PuAgent Mac


PuAgent is a piece of software that primarily targets Mac computers and the Safari, Chrome, Firefox or other popular browsers installed on them. If PuAgent has been installed on your computer, you are most likely experiencing significant disturbances during your browsing sessions.

PuAgent Mac

The PuAgent Mac Virus

PuAgent belongs to the software category of browser hijackers. Therefore, it will be able to take control over some of your main web browser’s settings in order to impose its own agenda. Infections with browser hijackers and similar types of applications are usually highly conspicuous, so there’s no way you will be second guessing whether you’ve actually landed an infection.

You can recognize an infection with PuAgent, Gosearch7, Program Initiator or similar software by the new browser homepage that these programs tend to set, for example. In addition, your default search engine will likely also be replaced by a new one. And you may see new browser elements added to the interface as well, such as an extra toolbar, some new extensions or plugins, etc. Furthermore, browser hijackers are well-known for their ability to trigger page redirects in the browser that take you to different sponsored web locations right in the middle of your browsing sessions, which can be fairly annoying. And as if that weren’t enough already, you can expect to see a dramatic increase in the amount of online ads that you come across while browsing the web. Popups, in-text links, screen-wide banners and other types of advertising materials will be crowding almost every page you visit.

If you would like to rid yourself of all this madness and have the pesky ads gone from your screen, you will have to remove PuAgent from your system. And below is a detailed removal guide that will show you exactly how to do this.

PuAgent for Mac

PuAgent for Mac acts as an online advertising tool that delivers ads from within your system straight to your screen. Programs like PuAgent for Mac usually base their advertising practices in remuneration models such as Pay Per Click.

This means that every time a user clicks on a given web ad, the developers earn a small amount in revenue. Hence, why the display of said ads is usually rather aggressive. But on top of that, browser hijackers like PuAgent can also be collecting browsing data from your computer in the background in order to optimize their ads. This may, in turn, result in system slowdowns and other such undesirable effects.

What is PuAgent?

When encountering PuAgent for the first time, users often mistake it for a virus. However, PuAgent does not possess malicious capabilities and it won’t harm your system.

Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to try and avoid interacting with the many ads that this software has a tendency to rain on you. There’s a possibility that it may make your system more vulnerable to virus attacks, even to highly dangerous ones like Trojans and ransomware.

The Pu Agent app

The PuAgent app was most probably bundled in the setup of some free application that you recently downloaded. This is the most common technique used by developers to distributed pieces like the PuAgent app and it’s known as program bundling.


Name PuAgent
Type Adware
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Browser hijackers generate large quantities of online ads within the browser during online sessions and they also trigger page redirects to different sponsored sites. 
Distribution Method Spam messages and other browser hijackers or advertising programs are common sources, but the most widespread means of infection is via program bundles.
Detection Tool

Remove PuAgent Virus on Mac

For a quick way to remove PuAgent try to do this inside your Mac browser:

  1. Open your Mac browser.
  2. Go to Preferences.
  3. Now navigate to the extensions sub-menu.
  4. Look for any unfamiliar entries, including PuAgent.
  5. Remove PuAgent from your Mac as well as any other suspicious-looking items by clicking on the trash bin icon.

If this does not help then continue reading this article for more detailed instructions on how to get rid of PuAgent!

PuAgent Mac

The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively, you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.

PuAgent Mac


Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to PuAgent Mac

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:

PuAgent Mac

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

PuAgent Mac

Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:

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PuAgent Mac
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    PuAgent Mac

    The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

    On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

    First, Force Quit Safari again.

    Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.

    PuAgent Mac

    Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

    PuAgent Mac

    and then again on the Extensions tab,

    PuAgent Mac

    Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.
    PuAgent Mac

    The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

    Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,
    PuAgent Mac

    Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

    Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

    PuAgent Mac

    Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
    PuAgent Mac

    Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.

    PuAgent Mac How to Remove PuAgent From Firefox in OSX:

    Open Firefoxclick on PuAgent Mac (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

    PuAgent Mac

    The problem should be lurking somewhere around here –  Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.

    PuAgent MacHow to Remove PuAgent From Chrome in OSX:

     Start Chrome, click PuAgent Mac —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select  PuAgent Mac.

    PuAgent Mac

     Click PuAgent Mac again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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