Mac Cleaner removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References

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