Severity scale:  
  (20/100)

Remove IdeaShared (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

IdeaShared is a Mac virus that exposes users to persistent advertisements during the web browsing sessions

IdeaShared
IdeaShared is a potentially unwanted application that gets installed along freeware downloaded from third-party websites

IdeaShared (otherwise known as IdeaShared 1.0) is an adware-type application that targets macOS or Mac OS X users and invades their web browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox without permission. The app is presented as a tool that can help users browse the internet more efficiently and provide multiple enhancing features. However, the promises are all fake, as IdeaShared acts more like malware rather than a helpful browsing tool.

In most cases, users are unaware of how the IdeaShared virus gets on their machines. This is because the app is usually delivered via a software bundle package,[1] where it is presented as an optional component throughout the installation process. The potentially unwanted program is deceptively hidden, so users are rarely aware that IdeaShared is about to be installed with the desired app.

Once infiltrated, the app is known to perform several malicious actions on users' Macs. For example, users complained that, after IdeaShared removal, the app reinstalls itself without permission. Additionally, many struggled to download and install security software on the infected machine, and also found system settings modified without permission.[2]

Name IdeaShared, IdeaShared 1.0
Type Adware, Mac virus
Targeted systems macOS/Mac OS X
Infiltration means Potentially unwanted applications are usually installed along with freeware from third-party sites or when users get tricked by fake updates (Adobe Flash or similar)
Symptoms Web browser settings altered (homepage, new tab URL and the search engine changed to Bing or something else), frequent ads and redirects disturb web browsing sessions, difficulties to delete the IdeaShared application due to its self-reinstallation
Risk factors Installation of other potentially unwanted applications of even malware, loss of money due to encountered scams, etc. 
Termination Check out our manual removal guide below and then scan your machine with anti-malware software 
Recovery To keep your Mac optimized and recover from the infection easily, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner

The modification of settings without user permission is considered malicious behavior that is more commonly practiced by various malware, such as trojans or ransomware.[3] Therefore, IdeaShared adware should not be treated lightly, as it might introduce other PUPs to your machine without approval or expose users to malicious content online.

Once installed, IdeaShared malware might perform the following actions on the host computer:

  • New extension added to Google Chrome, Safari or Mozilla Firefox browsers;
  • Web browsers settings change: new tab URL, search engine and new Tab functionality is altered to a predetermined one;
  • The PUP displays banners, deals, offers, surveys, coupons, and other intrusive commercial content during web browsing sessions;
  • Redirects lead to scam, phishing, and other malicious sites;
  • Downloading and installing a security application becomes a difficult task because the process is often terminated.

Besides these more than questionable activities, IdeaShared is most likely collects and gathers information about users' web browsing habits, such as links clicked, bookmarks added, sites visited, as well as technical details like IP address, browser type, OS version, etc. Nevertheless, judging by a deceptive nature of IdeaShared adware, it is also possible that personally-identifiable information could be collected and used for malicious purposes.

IdeaShared adware
IdeaShared is adware app that, upon installation, displays intrusive advertisements and changes web browser settings without permission

Some users reported that their default homepage was changed to Bing as soon as the unwanted browser extension was installed. However, don't let the legitimacy of the search provider fool you: the generated search results are covered with sponsored links that are not a part of Bing or another provider.

Thus, you should not hesitate and remove IdeaShared from your computer, especially if it got installed on your Mac without permission. Check out for a guide below, and you will be able to terminate all the components of the PUP. For best results, we also recommend scanning the computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner and resetting all the installed browsers.

Download apps only from Apple-approved stores

Users should be aware that downloading applications from anywhere than official sources (such as App Store or Amazon) can pose potential risks to computers. Due to Gatekeeper's functionality and other security features, users need to grant permission for an app from third-party sources to be installed on the device in the first place. However, because PUPs spread with the help of software bundling, users allow it, without realizing that an optional component is included within a single software installer.

If you absolutely must download apps from unapproved sources, make sure you are doing it exceptionally carefully. Thus, make sure the app provides the required documents, read up on the reviews about the app online, pick Advanced/Custom installation settings on order to remove optional components before they manage to get installed and beware of tricks freeware developers use (pre-ticked boxes, fine print text, misleading buttons, etc.).

Another way how PUPs might enter Macs is by using fake updates. Flash Player is an outdated plugin that users still believe that they need. However, it is currently useless for most users and should be uninstalled from systems altogether. Thus, if you encounter a prompt that asks you to update Flash, Java, or other software, never agree or download .pkg files. Instead, make sure your software is set to be updated automatically or check official sites for software updates.

IdeaShared installation
IdeaShared is one of many recently showed up adware apps that engages in intrusive and even malicious behavior on Mac machines

Get rid of IdeaShared along with all the other PUPs on your system

The presence of the IdeaShared virus on your computer might indicate that there are more potentially unwanted programs hidden inside, as bundled apps often come in bulk. Additionally, the already installed PUP might compromise your machine so much that even more unwanted extensions could be added without your permission. Therefore, it is vital to remove IdeaShared along with all the other unwanted/dangerous apps that may be installed on your machine (for example, MacPerformanceMhptaskSystemJump, or others.

For manual IdeaShared removal, please check the following folders and delete any suspicious entries:

  • System Preferences > Accounts> Login Items
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
  • ~/Library/Application Support
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons

Finally, you should scan your machine with anti-malware and reset settings on your browsers – you can find the instructions below. 

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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What to do if failed?
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 IdeaShared, follow these steps:

Erase IdeaShared from Mac OS X system

Get rid of IdeaShared malware by following these steps:

  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 IdeaShared 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'

Delete IdeaShared from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Perform a full reset of Mozilla Firefox as soon as you eliminate the PUP:

  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 IdeaShared 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 IdeaShared removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove IdeaShared from Google Chrome

  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 IdeaShared 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 IdeaShared removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall IdeaShared from Safari

Malicious extensions might persist and keep displaying ads, even after the main app is terminated. Follow these steps to reset Safari and get rid of the unwanted add-ons:

  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 IdeaShared 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 IdeaShared removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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