Removing helperamc (Advanced Mac Cleaner) OS X

I was working on an OS X system which kept getting annoying pop-ups about the system needing clean up, anti-virus software etc. I was able to see that the window was titled ‘helperamc’.

It turns out this was a remnant from Advanced Mac Cleaner, the use of which I won’t comment on here. The user of the system had tried to remove it when upgrading OS X version, but the annoying advertising component remained.

Killing the process and deleting the application doesn’t work, as it has a daemon to relaunch itself. After some investigation I found the following commands (issued in terminal.app) will sort out this issue and remove helperamc for good:

launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.pcv.hlpramcn.plist
rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/amc/helperamc.app

As they are user files admin access is not needed. You may need to kill the helperamc process between these commands.

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42 comments
  1. Dave said:

    Thanks! This seems to have worked and was the only thing I could find that did.

  2. Hi John,

    I copy pasted your comment into terminal yet the helperamc process still appears in activity monitor. I have tried everything and nothing seems to work. Please help.

    • jofunu6 said:

      Have you:
      Uninstalled Advanced Mac cleaner from your applications?
      Killed the helperamc process in activity monitor between issuing each command?
      Checked the two referenced files exist on your system? (they may be under /Applications)

      • 6g Schnell said:

        Uninstalling Advanced Mac cleaner from Applications was the key
        Thanks for useful post!

  3. Anibal Galleguillos said:

    I open the terminal app, copy, paste the commands, and enter? Thats it?

    • jofunu6 said:

      Uninstall advanced mac cleaner as you normally would
      Kill the helperamc process in activity monitor
      Run the first command (open terminal copy, paste and press enter)
      Kill the helperamc process in activity monitor again
      Run the second command

      • namefake said:

        whats the second command?

      • rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/amc/helperamc.app

  4. RCWeber said:

    Tried everything I could think of. Could not see those files, but the damn thing kept popping up, like a zombie Hillary.
    Ran your command anyway (what harm could it do?), and it disappeared!
    Thanks, John.

  5. markology said:

    Tried the commands and it worked. However, when I rebooted the computer, I can see it again in the activity monitor.

    • Have you deleted the files in the application folder, and uninstalled advanced mac cleaner as you normally would, before running the commands? See my reply to Anibal above for the order of commands

      • Jessica said:

        Thank you for your tutorial, I have been bothered by this pesky app for months now to no avail. I brought the computer into the mac store after and after deleting Advanced Mac Cleaner, I had hoped the problem would be absolved. No such luck. Feed up, I tried again today, and found your blog, now after having followed your steps it looks like so far, so good! I see no sign of helperamc in my activity monitor. Thank you so much for this solution!

  6. Thank you, John. This has resolved the amc app issue. Without your help we would have been really screwed.

  7. Lyra said:

    Thank you so much!!! This was a pesky one and your tip was the only one that truly did the trick.

  8. Bennett said:

    How long after the first command should helperamc pop back up? It usually takes a day or two for me and I feel this means this method won’t work for me. Unless this is typical.

    • I’m not sure, perhaps it depends on how often you restart you computer. I would think these steps should still work either way.

  9. Hey guys, chances are that you still have other things malware named under ‘mchlpr’ and ‘malware crusher’ still hidden somewhere. I suggest that you go to Finder, go to “Go” and find the folder ~/Library/Application Support/ and delete all folders under the malware names. It helped me get rid of everything and you will see all malware is not present in activity monitor as well.

  10. Sofia S said:

    Worked for me!

    • Sofia S said:

      Thank you!!

  11. Pat said:

    In a last version of Advanced Mac Cleaner, the app “helperamc.app” is hidden into a folder actually named “helperamc.app” as well (in fact, there is even a maze of sub-folders under, trying to hide the actual app).
    The rm command alone turns out to be inefficient. You can simply walk around this artifact with -R option.
    So : rm -R ~/Library/Application\ Support/amc/helperamc.app should help you get rid of the folder and all its (junk) sub-contents

  12. the first line of code works great, thanks!

    However, the second line doesn’t apply because I searched the whole MacBook helperamc.app is not in the Application Support folder…nor anywhere that I know of. And they still keep popping’ up:(

    Any suggestions on what to do?

    • I’m not sure where it might be on your computer I’m afraid – perhaps look through the folders under ‘Application Support’ to see if you can find anything. It might have changed names in newer releases

      • okay so i ended up installing McAfee. It found that the helpamc file was hidden under a hidden Library folder! So i removed that and it haven’t popped up in days

  13. JoshWS said:

    I’m struggling with the same issue and have tried inputting the different commands into terminal with no success, what was the folder called where it was hiding called?

  14. Quincy Corso said:

    worked for me, much appreciated!

  15. Chris Rowe said:

    great find! I appreciate the command… I modified the second rm command on my mac as follows (to delete the entire directory including files without prompting or confirmation)

    rm -fdR ~/Library/Application\ Support/amc/helperamc.app

  16. Darius Far said:

    Thank you so much! I have been getting these pop-ups for months now… I narrowed it down to helperamc but could not find it in Finder and I was getting very frustrated. Thank you so much for this command.

  17. Ann said:

    The commands worked for me for helperamc but I have 2 other ones! they are hlpradc and ummhlpr
    How can I modifiy the command to work for these as well?

    thank you for sharing

    • Hi Ann,

      I’m afraid I don’t have experience with these, but the same principles should apply. See if you can find them listed under ~/Library/LaunchAgents and/or ~/Library/Application\ Support first

  18. Many many thanks. These commands are a life/time/energy saver.

  19. Rhonda C said:

    Thank you so much as well. I think I’ve finally rid this hugely annoying pop-up. What a relief.

  20. Nino said:

    it says: “could not find specified service” after the first line, and after the second: “is a directory”,
    so i have no clue why it isnt working for me..

    • Try
      ls ~/Library/LaunchAgents/*hlpramc*
      do you see any results?

      For the second command you may need to add -rf to remove the directory:
      rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/amc/helperamc.app
      But I’d make sure the first step has worked first

      • Moses said:

        I pasted the first command in and “helperamc” disappeared immediately for the first time ever! Im so happy I found this.

  21. mike said:

    I CANNOT believe how easy this was – thank you SO MUCH!! I want to send you coffee (I deal in coffee a lot)

  22. Shane M. Walton said:

    Awesome and thanks, worked perfectly! Any chance you know how this gem gets installed?

  23. I typed the command in terminal.app and it worked…very easy. Thank you so much for this info!

  24. Brendan said:

    You rock sir!! Thank you!!!

  25. Cathy said:

    Wow! You do rock!!! I am a neophyte and didn’t even know what terminal.app meant. I followed instructions and it worked! Thank you so much.

  26. Nick said:

    Thank you so much you wizard!

  27. ross said:

    This still works! Utterly fantastic.

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