OperativeService Mac virus (Free Guide)

OperativeService Mac virus Removal Guide

What is OperativeService Mac virus?

OperativeService is a malicious Mac application designed to steal personal user data and show intrusive ads

OperativeServiceOperativeService is a malicious Mac app that can negatively impact users' browsing and put one's privacy at risk

With each passing year, there are more attacks aimed at Macs, and adware continues to be the biggest issue with this OS. The OperativeService virus is a member of the adware family Adload, which has been attacking macOS machines for a number of years with little variation between versions. To boost the longevity and spread of the infection, the cybercriminals who created the strain have been modifying their handiwork, although many of its traits remain unchanged.

This rogue app's OperativeService main objective is to generate as much money as possible from advertising. After becoming infected, users frequently come across all kinds of harmful things while browsing the web, including phishing[1] websites, online scams, dangerous links, and more. This is because the strain is linked to numerous other potentially unwanted applications and malicious websites. While it is true that not all pop-ups and links are harmful, it is impossible to determine which ones are safe to click on.

Name OperativeService
Type Mac virus, adware, browser hijacker
Malware family Adload
Distribution Fake Flash Player installers or bundled software from malicious sources
Symptoms A new extension is installed on the browser, along with an application of the same name; search and browsing settings altered to an alternative search provider; new profiles and login items set up on the account; intrusive ads and redirects
Removal You can remove Mac malware with the help of powerful security tools, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. We also provide manual removal steps below
Security tips Potentially unwanted programs often leave traces within web browsers – cookies, for example, are used for tracking. You should get rid of these leftovers with FortectIntego or employ our manual guide

How OperativeService works

The malware immediately modifies Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox upon infection, with the homepage being the most noticeable modification in order to monetize ads. Usually, it is replaced with something else, like Safe Finder, another malicious program that only affects Mac users.

Due to this, queries are frequently routed through different channels before arriving at their destination. Because a different default search provider (like Bing or Yahoo) is used and a ton of advertisements are displayed at the top, the search results are frequently also not what users were expecting. It is dangerous to click on these links as OperativeService may advertise malicious websites that hold other viruses or solicit subscriptions to fictitious services.

Besides the annoying and potentially dangerous browser changes, the malicious app may also negatively impact one's privacy and security. Upon installation, the OperativeService virus installs itself with elevated permissions, which allows it to use AppleScript as it pleases. This completely bypasses the detection of Mac's built-in defenses, such XProtect.

With the help of elevated permissions, malware can also spy on users' browser activities, and it includes collecting their passwords, account details, and even credit card information. Therefore, it is recommended not to disclose any important information while the device is still infected – it may pose serious privacy risks.

OperativeService virusOperativeService often spreads via fake Flash Player update prompts

Automatic removal

Technically speaking, Adload variants are not particularly complex, but their persistence tactics continue to outpace Apple's, allowing many updated versions to bypass Mac's defenses.[2] Therefore, if its removal is not carried out through different techniques, malware can continue to operate in the background for a very long period.

The process of elimination can be substantially accelerated by using third-party security software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. Due to the large number of files that the virus generates upon infection, manual OperativeService removal may call for expert computer skills. The virus can just come back if you skip some of them.

Even if you opt to delete the malware by following the steps below, be extremely careful when handling browsers. For better privacy, it is crucial that you clear cookies and other leftover files from browser caches. However, if you would prefer an automatic solution, you can always use FortectIntego.

Remove the main app and its components

Once inside, the virus begins to carry out its malicious activities by launching background processes anytime it is active. You must first check Activity Monitor and kill all associated processes before you can uninstall the core app:

  • Open Applications folder
  • Select Utilities
  • Double-click Activity Monitor
  • Here, look for suspicious processes related to adware and use the Force Quit command to shut them down
  • Go back to the Applications folder
  • Locate the malicious app and move it to Trash.Uninstall from Mac 1

Upon infiltration, malware might establish new User profiles and Login items for persistence. This might be the reason why you can't get rid of the app or the extension.

  • Go to Preferences and select Accounts
  • Click Login items and delete everything suspicious
  • Next, pick System Preferences > Users & Groups
  • Find Profiles and remove unwanted profiles from the list.

Finally, you should look for leftovers – .plist files. These are configuration files that might enable adware to work more efficiently:

  • Select Go > Go to Folder.
  • Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  • In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  • Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and delete all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2

Browser cleaning process explained

Adload versions typically dump malicious files onto the system to install a browser extension with elevated permissions. If you were able to delete them effectively, as described in the last section, you ought to be able to get rid of the extension with little difficulty.


  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

The next action is to make sure that the device has all trackers removed. Cookies[3] and other tracking components are locally placed on your computer by adware and spyware. It is crucial to periodically clear browser caches since if they aren't, they might stay on the system for years. Using the FortectIntego maintenance tool is the simplest approach to removing old files from your browsers and the system. As an alternative, you may also do it manually:


  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Google Chrome

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If you were unable to remove malicious components within your web browser, you could simply reset it as we explain below. Your bookmarks and other preferences will not be lost as long as you remember your login name and password. Proceed with the following steps to reset your browser:


  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to the Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

Google Chrome

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings.Reset Chrome 2

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego 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 Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of OperativeService Mac virus. Follow these steps

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

How to prevent from getting adware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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