CentralLocator is an adware hijacker. It works on Macs and it attaches itself to your Mac’s default browser. CentralLocator can change your web search results, read your browsing history and other private information, and even show ads on any webpage. CentralLocator isn’t usually installed intentionally, but comes in adware bundles via deceptive ads and other dishonest means.
- CentralLocator is an unwanted application
- Bundling and malicious ads
- Browser hijacking
- How to remove CentralLocator
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to manually remove CentralLocator
- How To remove CentralLocator from Firefox on Mac OS:
CentralLocator is a potentially unwanted program that should be uninstalled:
|Type of threat
|Distribution of CentralLocator
free programs that bundle potentially unwanted applications.
|Possible consequences of the hijacking
|Browser opening randomly,
pop-ups with CentralLocator opening unexpectedly,
slower, unstable Mac,
more ads in the browser and unexpected redirects.
|How to remove CentralLocator
|Find malicious programs with an anti-malware tool (Combo Cleaner),
manually delete malicious files.
CentralLocator is an unwanted application
Bundling and malicious ads
Those who find CentralLocator in their browser generally don’t recall installing it. But they often do remember downloading another file, often a software update. Then, out of nowhere, they see the CentralLocator pop-up that says “Installation Complete…”.
It seems like CentralLocator gets downloaded with fake software updates, in bundles with other adware infections. CentralLocator comes from from the same site as some of its siblings, like AgileHelp and SwiftEngine. Other similar adware infections include TechSignalSearch, SimpleProExtension, StudyDisplay, and others.
Besides CentralLocator, other browser hijackers get downloaded from the same source, such as 1 Click PDF and Daily PDF Converter. Worst of all, adware (fake Adobe Flash updates), and miners (possibly, fake Safari installers), and junkware like MacShiny also come from the same source.
Fake updates, installers, and browser hijackers tend to either come attached to another program, or advertised on shady websites with misleading graphics. Either way, people might be tricked into installing adware like CentralLocator.
CentralLocator gets attached to your default web browser, whether it’s Safari, Chrome, or something else. It could modify how that browser works by:
- redirecting pages,
- modifying links to open whatever websites CentralLocator wants,
- showing ads on any webpage,
- blocking certain websites,
- reading your browsing history,
- maybe even reading your usernames and passwords.
Most likely, CentralLocator doesn’t actually read your passwords, but its permissions (read sensitive information from all webpages and see when you visit all webpages) can allow it. You may not be able to guarantee that an extension is ethical, which is why it’s important to only install browser extensions that you really trust.
CentralLocator’s siblings have been seen to cause the browser to open randomly, the Mac crashing, pop-ups opening, mouse cursor being hijacked. People generally see their Safari get taken over even when they don’t use it regularly.
How to remove CentralLocator
CentralLocator doesn’t make it easy for you to remove it. It may be reinstalled after you remove it because it lodges itself in your system by leaving behind certain system files/settings. Drag CentralLocator from Applications to Trash, remove it from the extensions in your browser, and it’ll probably come back with the next login. Often, it’ll reappear with another name, but often with the same icon – a white magnifying glass on a green circle.
That’s why you may need to use an anti-malware tool, such as Combo Cleaner, to find and remove unwanted files and applications. Antivirus programs do detect this hijacker, as shown by this VirusTotal page. Another reason is that CentralLocator gets downloaded with other adware infections which also need to be removed.
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to manually remove CentralLocator
It’s important to make sure no other malware is present on your computer, which is why scanning it is good, but to remove CentralLocator, you don’t necessarily need an anti-malware program. You can go to folders like:
- ~/Library/Application Support
There, you can look for files related to CentralLocator. Some of the files in these folders belong to legitimate applications. It won’t be very bad if you accidentally delete a legitimate file from there, but it will cause some of your system to function unexpectedly, for example, certain programs might not start up when you log on. So, make backups before deleting a file that you think belongs to CentralLocator.
You can find the mentioned folders by right-clicking your Finder icon in the Dock choosing the “Go to Folder…” option from the pop-up menu. It opens a textbox for you to type or copy the folder name into.
How to remove CentralLocator from Safari:TopRemove malicious extensions
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences.
- Select Extensions and uninstall CentralLocator and other suspicious extensions.
- If your homepage was changed, click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences and choose General tab. Enter preferable URL to the homepage field.
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Reset Safari…
- Select which options you want to reset (usually all of them come preselected) and click on the Reset button.
TopHow to remove CentralLocator from Google Chrome on Mac:
- Open Chrome browser.
- Enter in the url field “chrome://extensions” address and hit Enter.
- Find CentralLocator on the extensions list and click on the recycle bin icon next to it.
- Click on 'Chrome' button at the top left corner. Select 'Preferences' on a drop-down menu box.
- Find 'Search' options on Settings tab. If your search engine is changed, click 'Manage Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- On the same page find 'Show home button' checkbox and change your homepage.
- On the 'Preferences' menu window, scroll down to the bottom and find 'Reset settings' button. Click it.
- Confirm your selection and click 'Reset' on the following window.
How To remove CentralLocator from Firefox on Mac OS:
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla window and select the “Add-ons” icon (Or press cmd+Shift+A on your keyboard).
- Go through Extensions list, remove everything CentralLocator related and items you do not recognise. If you do not know the extension and it is not made by Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe then you probably do not need it.
- Enter “about:preferences” in URL bar and hit enter.
- Open Search settings tab.
- If your search engine is changed, click 'Default Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- If your homepage was changed, click on the Firefox menu in the top right corner, select Preferences-> General. Enter a preferable URL to the home page field.
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla Firefox window. Click on the Help button.
- Choose Troubleshooting Information on the Help menu.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button on the confirmation box. Mozilla Firefox will close and change the settings to default.