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Remove PowerLift (Virus Removal Guide) - updated Nov 2019

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware

PowerLift is a Mac virus that specializes in generating revenue by showing users malicious ads

PowerLift
PowerLift is adware app that displays disruptive pop-up ads on all sites that you visit

PowerLift is an adware[1] infection on Mac operating systems that seeks to display pop-up ads, in-text links, tech support scams and other potentially dangerous content on Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or another web browser. Additionally, potentially unwanted application often collect data related to user web browsing activities, which sometimes may leak personal information as well, rendering PowerLift a security threat.

PowerLift adware is usually installed along other free applications from third-party websites, usually with another Mac parasite – MacPerformance. This happens due to bundling – well-established PUP distribution technique that tries to hide optional components within software installers purposely.

While most users are unaware that PowerLift virus infiltrated their computers, they can soon recognize symptoms of adware infection – the disruptive ads and redirects are among the first signs that Mac is affected by adware. The activity might result in users landing on scam or even malware-laden sites, where they can be exposed to online hazards like data or money loss.

To stop the unwanted behavior, users will have to remove PowerLift, all its components, as well as other installed potentially unwanted applications from macOS. We provide detailed instructions at the bottom of the article for manual and automatic elimination methods.

Name PowerLift
Type Adware
Infiltration means Adware is usually installed from third-party sources after clicking on an attractive advertisement or when downloading free applications that are bundled in single software packages; users might also install unwanted software after being tricked by a fake Flash update pop-up
Often installed with Users may also see MacPerformance or other potentially unwanted programs installed on their machines
Symptoms Intrusive pop-ups, deals, offers, coupons, and other advertisements  show up on all visited websites; redirects lead to insecure, spam, tech support scam, and similar sites; browsers and the computer may become slow during its operation
Risk factors  Adware employs a variety of tracking technologies in order to collect data about users' web browsing habits, and it might sometimes contain personal information – this can might be leaked to unknown parties or cybercriminals; installation of other potentially unwanted applications or even malware; money loss to scam schemes and useless software, etc. 
Termination Check out our removal guide at the bottom section of the article or employ anti-malware software to eliminate the threat automatically
Recovery PowerLift may alter various system files that will need recovery. If you want to achieve the best results after the infection, we suggest using Reimage Reimage Cleaner

PowerLift adware is a deceptive software that specializes in advertising. While, initially, there is nothing wrong about monetizing on affiliated content, the fraudulent methods used by ad-supported software are the ones that try to mislead users deliberately and even put their online safety and computer security at risk.

Some adware apps might not be as deceptive, while others seek to hide their presence and employ tactics that are more comparable to malware. Unfortunately, PowerLift adware uses persistence and operation techniques that are more resemble the latter – users are often unaware that the PUP is causing the unwanted activities on the web browsers. For that reason, many might start calling it “PowerLift virus,” although, technically, the term is not entirely correct.[2]

A virus is a piece of malicious software that infects files on the machine to propagate – such infections are basically non-existent on Mac computers. PowerLift, in the meantime, installs its own files into various places on the system to perform its activities – a typical sign of malware.

Finally, you should be aware that PowerLift is most likely tracking information about your web browsing habits. For example, the following data might be collected about you:

  • IP address and geolocation
  • Search queries
  • Bookmarks added
  • Technical device information and OS version
  • Duration of visits, links clicked, etc.

PowerLift adware
PowerLift is a potentially unwanted application that is often installed with other adware, such as MacPerformance

Because the developer of the PowerLift adware app is unknown, it is also unknown what type of gathered information protection the responsible parties are using. Due to this, the information might include personal details like email address, home address, name, and last name, etc. In some cases, the data might even end up in cybercriminals' hands and be used for malicious purposes.

However, PowerLift removal might be a bit more complicated if you decide to eliminate the PUP manually. For that reason, you might employ anti-malware to detect and remove it for you. After that, we also suggest you scan your machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner in order to fix virus damage.

Keeping adware and malware away from Mac can be easy

Not so long time ago, users believed that Mac malware does not exist due to sophisticated built-in tools like GateKeeper. Essentially, the built-in scanner stops all the incoming software from being installed if it is not approved by Apple. For that reason, the installation of an untrustworthy app is hardly possible, unless you allow the app to be installed in the first place. This is where the protection of Gatekeeper ends, as users might be tricked into granting permissions to malicious apps. Other means, such as a built-in anti-virus and sandbox environment, helps users to defend themselves for aggressive threats.

However, multiple malware campaigns proved that Macs are not immune to malware – especially adware. In most of the cases, users get tricked by fake Flash updates or download apps from insecure websites (such as torrents where pirated software is hosted). While even the App Store might sometimes let through malicious apps,[3] it is best to stick to official sources when installing new applications and avoid third-party sites. If you absolutely have to, however, make sure you read a review about the app, check relevant documents, pick Advanced/Custom settings and delete all the checkmarks that are pre-selected during the installation process.

Additionally, uninstall Adobe Flash player altogether – regular users do not need the plugin, as its functionality is embedded within most modern browsers. Adobe also announced that Flash would no longer be supported after December 31, 2020.[4]

PowerLift redirects
PowerLift induces redirects to insecure sites that try to scam users into calling cybercriminals

Get rid of PowerLift adware

In most cases, you can remove PowerLift virus manually as per our instructions below. However, in some cases, the infection might install components into various places on the system, so dragging the unwanted application to Trash will no longer be enough. However, if you are trying to eliminate it manually, you should check the following places on your Mac:

  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
  • ~/Library/Application Support
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons

If you want to perform automatic PowerLift removal, you can rely on reputable anti-malware software instead. There are plenty of tools that are capable to detect all the malicious components of the PUP and delete them from your system completely. Note that you should also reset all the installed browsers due to the changed settings on them – check the guide 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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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 PowerLift, follow these steps:

Eliminate PowerLift from Mac OS X system

To remove PowerLift from your macOS, follow 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 PowerLift 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'

Erase PowerLift 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 PowerLift 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 PowerLift removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Remove PowerLift 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, PowerLift should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of PowerLift from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

PUPs often leave browsers infected even after their termination. Thus, reset Firefox browser as follows:

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

Uninstall PowerLift 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 PowerLift 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 PowerLift removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete PowerLift from Safari

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

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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