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PracticalUpdater Mac virus Removal Guide

What is PracticalUpdater Mac virus?

PracticalUpdater is a dangerous Mac application that installs additional payloads and steals your personal data


PracticalUpdater is a malicious piece of software that targets Mac computers, compromising their security. This malware belongs to the Adload family, notorious for its adware characteristics and aimed specifically at MacOS users. It employs deceptive methods to infiltrate systems, including masquerading as Flash Player updates or being bundled with unlawfully acquired software.

Once PracticalUpdater finds its way onto a Mac, it initiates a series of unwanted actions: it bombards the user with advertisements, alters browser settings such as the homepage, redirects to unrequested web pages, degrades system performance, and jeopardizes personal security by stealing sensitive information like login details, financial data, and browsing habits. The malware has the capability to replicate itself and install additional components, further entrenching its presence and complicating its removal. It even adds specific profiles and items to the system to resist deletion efforts.

This article is dedicated to shedding light on PracticalUpdater's operational mechanisms, offering guidance on preventing its intrusion, and detailing effective removal strategies to mitigate the risks posed by such malware infections on Mac devices.

Name PracticalUpdater
Type Mac virus, adware, browser hijacker
Malware family Adload
Distribution Third-party websites distributing pirated software, software bundles, fake Flash Player updates
Symptoms Installs a new extension and application on the system; changes homepage and new tab of the browser; inserts ads and malicious links; tracks sensitive user data via extension
Removal The easiest way to remove Mac malware is to perform a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software. We also provide a manual guide below
System optimization Third parties can employ cookies to continue tracking your online activities, so we recommended clearing browser caches and other leftover files with FortectIntego

Distribution tactics

The distribution of the PracticalUpdater Mac virus relies on cunning distribution mechanisms that exploit user trust and common digital habits. This malware is part of the Adload family, which is notorious for leveraging fake Flash Player updates as a primary vector for infection.

Despite Adobe discontinuing Flash Player due to its numerous security flaws, the legacy of Flash as a multimedia platform has left a lingering impression on many users, making them susceptible to such scams. Cybercriminals capitalize on this by hosting deceptive Flash update prompts on compromised or malicious websites, employing phishing techniques to convince users of the necessity of an update for proper site functionality.

Additionally, the virus often finds its way onto Mac systems through bundled software packages. These packages are frequently obtained from unauthorized or pirated software distribution sites, where malware masquerades as legitimate software, usually labeled misleadingly as “”. This label is not unique to PracticalUpdater; it is a common guise used by various malware, including the well-known Shlayer Trojan, to infiltrate user systems.

The distribution strategy does not stop at direct deception. It also involves intricate layers of social engineering, where users are lured into downloading and executing the malware under the guise of necessary updates or exciting software offerings.

PracticalUpdater virus

How it operates

PracticalUpdater operates through a meticulously designed process that disrupts and compromises Mac systems. As a member of the Adload malware family, it employs a deceptive installation method, followed by a series of actions that deeply affect user privacy and system integrity.

Upon infiltrating a Mac, PracticalUpdater introduces a browser extension that is central to its malicious activities. This extension facilitates significant changes to the browser's settings, including the homepage and search engine, and directs users to undesired websites. These adjustments serve not only to disrupt the user experience but also to steer users toward environments where attackers can more easily exploit them.

The naming strategy for Adload versions uses a mix of generic terms, making it blend with legitimate applications and evade detection. It is identified by a magnifying glass icon against colored backgrounds, designed to appear harmless and avoid arousing suspicion.

One of PracticalUpdater's more concerning features is its capability to redirect internet traffic through a proxy controlled by attackers. This allows them to engage in illicit profit-making from the user's online activities and potentially intercept and alter data, posing significant privacy risks.

Additionally, the malware's browser extension is engineered to collect sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and passwords. This not only threatens user privacy but also exposes them to financial fraud and identity theft. The extension operates covertly, aggregating user data without their knowledge or consent.

To ensure its persistence and evade Mac's native security mechanisms, the PracticalUpdater virus uses elevated permissions and AppleScript for sophisticated attacks. This deep system integration allows it to monitor user behavior and gather personal information continuously, making its removal challenging.

In essence, malware's operation is characterized by browser hijacking, traffic redirection, and data theft, underlined by a stealthy installation approach. It represents a significant threat to users' online safety and privacy, showcasing the complexity and danger of modern cyber threats on the MacOS platform.

Removing PracticalUpdater

Eliminating PracticalUpdater and its variants from a Mac is more challenging than uninstalling typical applications due to their sophisticated evasion techniques. They exploit AppleScript to circumvent Mac's Gatekeeper, allowing them to persist on the system even after attempts to remove them.

Users may attempt manual removal, but the persistence of this malware often leads to its reinstallation, making a thorough, security software-assisted cleanup with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner orMalwarebytes or a detailed manual removal process essential. Regardless of the chosen method, it's imperative to cleanse the browser settings as part of the removal process to safeguard privacy.

Remove the app and its components from the system

To execute its harmful activities, Adload continuously operates background processes that start running as soon as the system boots up. To avoid complications during removal, it's crucial to identify and halt these processes:

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

Login Items are configured to automatically launch the malicious application each time the Mac starts up – removing this entry is crucial. Additionally, any profiles associated with the virus should be eliminated.

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

The PLIST files are small config files, also known as “Properly list.” They hold various user settings and hold information about certain applications. In order to remove the virus, you have to find the related PLIST files and remove them.

  • 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 terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2

Eliminating the extension and clearing browser caches

Once the virus has been installed, Safari or another common browser will have an extension added. This add-on would alter the homepage and introduce a new tab functionality, exposing visitors to sponsored links or advertisements. With the help of this malware component, various personal information can be gathered about users, which can put their security and privacy at risk.

To mitigate this, you should remove the browser extension and then clean your browsers from cookies and other trackers – you can always employ an automatic maintenance utility FortectIntego or follow the instructions below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. 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.

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 PracticalUpdater Mac virus. Follow these steps

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension 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

Remove 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 the unwanted program 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

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted 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. Reset Chrome 2

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

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of PracticalUpdater Mac registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting adware

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. 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 the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. 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.


Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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