An app called System Special is a potentially unwanted program that alters Mac operating systems’ settings. The developers of this app aim to earn money by spreading it on macOS and forcing victims to visit sponsored content.
System Special Mac
System Special Mac app is one of those programs that you have never installed but still have it on the computer. This program is classified as a potentially unwanted program or a PUP for short. Then why is it called a virus? The good news is that System Special Mac is not a program that is developed to corrupt personal files or essential system settings. However, as long as it is running on a macOS, it will be generating annoying ads, redirecting affected browsers to strange websites and potentially unwanted search engines like Yahoo and Bing and tracking certain online activities of yours. Even if System Special is not a virus, it still poses a certain danger to your online security as well as to the overall security of the affected system.
Keep up with our System Special “virus” removal guide and find out how to get rid of all potentially harmful files. The steps in this guide are applicable to all Mac operating system versions.
|Short Description||A questionable application that hijacks web browsers installed on Mac. The app applies modifications without your knowledge.|
|Symptoms||Main browser preferences may be altered. Browser slowdowns may occur due to increased number of online ads.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Corruted Websites|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss System Special.|
System Special Mac App – Spreading Techniques and Impact
System Special is a typical undesired app for Mac that belongs to adware-type of apps. It may also behave as a browser hijacker. Like many other nasty adware/browser hijacker apps that target Mac operating systems (Search Pulse, Receiver Helper, and Navlibx) System Special is spread via shady methods that trick users into installing it unwittingly on their Macs. A software bundle, software package, scam website, misleading ad, or a fake software update might have misled you to activate this program on your Mac.
Undesired programs like System Special are well-known for their ability to perform various changes behind users’ back. So, the moment this program was started on your Mac, it has probably altered some main browser settings that enable it to push an unwanted / hoax search engine. The program may also have activated tracking technologies to perform unsolicited data collection. Most of the changes applied by System Special help this nasty program to serve annoying ads on almost all websites you visit. Beware that websites’ owners do not know about the appearance of these ads. Hence, these ads may not be related to secured websites and legitimate offers. It is recommendable that you avoid visiting sponsored results generated by System Special undesired app. Otherwise, you may be presented with misleading information that force you to install additional undesired/rogue/harmful app or require sensitive credentials.
By activating additional tracking technologies, the app may also collect the following:
- Type of used browser
- Operating system type
- Internet protocol (IP) address
- Geographic location
- The domain name of current Internet service provider (ISP)
When System Special’s owners receive harvested data, they become able to adjust their advertising campaigns and set their app to deliver sponsored content that matches your online interests. As a result, you may start noticing many annoying online ads on all websites you visit. All popular browsers including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera may be compromised by the undesired app.
System Special may not be a virus but its presence on your Mac may lead to serious issues that affect both system and personal data security. To avoid such unpleasant consequences, navigate to the removal instructions below and get rid of this undesired and potentially harmful program.
How to Remove System Special – Mac Malware Removal Guide
In order to remove System Special along with all entries it created on the Mac system, you should complete several removal steps in a precise order. The guide below presents manual and automatic removal approaches. In order to fully get rid of files installed by undesired programs and strengthen macOS security, we recommend that you combine the steps. The manual System Special 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.
Notice: Before manually removing files or folders on your Mac, make sure to identify the accurate components of Progress Site, because deleting other apps’ files or system settings files by mistake may trigger malfunction of installed apps or even your system.
In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.
About the System Special Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this System Special how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on System Special?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the System Special threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021
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 System Special and remove related files and objects
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 System Special:
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 System Special. 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 System Special. 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 System Special 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:
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 System Special. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove System Special – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove System Special files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as System Special, 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.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Step 4: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
System Special FAQ
What is System Special on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of System Special on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like System Special?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from System Special?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.