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Remove Trovi virus on Mac from Safari, Chrome, Firefox

Review this guide to learn what the Trovi adware is, how it compromises computers, and how to completely remove it from an infected Mac machine.

Update: October 2021

Threat Profile
Name Trovi redirect virus
Category Mac browser hijacker, adware, PUA
IP Address 3.130.94.1
Related Domains trovi.com, trovigo.com, weknow.ac
Symptoms Redirects web searches to Bing via trovi.com or trovigo.com, displays unwanted ads, slows down the system
Distribution Techniques Freeware bundles, torrents, pirated apps, fake software updates
Severity Level Low
Damage Search redirects, browser history tracking, unwanted ads
Removal Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner to detect all files related to the browser hijacker. Use the tool to remove the infection if found.

Malware-free macOS is unfortunately turning into a delusion at a steady pace. The good news is it’s not as susceptible to viruses as Windows, but potentially unsafe applications such as adware have been capable of compromising Mac machines for quite a while now. The infection which is the subject of this article is called Trovi, and it’s an extreme nuisance and a big time web surfing experience spoiler. This potentially unwanted code is commonly flagged by antivirus utilities as adware, that is, a program taking advantage of hijacked Internet traffic in order to monetize it and promote certain services. It has been in circulation since 2014 and hasn’t undergone any filtering or blacklisting countermeasures up till the present moment. Seven years after discovery, the malware continues to make new victims who are at their wit’s end trying to get rid of the irritating redirects and bring serenity back into their digital lives.

Trovi homepage

Mac users are ensnared via classic trickery

The Trovi threat is known to be closely affiliated with Conduit, or Conduit Search – one of the prevalent homepage hijackers in the wild. So if you’ve got one on your machine, the other is probably there as well. Just like its Conduit satellite, Trovi is distributed as part of freeware whose spreading pattern in no way presupposes declaring that any sort of bundle is coming along. Scrutinizing the Terms of Service for random free multimedia utilities or browser helper objects might help avoid the contamination but, first off, not necessarily, and secondly, there aren’t a whole lot of users doing that as a rule.

Trojanized Adobe Flash Player updaters dominate the Trovi virus distribution campaign. This hoax is backed by popups that appear on hacked or malicious websites stating that the update is mandatory for proper processing of multimedia content in the browser. Predictably enough, the spoofed installer is a bundle comprising Trovi payload in addition to the harmless core application that supposedly needs fine-tuning. Now that Adobe is dropping support of its long-standing product (the EOL move is due December 31, 2020), cybercrooks are switching to the use of spoofed “Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller” pop-ups to promote the likes of Trovi.

How exactly does Trovi affect a Mac?

This adware changes the web browsing preferences on the infected workstation, namely the values for homepage and default search engine. The Mac versions of Chrome, Firefox, as well as Safari therefore start to act up, constantly returning www.trovi.com or trovigo.com instead of the URLs for the above settings previously configured by the user. There is no actual danger stemming from the landing web page for this adware except for the annoyance aspect. Trovi.com bears a tangible value to its creators, though, because it displays ads to the victims. Whether you click on those banners and sponsored links or not, it’s profitable to Trovi authors. Also, while having no real search functionality in itself, this service redirects all searches to Bing.

When the hijack is underway, Trovi.com can be resolved in the affected browser briefly and isn’t necessarily the actual landing page the victim arrives at. Moreover, it is often one of several “en route” domains the traffic slips through. In many cases, the fraudulently imposed web navigation path additionally encompasses such URLs as go.next-search.net and weknow.ac. Regardless of the specific series of sites being observed in transit, the Mac user will be hitting Bing.com in the long run. The role of this reputable search provider is to spice the adware attack with a false sense of legitimacy.

Trovi redirects to Bing

Browser hijacking isn’t the only pitfall

On top of the conspicuous browser redirect activity, the Trovi malware deploys a sort of reconnaissance on the plagued Mac. In particular, it drops tracking cookies and gathers the victim’s sensitive data, such as the browsing history, email address, and details of account logon instances. The architects of this campaign then take advantage of the harvested information themselves or sell it to third parties that may conduct targeted phishing attacks and generate spam. The longer the infection remains on board a computer and active, the higher the likelihood of identity theft.

It’s worth pointing out separately that although you only see the impact of Trovi in the way your web browsers behave, it spreads its cyber tentacles much further than that and drops malicious components into multiple paths in the host Mac. The goal of this multi-level compromise tactic is to establish persistence and prevent easy cleanup. That’s why the removal of this adware should be performed in several stages that include resetting the affected web browsers and eliminating the malicious app proper. Below are detailed instructions on what needs to be done.

Trovi manual removal for Mac

The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this malicious application. Be sure to follow the instructions in the specified order.

  1. Expand the Go menu in your Mac’s Finder bar and select Utilities as shown below.

    Go to Utilities

  2. Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the Utilities screen and double-click on it.

    Select the Activity Monitor

  3. In the Activity Monitor app, look for a process that appears suspicious. To narrow down your search, focus on unfamiliar resource-intensive entries on the list. Keep in mind that its name isn’t necessarily related to the way the threat is manifesting itself, so you’ll need to trust your own judgement. If you pinpoint the culprit, select it and click on the Stop icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

    Stop malicious process

  4. When a follow-up dialog pops up asking if you are sure you want to quit the troublemaking process, select the Force Quit option.

    Select the Force Quit option

  5. Click on the Go menu icon in the Finder again and select Go to Folder. You can as well use the Command-Shift-G keyboard shortcut.

    Use the Go to Folder feature

  6. Type /Library/LaunchAgents in the folder search dialog and click on the Go button.

    Open /Library/LaunchAgents folder

  7. Examine the contents of the LaunchAgents folder for dubious-looking items. Be advised that the names of files spawned by malware may give no clear clues that they are malicious, so you should look for recently added entities that appear to deviate from the norm.

    As an illustration, here are several examples of LaunchAgents related to mainstream Mac infections: com.pcv.hlpramc.plist, com.updater.mcy.plist, com.avickUpd.plist, and com.msp.agent.plist. If you spot files that don’t belong on the list, go ahead and drag them to the Trash.

    Root-level LaunchAgents folder contents

  8. Use the Go to Folder lookup feature again to navigate to the folder named ~/Library/Application Support (note the tilde symbol prepended to the path).

    Open ~/Library/Application Support folder

  9. When the Application Support directory is opened, identify recently generated suspicious folders in it and send them to the Trash. A quick tip is to look for items whose names have nothing to do with Apple products or apps you knowingly installed. A few examples of known-malicious folder names are Trovi, IdeaShared, and ProgressMatch.

    Application Support folder contents

  10. Enter ~/Library/LaunchAgents string (don’t forget to include the tilde character) in the Go to Folder search area.

    Open ~/Library/LaunchAgents directory

  11. The system will display LaunchAgents residing in the current user’s Home directory. Look for dodgy items related to Trovi virus (see logic highlighted in subsections above) and drag the suspects to the Trash.

    Contents of LaunchAgents folder in user’s home directory

  12. Type /Library/LaunchDaemons in the Go to Folder search field.

    Go to /Library/LaunchDaemons

  13. In the LaunchDaemons path, try to pinpoint the files the malware is using for persistence. Several examples of such items cropped by Mac infections are com.pplauncher.plist, com.startup.plist, and com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist. Delete the sketchy files immediately.

    LaunchDaemons folder contents

  14. Click on the Go menu icon in your Mac’s Finder and select Applications on the list.

    Go to Applications screen on Mac

  15. Find Trovi or another app that clearly doesn’t belong there and move it to the Trash. If this action requires your admin password for confirmation, go ahead and enter it.

    Drag malicious app to the Trash

  16. Expand the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

    Select System Preferences

    Open System Preferences

  17. Proceed to Users & Groups and click on the Login Items tab.

    Proceed to Users & Groups

    The system will display the list of items launched when the computer is starting up. Locate the potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-” (minus) button.

    Delete unwanted login item

  18. Now select Profiles under System Preferences. Look for a malicious item in the left-hand sidebar. Several examples of configuration profiles created by Mac adware include TechSignalSearch, MainSearchPlatform, AdminPrefs, and Chrome Settings. Select the offending entity and click on the minus sign at the bottom to eliminate it.

    Select Profiles under System Preferences

    Remove malicious configuration profile from Mac

    If your Mac has been infiltrated by adware, the infection will most likely continue to hold sway over your default web browser even after you remove the underlying application along with its components sprinkled around the system. Use the browser cleanup instructions below to address the remaining consequences of this attack.

Get rid of Trovi virus in web browser on Mac

To begin with, the web browser settings taken over by the Trovi virus should be restored to their default values. Although this will clear most of your customizations, web surfing history, and all temporary data stored by websites, the malicious interference should be terminated likewise. The overview of the steps for completing this procedure is as follows:

  1. Remove Trovi virus from Safari
    • Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list.

      Go to Preferences in Safari

    • Once the Preferences screen appears, click on the Advanced tab and enable the option saying “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

      Advanced tab under Safari Preferences

    • Now that the Develop entry has been added to the Safari menu, expand it and click on Empty Caches.

      Empty Caches in Safari

    • Now select History in the Safari menu and click on Clear History in the drop-down list.

      Clear history in Safari

    • Safari will display a dialog asking you to specify the period of time this action will apply to. Select all history to ensure a maximum effect. Click on the Clear History button to confirm and exit.

      Select all history to clear

    • Go back to the Safari Preferences and hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Manage Website Data and click on it.

      Manage Website Data option under Privacy tab

    • The browser will display a follow-up screen listing the websites that have stored data about your Internet activities. This dialog additionally includes a brief description of what the removal does: you may be logged out of some services and encounter other changes of website behavior after the procedure. If you’re okay with that, go ahead and click on the Remove All button.

      Confirmation dialog

    • Restart Safari
  2. Remove Trovi in Google Chrome
    • Open Chrome, click the Customize and control Google Chrome (⁝) icon in the top right-hand part of the window, and select Settings in the drop-down

      Chrome Settings

    • When on the Settings pane, select Advanced
    • Scroll down to the Reset settings section.

      Reset settings in Chrome on Mac

    • Confirm the Chrome reset on a dialog that will pop up. When the procedure is completed, relaunch the browser and check it for malware activity.

      Here’s how to reset settings in Chrome on Mac

  3. Remove Trovi from Mozilla Firefox
    • Open Firefox and go to Help – Troubleshooting Information (or type about:support in the URL bar and press Enter).

      Open Firefox and go to Help

      Select Troubleshooting Information

    • When on the Troubleshooting Information screen, click on the Refresh Firefox button.

      Refresh Firefox on Mac

    • Confirm the intended changes and restart Firefox.

Get rid of Trovi virus using Combo Cleaner automatic removal tool

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove Trovi virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.

Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the Trovi issue using Combo Cleaner:

  1. Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.

    Download Combo Cleaner

    By downloading any applications recommended on this website you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. The free scanner checks whether your Mac is infected. To get rid of malware, you need to purchase the Premium version of Combo Cleaner.

  2. Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run the update of malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
  3. Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.

    Combo Cleaner Mac scan progress

  4. Examine the scan results. If the report says “No Threats”, then you are on the right track with the manual cleaning and can safely proceed to tidy up the web browser that may continue to act up due to the after-effects of the malware attack (see instructions above).

    Combo Cleaner scan report – no threats found

  5. In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove Trovi threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.

    Combo Cleaner – threats found

  6. Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.
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