What is app_assistant

App_assistant, also known as Trojan.Adload, is categorized as adware and a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that primarily affects Mac OS users. It is designed to deliver a variety of intrusive advertisements, such as pop-ups, banners, and redirects, which can significantly hinder user experience and system performance. Despite not being a virus in the traditional sense, app_assistant can open backdoors for other malicious software, making it a security threat. App_assistant is a type of adware that specifically targets Mac computers, inundating users with intrusive advertisements and potentially leading to more severe security risks. This article will provide an overview of app_assistant, explain how it infects Mac systems, and offer guidance on removal methods. To remove app_assistant from a Mac, users should follow a multi-step process that includes manual removal and the use of anti-malware software.

app_assistant adware

How app_assistant infects Mac computers

App_assistant typically gains access to Mac systems through software bundling or deceptive prompts on untrustworthy websites. Users may inadvertently install the adware by downloading and installing free applications from the internet, where app_assistant is bundled as an additional offer. It can also be distributed via fake Adobe Flash Player update alerts, a common tactic associated with AdLoad malware. Once installed, app_assistant may modify browser settings without the user’s consent, leading to unwanted redirects and changes in the default search engine or homepage. It can also install additional PUPs and open the system to further infections.

  1. Download app_assistant Removal Tool
  2. Remove app_assistant from Login Items
  3. Remove/Uninstall app_assistant from Applications
  4. Remove app_assistant from browsers
  5. Reset browser settings
  6. Remove app_assistant files and folders
  7. Block app_assistant ads and pop-ups
  8. How to protect from threats, like app_assistant

Download app_assistant Removal Tool

Download Spyhunter for Mac

To remove app_assistant completely, we recommend you to use Spyhunter for Mac. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of app_assistant and uninstall hijackers, toolbars, and unwanted add-ons from the Safari browser. The trial version of Spyhunter for Mac offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Alternative Removal Tool

Download CleanMyMac

To remove app_assistant completely, we recommend you to use CleanMyMac. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of app_assistant and uninstall hijackers, toolbars, and unwanted add-ons from the Safari browser.

Remove app_assistant manually for free

Note: app_assistant sets up to start on macOS startup. Therefore, before starting the removal, perform these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences, choose Users & Groups.
  2. Choose your account (set up as Current User).
  3. Click Login Items tab.
  4. Find “app_assistant” entry. Select it, and click the “-“ (minus) button to remove it.

Note 2: app_assistant won’t quit just by closing it, therefor use Force Quit to end the process.

  1. Press 3 buttons at the same time: Option, Command, and Esc (Escape). This is similar to Control-Alt-Delete on a Windows PC.
  2. Choose app_assistant in the list.
  3. Click Force Quit button.

Here is a manual step-by-step tutorial for full app_assistant removal from your computer. This works 99% and was checked with the latest versions of app_assistant installer on operating systems with the latest updates and browser versions.

Remove app_assistant from Applications

Remove app_assistant from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. app_assistant might have an Uninstaller. If you see Uninstall app_assistant or app_assistant Uninstaller, double-click it and follow the onscreen instructions.
  3. Otherwise, drag app_assistant from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Cannot uninstall app_assistant

If you can’t uninstall app_assistant using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of app_assistant. Follow instructions below:

  1. Download free AppCleaner.
  2. Drag app_assistant from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
  3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with app_assistant.
  4. Click Delete button.

Remove app_assistant add-on from your browsers

Removing app_assistant from Applications often does not bring the desired effect. It is a browser extension, and it may still be active in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove the app_assistant extension from your browsers manually.

Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Click Extensions tab.
  3. Find app_assistant extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button to remove it.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://extensions.
  3. Find app_assistant extension.
  4. Click the trash can icon to remove it.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:addons.
  3. Choose app_assistant extension.
  4. Click Disable or Remove button.

Reset browser settings

To finish app_assistant removal, reset your browser settings to make sure, there are no leftover items in browser folders.

Reset Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data button.
  4. In the opened window, click Remove Now button to remove data stored by websites in Safari.
  5. Go to the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences.
  6. Click the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.
  7. In the menu, click Develop and select Empty Caches from this menu.
  8. Again, go to Safari menu and choose Clear History….
  9. Choose to clear all history and click Clear History button.

Reset Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://settings.
  3. Scroll down and find Show advanced settings link.
  4. Click on it and scroll down to the bottom again.
  5. Click Reset settings button and click Reset to confirm.

Reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:support.
  3. Click Refresh Firefox… button.
  4. Click Refresh Firefox to confirm.

Remove following files and folders of app_assistant


~/Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/Services/com.app_assistant.service.app
~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.app_assistant.service.plist
/Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/System/com.app_assistant.system
/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.app_assistant.system.plist

Download AdGuard for Mac to block malicious pop-ups, that promote app_assistant

AdGuard is the best ad-blocker, internet filtering, and internet security application for macOS. It can cut out unwanted banners from site pages, block pop-ups, stop redirects, and prevent users from visiting potentially dangerous resources. Use it to stop ads promoting app_assistant in browsers.

adguard for mac

Download AdGuard for Mac

How to protect Mac OSX from adware, like app_assistant

malwarebytes for mac

Mac OSX is known to be one of the safest operating systems, and for a long time, there was no need for antivirus products for Mac. But with the growing popularity of Mac computers and notebooks and evolving technology, viruses, trojans, adware, toolbars, hijackers, and other malware paved the way for Mac users. We recommend you to use one of the best anti-malware for Mac available — Malwarebytes for Mac.

Download Malwarebytes for Mac
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