Severity scale:  
  (17/100)

Advanced Mac Cleaner is labeled a Virus for a reason

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Adware

Advanced Mac Cleaner – a bogus security software which reports fake issues to sell you its license

Screenshot of Advanced Mac Cleaner
Advanced Mac Cleaner starts scanning the system right after getting inside the system. Its scan results cannot be trusted.

Questions about Advanced Mac Cleaner virus

Advanced Mac Cleaner is a highly questionable security and optimization software for Mac OS X. While this application is advertised by its developer PCVARK as an ultimate way to protect your Macbook Pro and similar Apple devices, it is almost identical to Mac Adware Cleaner and Mac Ads Cleaner which have been found to be misleading. Besides, people mostly install it without knowing because this virus has been actively spread together with MPlayerX, 7 zip unpacker and other software (via bundling). Additionally, it starts showing fake scanners that report viruses and system errors to make them buy the full version of this potentially unwanted program (PUP).

SUMMARY
Name Advanced Mac Cleaner
Type Potentially unwanted program
Sub-type Fake system optimizer/scareware
Related programs Mac Adware CleanerMac Ads Cleaner
Operating system Mac OS
Distribution Software bundling, official website, suspicious ads
Elimination Install Reimage for best results. Otherwise, use our illustrated guide below

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.

Additionally, beware that it is closely related to these highly questionable apps: 

The program causes numerous pop-ups offering these cleaners as another way to improve computer's 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.

Once inside the computer, Mac Cleaner “checks” the system and typically reports about thousands of detected errors. However, you shouldn’t rush to fix them. Keep in mind that the vast 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. For that, you will need a reliable anti-malware software, such as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security.

Advanced Mac Cleaner fake system optimizer
Multiple AV engines recognize the main installer as malicious

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 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.

Advanced Mac Cleaner 2018 version causes even more problems for its users

In 2018, we noticed a serious increase in users' reports related to this optimizer. 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)[4] 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 Advanced Mac Cleaner
Fake detection reported by Advanced Mac Cleaner. 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 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[5] 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[6] 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
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 can remove Advanced Mac Cleaner automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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Alternate Software
Malwarebytes
Alternate Software
Malwarebytes

To remove Advanced Mac Cleaner virus, follow these steps:

Mac OS XGoogle ChromeSafariInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefox

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'
Mac OS XGoogle ChromeSafariInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefox

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
Mac OS XGoogle ChromeSafariInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefox

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
Mac OS XGoogle ChromeSafariInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefox

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
Mac OS XGoogle ChromeSafariInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefox

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.

Mac OS XGoogle ChromeSafariInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefox

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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