Mac Virus Removal Guide

Mac Virus Removal Guide

What is Mac Virus?

Is there such a thing? Contrary to common beliefs that MacOS 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.

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. There are various tricks that might be used for the spread of unwanted programs connected with a 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 your Apple device, this blog post will assist you through this process. Here you will find how to check your macOS for viruses, isolate malware on macOS and remove malicious strains. You can now secure your system by removing present viruses from it.

how to remove malware from virus removal

The so-called macOS 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 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 macOS viruses removals database 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 device. 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 device. After the implementation of a potentially undesirable program on your device, your Safari might start rerouting your default online search engine (Google for instance) to Bing.

How to Check Your Mac for Viruses 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 computer has sufficient resources, such as CPU, RAM, and free space on your startup disk. If you are not satisfied with your device’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

Name Mac Viruses
Types Browser Redirect / Potentially Unwanted Program / Adware / Browser Hijacker / Spyware / Trojan / Cryptominer / Ransomware
Symptoms Ad-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 device performs slower than usual. Important files are inaccessible.
Distribution Methods Software 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

Detection with

Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Mac virus.

What Are the Symptoms of Having Mac Malware?

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

  • Rogue Antivirus programs.
  • Adware and hijackers.
  • Trojan horses and other spyware.
  • Ransomware and screen-lockers.
  • Cryptocurrency miner malware.

What Are The Signs Your Mac Is Infected With a Virus?

Based on these 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 such malware is the performance issues the machine experiences. Usually, some devices tend to slow down when a lot of programs are opened all at once or if their memory is full. But if your machine 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 computer. 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 computer 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 ads, just click on the link.

Symptom #4: A Hoax Antivirus for Mac

Sometimes, when users Google a random fix for the problems on their Macs, they often end up downloading programs that only pretend to fix device 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 device means that it may be affected by absolutely anything, ranging from an adware program to a Trojan or a Spyware directly residing on your macOS. Usually, these processes tend to be ran with administrative privileges and they are very invasive.

List of Suspicious Processes:

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

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

There are many different malware for macOS. Malware, such as Apple Scan Macbook Live,, Adobe Flash Player date scam, TuneupMyMac, #friend E-Mail malware and Auto Mac Speedup Pro are from the less harmful type and they are considered potentially unwanted programs. Then again, there are more harmful threats 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 such a threat 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 device clean from potentially undesired/harmful programs.

Most Common Virus Threats on Mac

The most common issue with such a threat 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:

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

Yet another problem that may be noticed when your device 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 device but also guarantee the protection of your Mac system.

How to Remove Virus from Mac?

Before you begin with a thorough virus removal process, you should do one very important step – BACKUP YOUR FILES. If you have such 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 Accounts

If you have had your computer affected by such an infection, follow these steps towards securing your computer.

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 device, because malware may be logging your keystrokes to obtain passwords.

Removal Step #2: Perform a Malware Check

If your computer 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 malciious 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 is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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How to Remove Mac virus from Windows.

Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Mac virus


Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.

4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.

Step 2: Uninstall Mac virus and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.

3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Mac virus on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Mac virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Mac virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.

It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.


If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Windows 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.

Windows 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.

Windows 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.

Windows 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.

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

Remove 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.

Windows 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.

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