TapuFind is an adware that automatically delivers ads once the computer starts
- TapuFind is an adware that automatically delivers ads once the computer starts
- PUP travels as a fake Flash Player Update on P2P networks for gamers
- Full TapuFind uninstall guide
- Step 1. Stop adware processes in the Activity Monitor
- Step 2. Clean LaunchAgents from adware-related components
- Step 3. Delete folders with adware elements from Application Support directory
- Step 4. Get rid of PUP’s components resisting removal in LaunchDaemons path
- Step 5. Uninstall TapuFind from the Applications
TapuFind is a Mac virus that can be described as a combination of both adware and a browser hijacker at the same time. It belongs to the potentially unwanted program (PUP) category that targets Mac OS and infects the most widely used browsers, such as Safari, Google Chrome. Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and others.
People report that this PUP enters the system as a fake Adobe Flash Player update downloaded in various forms. When it is downloaded and installed, the user can notice annoying pop-ups once the computer is started. The worst part is that the ad window does not have close, minimize, or expand buttons. Thus, the user is unable to get rid of the pop-ups.
Posts in TapuFind Reddit forum indicate that there are numerous different ads with interchangeable content. For example, the window can show “prove you are not a robot” ad where you have to enter a sequence of displayed letters and numbers.
Even though it seems harmless, the OK button on the ad can be embedded with a code to automatically like questionable Facebook pages once clicked. This way, the developers of this adware can generate fake traffic to various pages at the expense of regular computer users and gain monetary benefits.
Note that you will not be able to close and get rid of the pop-ups unless you try to uninstall “TapuFind”. We understand that the elimination process is not familiar to less experienced computer users. Therefore, we highly encourage to follow removal guidelines at the end of this article.
Adware also has the features of a browser hijacker
Even though TapuFind virus is technically not the right term to describe this threat, it definitely may seem as a malicious program as it has the features of both, adware and a browser hijacker. It not only displays ads once you start your computer, but also when you start browsing the Internet.
A term browser hijacker originates from the features of a potentially unwanted program (PUP) to take over the used browser and change its default parameters. This PUP sets Search.tapufind.com or tab.tapufind.com as the main search engine and forces users to perform queries only on these pages.
However, experts note that some versions of this browser hijacker might redirect users to pages that seem identical to most widely used search engine, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Regular computer users would not be able to tell the difference.
The only way to identify the hijack is that it says “type to search on TapuFind” in the URL bar on the top of the window once you open your browser or a new tab. Apart from that, many computer users can be fooled to use this fraudulent search engine as a legitimate one.
Unfortunately, the consequences of keeping this browser hijacker on your computer might not only harm your computer but your privacy as well. Keep in mind that every word typed on this fake search engine can be recorded and shared with third-parties.
Furthermore, TapuFind delivers an extensive amount of various ads when you browse the Internet. It can lead you to questionable sites with scam offers or even help sneak a malicious program into your system. Those keep the browser hijacker report a significant slow down in the computer’s performance and system crashes in the long-run.
Therefore, it is essential to get rid of this potentially unwanted program as soon as possible. Note that if TapuFind won’t uninstall, you can get help from the step-by-step removal guide. Find it at the end of this article.
Quick Threat Summary
|Type||Adware, Browser hijacker, Pop-up virus|
|Related Domains||Tab.tapufind.com; Search.tapufind.com|
|Similar threats||Weknow.ac virus, Any Search virus|
|Symptoms||1. Displays pop-ups when you start your computer;|
2. Changes the default search engine to TapuFind;
3. Delivers ads during browsing sessions;
|Damage||To the computer: It can significantly deteriorate the computer’s performance, cause slowdowns, or even system crashes in the long-run; Also, increases the risk of other dangerous infections.|
To the user: People risk exposing their private information, being lured into scam projects, or other activities that lead to monetary loss.
|Removal||You can fully remove TapuFind from your computer by running a scan with a professional malware removal software, like INTEGO, a well-reviewed Mac antivirus.|
PUP travels as a fake Flash Player Update on P2P networks for gamers
It is no secret that potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), like the so-called TapuFind virus, spread via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. However, this adware is spotted disguising as a cracked game, such as The Sims 4 or similar.
Once the game is downloaded, it launches the installation of a fake Adobe Flash Player update to keep its disguise. After the installation is finished, users are immediately served with a pop-up on their screen that cannot be closed.
Unfortunately, the game users aim to download is never installed and the adware takes over the system. Therefore, it is essential to stay away from any unauthorized sites offering cracked software. Nine out of ten times you will download a potentially unwanted program either alone or bundled with other applications on P2P networks.
Also, keep in mind that these illegal websites can host even more dangerous programs, such as Trojan horses, ransomware and other types of malware. Thus, keep your system safe and never use them. Instead, download applications only from official websites.
Additionally, our experts highlight one preventative measure that is exceptionally effective in system protection from PUPs and more dangerous cyber threats — robust antivirus software with real-time protection feature. INTEGO delivers both.
Remove Tapufind using INTEGO ANTIVIRUS for Mac (includes scanning for iOS devices). The one-of-a-kind security suite provides VirusBarrier X9 real-time protection against Mac and Windows-based malware, removes existing threats and scans for malware in popular e-mail clients. Includes NetBarrier X9, an intelligent firewall for home, work and public connections.
This feature protects computer users from making mistakes in real time. It means that if you attempt to download a malware that disguises as a legitimate software, the antivirus will warn you right away. This way you can avoid potential threats while using your computer.
Full TapuFind uninstall guide
People report that this adware is exceptionally persistent and they struggle uninstalling it. If you want to get rid of the PUP fully, you must identify TapuFind core files and delete them. Note that usually, you can’t simply find them in Applications as they are well hidden inside the system.
Our team discovered that most of the main components of the adware are located in /users/shared/ directory with folder names of random number strings. For example, app_123456789. Beware, that there might be one or many folders containing the elements of the browser hijacker.
If you want to get rid of the adware for good, you must remove the “macappextensions” application that is located in the folders along other components. Otherwise, the pop-up ads will continue to appear while you browse or start the computer.
If you are an inexperienced computer user, Geek’s Advice team is more than happy to walk you through the essential steps of TapuFind removal. Below you will find a detailed elimination guide. Please, follow all steps to successfully eliminate this adware.
After you complete the steps below, continue with the guidelines to clean your browser from the hijack. These instructions are compatible with the most popular browsers, such as Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and others.
Also, if you want to skip the manual removal guidelines, you can uninstall TapuFind by running a full system scan with a robust antivirus. We recommend using INTEGO as it offers real-time protection that can help in the future as well.
Step 1. Stop adware processes in the Activity Monitor
- Look at Mac’s Finder bar at the top of your screen;
- Expand Go section and open Utilities;
- Find Activity Monitor and open it;
- Detect TapuFind, Macappextensions.app and other related processes;
- Double-click on them and select Quit > Force Quit.
TIP. Keep in mind that the processes in the Activity Monitor might not be necessarily named after TapuFind name. Thus, search for the ones that use suspiciously excessive amounts of CPU power which cannot be justified.
- Look at the Mac’s Finder bar and navigate on Go section;
- Select Go to Folder and type “/Library/LaunchAgents”;
- Delete adware-related components, such as com.tapufind.plist and com.SoftwareUpdater.agent.plist.
- Again, navigate to Go > Go to Folder and type “~/Library/LaunchAgents”;
- Delete suspicious elements that might be related to TapuFind as well.
Note. When you perform step 4, it is very important to not forget “~” tilde character. It opens the launch agents in the current user’s home directory where PUP’s components can hide.
Step 3. Delete folders with adware elements from Application Support directory
- Navigate to Go > Go to Folder again;
- Type “~/Library/Application Support”;
- Detect all suspicious folders and delete them;
TIP. Since TapuFind virus components might try to imitate legitimate software, folder names can look completely unrelated to the PUP. Thus, sort them by recently added while considering their legitimacy.
Step 4. Get rid of PUP’s components resisting removal in LaunchDaemons path
Since people report that TapuFind won’t uninstall, it might be because some of its elements are still residing in LaunchDaemons path. Navigate to Go > Go to Folder and type “/Library/LaunchDaemons/”. Look for suspicious files and throw them to the trash bin.
Step 5. Uninstall TapuFind from the Applications
Even though this adware is sneaky and might not appear in the Applications folder, we suggest checking for safety. Open Finder and navigate to Applications through the toolbar on the left. Then search for TapuFind or Macappextensions and move them to the trash bin.
If you’re having hard time trying to uninstall the virus manually, you might want to consider using a professional anti-malware suite for Mac to remove existing threats and secure it with real-time protection.
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Tapufind virus Removal Tutorial
To remove the unwanted program from your Mac, use these instructions below to uninstall associated applications from your Mac computer. Then scroll down for instructions how to clean each affected web browser individually.
Remove Tapufind virus from Mac
- Click on Finder.
- Go to Applications folder.
- Look for suspicious applications you can't remember installing. Right-click them and select Move to Trash.
- After moving all suspicious apps to Trash, right-click the Trash bin in Mac's Dock and select Empty Trash.
Remove using INTEGO ANTIVIRUS for Mac (includes scanning for iOS devices). The one-of-a-kind security suite provides VirusBarrier X9 real-time protection against Mac and Windows-based malware, removes existing threats and scans for malware in popular e-mail clients. Includes NetBarrier X9, an intelligent firewall for home, work and public connections.
Remove Tapufind virus from Safari
Uninstall suspicious Safari extensions
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top left corner. Select Preferences in the menu that appears on the screen.
- Now, go to Extensions tab. Look at the left to see all installed extensions, click on suspicious ones and hit that Uninstall button as shown in the picture. Confirm your choice by clicking Uninstall again. Repeat until you get rid of all unwanted extensions.
Change Safari Homepage and default search engine
- In Preferences, open the General tab. Here, check what URL is set as your homepage. Delete it and type in whatever URL you want to set as your Safari Start Page.
- Next, go to the Search tab. Here, choose what Search engine you want to set as default.
- Next, click on Manage websites... then Remove all... and then Done.
Remove push notifications on Safari
Some suspicious websites can try to corrupt your Safari by asking to enable push notifications. If you have accidentally agreed, your browser will be flooded with various intrusive advertisements and pop-ups. You can get rid of them by following this quick guide:
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top-left corner of the screen to select Preferences;
- Go to Websites tab and navigate to Notifications on the left side toolbar.
- Click on Safari > Clear History...
- Then choose to clear All history and hit Clear History button to confirm.
- Go to Safari > Preferences and then open Privacy tab.
- Click Manage Website Data... then Remove All. To finish, click Done.
- Finally, clear Safari cache. In Safari Menu, click Develop > Clear Cache.
Remove Tapufind virus from Google Chrome
Remove suspicious Chrome extensions
- Open Chrome and type chrome://extensions into address bar and press Enter.
- Here, look for suspicious extensions, and Remove them.
- Don't forget to confirm by pressing Remove in the confirmation pop-up.
Change Start Page settings
- In Chrome address bar, type chrome://settings and press Enter.
- Scroll down to the On startup section. Check for suspicious extensions controlling these settings, and Disable them.
- Additionally, you can set browser to Open a specific page or set of pages via these settings. Simply choose this option, click Add a new page, enter your preferred URL (f.e. www.google.com) and press Add.
Change default search settings
- In Chrome URL bar, type chrome://settings/searchEngines and press Enter. Make sure you type searchEngines, not searchengines. Additionally, you can go to chrome://settings and find Manage search engines option.
- First, look at the list of search engines and find the one you want to set as default. Click the three dots next to it and select Make Default.
- Finally, look through the list and eliminate suspicious entries. Right-click the three dots and select Remove from the list.
Remove push notifications from Chrome
If you want to get rid of the annoying ads and so-called push-notifications viruses, you must identify their components and clean your browser. You can easily remove ads from Chrome by following these steps:
- In Google Chrome, press on Menu (upward arrow) in the top-right corner of the window.
- Select Settings.
- Go to Privacy and Security > Site Settings.
- Open Notifications.
- Here, go to the Allow list and identify suspicious URLs. You can either Block or Remove by pressing on the three vertical dots on the right side of the URL. However, we suggest the Block option, so the site won't ask you to enable the notifications if you ever visit it again.
Reset Google Chrome browser
- The final option is to reset Google Chrome. Type chrome://settings in the URL bar, press Enter and then scroll down until you see Advanced option. Click it and scroll to the bottom of the settings.
- Click Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Click Restore settings to confirm.
Remove Tapufind virus from Mozilla Firefox
Remove unwanted add-ons from Firefox
- Open Firefox and type about:addons in the URL bar. Press Enter.
- Now, click on Extensions (in the left section).
- Click Remove next to every suspicious browser add-on that you can't remember installing.
Change Firefox Homepage
- In Firefox address bar, type about:preferences and hit Enter.
- Look at the left and click the Home tab.
- Here, delete the suspicious URL and type or paste in the URL of a website you'd like to set as your homepage.
Alter preferences in Firefox
- Type about:config in Firefox address bar and hit Enter.
- Click I accept the risk! to continue.
- Here, type in the URL which has taken over your browser without your knowledge. Right-click each value that includes it and choose Reset.
Remove annoying push notifications from Firefox
Suspicious sites that ask to enable push notifications gain access to Mozilla's settings and can deliver intrusive advertisements when browsing the Internet. Therefore, you should remove access to your browser by following these simple steps:
- In Mozilla Firefox, click on Menu (the three horizontal bars) on the top-right corner of the window, then choose Options.
- Click on Privacy and Security, then scroll down to Permissions section.
- Here, find Notifications and click Settings button next to it.
- Identify all unknown URLs and choose to Block them. Click Save Changes afterward.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
- In Firefox, type about:support in the address bar and press Enter.
- Click on Refresh Firefox...
- Click Refresh Firefox again to confirm.
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Scott Bolton is a senior content strategist in our Geek’s Advice team. He is exceptionally passionate about covering the latest information technology themes and inspire other team members to follow new innovations. Despite the fact that Scott is an old-timer among the Geeks, he still enjoys writing comprehensive articles about exciting cybersecurity news or quick tutorials.