What is ExploreDesktop

ExploreDesktop is classified as adware, which stands for advertising-supported software. Unlike legitimate advertising methods, adware aggressively pushes unwanted ads to users, often without their consent. These ads can take various forms, including pop-ups, banners, and redirects, and are typically displayed on visited websites or different interfaces within the operating system. The ads served by ExploreDesktop are not only annoying but can also pose significant risks. They often promote online scams, untrustworthy or hazardous software, and even malware. Some ads might execute scripts that perform downloads or installations without user permission when clicked. Furthermore, ExploreDesktop may have browser-hijacking functionalities, altering search engine settings or homepages to further expose users to unwanted content. ExploreDesktop is a form of adware that specifically targets Mac computers, part of the AdLoad malware family. Its primary function is to generate revenue for its developers through the display of intrusive advertisements. This article aims to provide comprehensive information on ExploreDesktop, including its characteristics, how it infects Mac systems, and steps for prevention and removal.

ExploreDesktop adware

How ExploreDesktop infects Mac computers

ExploreDesktop typically gains access to Mac systems through deceptive means. Users might unknowingly install it when bundled with other software downloaded from the internet, especially from untrustworthy sources like freeware and file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, or through deceptive pop-up ads that mimic legitimate updates or software. Once installed, ExploreDesktop may add browser extensions or profiles to hijack browser settings, redirecting users to specific search engines or homepages and flooding their screens with pop-ups and ads. It can also change system settings to make its removal more challenging.

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

Download ExploreDesktop Removal Tool

Download Spyhunter for Mac

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

Remove ExploreDesktop manually for free

Note: ExploreDesktop 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 “ExploreDesktop” entry. Select it, and click the “-“ (minus) button to remove it.

Note 2: ExploreDesktop 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 ExploreDesktop in the list.
  3. Click Force Quit button.

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

Remove ExploreDesktop from Applications

Remove ExploreDesktop from Mac:

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

Cannot uninstall ExploreDesktop

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

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

Remove ExploreDesktop add-on from your browsers

Removing ExploreDesktop 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 ExploreDesktop 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 ExploreDesktop 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 ExploreDesktop 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 ExploreDesktop extension.
  4. Click Disable or Remove button.

Reset browser settings

To finish ExploreDesktop 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 ExploreDesktop


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

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

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 ExploreDesktop in browsers.

adguard for mac

Download AdGuard for Mac

How to protect Mac OSX from adware, like ExploreDesktop

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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