If you’re worried that you may have malware or a virus on your Mac, or that you may get one in the future, you’ve come to the ideal location. Here we describe how to get rid of viruses and malware from your Mac at no cost or cheaply, and furthermore how to stop it from happing again (or even at the first place).
The very first point to notice is the fact that it is really quite unlikely you’ve got a virus or even any sort of malware onto your Mac — or at least nothing that may endanger your Mac. You may inadvertently pass a virus on a PC using friend, however, and you might fall for a phishing effort in which an email arrives in your inbox requesting login details.
Every so often a new bit of Mac malware hits the headlines and it can lead to havoc. Historically, Macs haven’t been targeted by malware authors, mainly as they were considered niche. More people own PCs, and so targeting a PC means targeting a bigger audience.
On the other hand, the Mac has become more popular in recent decades, and because of this people with malicious intent have begun to target them more and more. In this guide, we’re focusing on malware and viruses, but ransomware has been a large threat to Macs lately following WannaCry and Petya. Discover more about how to remove Mac ransomware here.
Malware is different from other kinds of malicious software such as viruses. Malware doesn’t try to enter your machine without your knowledge like a virus does — it is malicious software disguised as legitimate software.
Maybe you find an advert on a web site, or you get an email, either of which can trick you into installing it as you would any other program. When it’s installed, it starts to gather information about you such as your banking information, so as to pass them on to nefarious individuals.
Where things get tricky is that most Mac malware pretends to be the very thing that you would like to use to eliminate it. A great deal of malware is disguised as antivirus or antimalware software.
The way this scam works is that a hacker takes over a legitimate site, and this directs you to a fake site which pretends to scan your Mac. In doing this, it ‘finds’ malicious software (it doesn’t, it’s lying).
It may then continue to pretend to scan your Mac, pretend to find problems, and convince you to enter your credit card details so as to fix them.
The Way to remove Mac malware at No Cost
This point is vital. You shouldn’t pay to eliminate malware. In reality, we’d go so far to suggest you shouldn’t set your credit card details into any program or website that claims to have the ability to repair your PC.
Also, while we’re at it: if somebody rings you claiming they have spotted malicious software in your computer and attempts to convince you to deliver your bank information, place the telephone down. It is a variant on the subject.
What exactly should you do if a site suggests you have malicious software on your Mac?
1. Quit the internet browser you’re using by pressing Command and Q on your keyboard, or right clicking on the icon of the browser and choosing Quit.
2. Proceed to your Downloads folder and drag any install files, or files which you don’t recognise, into the Trash.
3. Empty the Trash by right clicking and choosing ‘Empty Trash’
If you suspect that you’ve already installed malware on your Mac, follow these steps to remove it:
1. If the app is open, check the name of the app.
2. Move or close the app window
3. Open the Utilities folder (Command-Shift-U)
4. Open Activity Monitor
5. Opt for All Processes
6. Search for the name of the app from step one, or an app that you don’t recognise, and click Quit Process.
7. Open the Applications folder and locate the app you simply Quit Process for.
8. Drag the unwanted app to the Trash.
9. Empty the Trash.
The Way to protect your Mac from malware
Now that you’ve checked and removed any malware from your Mac, you will want to make sure your Mac doesn’t receive any malicious software later on. Use the advice below to keep your Mac safe from malware.
• Ensure your Mac is current.
• Now Pick the option Automatically Check for Updates.
• Ensure that your Mac only allows apps from trusted developers. Check that the option under Allow Apps Download From is set to either Mac App Store or Mac App Store and Identified Developers. When it’s set to Anywhere, then click the Lock icon, put in your password, and change it to either Mac App Store or Mac App Store and Identified Developers.
• Get your software from the Mac App Store or from developers you know and trust.
• Install Mac antivirus software. Our pick of the best is BitDefender.