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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

PowerLiftPowerLift 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 Intego

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 adwarePowerLift 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 Intego 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 redirectsPowerLift 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 Intego. 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 Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove PowerLift, follow these steps:

Eliminate PowerLift from Mac OS X system

To remove PowerLift from your macOS, follow these steps:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove PowerLift from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for PowerLift-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove PowerLift, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

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

Erase PowerLift from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for PowerLift and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete PowerLift removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove PowerLift 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 PowerLift-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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 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

Get rid of PowerLift from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

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 plugins that are related to PowerLift and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  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

In case PowerLift did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete PowerLift removal.Reset Firefox 2

Uninstall PowerLift from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from 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 PowerLift by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from 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 the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the PowerLift-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the 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 to complete PowerLift removal.Reset Chrome 2

Delete PowerLift from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

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

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  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

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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