The ExpandedSystem Mac Virus: Threats, Solutions, and Protecting Your Privacy

ExpandedSystem is a malicious Mac application that skillfully bypasses built-in Mac defenses and infiltrates your system, causing various disruptions. This article aims to shed light on the nature of ExpandedSystem, its distribution methods, symptoms, and most importantly, how to effectively remove it from your Mac and protect your privacy.

The ExpandedSystem Malware

ExpandedSystem is a Mac virus designed by cybercriminals. It typically enters your system through deceptive means, such as malware-laced pirated software installers or fraudulent Flash Player updates. Once it infiltrates your Mac, ExpandedSystem manipulates various settings to operate undetected. Importantly, it bypasses Apple’s Xprotect by obtaining user credentials to make these changes.

One of the initial signs of infection is a noticeable change in the behavior of your web browsers, including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. ExpandedSystem installs browser extensions that alter your homepage, new tab settings, and even search providers. This intrusion leads to several issues, including data tracking by third parties and an influx of sponsored links during your browsing sessions.

To exacerbate matters, the ExpandedSystem virus has the capability to spy on your browsers, potentially compromising sensitive information like account passwords and credit card details. Additionally, this malware may install additional payloads, including other versions like Adload, CentralGeo, VibeProfile, or HerculesLookup.

Key Information about ExpandedSystem

  • Name: ExpandedSystem
  • Type: Mac virus, adware, browser hijacker
  • Malware Family: Adload
  • Distribution: Third-party websites distributing pirated software, software bundles, fake Flash Player updates
  • Symptoms: Installation of a new browser extension and application, altered search and browsing settings, creation of new profiles and login items, intrusive ads and redirects
  • Removal: You can employ powerful security software like SpyHunter 5 or Combo Cleaner. Alternatively, follow the manual PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) uninstallation guide below.
  • System Optimization: To prevent data tracking, and remove caches, and other web data, use the ReimageIntego repair and maintenance tool.

Spreading Mechanisms

ExpandedSystem is notorious for its efficient distribution methods, primarily through:

  1. Fake Flash Player Updates: Beware of online messages claiming your system requires a Flash Player update. Flash Player has been discontinued, and legitimate updates are no longer available. Always avoid interacting with such deceptive notifications.
  2. Pirated Software Installers: Cybercriminals often bundle malware, including ExpandedSystem, with illegal software downloads, such as torrents. Exercise caution when downloading software from untrusted sources.

How to Remove the ExpandedSystem Virus

Prompt removal of the ExpandedSystem virus is essential to prevent further security and privacy issues. This malware employs AppleScript to evade built-in Mac defenses, making third-party solutions like Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner preferable for removal. Alternatively, you can opt for manual removal, following these steps:

1. Remove the Main App

  • Open the Applications folder.
  • Go to Utilities and double-click on Activity Monitor.
  • Identify and terminate suspicious processes related to adware.
  • Return to the Applications folder and move the malicious app to the Trash.

2. Eliminate Login Items and Unwanted Profiles

  • Go to Preferences and select Accounts.
  • Click on Login Items and remove any suspicious entries.
  • Navigate to System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  • Locate Profiles and delete any unwanted profiles from the list.

3. Remove Leftover Files

ExpandedSystem may leave behind PLIST files, which are small config files. To remove them:

  • Select Go > Go to Folder.
  • Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go.
  • Look for suspicious entries and delete them.
  • Now, access /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders and delete all related .plist files.

4. Get Rid of the Extension

ExpandedSystem consists of two main components: the main app and the browser extension. To remove the extension:


  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the Extensions tab, uninstall the unwanted extension.
  • Reset Safari:
    • Click Safari > Preferences…
    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Enable the Show Develop menu in the menu bar option.
    • From the menu bar, click Develop and select Empty Caches.

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome and click on the Menu (three vertical dots).
  • Select More tools > Extensions.
  • Uninstall all suspicious plugins related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.
  • Reset Chrome:
    • Click on Menu and select Settings.
    • Under Privacy and Security, choose Clear browsing data.
    • Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, and Cached images and files.
    • Click Clear data.

5. Protect Your Privacy

To safeguard your privacy, it’s crucial to delete trackers left by adware and malware. These elements, such as cookies, may linger on your system unless removed. Regularly clean browser caches using these methods:

  • Safari: Click Safari > Clear History… and select all history. Confirm with Clear History.
  • Google Chrome: Click on Menu and pick Settings. Under Privacy and Security, select Clear browsing data.

Final Thoughts

Taking swift action to remove the ExpandedSystem Mac virus is essential to prevent further damage to your system and protect your privacy. Always exercise caution when downloading software and avoid engaging with fake updates. Regularly update your backups to secure your data and consider using a VPN for enhanced online privacy.