How To Find And Remove Malware On Mac

You Might Want To Check: Best Internet Security Apps For Mac

There’s no denying 2020 will go down as a virus year, but this doesn’t mean your systems are spared. According to a recent security report, they are still at risk; Mac’s have outpaced Windows PCs in the number of threats. This means Mac machines are at a greater risk now. So, if your Mac is running slow or you see unwanted advertisements within your browser, chances of your system being infected are there. Don’t panic; there are things that you can do to clean an infected Mac.

What is Mac Malware?

First thing first, Mac malware and virus are not the same. Malware is a code or software written to do nasty things like deleting files, encrypting data, or infecting a system with ransomware, among other things like adware, spyware, etc. It is more complicated and dangerous than the virus.

Common types of malware you can encounter on Mac are:

Spyware and keyloggers – steal the user’s personal information.

Backdoor infections – remotely take control of your computer.

Botnet – alters Mac into a shadow bot.

PUP – potentially unwanted program source of adware

Ransomware – locks the system asking the user to pay the ransom.

Rootkit – penetrates admin privileges.

So, how to know if your Mac is infected and how to remove malware from Mac? Answers to these questions can be found below.

Signs of Mac Being Infected

When the following signs are witnesses on your Mac, there’s a high probability of your system being infected:

  • Performance of your mac slows down suddenly
  • You see advertisement pop-ups now and then
  • Unknown app icon appears on the desktop
  • Default search engine, the home page is being replaced
  • Redirections to a fake page
  • Warning pop-ups and unwanted app downloads
  • Mac restarts without any warning and takes time to boot

How Does The Mac Get Infect?

There are 5 typical gateways responsible for infecting Mac with malware. They are as follows:

  1. Fake Flash player update
  2. Torrent download
  3. .Doc attachment
  4. Camera access request
  5. “Your Mac is Infected scam.”

How To Remove Malware From Mac?

There are different ways to clean malware from Mac. First, we will remove malware from login items, followed by uninstalling unwanted apps and learning about the best and automatic way to clean malware.

1. Deleting Mac Malware from Login Items

Most malware or adware sneaks into the system through the startup process. Therefore, it is essential to prevent this from happening.

1. Click the Apple icon > System Preferences

2. Hit the Users & Groups section.

3. Select your username > click Login Items tab.

4. Check the list of login items. If you find any suspicious app, select and click “—. “

5. Reboot Mac to save the changes.

Since Mac malware can hide behind a legitimate file, there’s a possibility that you won’t find any suspicious app. Therefore, to make sure they don’t sit in our Mac, we will need to check the web browsers.

Note: Most Mac malware like adware, scareware, spyware, and others insert in web browsers.

2. Clearing Mac malware from web browsers

1. Press Q + Command to quit the web browser

2. Launch Finder > Downloads > check all the downloaded installation files > if you find a suspicious app > select right-click > Move to Trash.

3. Besides this, if you know which app is infected, half the battle is already won. To get rid of it, open

activity monitor

4. Check all the listed apps. If any app looks suspicious > select it > click the X icon and Force Quit. \

5. Afterward, open the Applications folder.

6. Find the problematic app > select it > right-click > Move to Trash.

7. Next, Empty Trash

This simple method will help get rid of malware from Mac. But it’s still incomplete as there might be some leftovers present on your Mac. To remove these traces, you can use an antimalware app like Systweak Anti-Malware or can follow the manual steps explained below:

1. Quit any unwanted app

2. Launch Finder > Go > Go to Folder > type users/shared/

3. Delete Slimi files and folders.

open folder in mac, find malware on mac

Delete Slimi files and folders

Uninstall malicious extensions on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox

Browser extensions again are the most used carrier for adware, spyware, etc. Therefore, it is important to check all the extensions and uninstall the malicious ones. To do so, follow the steps below:


1. Launch Safari > Preferences > General

preferences in mac, how to clean malware from mac

2. Check the Homepage and ensure it is the one that you want to open

homepage, malware cleaner

3. Next, head to Security and checkmark Block pop-up windows

block popup in mac, how to get rid of malware

4. Afterward, head to go to Extensions > look for unknown extensions and uninstall them


1. Launch Chrome > Preferences > Advanced

2. Scroll down > Reset settings

3. Restore settings to defaults > confirm RESET SETTINGS

preferences on mac

4. Head back to Advance > Privacy and security > content settings

5. Find Popups and Ads > Block.

advanced setting in mac


1. Launch Firefox > type about: support in the address bar

2. Click Refresh Firefox

troubleshooting information

3. Next, run Firefox in Safe Mode and restart with Add-ons Disabled.

4. Firefox > Preferences > Privacy & Security.

5. Navigate to Security and checkmark the three options (Block dangerous and deceptive content/Block dangerous download/Warn you about unwanted and uncommon software)

privacy and security in mac

This simple method will help get rid of malware from Mac. But it’s still incomplete as there might be some leftovers present on your Mac. To remove these traces, you can use antimalware apps or can follow the manual steps explained below:

How To Automatically Clear Malware From Mac Using Intego Antivirus?

Getting rid of something that you are not aware of is not easy. Luckily using Intego Antivirus, you can scan your Mac for vulnerabilities and remove suspicious files. It is one of the best security tools for Mac and a one-stop solution to find and eliminate malware infections. The tool helps remove adware, virus, spyware, worms, rootkits, and other threats. Moreover, the app’s database is regularly updated, to ensure no new threat can harm your Mac.

Here’s how to use Intego Antivirus and clean malware from Mac:

1. Download, install and launch Intego Antivirus. The Mac version of Intego comes in multiple apps for different tasks. Hence, you get six different apps installed on your device, instead of just one.

use Intego Antivirus

2. It comes with VirusBarrier, which is the actual antivirus utility of Intego. It thoroughly scans your system to find suspicious content and provides real-time protection against different kinds of malware and viruses.

3. On the setup of VirusBarrier, you can choose the level of protection between – – Minimum, Standard, and Maximum. You can select the last option to enjoy ultimate protection against all types of threats.

real-time protection

You even have an option to prioritize CPU resources for other programs during virus scanning. You can find the option under VirusBarrier’s Preferences tab – Scan with Low priority.

Scan with Low priority

Overall, Intego provides an excellent set of security tools to achieve maximum protection for our Mac. The tool is easy to install, set up, and use, which is suitable for both novice and pro users.

In addition to this, you should know that Intego offers NetBarrier (a firewall component & also allows customizable security options based on network connection types). What’s more? A ContentBarrier functionality (that arrives as Parental Control & the ability to block specific apps and deny access to certain websites). This robust security tool works flawlessly and keeps your Mac guarded against the latest and old threats. To stay protected, we suggest using it once every month. However, if you are not comfortable using a third-party tool, you can use the manual steps explained above to clean malware. Do let us know which steps you picked and why in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.


  • comment_avtar
    Interesting read and a comprehensive blog.. I am sure bookmarking this because lately my Mac has started to work slow …

    4 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Dheeraj Manghnani
    Systweak Antimalware is a great software. I have been using it for a couple of years now.

    4 years ago

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