How to remove FlashMall virus from Mac?

FlashMall is a supposedly helpful browser add-on that displays coupons for sites you visit, advertising discounts, and savings. In reality, it’s a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware that’s intrusive and may steal data, such as your IP address, browsing history, and search queries. You should, therefore, remove it as soon as you notice it on your Mac.

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What you need to know about FlashMall

FlashMall is an adware that is bundled with what looks like legitimate applications when you download them to your Mac. Often this happens because you use a website with a download manager that wraps the adware with the app you want to download or because an outdated app, such as MPlayer X, is hijacked and used to distribute malware. It’s not a virus because it doesn’t automatically copy itself from computer to computer, but it’s intrusive.

Once downloaded, it installs a browser extension that then displays adverts for savings and discounts. In reality, if you click on a coupon, it downloads more malware, earning revenue for the scammers behind FlashMall.

To avoid inadvertently downloading FlashMall, be careful about the apps you download. If you see a warning from macOS telling you that an app that you’re trying to download isn’t from a trusted developer, don’t ignore it. Think carefully about whether you want to override the protection built into macOS and install it anyway.  

Fortunately, FlashMall isn’t too difficult to remove, although there are several steps involved.

How to remove FlashMall virus from your Mac

There are several steps to removing FlashMall. First, you have to get rid of the application, then remove the extension from each browser you use.

Step 1: Get rid of FlashMall app

  1. Go to your Applications folder.
  2. Look for an app called FlashMall or similar.
  3. Drag it to the Trash and empty it.

This will remove the main FlashMall app from your Mac. However, it won’t get rid of every trace of it. The easiest way to remove all of it is to use a dedicated antivirus tool. Which one to use is up to you, CleanMyMac X Antivirus has been gaining popularity in recent months, and its virus database is solid enough. It looks like this:

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download and install CleanMyMac X (get it for free here).
  2. Open the app from your Applications folder.
  3. Choose Malware Removal in the sidebar.

After you do the scan, it’s a good idea to additionally use the Uninstaller tool in the same app. Click the Uninstaller tab and let it build the list of all your apps. If you find anything Flashmall-related, delete it right away.

Step 2: Check your Login Items

Some PUPs also install login items so that when you reboot your Mac, they launch automatically.

  1. Go to the Apple menu and choose System Settings.
  2. Click General.
  3. Select Login Items.
  4. Scan the list of login items; if you see one that looks suspicious, check the box next to it and click the “-” button.
System Preferences - Login Items

Step 3: Check for Launch Agents

Along with login items, some malware installs launch agents in your user folder.

  1. Click on the Finder in the Dock.
  2. Click on the Go menu and choose Go to Folder.
  3. Paste this into the text box: ~/Library/LaunchAgents and press Return.

4. Look at the items in the folder; if anything has the name FlashMall drag it to the Trash and empty it.

Pro tip: 

If all those steps look too long to follow, consider using the app I’ve mentioned above — CleanMyMac X. With its help, you can remove Launch Agents and Login Items in a few clicks. Just open it and click on the Optimization tool, then choose Launch Agents or Login Items you need to remove.

CleanMyMac X - Login items

Step 4: Remove FlashMall browser extension from Safari

  1. Open Safari and choose Settings from the Safari menu.
  2. Select the Extensions tab.
  3. Review the installed extensions and look for one called “FlashMall.”
  4. Click Uninstall.

Step 5: Remove browser extension from Chrome

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three dots in the toolbar.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Extensions.
  3. Alternatively, type “chrome://extensions” into the address bar.
  4. Locate the FlashMall extension and click Remove.

Step 6: Remove FlashMall from Firefox

  1. Open Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines at the right of the toolbar.
  2. Go to Add-ons and themes.
  3. Select Extensions in the left sidebar and look for the FlashMall extension.
  4. Click Remove.

Once you’ve removed the browser extension from all the browsers you use on your Mac, restart them. FlashMall should now be gone, and it won’t trouble you anymore.

FlashMall pretends to be a useful utility that displays discount coupons for websites you visit. In reality, it’s malware designed to prompt you to click on links on the coupons, which will then lead you to download more malware and earn money for the scammers behind FlashMall. 

If you notice that it’s installed on your Mac, follow the steps above to remove it. You can use CleanMyMac X to help, and then once it’s gone, scan your Mac regularly with CleanMyMac’s Malware Removal tool to keep it free from malware. Also, be careful about the apps you download and install on your Mac and the links you click on websites.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

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