how to get rid of virus on mac

how to get rid of virus on mac

Mac malware is rare, but it exists. If you think your Mac has a virus and you want advice on how to get rid of virus on mac, you’ve come to the right place.

If you are worried about having any type of malware or virus on your Mac, we are here to help you discover what is happening and, if necessary, to clean up the damage, all for free. Many of the websites that offer Mac malware removal tips are companies that try to sell their antivirus solutions, which makes their tips somewhat skewed, but here you can expect unbiased advice.

We will cover how to find and remove malware from your Mac, eliminating any virus that may be lurking. We will also explain why it is probably not a virus thanks to Apple’s strict protections in macOS, but if it is, we will inform you about the free and cheap options that can protect your Mac from malware.

Before removing a virus from a Mac, you must make sure you really have one. We have covered it in more detail in this article, but here below are some tips.

[icon type=”vector” icon=”steady-icon-checkmark” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]Your Mac begins to behave erratically and do things you don’t expect;

[icon type=”vector” icon=”steady-icon-checkmark” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]Your Mac starts to work very slowly as if something were hogging the processor;

[icon type=”vector” icon=”steady-icon-checkmark” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]You start to see ads on your desktop;

[icon type=”vector” icon=”steady-icon-checkmark” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]Find software or applications that you did not install.

[icon type=”vector” icon=”steady-icon-checkmark” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]An application requests your administrator password

These symptoms may mean that your Mac has a virus, although there may be other explanations.

[icon type=”vector” icon=”momizat-icon-checkmark-circle” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]how to get rid of virus on mac

Thankfully, there are lots of ways to do it. And Mac virus removal doesn’t have to cost money.

[icon type=”vector” icon=”brankic-icon-number11″ size=”22″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]Uninstall apps

Malware comes in many different forms. And it even comes disguised as security software to help you get rid of viruses! Devious, huh?

If you have accidentally downloaded an application that turns out to be a virus, you must uninstall it immediately. There are a couple of ways to do this. Here is the hard way.


Go to your Applications folder and drag the app to the Trash.
Go to ~/Library folder and look in the Application Support folder for any files related to the app and drag those to the Trash.
Look in the other folders in ~/Library, especially Launch Agents and Launch Daemons and remove any files related to the app from there. But be careful, if you remove files used by legitimate apps you could cause lots of problems.
Repeat Step 3 for your Mac’s main Library folder.

[icon type=”vector” icon=”brankic-icon-number12″ size=”22″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]Use a malware removal tool

While the above steps work very well in many cases, sometimes Mac virus removal means using a dedicated application to scan and remove malware from your Mac.

There are many of these applications available, and many of them are free or at least allow you to scan your Mac for free to find out if you need to take action. Be careful, however. It is important to choose a tool from an accredited provider. If you only search Google for “Mac antivirus tool”, some of the results may be for tools that are malicious and, instead of removing viruses from your Mac, they will infect it. We recommend using CleanMyMac X.

It can identify thousands of malware threats, including adware, spyware, ransomware, worms, cryptocurrency miners. And if CleanMyMac finds something suspicious, it will offer immediate removal. Here we explain how to perform a complete system analysis:

Download CleanMyMac X (free download) and launch the app.
Click on the Malware Removal tab.
Click Scan.
Click Remove.

[icon type=”vector” icon=”brankic-icon-number13″ size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]Escape the virus: Create a new user profile

Usually, viruses are attached to a particular user profile on your computer. In this way, they are able to seize control of your admin profile. But you can start if from scratch and create a new user on your Mac. Don’t worry, you will be able to transfer all your important data from one user to another.

Go to Apple menu > System Preferences, click Users & Groups.

Click the lock icon , then type in your admin password.
Use the plus sign to add a new user profile.

To move your important information from one user to another, you will need to access the Shared folder.

Click on the Finder > Go to Folder…
Paste in this: /Users
Can you see the Shared folder? Here you can copy the needed files from your old user account. Hurray, you’ve started a clean, virus-free life!

[icon type=”vector” icon=”fa-icon-hand-right” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]BONUS POINT.If above method didn’t work.

If you have performed all the previous steps and still have problems trying to remove a virus from a Mac, the next step is to restore from a Time Machine backup. The benefit of restoring from Time Machine is that you can do it quickly and easily by starting on the recovery partition and you can choose to make a backup in a state just before your Mac begins to behave erratically.

The disadvantage of this option is that you will lose any work you have done since the backup from which you restored. You can manually copy the files from your Mac to another drive or cloud storage service before restoring and then copy them again. However, if one of those files is infected, you run the risk of contaminating your Mac again. If there are documents that you really need and are not backed up elsewhere, use one of the above antivirus tools to run a scan before copying them to another disk. That way you will know they are safe.

[icon type=”vector” icon=”momizat-icon-point-right” size=”16″ icon_color=”#81d742″ hover_animation=”border_increase” ]Here’s how to restore from a Time Machine backup

1.Make sure you are connected to your Time Machine backup drive.
2.Restart your Mac, holding down the Command and R keys until you see the Apple logo. When the macOS Utilities screen appears, choose Restore from a Time Machine backup. Click on Continue.
3.Choose the last backup before your Mac starts to behave badly or suspect that it is infected with a virus.
restore from the time of the backup machine


Your Mac will now return to the state it was in when it was backed up.

If you do not have a Time Machine backup to restore, the last resort is to reinstall macOS. This is a zero zone approach. You must completely clean the starter unit and start over. That means reinstalling all your applications and copying all your data to your Mac later. If you have a recent backup of your data, before your Mac became infected, you can use it to copy the data after reinstallation. Otherwise, you should make a backup of the important files now, but first scan them with an antivirus tool to make sure they are not infected.

To perform a clean installation of macOS, you will need a boot installer disk. Creating one is beyond the scope of this article, but here is a complete guide.

Once you have done your boot installer, connect it to your Mac, go to System Preferences, choose Startup Disk and select the disk you just plugged in. Restart your Mac, press and hold the Command-R key and do the following:

When the macOS Utilities screen appears, select Reinstall a new copy of macOS. Click Continue and then Continue again when the following window appears.
Accept the terms and conditions and select the internal disk of your Mac.
Click install. Wait for your Mac to restart.
Your Mac will start as if it were a new Mac and you must complete the configuration process from scratch.
Once you have set it up, copy the files you need from the backup and know that they are not infected.
As you can see, there are many different ways to remove a virus from a Mac, depending on how badly infected it is and what type of virus it is. The main thing to remember is that if you suspect that your Mac is infected, do not worry. It can be fixed!

You may be interested in:How To Password Protect Files and Folders in Windows?

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