CentralLot is adware. It infects Macs through fake software updates that are distributed by cybercriminals. Then it changes network settings, installs unwanted browser extensions, and promotes ad-filled websites and search engines. Plus, bizarre pop-ups, regular crashes, and slow Mac performance might also come with a CentralLot infection. To remove CentralLot, its files need to be found and deleted.
Centrallot Adware quicklinks
- How CentralLot works
- Browser hijacker
- How to remove CentralLot
- Delete malicious files
- Restore settings
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- Remove unwanted browser extensions
- How To remove CentralLot Adware from Firefox on Mac OS:
|How CentralLot affects the Mac||Changes the search engine and new tab settings,
causes excessive ads to be displayed,
causes more malware to be downloaded and installed.
|How adware infects computers||Falsely advertised online,
downloaded by a trojan.
|How to remove CentralLot||Delete it and related files,
use anti-malware scanners (Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, others) to find and remove malware,
check and change the settings that CentralLot might have manipulated.
How CentralLot works
CentralLot is a type of Mac malware. It’s adware – it makes changes to how web browsers, such as Safari, work. With CentralLot, you might notice, for example, Yahoo delivering your search results, or SearchMarquis replacing your home page. You might also get a lot more ads and random redirects.
In addition, if you read the CentralLot extension’s permissions in your browser settings, you can see that CentralLot is able to read your data on all the sites that you visit. This data includes stuff like passwords and payment information. Just in case, it might be a good idea to change your passwords after CentralLot is deleted.
Not every browser extension that has permissions to access your data is malicious. But some are. And CentralLot can use fake system pop-ups and other tactics to get the user to click whatever button it needs.
CentralLot arrives on a computer as a trojan, that is, by pretending to be another program and then tricking the user into downloading it themselves. Likely, CentralLot pretended to be an Adobe Flash Player update, but it could have been almost anything. I’ve seen fake macOS system updates, for example.
These malicious sites appear as ads on websites that don’t care about your security. Sites that are controversial or potentially illegal are most likely to display such ads because they tend to have low ad standards. Using an ad-blocker could help you avoid malicious links.
CentralLot is downloaded on the system by a trojan that, in theory, can download even more malware. Victims of adware related to CentralLot, such as SectionBrowser, SmartWebSearch, SkilledDeskSearch, and others sometimes try to delete the infection but instead see it return with a new name and/or multiply. In other words, CentralLot is probably not the only malware that needs to be deleted.
How to remove CentralLot
Delete malicious files
It’s advisable to start by botting your Mac in safe mode. That will prevent CentralLot and other malware from starting.
Then, scan your computer with an anti-malware program: Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or other apps that you trust. They should be able to find all suspicious files, not just the ones that belong to CentralLot.
You can also check your files manually. Sometimes, anti-malware apps miss some things, especially if the malware is new or rare.
Open Finder, Go in the menu, and Computer. Search for “CentralLot” and delete the files that are found.
But it’s likely that some malicious files have different names. In Finder, Go, select Go to Folder. In the dialog that comes up, type in these folder names:
- ~Library/Application Support/
- /Library/Application Support/
Now, look for files that appeared at the same time as CentralLot did. At or before the time that your browser started behaving strangely. They might be named mundane things like “TotalSearch” or “SoloProcess”, or they might have long strings of numbers and letters for their names.
If you delete a legitimate file by accident, you can always bring it back from Trash. But it would be more responsible to set up a backup from the start.
CentralLot causes various issues on the infected computer. And now that CentralLot is gone, it can’t interfere with the settings anymore. Time to see what needs fixing:
- Uninstall the CentralLot browser extension. Anti-malware tools should notice them but in case they did not, I put the extension removal instructions at the bottom.
- Restore browser settings, like the default search engine. Those instructions are also below.
- Open System Preferences and Extensions. Remove those that you don’t recognize.
- Also in System Preferences, check Profiles. Delete all the items that you didn’t create.
- Finally, go to Network, Advanced, Proxies. Deselect any items that you did not set and then press Save.
Reboot your Mac and it will exit safe mode. CentralLot should be gone for good.
Automatic Malware removal tools
Remove unwanted browser extensions
How to remove CentralLot Adware from Safari:TopRemove malicious extensions
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences.
- Select Extensions and uninstall CentralLot Adware 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 CentralLot Adware from Google Chrome on Mac:
- Open Chrome browser.
- Enter in the url field “chrome://extensions” address and hit Enter.
- Find CentralLot Adware 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 CentralLot Adware 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 CentralLot Adware 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.