How to Get Rid of PanelStart Adware on Mac

remove PanelStart mac virus

PanelStart Adware

PanelStart is the name of another potentially unwanted program that affects Mac operating systems. The app is designed to alter main browser settings with the goal to become able to spy on various online activities and technical specifics. In addition to data collection, PanelStart adware is likely to start generating various types of ads both in affected browsers and desktop.

Since PanelStart adware is a potentially unwanted app, it may get installed on your Mac without your knowledge. Its unnoticed installation may have occurred as a result of a visit to a hacked website, download of а desired app with corrupted software installer, or click on a malicious online ad. In the event that you see PanelStart on your Mac, we recommend you to continue reading our guide and find how to remove all files installed by this undesired program.

Threat Summary

NamePanelStart adware
TypeAdware, Potentialy unwanted program (PUP)
Short DescriptionA deceptive program that is promoted as legit and reliable. Aims to trick users into leaving it on their systems. Attempts to generate revenue to its owners by delivering ads.
SymptomsDisplays annoying ads. Collects data from affected browsers and system. Loads every time the Mac is started. Causes browser and system slowdowns.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Shady Websites
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss PanelStart adware.

PanelStart – Spread and Impact

The main reason why PanelStart is considered to be a potentially unwanted program is that people download and install it unintentionally. This can happen by a click on a deceptive ad, a visit to a bogus website, or a download of a software package. Lots of shady websites across the web feature scripts that trigger automatic downloads of undesired files. All a user needs to do is to open such a website in the browser. Then the PUP gets installed on the background of all other active programs and processes. As regards the bundling spread method, it is being used to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted programs like PanelStart by believing that they receive an additional extra offer. It is a common issue that these “extras” are hidden in the installers of various supposedly useful programs.

Most of the time those extra apps can be found in “Custom”, “Advanced” and other similar configuration options. That’s why security experts recommend the usage of these settings during the installation of any apps.

Once PanelStart adware is installed on a Mac system, it starts displaying misleading ads on most visited websites. Be careful with these ads. For the sake of your online security avoid visiting ads generated by PanelStart. They can open questionable or even malicious pages that trigger automatic installations of other PUPs and tracking technologies.

Examples of ads generated by adware apps like SystemSpin, Alphashoppers and PanelStart are browser redirects, various coupons, in-text links, surveys, pop-up ads, and banners. It is possible that these ads will make your affected browser sluggish or unresponsive sometimes. Nowadays, this is one of the most annoying issues.

Moreover, the adware can be gathering various browsing data as well. For example, visited web pages, entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses, browser type, and version and other details of this kind. Then adware developers can sell gathered information to third parties, even to cybercriminals who misuse it to generate revenue in other shady ways.

For the sake of your Mac security, it’s best to consider the complete removal of PanelStart from the affected browser and system.

How to Remove PanelStart Adware from Mac

In order to remove PanelStart along with all its entries from your Mac system, you should complete several removal steps in a precise order. The guide below presents you manual and automatic removal steps. In order to fully get rid of files installed by undesired programs and strengthen macOS security, we recommend that you complete all steps. The manual PanelStart removal might be quite a complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps, navigate to the automatic part of the guide. The advantages of using an advanced anti-malware tool are many. You will be able to remove all harmful files with a few clicks once the program locates them. Your Mac will be protected against future adware/malware intrusions.

In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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with SpyHunter for Mac
PanelStart adware may remain persistent on your system and may re-infect it. We recommend you to download SpyHunter for Mac and run free scan to remove all virus files on your Mac. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
Free Remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

Preparation Phase:

Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:

  • Backup your files in case the worst happens.
  • Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
  • Arm yourself with patience.

Step 1: Uninstall PanelStart adware and remove related files and objects

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy

1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:

2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:

3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to PanelStart adware:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.

4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.

5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to PanelStart adware. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.

6. Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to PanelStart adware. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.

7. Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove PanelStart adware via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1. Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2. Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3. Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as PanelStart adware. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

Step 2: Remove PanelStart adware – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox

Remove an extension from Safari and reset it.Remove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Mozilla Firefox

1. Start Safari

2. After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.

3. From the menu, click on "Preferences"

stf-safari preferences

4. After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab


5. Click once on the extension you want to remove.

6. Click 'Uninstall'

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the PanelStart adware will be removed.

How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.

1. Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu

2. Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"

3. From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the add-on and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.

4. After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" in the top right corner and start it again.

1. Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window

2. Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.

3. Select the Extension and click "Remove"

4. After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" in the top right corner and start it again.

Step 3: Scan for and remove PanelStart adware files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as PanelStart adware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.

Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for PanelStart adware:


SpyHunter for Mac

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