Ways to remove virus from Mac

By Chona Esjay | Posted on April 30, 2020 | Updated on May 20, 2020

There is no doubt that Mac computers are not virus or malware-free anymore. Gone are the days that computer enthusiast refer to this brand as the safest device. These days, whatever virus that infects the PC also has a version that plays compatible with Mac systems. Whether it is a common virus, Trojan, worms, adware, rogue application, or fake optimization tool, Mac is now open to every possible attacks.

Perhaps, one reason why Mac is being targeted these days is that more computer users are now switching to this machine. Not to mention that some program that only works on Windows before is now a 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 meddles with Mac computer, users often refer to it as virus infection. Because most of them are not technically savvy, there is no easy way for them to recognize between different attacks whether it is from virus, adware, or rogue software. Mac users generally consider the infiltration as virus infection.

On this article, we present different approach to remove virus from Mac. Different kind of infection requires distinct kind of procedures and we will tackle each on the guide below. Read the rest of this post if you need to remove virus from Mac system and infected browser program.

Breakdown of Common Mac OS Infections

MAC VIRUS

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

Trojan – Known as Mac virus that is in a form of malicious code or software that when executed will be able to take control of the computer. A Trojan was designed with special capability to cause damage, interruptions, steal, or operate harmful actions that damages Mac OS, data, or computer network. There are many types of Trojan for Mac and each has 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. Worm can replicate an infection to media drives, network shares, and can even send a copy trough spam email messages.

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

MAC ADWARE

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

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

Browser Hijacker for Mac

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

ROGUE SOFTWARE FOR MAC

This may be considered as Trojan particularly if the installation involves a malicious code that drops the executable and run it on a Mac computer. However, some rogue software infects Mac OS because 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 as performance enhancement tool or security software that requires registration fee or paid activation code to unleash full feature. Unfortunately, even the full version of rogue tool is not worthy for Mac user’s money. Most of these rogue programs are complete trash and it just swindles money from innocent victims.

Rogue Software for Mac

POTENTIALLY UNWANTED APPLICATION (PUA)

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

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

QuickFix: 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 adware that causes annoyances. 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.

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“.

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.

Method 1 – How to remove common virus from Mac?

Speaking of computer viruses, these are commonly hazardous and often an invisible malware that infects Mac system. These threats are categorically identified as Trojan, worm, virus, 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. On this example, we will scan Mac with our installed anti-malware tool. You can use own security program just make sure that 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.

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.

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 application to generate online profit. Adware virus for Mac has no difference than its PC counterpart. They just work on different environment so diverse coding is done to the virus.

Remove Google Virus from Mac

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

chrome://extensions

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

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.

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

about:addons

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

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.

Force Quit

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

Force Quit Virus App

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

Virus Application

6. Lastly, clean or empty the Trash Bin.

Method 4 – Remove PUA virus from Mac

Potentially unwanted application (PUA) is a virus that can infect both the Mac computer and also affects the operation of browser program. PUP viruses for Mac are more complicated to remove than ordinary adware. Therefore, special instructions are added on this procedure.

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

Force Quit

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

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.

7. Open Applications folder.
8. Locate the rogue software virus and drag it 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 Mac computer.

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