Ways to Remove Viruses from Mac Computers

There is no doubt that Mac computers are not totally safe from viruses or malware anymore. Gone are the days that computer enthusiasts referred to this brand as the safest device. These days, whatever virus infects the PC also has a version that is compatible with Mac systems. Whether it is a common virus, Trojan, worm, adware, rogue application, or fake optimization tool, Mac is now open to every possible attack.

Perhaps one reason why Macs are being targeted these days is that more computer users are now switching to this machine. Not to mention that some programs that only worked on Windows before are now Mac-compatible apps. This applies even to internet browser programs that are running on the screen for the vast majority of computing times.

Whenever there are unknown apps that meddle with Mac computers, users often refer to them as virus infections. Because most of them are not technically savvy, there is no easy way for them to recognize different attacks, whether they are from viruses, adware, or rogue software. Mac users generally consider the infiltration a virus infection.

In this article, we present different approaches to removing viruses from Macs. Different kinds of infections require distinct kinds of procedures, and we will tackle each in the guide below. Read the rest of this post if you need to remove a virus from your Mac system and an infected browser program.

Breakdown of Common Mac OS Infections


This is technically a computer threat that can be damaging to Mac OS. The primary target of the Mac virus is the operating system itself, including system files and executable data. Generally, when we say virus, these are computer threats that exploit various vulnerabilities on the Mac OS as well as installed applications as a penetration doorway and to run unnecessary commands. Here are the types of viruses on Mac:

Trojan – Known as a deadly virus, a Trojan is malicious code or software that, when executed, will be able to take control of the computer. A Trojan was designed with the special capability to cause damage, interruptions, steal, or operate harmful actions that damage Mac OS, data, or the computer network. There are many types of Trojans for Mac, and each has its own tasks, like Backdoor, DDos, Downloader, Infostealer, Remote Access Trojan (RAT), Rootkit, Banker, IM, and so on.

Worm – This is a Mac computer virus that spreads from one computer to another. It can make a copy of itself by exploiting various software vulnerabilities. Worms can replicate an infection on media drives and network shares and can even send a copy through spam email messages.

Ransomware – A hazardous type of Mac virus that is able to encrypt files and demands a ransom in exchange for decryption software. The objective of a ransom varies by type and variant, but often it locks files or the Mac OS in general to deny users’ access. So far, this type of threat can evade security applications because of its concealing factor, which masks its operation as a system process.


Mac adware is a type of virus especially crafted to attack internet browser applications like Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. Adware is a short code for Ad-supported Software. That gives us the idea that the general objective of this threat is to display advertisements on the browser, and in return, its authors are expecting to receive revenue. Below are the types of adware that usually infect Mac OS:

Browser Hijacker – Once it enters the computer, sudden and unwanted changes will occur in the internet browser program. Homepage, start-up page, new tab window, and search engine are all affected by the modifications. Instead of the user’s preferred settings, the browser hijacker virus will replace these sections with an unnecessary homepage and search tool. Some of the infamous browser hijackers that invade Macs are Weknow.ac and SafeFinder.

Image of Browser Hijacker for Mac

Pop-ups and Redirects – Like a browser hijacker, this virus targets internet browser applications. However, it makes no changes to the homepage or other vital pages. The infection only reveals the sign when a Mac user is in a browsing session. This type of Mac virus triggers pop-up advertisements and processes a series of redirects that point the browser to unwanted websites. Recently, Mac security forums got flooded with queries about Yahoo redirects, which drive the browser to said website instantly during browser start-up, searching, or ordinary web surfing. This is obviously not a Yahoo virus attack, but a malicious script that reroutes the browser to a different website, and the last part shows the legit and trusted Yahoo page to simply mask the malicious activities.


This may be considered a Trojan, particularly if the installation involves malicious code that drops the executable and runs it on a Mac computer. However, some rogue software infects Mac OS because the user itself is careless in executing the prompts from dubious websites. As a result, they voluntarily download and install a rogue application without realizing that it is a computer threat. Rogue programs for Mac often pretend to be performance enhancement tools or security software that requires a registration fee or paid activation code to unleash full features. Unfortunately, even the full version of the rogue tool is not worthy of a Mac user’s money. Most of these rogue programs are complete trash, and they just swindle money from innocent victims.

Image of Rogue Software for Mac


The title already gave a clue as to what type of Mac virus is a PUA. These are applications that commonly get installed on Macs or internet browser programs without the user’s approval. Enhancement tools, free games, and browser extensions that are installed through discrete methods without the user’s intervention are categorized as PUA. Like adware, PUA is a Mac virus that often attacks internet browser programs. The only difference is that unwanted programs do not aim to generate revenue but rather promote an application through unusual distribution techniques.

Here are the methods to remove virus from infected Mac

Method 1 – How to remove common virus from Mac?
Method 2 – Removing Adware from Mac
Method 3 – Remove rogue software virus that infects Mac
Method 4 – Remove Potentially Unwanted Application from Mac

Quick Fix : Instant Removal

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker, adware, or malware. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

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.

Install Combo Cleaner

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

5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing threats from the Mac computer.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

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 manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Method 1 – How to remove common virus from Mac?

Speaking of computer viruses, these are commonly hazardous and often invisible malware that infects Mac systems. These threats are categorically identified as Trojans, worms, viruses, and so on. Since this infection on the computer often involves hidden files and system objects, the best way to get rid of Mac viruses is to run a thorough scan of anti-virus or anti-malware applications. In this example, we will scan the Mac with our installed anti-malware tool. You can use your own security program; just make sure that the database is updated and run a thorough scan.

1. Open Malwarebytes Anti-malware. If you don’t have this app, you can download the free version from this link. We suggest acquiring the full working version with complete features and real-time protection.

2. On the main page, click on Scan Now button to start checking Mac system for viruses.

Image of MBAM Dashboard

3. After the scan, it will display the list of infected items and recommends immediate removal. Please click on Confirm to eliminate the virus from your Mac computer.

Image of MBAM Virus Removal for Mac

Method 2 – Removing Adware Virus from Mac

Adware are programs that often attack internet browser programs like Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome. The term adware is derived from Ad-supported Software that intends to exploit infected browser applications to generate online profit. The adware virus for Mac has no difference from its PC counterpart. They just work in different environments, so diverse coding is done on the virus.

Remove Google Virus from Mac

1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type the following on the address bar and press Enter/Return on your keyboard.


3. Look for suspicious extension and click the Remove button.
4. Restart Google Chrome after the virus or adware removal.

Image of Chrome Extension

Remove Virus from Safari for Mac

1. Run Safari browser on your Mac.
2. On top menu, click on Safari and then, select Preferences from the drop-down list.
3. Navigate to Extension tab.

Image of Safari Extension
4. Select the suspicious extension that you deemed as virus and click Uninstall button.
5. Please restart the browser after the virus removal.

Get rid of virus from Firefox for Mac

1. Open Safari browser on Mac OS.
2. Type the following in the address bar and press Enter/Return


3. On left panel, click on Extensions to reveal the list.

Image of Firefox Virus Extension
4. On right panel, look for the virus and click on Option (3-dots). Then click Remove.
5. You may now restart Firefox browser.

Method 3 – Remove rogue software virus that infects Mac

Rogue software viruses are counterfeit applications purporting to be an optimization tool or anti-virus program. Some are even promoted to have both features, which obviously can be attractive to vulnerable Mac users.

1. Go to Finder.
2. On top menu, click Apple icon and select Force Quit from the list.

Image of Force Quit

3. Select the virus from the list of running applications and click the Force Quit button.

Image of Force Quit Virus App

4. Open Applications folder.
5. Locate the rogue software virus and drag it to Trash Bin.

Image of Virus Application

6. Lastly, clean or empty the Trash Bin.

Method 4 – Remove PUA virus from Mac

Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are threats that can infect both the Mac computer and the operation of browser programs. PUP viruses for Mac are more complicated to remove than ordinary adware. Therefore, special instructions are added to this procedure.

1. Go to Finder.
2. On top menu, click Apple icon and select Force Quit from the list.

Image of Force Quit

3. Select the virus from the list of running applications and click the Force Quit button.

Image of Force Quit Virus App

4. Open System Preferences.
5. On System Preferences window, click on Profiles.
6. Select the suspicious item under Device Profiles and click on Minus Button [-] to remove it. See image below for reference.

Image of AdminPrefs

7. Open Applications folder.
8. Locate the rogue software virus and drag it to Trash Bin.

Image of App dragging to Trash Bin

9. Finally, you may clean or empty the Trash Bin.

When executing Mac virus removal methods from 2 to 4, it is important to run the anti-virus scan (Method 1) after each procedure. This is to ensure that no remnant of the virus is left on a Mac computer.

Originally published on April 30, 2020, 13:29

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