Mac Virus

What is Mac Virus? Is there such a thing? Contrary to common beliefs that Mac operating systems are immune to viruses, the statistics show that the average number of threats detected on a Mac is not only on the rise but has surpassed Windows for the last year.

Mac malware is often referred to as a type of danger that is very comparable to various other redirect viruses, for instance, Google Redirect infection, Yahoo Redirect virus, Safari Redirect Virus as well as Bing Redirect virus on Mac. There are various tricks that might be used for the spread of unwanted programs connected with a Mac virus, which should leave footprints on your Mac that will be able to help you detect and remove them.

If you are wondering how to remove malware from Mac, this blog post will assist you through this process. Here you will find how to check your Mac for viruses, isolate malware on Mac and remove malicious strains. You can now secure your system by removing present Mac viruses from it.

how to remove malware from mac virus removal

The so-called Mac virus has seen a spike in 2018 and continues to diversify in types in 2020, driving the need in the average user to be well-prepared in detecting and spotting such threats. As a security blog which cares about protection, we provide you with free instructions on how to identify and remove any Mac virus that may be currently residing on your machine. Since the viruses are from different types, we recommend that you do a decent backup on your Mac before proceeding with any detection and removal.

If you suspect you have a threat on your Mac regardless if its the ones described or some Trojan or Virus, check out our Mac viruses removals here and search for your issue.

Software bundles are the main cause. For its understanding are often misused cost-free programs that act to be beneficial and legitimate. They could be used programs like file converters, climate toolbars, online streaming applications, that all install on your Mac. The installers of these programs usually present optional deals or totally free extras, which are selected to be installed by default.

So you might have missed out on discovering their presence throughout the installation of a wanted program and ultimately permitted them to access your Mac. After the implementation of a potentially undesirable program on your Mac your Safari might start rerouting your default online search engine (Google for instance) to Bing.

How to Identify Malware in Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is located in the Applications -> Utilities folder. It is very useful for performing troubleshooting, including issues related to system sluggishness.

Furthermore, Activity Monitor can be used to determine if your Mac has sufficient resources, such as CPU, RAM, and free space on your startup disk. If you are not satisfied with your Mac’s performance, your system may not have sufficient amount of these resources, or it could be dealing with a malware-related issue. You can learn more about how to use Activity Monitor at the end of our article where our instructions are situated.

Mac virus Summary

NameMac Viruses
Types Browser Redirect / Potentially Unwanted Program / Adware / Browser Hijacker / Spyware / Trojan / Cryptominer / Ransomware
SymptomsAd-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects appear in the browser. The default search engine is changed. A lot of ads flood the affected browser. The Mac performs slower than usual. Important files are inaccessible.
Distribution MethodsSoftware Bundles, Corrupted Installers, Fake Flash Player Updates, Spam emails, Hacked websites, Torrent files, etc.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Mac virus.

What Are the Symptoms of Having a Mac Virus?

Usually the symptoms of infection with the so-called Mac virus vary, based on the type of malware that has infected your Mac. Here is a list of the types of malware usually targeting Macs:

  • Rogue Antivirus programs.
  • Mac adware and hijacker viruses.
  • Trojan horses and other spyware.
  • Ransomware and screen-lockers for Mac.
  • Cryptocurrency miner viruses.

Based on these Mac malware types, there are several very important symptoms that you must be aware of:

Symptom #1: Poor Performance

One of the main symptoms of having a Mac virus is the performance issues the machine experiences. Usually, some Macs tend to slow down when a lot of programs are opened all at once or if their memory is full. But if your Mac is generally freed up of space and is still lagging this may be a sign of a type of malware that is utilizing the resources of your CPU, so identifying the source of the CPU usage is the key to removing the malware related to this.

Symptom #2: Toolbars or Add-ons on Your Browser that You Did Not Remember Adding

If you see a new browser extension or toolbar, be advised that it may have been added by a so-called PUP (potentially unwanted program) that may currently be residing on your Mac. Here is how to remove browser extensions and toolbars manually for different web browsers. You can see the instructions underneath as they can help you remove all toolbars and browser add-ons.

Symptom #3: Ad-supported Search Results, Pop-ups and Redirects

This type of symptoms are usually characterized by having a very aggressive browser hijacker that takes over the spaces of your search engine by replacing them with sites that lead to some site you have not even seen before. These types of fake search engines are cleverly disguised to appear like the original search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo search, Ask, etc.) and they often lead to harmful, scamming and even phishing websites.

Another symptom of having such a hijacker is the browser redirects on your Mac. These redirects often appear randomly while you are browsing. They often lead to harmful pages and may even lead to tech support scam sites, the aim to deceive you that your Mac is infected:

Such sites often aim to get you to either download a suspicious program such as fake antivirus software or call a tech support number, which leads you directly to the scammers themselves.

To make sure to remove these scams, you should clear up your web browser out of absolutely any cache and also perform any removal of browser extensions as mentioned in the step above. Here is a list of several annoying redirect “viruses” and ad-supported programs that are currently plaguing Macs:

We have also prepared a separate article that is specifically designed for the removal of unwanted ads. If you wish to learn how to remove Mac ads, just click on the link.

Symptom #4: A Hoax Antivirus for Mac

Sometimes, when Mac users Google a random fix for the problems on their Macs, they often end up downloading programs that only pretend to fix Mac Issues. We have been gathering more information concerning such programs and so far the main ones that are downloaded by victims according to our research are the following:

These types of fake optimizing programs and fake antivirus programs usually aim to get victims to pay their licensed versions in order for them to fix any issues that they have detected. The bad news here is that not only they run aggressive start-up scans that always tend to detect issues, but most of the issues detected by these fake programs are often issues that do not even exist and are completely made up.

Symptom #5: Suspicious Processes Running as Administrator.

This symptom is likely the most dangerous one, because having it on your Mac means that it may be affected by absolutely anything, ranging from an adware program to a Trojan or a Spyware directly residing on your Mac. Usually, these processes tend to be ran with administrative privileges and they are very invasive.

List of Suspicious Processes Mac:

  • Your files may be stolen from your Mac.
  • The malware may have access to your Apple ID and passwords.
  • Your social media and other accounts may be hijacked.
  • Some viruses can activate your Microphone and camera to monitor your activity.
  • Your Mac may become crippled by a rootkit or other destructive malware that may attack your drive.

In some cases, some Macs even become infected with screenlockers, asking the user to type in a password, like the Padlock virus we have seen loose earlier this year:

There are many different viruses for Mac. Viruses, such as Apple Scan Macbook Live,, Adobe Flash Player date scam, TuneupMyMac, #friend E-Mail virus and Auto Mac Speedup Pro are from the less harmful type and they are considered potentially unwanted programs. Then again, there are more harmful viruses for Mac out there, like OSX.Trojan.Gen, Kaseya Agent, KeRanger Mac Ransomware, Padlock Ransomware that can be very harmful to both your data and your Mac.

Distribution methods for a Mac virus can be the following:

  • Malicious e-mail attachments.
  • Malicious documents, containing Macros.
  • Malicious files, disguised as portable programs, installers, key generators or any other software uploaded on websites with low reputation.
  • Malicious web links that either lead to a direct JavaScript infection or a drive-by download infection.
  • Infection as a result of another infected device on the network (worms).

Be careful when downloading and install software especially freeware from informal sites. It is suggested to avoid installing third-party apps from undependable websites too. If you do, make sure to inspect all details available in the Custom/Advanced setup option. There you may discover a method to opt-out the installment of additional deals as well as at some point maintain your Mac clean from potentially undesired/harmful programs.

Most Common Virus Threats on Mac

The most common issue with a Mac Virus is, when the reputation of one, or more, prominent search engines, is misused as a disguise for the procedures of numerous unpleasant potentially undesirable programs like internet browser hijackers and the following threats:

SafeFinder, Virus, .Goldraiven Redirect, Yahoo Search Virus, Bing Redirect Virus,
Search Pulse Virus, Feed Chunk Redirect, “Adobe Flash Player is Out of Date” Virus, Your Computer Is Low On Memory Mac Virus

So when your recommended online search engine Google, for example, maintains rerouting your searches to Bing it is most likely that your Mac is contaminated with a potentially unwanted program.

Yet another problem that may be noticed when your Mac is infected with some kind of malware, spyware or an undeisred program like browser hijacker is unsolicited data collection. By turning on different modern tracking technologies like cookies, web beacons, javascript, and even Trojans, the nasty application may obtain a lengthy listing of sensitive information including:

  • Visited Links and also internet sites.
  • Web browser’s web page.
  • Search queries.
  • Browsing activity.
  • Running system type.
  • IP address.
  • Geographical place.
  • The domain of current Access provider (ISP).

Data records are likely to be utilized for the launch of targeted ad campaigns based on your preferences. They could be released on dark internet markets.

If you notice some of the above-mentioned symptoms on your Mac or believe that its OSX has been contaminated by some kind of malicious or unwanted program, then we recommend that you complete the whole set of steps listed in our Mac virus removal guide. In the event that you don’t feel comfortable passing through the removal process manually, you can navigate to the automatic approach and help yourself with a reliable anti-malware tool. This tool will not only delete any form of unwanted software and malware on your Mac but also guarantee the protection of your Mac system.

How to Remove Virus from Mac?

Before you begin with a thorough Mac virus removal process, you should do one very important step – BACKUP YOUR FILES. If you have Mac malware running on your system, no one knows how long it will take until the virus wrecks the system completely and eliminates all your files in the process as well. So it’s best to stay safe.

Mac Malware Removal Essential Steps

Removal Step #1: Securing Your Mac Accounts

If you have had your Mac affected by a Mac virus, follow these steps towards securing your Mac.

1 – Disconnect from the web and try to stay offline when possible until the issue is resolved.
2 – Do not type any passwords on your Mac, because malware may be logging your keystrokes to obtain passwords.

Removal Step #2: Perform a Mac Virus Check

If your Mac is infected and you have located the source of the infection, make sure to first stop it and then remove it by following the steps below:

1 – Open Activity Monitor and then locate the virus process. When you locate it, click on it’s name and then quit it by tapping CMD+Q.
2 – Remove the app from the Utilities folder of the Applications list. Over there, you can use the search box to type in the same app’s name. When you find it, the app may still be running so select it and then click the X icon on top left of it. Then select Force Quit.
3 – Uninstall the program, if it is added on your Applications by following the mini-steps in dark-gray below:

Bonus: Video containing step-by-step removal and file recovery instructions for threats, like Mac virus:


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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with Combo Cleaner

We recommend you to download Combo Cleaner and run free scan to remove virus files on your Mac. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
Combo Cleaner’s scanner is free but the paid version is needed to remove the malware threats. Read Combo Cleaner’s EULA and Privacy Policy

Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Mac virus from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall Mac virus and remove related files and objects

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy

1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:

2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:

3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Mac virus:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.

4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.

5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Mac virus. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.

6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Mac virus. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.

7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Mac virus via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Mac virus. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.

Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Remove Mac virus from Google Chrome.

Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu

Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"

Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.

Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.

Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Erase Mac virus from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window

Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.

Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"

Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.

Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Uninstall Mac virus from Microsoft Edge.

Step 1: Start Edge browser.

Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.

Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".

Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.

Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.

Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Delete Mac virus from Safari.

Step 1: Start the Safari app.

Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.

Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences

Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.

Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Mac virus will be removed.

How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.

Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Eliminate Mac virus from Internet Explorer.

Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.

Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'

Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.

Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.

Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.

Mac virus FAQ

What is Mac virus?

Mac virus is classified as a potentially unwanted app for Mac. It appears like a normal app, but it may cause unpleasant pop-ups and redirects on your Mac.

Be aware, that Mac virus may be able to affect the browsers Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge and Opera. It may they perform unwanted activities on your Mac.

Such can turn out to be showing advertisements of all types, slowing down your Mac's performance and even infecting your Mac with other viruses by showing you dangerous ads.

Is Mac virus a Virus?

No, but it is just as risky. The Mac virus object is not entirely a virus but it is still as dangerous as a virus for your Mac and your information. The main reason for that is because Mac virus can use cookies and other tracking technologies that may obtain personal information from your Mac while you are browsing.

It may also cause dangers and may lead to risky websites, such as:

  • Phishing sites.
  • Web pages that are scam.
  • Sites that may contain viruses.

These are the main reasons why threatening is considered by experts to be indirectly dangerous to your Mac.

Can my Mac get virus?

The answer to this question is "yes". Unfortunately it opened happens that Mac devices become infected with different types of malware, adware and other threats. This causes a lot of problems for both companies and users.

How did I get Mac virus?

Mac virus could be spread to Mac computers via several methods. One of those methods is via the installers of third party apps. This technique is called software bundling.

Also, Mac virus adware could be included in the installer steps of an app you may have downloaded for your Mac from a third party website. Search app could be a media player or some other free software you may have tried to recently install.

You may have missed Mac virus, because it could be hiding in one of the install steps or could be offered as a "free extra" or an "optional offer".

How to remove Mac virus from my Mac?

By removing its core files. To get rid of Mac virus from your Mac, security experts strongly advise to scan it with a professional anti-malware app for Mac.

An anti-malware security app has the capability of scanning all of the areas in your Mac were Mac virus could be residing.

It will also make sure that Mac virus is permanently gone from your Mac and that your Mac is safe in the future.

How to protect my Mac from viruses?

To protect your Mac from all sorts of virus threats, you can can minimize the risk of getting a virus in the first place. This is why we strongly recommend that you take the following steps for protection on your Mac below:

1. Register for a VPN service of your choice.
2. Clear the cookies that are on your web browsers and uninstall any browser extensions from them that you believe are suspicious.
3. Download and install reputable malware removal and protection software.
4. Always check if the website you're visiting has HTTPS instead of just HTTP in its address. This indicates that a site is secure.
5. Do not type any personal info on websites which are with low reputation or you can't trust.
6. Always check if the site you're visiting is the real web page at not a fake one by looking at the address bar. Many fishing websites that contain viruses change one or two letters in the main domain name of the site they're trying to mimic.
7. Always link your cell phone phone to your Bank Accounts, PayPal, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram and other accounts. This will allow you to see notification if somebody else logged in from your account and makes account hijacking nearly impossible.
8. Always find a way to backup all your important files regularly. You can save them on a USB stick or use Cloud backup services, like Google Drive. iDrive, Onedrive and others.

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