How to Remove MAC Defender

By | Posted on December 15, 2018 | Updated on December 23, 2018

MAC Defender is a potentially unwanted program that masks itself as valid security application. In reality, this is rogue software with sole objective of swindling money from victims. MAC Defender is using a bunch of tricks to mislead users and persuade them to purchase the registered copy of the program. Instead of falling into this trap, we highly suggest removing MAC Defender from Macintosh systems using the guide on this page.

Before getting rid of the threat, it is also important for users to know how MAC Defender gets inside the computer so that it can be evaded in the future. Generally, rogue application like this one is deployed by a series of browser redirects that warns users of possible infection. On some instances, the browser will pop-up a bogus scanner that discovers dozens of threat after the test. Keep in mind that this online scanner do not really run any scans but just simulate a sequence on the web page. Therefore, scan results it provided are unvarying. It will show same scan results and scare tactics to all visitors of the fake scanner page. It is also obvious that threats it detected do not actually exist and is just a setup to convince users to download a copy of MAC Defender.

Unfortunately, having a copy of MAC Defender on Mac system does not put an end to phony scans, alerts, and warnings. Locally installed rogue program is much harder to mend. In addition, existence of MAC Defender on the computer can degrade system performance and may result to greater issues.

To sum up, do not download MAC Defender. Stay away from websites that promotes this infamous tool. If it does exist on the computer, there will be no other option but to remove it as soon as possible. Guide on this page was made helpful to successfully removed MAC Defender.

Procedures to Remove MAC Defender

This section contains complete instructions to assist you in removing potentially unwanted program from Mac system.

Procedures published on this page are written in method that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

Step 1 : Quick Fix - Scan the System with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware and malware. Moreover, it can get rid of unwanted program like MAC Defender. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

Click here to Download Combo Cleaner (this will open a new window)

2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.

3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing MAC Defender.

Start Combo Scan

6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 2 : Quit MAC Defender Process

Before proceeding with the steps below, please close MAC Defender window if in case it is open.

1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.

2. Choose All Processes from the upper right corner of the window.

3. Under Process Name column, look for MAC Defender. Click the name to select the malicious process.

4. Next, click the Quit Process button located in the upper left corner of the window.

Force Quit Locked Files

5. When prompted, click on Force Quit.

6. You may now delete or remove files that belongs to MAC Defender. Proceed to the next steps.

Step 3 : Delete MAC Defender Login Items

Some malware also installs login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs MAC Defender during user log in.

1. Go to Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

2. Select Users & Groups from the preferences window.

3. You may need to Unlock this area in order to make changes. Click on the Lock icon on lower left corner of the window.

4. Next, select user account that runs MAC Defender.

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select MAC Defender from listed entries and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.

Login Items

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed MAC Defender

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...

3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • MacDefernder.app
  • MacDefernder.agent
  • MacSecurity.agent
  • MacShield.agent

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing MAC Defender to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.

Option + Command + 4

5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

6. Repeat Step 2, numbers 1-5 procedures on the following folder (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents

7. Please restart the computer.

8. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

9. Look for suspicious objects or folders with the following names and drag them to the Trash.

  • MacDefender
  • MacGuard
  • MacShield
  • MacProtector

10. Repeat procedures 8 and 9 on the following folders if necessary.

~/Library/Caches

11. Go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with names similar above and drag them to Trash.

12. Lastly, please Empty your Mac's Trash bin.

Step 5 : Run another Scan using MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:

Click here to download MBAM for Mac (this will open a new window)

2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including MAC Defender.

3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.

4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, MAC Defender is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

6. You may now restart the computer.

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