How to remove webhelper

Webhelper has been designated by several anti-malware tools as a potentially unwanted program (PUP). That means that, while webhelper isn’t a virus, it can still cause serious inconvenience and disruption. In this article, we’ll tell you more about what it is and explain how to get rid of it.

Did you know?

New antiviruses for Mac are learning to combat browser viruses pretty effectively. MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X has several tools that can help remove PUPs from your Mac, including a Malware Removal utility, and several features that remove files like launch agents and browser extensions. It makes it really easy to clean up your Mac and improve its performance.

What is webhelper?

It’s a PUP that displays adverts on your computer and which also may steal data related to your browsing activity. There have also been reports that it may steal more sensitive information like financial data. It does that by monitoring keystrokes, mouse input and by taking control of other programs. 

Other reports, however, claim that webhelper poses little threat to security and is more of an annoyance than anything dangerous. These reports say that its activity is limited to displaying adverts and playing audio on your computer without your permission. Whichever of these reports is closer to the truth, it’s clear that it’s is an undesirable presence on your computer and that if you spot it, you should get rid of it as soon as possible.

How did it get on my computer?

Like many PUPs, webhelper uses a technique known as bundling. That means that it finds its way onto your Mac by ‘hiding’ in download packages alongside seemingly legitimate applications. This often happens when you download applications from free software download sites that use their own proprietary download managers. In this case, it seems that webhelper is associated with some downloads of a Bit Torrent client called Utorrrent and so if you have downloaded that recently, it could be the source of the adware. 

How can I avoid PUPs

How can I avoid PUPs?

There are a number of steps you can take to avoid downloading webhelper or other PUPs.

  1. Don’t download software from download sites that use their own download manager. These tools are designed for one purpose: to trick you into downloading software you don’t want.
  2. Beware of malicious websites: don't ignore warnings from your web browser when they tell you a site you are trying to visit could be harmful.
  3. Don’t click on any link unless you are 100% certain where it leads.
  4. Don’t respond to pop-ups that claim some of your system is out of date or needs to be repaired.

How to remove webhelper

The simplest method, and the one we recommend, is to use CleanMyMac X.  You can use its Malware Removal and real-time protection tools to keep your Mac safe from harmful software. And, if you need to, you can also use it to uninstall applications, clear out junk files, remove browser files that collect personal data, and prevent apps and services from starting automatically when you boot your Mac.

How to remove webhelper

Here’s how to use it to protect your Mac in real-time.

  1. Download CleanMyMac X — a link to the free version
  2. Install it, following the instructions, then launch it from your Applications folder. 
  3. Click on the CleanMyMac X menu in the menu bar.
  4. Choose Preferences and then Protect.
  5. Check the box labelled Enable real-time monitoring.

CleanMyMac X will now regularly scan your Mac for malware, without you having to do anything else. It will alert you if it finds anything and give you the opportunity to remove it.

protect your Mac in real-time

Here’s how easy it is to scan your Mac for malware manually using CleanMyMac X.

  1. Double-click on CleanMyMac X in your Applications folder.
  2. Choose Malware Removal on the left of the window.
  3. Push the Scan button.
  4. We hope that CleanMyMac X won’t find any malware and will give your Mac a clean bill of health. If not, press Remove to get rid of the malware it finds.

How to get rid of webhelper manually

If you’d rather remove this PUP manually, here’s how to do it. Make sure to follow all the steps in the process to get rid of it completely.

Remove the application

Go to your Applications folder and locate the application you downloaded just before you noticed the adware. Drag it to the Trash. If you see any apps you didn’t intend to download, drag those to the Trash, too. Empty the Trash. 

Trash any files installed by the PUP

  1. In the Finder, go to the menu bar and choose Go, then Go to Folder.
  2. Navigate to each of the locations below, one at a time, by pasting their location in the box in the Go to Folder window and look for files that contain the name of the app you just trashed or anything that looks like webhelper.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

 /Library/LaunchDaemons

/Library/Application Support

~/Library/Application Support

That should remove all traces of the PUP from your Mac’s system folders, now you need to remove it from the web browsers you use. The easiest way to do that is to use the Extensions and Privacy tools in CleanMyMac X. To do it manually, go to the Preferences in your browser and then use the privacy and extensions features to remove files. Here’s where to find them in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

How to get rid of webhelper manually

Safari

Click on the Safari menu and choose Preferences. Use the Extensions tab to find installed extensions and uninstall them. Once you’ve done that, go to Preferences>Privacy>Remove website data to get rid of other files.

Chrome

Paste this address into the URL bar in Chrome to get to its settings: chrome://settings.  Use this address to locate extensions: chrome://extensions.

Firefox

Click on the three bars to the right of the address bar and choose Add-ons. To  view installed extensions, select Extensions. You can remove them from there. Go back to Add-ons to manage website data like cache and history files.

Webhelper is a PUP that displays adverts, playas audio and may steal data If you spot it on your Mac, you should get rid of it as soon as possible. The easiest way to do that is to use my favorite app, CleanMyMac X. However, by following the steps above, you can also remove it manually.

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