Remove AdChoices from Mac and get your browsers back

If you notice a flow of unwanted ads, most likely, adware infected your Mac. Though AdChoices is a legit software, it’s also the name of the adware-type infection. Today, let’s shed some light on what the AdChoices adware is, why it’s so dangerous, and how to remove it from your computer.

What is AdChoices?

The AdChoices program regulates interest-based ads that target users based on their browsing history. To manage the ads they see and learn why a particular one is displaying, users need to click on a tiny triangle in the top-right corner. It looks like this:

What is AdChoices

Since giants like Google, Yahoo, and Amazon make much of their revenue through advertising, targeted ads are what they’re interested in. When done right, personalized advertising enhances transparency between the end-user and the third-party.

As a legal service, AdChoices isn’t harmful. The issues arise when the namesake adware sneaks into computers. Once installed, it attacks your Mac with intrusive pop-ups, banners, and in-text ads. Inadequate ad displaying can significantly affect your browsing experience and reduce system performance.

The worst part is that it doesn’t end here. The AdChoices adware is also responsible for tracking your web-browser activity and sharing collected data with third-parties.

Name

AdChoices

CategoryBrowser hijacker, adware
Also known as

AdChoices virus

SymptomsChanged browser settings, installed suspicious add-ons, increased amount of ads, redirects
Infection method

Bundling, malicious advertising

System damageHijacked browsers, installation of malicious extensions, data tracking
RemovalCleanMyMac X anti-virus, Malwarebytes

How did it get into my Mac?

The AdChoices adware uses stealth ways to infect your computer. Generally, it comes bundled with other seemingly legitimate software or freeware. Skipping steps during installation, you inadvertently install the culprit along with the main app.

Thus, be especially careful of what you agree to install on your Mac. Avoid downloading from peer-to-peer websites. And always opt for the custom installation to spot the optional apps you never wanted to get.

Why is AdChoices so dangerous?

AdChoices ads might promote useful products and services. Still, they might be malware-related as well. Such ads can redirect you to dubious websites created to spread viruses or install tracking cookies to steal your data. For this reason, get rid of AdChoices as soon as you detect it.

How to remove AdChoices from Mac once and for all

AdChoices can hide deeply in the system folders. The most straightforward way to find and remove it from your Mac is using a reliable anti-malware software.

My all-time favorite tool is CleanMyMac X by MacPaw. Some tech experts, like Bob LeVitus, recommend its Malware Removal feature designed to cope with Mac-specific viruses.

Its malware database is regularly updated to destroy the latest threats right on the spot. But what I like the most about CleanMyMac X is that Apple notarized it. That means it’s safe to use on macOS.

Here’s how you can remove AdChoices from Mac using CleanMyMac X:

  1. Grab your copy of CleanMyMac X — download a free demo here.
  2. Click the Malware Removal tab.
  3. Push Scan to let the tool check your Mac for viruses.
  4. If anything malicious detected, hit Remove. As easy as pie!
remove AdChoices from Mac

Resetting browser settings is an effective way to restore your browsers after an adware attack. Here’s when the Uninstaller feature of CleanMyMac X comes in handy. To make sure that your Chrome and Firefox browsers are adware-free, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch CleanMyMac X.
  2. Go to the Uninstaller module > All Applications.
  3. Select Google Chrome and Firefox.
  4. Click the box next to them and select Reset in the drop-down menu.
  5. Press the Reset button.
make sure that your Chrome and Firefox browsers are adware free

Now that you reset the settings, no intrusive pop-ups will bother you.

Deal with AdChoice without assistance

If you’re looking for manual solutions on removing the hazard, here are some steps to follow.

Step 1. Delete software AdChoice came with

If AdChoices got into your Mac as a part of a software bundle, go to the Applications folder and trash the apps you installed at that time or don’t remember installing at all. Select AdChoices and all suspicious programs. Drag them to Trash and empty it.

Step 2. Eliminate all adware-related files

Make sure no items associated with AdChoices are left on your computer. They may take root deeply into your system and be the chief reason for all malicious activity. To locate and delete the leftovers, follow these steps:

  1. In the Finder, head over to the Go menu > Go to Folder.
  2. Paste these locations into the box. Press Go after each one:

    ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    /Library/LaunchAgents
    /Library/LaunchDaemons
    /Library/Application Support
  3. Check every folder for files related to AdChoices.
  4. If anything is detected, drag it to the Trash.
  5. Once done, empty the Trash.

Quick tip:

Getting rid of adware leftovers is a piece of cake with CleanMyMac X. Launch the app and go to Uninstaller > All Applications. Check the box next to the programs you want to remove and hit Uninstall. Last, navigate to Leftovers to eradicate all malicious remains.


Now that there is no trace of AdChoices on your Mac, it’s time to deal with harmful extensions and restore your browsers.

Step 3. Get your browsers back

Safari

  1. Open Safari and click the Safari menu.
  2. Choose Preferences and go to the Extensions tab.
  3. Hunt for the AdChoices extension as well as one that looks unfamiliar.
  4. Click the extension you want to exclude and hit Uninstall.
  5. Now, head over to the Search tab and choose your preferred search engine from the drop-down menu.
  6. Go back to the General tab and set the homepage you like.

Quick tip:

Use CleanMyMac X's Extensions module to remove extensions from Safari in a click.

Chrome

  1. To remove AdChoices on Mac from Chrome, navigate to chrome://extensions.
  2. Locate the AdChoices extension or any extension you don’t recognize.
  3. Hit Remove to delete them from the list.
  4. Now, paste chrome://settings to the address bar.
  5. Go to Advanced > Reset Settings on the left-side panel.
  6. Click ‘Restore settings to their original default’.
  7. Click Reset Settings to confirm the Chrome reset.

Firefox

  1. Launch Firefox and paste about:addons to the address bar.
  2. Choose Extensions and find any questionable ones.
  3. Click the three-dot icon next to the extensions you want to delete and select Remove.
  4. Navigate to about:support and press Refresh Firefox.
  5. Click Refresh Firefox when prompted to restore the default browser settings.

Seeing AdChoices ads is not the worst thing out there. But if they keep bombarding you from every side, check your Mac for malware right away. Turn to CleanMyMac X to get rid of any infection and restore your browser after the attack, all in one place.

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Your Mac. As good as new.