Mac Malware Removal Instructions (Removal Guide)

Mac malware removal instructions can be confusing, but we tried to simplify the process into a few steps. First we’ll explain what Mac malware is, and then explain how it can find its way on to your computer. Lastly, we’ll provide you some steps you can follow to remove the infection from your Mac and secure it so it doesn’t become infected again in the future.

What is Mac Malware?

Contrary to popular belief, malware and unwanted software is not an issue specific to Windows. Malware, adware, unwanted programs, and viruses can all infect Mac computers as well. In fact, some malware is designed solely to target Mac devices. Web browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera can also become infected which can change your homepage, slow down the browser, and make additional changes to your browser and computer.

Unwanted programs is a term we use to cover a wide range of computer related issues such as: adware, malware, browser hijackers, browser redirects, bloatware, and malicious browser extensions.

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How Does Adware Infect Macs?

Adware is a type of malicious infection, and the most common and widely distributed type of malware. Adware stands for advertising supported software, and its almost always just a fake product designed solely to serve advertisements.

Adware’s effects on Mac computers is similar to its effects on Windows computers. For one, your browser may become infected which will change your default home page, default new tab page, and default search engine to something other than what you were using.

Advertisements like pop-ups, text ads, video ads, or banner ads might be displayed as a result of the malware infection. Sometimes browser redirects also occur, which bring you to questionable pages that may be filled with more malware.

Unwanted advertisements like these can slow down your browser, internet connection, and even your computer in general due to all the new ads being loaded.

The purpose of adware is simply to get you to click on things, so that the developer of the adware makes money off you. This is the sole purpose of adware and it’s why we recommend removing it immediately.

How Can I Prevent Adware from Infecting My Mac?

Adware most commonly ends up on your computer through downloadable software. When you download and install software, you have to agree to a bunch of terms – this is called the install process.

Often times during the install process, additional offers might be presented to you. Sometimes this is done very sneakily in a way that you won’t notice such as in the form of a “Quick” or “Recommended” installation method.

This example shown below demonstrates how this is done:

mac-os-adware-bundle

You can notice the fine print under “Quick (recommended)” install that says that your homepage and default search will be changed to Yahoo on ALL browsers, and search-assist extension will be installed on Safari.

This is common practice on all third-party download sites. By understanding how this works, you can now be sure to pay attention during the install process and never agree to install anything other than the software you were intending to install.

Mac Malware Removal

The simplest solution to Mac malware removal in general is to use a good anti-malware program.

We recommend MalwareBytes Antimalware for Mac. It has a large proprietary database of all malware/adware variants, and is great at detecting and removing all malicious threats in one scan. They are one of the most trusted names in malware removal to date.

 Download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

If the above link keeps redirecting you through multiple different URLs, then you can visit this link instead and it should automatically download.

Installing MalwareBytes 

  • After downloading from the link above, open the .dmg file, and drag MalwareBytes Anti-Malware to your applications folder.

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  • Go to your applications folder, and open MalwareBytes
  • Mac will alert you that this file was downloaded from the internet – you can Agree and Open the file
  • Click Scan to search for malware
  • If malware is found, MalwareBytes will instruct you on how to remove it with their program.

Malicious Browser Extensions

If your Mac is infected with malware, chances are you also have malicious browser extensions present in Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Mac Malware Removal from Safari

  • Open Safari
  • Click Safari from the top menu
  • Go to Preferences
  • Go to the Extensions tab
  • Remove all extensions you do not use

Mac Malware Removal from Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome
  • In the top right of chrome, click the three bars or three dots to bring up the menu
  • Select Settings
  • On the left hand side, click Extensions
  • Remove all extensions you do not use

Mac Malware Removal from Firefox

  • Open Firefox
  • Click Firefox from the top menu
  • Go to Preferences
  • From the left menu, click Extensions
  • Remove all extensions you do not use

Use an Ad Blocker for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari

After performing the steps listed above, you can add some preventative measures by using an ad blocker. We like uBlock which is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It’s totally free and the most lightweight and fast ad blocker we’ve used to date.

Download uBlock Origin for Chrome

Download uBlock Origin for Firefox

Download uBlock for Safari

If you’ve followed the steps outlined above and are still having issues with malware, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you with the issue.

 

 

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