What Is VirtualGuest on Mac?
VirtualGuest is a program created with the main purpose to generate profit by delivering advertisements. Without your knowledge or authorisation, this software can adjust main system settings and gain permission to access installed browsers. The program is typically installed on Mac computers with the help of other suspicious methods like software bundling, bogus sites, and malicious advertising.
After its installation, VirtualGuest may begin to deliver a lot of different types of promoted content. Some of the related sites could be risky. This software may slow down your Mac and even lead you to dangerous websites that host scams and even malware.
Read this article to understand more about this software and how you can get rid of it safely.
VirtualGuest Mac – Details
|Short Description||Aims to modify the settings on your computer in order to get it to cause browser redirects and display different advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Your device begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your machine.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
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VirtualGuest Virus – How Did I Get Infected?
VirtualGuest is the type of program that could belong to a large adware family, commonly referred to as the AdLoad apps. Other variants from it include the recently seen SelectorComponent, EdgeAdvanced and JumpSearch.
Multiple types of ways exist via which these programs can eventually end up on your Mac. One of them is known as software bundling. It means that the installation files of this program are added to the installer of some other free application that you may have recently downloaded. This may appear in one of the third-party app’s install steps, for example:
Not only this, but also fake Adobe Flash Player updates may be another reason these applications could often end up on your device. The way it works is you may get a browser redirect to a fake webpage that looks somewhat like the following example shows:
VirtualGuest – What Does It Do?
Among the main activities of VirtualGuest is the change of settings in your web browsers and this even includes the homepage, search engine and default new tab page. The outcome is that may begin to see the following kinds of ads showing up:
- Interruptive banner ads.
- Intrusive push notifications.
- Pop-ups with video and/or sound.
- Changed search results to show ads instead of relevant sites.
- Highlighted text on the pages you visit.
Different tracking objects may also be used by this program and they could be utilised to get different information from your web browsers:
The details that could be gathered by these objects could be of the following kinds:
- What you have visited.
- Your mouse movements.
- The browsing history from your browser.
- What searches you have made.
- Your mouse clicks.
- IP and Mac addresses.
- Your bookmarked websites.
Is VirtualGuest a Virus?
No, VirtualGuest is not a virus, but a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program), it could be just as hazardous as a virus. The main reason for that are the advertisements that this program is behind, that could carry an indirect risk to your Mac. Some of these ads could even take it to the following risky domains:
- Redirects to dangerous sites via multiple pay-per-click redirects.
- Rogue software sites.
- Web pages that contain scams.
- Survey sites that are fraud.
- Phishing pages.
- URLs, containing a virus infection file or script.
- Tech support fraud pages.
This is why it is strongly recommended to get rid of the software ASAP.
How to Remove VirtualGuest from Mac?
To remove VirtualGuest from your Mac, we highly recommend that you follow the removal of steps that have been created beneath this article. These steps are designed to help you clean up both your web browser and your macOS from this nasty software. For the most effective removal, the best way to go is to run a scan of your Mac by using anti-malware software. Researchers often recommend such programs, because they are capable of automatically scanning your Mac and getting it rid of any unwanted programs and viruses.
Steps to Prepare Before Removal:
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall VirtualGuest and remove related files and objects
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 VirtualGuest:
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 VirtualGuest. 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 VirtualGuest. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7. Remove any leftover 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 VirtualGuest 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:
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 VirtualGuest. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove VirtualGuest – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove VirtualGuest files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as VirtualGuest, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Bonus Step: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
What is VirtualGuest on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of VirtualGuest on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like VirtualGuest?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from VirtualGuest?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.
About the VirtualGuest Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this VirtualGuest how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on VirtualGuest?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the VirtualGuest threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021