THREAT REMOVAL

PDFSpark Mac “Virus” – How to Remove It

What is PDFSpark? Why does it load on your Mac? How to get rid of the undesired app PDFSpark and secure your system?

pdfspark official website distribution channel sensorstechforum

The program called PDFSpark is classified as a potentially unwanted program due to the fact that it has been detected to sneak into Mac devices without users’ knowledge. In the event that your Mac has been affected by PDFSpark, you may see the program to load every time you start the device. Even if this program is not intended to harm your operating system or data, it could obtain rights to spy on your online activities and then make you a target of aggressive advertising campaigns. Furthermore, its presence on your Mac could be misused by its owners for the installation of additional spyware programs or malware at worst. So we recommend you to keep up with our removal guide and learn how to fully remove PDFSpark from your Mac.

Threat Summary

NamePDFSpark
TypePotentially Unwanted Program (PUP)
Short DescriptionPDF manager that starts loading on your Mac against your will.
SymptomsLots of ads flood your preferred web browser. It becomes sluggish and sometimes unresponsive. Certain details are recorded by the program and sent to remote servers.
Distribution MethodSoftware Bundling, Freeware Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Combo Cleaner

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss PDFSpark.

PDFSpark “Virus” – What is It All About?

On its official website PDFSpark is presented as a useful all-in-one PDF manager that features read, convert and annotate options:

pdfspark official website distribution channel sensorstechforum

And once you open it on your Mac you could see its interface, as shown in the picture below:

pdfspark undesired program interface

In fact, PDFSpark should not be considered a virus as it does not necessarily aim to harm your system. However, as the program often appears on Mac devices without users’ will, it is classified as a potentially unwanted program. Such type of programs is spread via shady techniques like freeware installers, software bundles, malvertising, and other undesired apps. Most of the times undesired programs like PDFSpark come as a result of their unattended installation. This event usually occurs during the installation of a desired program. To prevent being tricked into installing undesired apps while installing desired ones, you need to read carefully all details mentioned at each install step of the installer. And whenever you see that it offers and Advanced/Custom configuration option, please do choose it. By doing this you could reveal the presence of bundled apps and eventually opt out their installation.

Generally, the purpose of PUPs like PDFSpark is to access target web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari), alter some of their settings and start delivering lots of annoying advertisements during browsing sessions. So by having it on your device, you are forced to see various deceptive offers and lots of annoying coupons, banners, pop-ups, pop-unders while browsing the web. Be advised to avoid clicking on the ads you see, as they could land you on bogus websites that present deceptive offers or even on web pages corrupted by hackers.

Another issue related to the presence of PDFSpark “virus” on your Mac is unsolicited data collection. Since the main idea behind the creation of PUPs especially of adware type is revenue generation, their owners often configure them to activate different tracking technologies when started on a target machine. By doing this they become able to identify your interests and then use the data for the display of targeted ads.

Considering all issues caused by PDFSpark PUP, we recommend that you should remove it from your Mac as soon as possible.

Remove PDFSpark “Virus” from Your Mac

In order to remove PDFSpark “Virus” along with all associated files, you should complete several removal steps. The guide below you presents all removal steps in their precise order. You could choose between manual and automatic removal approach. In order to fully get rid of this particular undesired program and strengthen the security of your Mac we recommend you to combine the steps. Have in mind that files associated with this PUP may be detected with names different than PDFSpark.

In case you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.

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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OFFER
REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with SpyHunter for Mac
PDFSpark 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 PDFSpark and remove related files and objects

OFFER
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 PDFSpark:

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 PDFSpark. 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 PDFSpark. 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 PDFSpark 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 PDFSpark. 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
/Library/LaunchDaemons

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


Step 2: Remove PDFSpark – 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

stf-safari-extensions

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 PDFSpark 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 PDFSpark files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as PDFSpark, 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 PDFSpark:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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