How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (2023)

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (1)

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Mac users have long been unfamiliar with viruses. Macs weren't always immune, but hackers didn't care about Macs, and built-in security features protected them. With the increasing popularity of the Mac, this is no longer the case.

Even with Gatekeeper preventing non-Apple approved software from running on your Mac without your consent, and macOS running on Unix designed with multiple layers of security, malware can still get through. Here we will show you how to find malware on Mac computer, remove malware from Mac software (including remove malware from Mac Safari) and some free Mac malware removal apps that you will love.

What is malware?

A basic definition of malware is any software designed to harm your computer, server, or network. This used to be very easy to mitigate as malware would either destroy a computer by overclocking it or add more malware to slow the machine down until it became useless.

Well, malware can be many things and usually doesn't harm your machine or network. Malware in 2022 can be used for anything from monitoring your keystrokes to using your computer's processing power and network access to mine cryptocurrency without your knowledge. So it can be said that malware is any software that performs tasks that you would not have authorized. Luckily, methods to remove malware from Mac have also improved in recent years.

How can I tell if my Mac is infected?

Be on the lookout for a Mac that's unexpectedly slowing down, overheating, or just behaving strangely. Unexpected behavior is always a warning sign. You may want to run a scan and make sure your Mac isn't infected, and then remove malware, ransomware, or other malicious software.

(Video) Check your Mac for viruses

Some Mac viruses and trojans do not tell the user what they are doing. These elements can go unnoticed as hackers steal real Apple digital signatures from professional developers or when hidden in email attachments. You also get access via popular software like Adobe Flash or other legitimate software that Apple has already approved. These are just some of the ways viruses can get into your Mac before stealing and transferring passwords, iPhone backups, banking information, and other data.

Now that you are aware of these threats, you probably want to check your Mac to make sure it's protected from malware. Luckily, there are a few ways to do that quickly with a reliable Mac malware cleaner.

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (2)

Como Remover Malware for Mac

Malware is always evolving, so routine maintenance and patching is a good idea. You should also find a good service that regularly updates its list of known malware so you can be sure your scanning tools are on the lookout for malware. Sometimes knowing how to get rid of malware on Mac is as easy as having the best software for the job.

The easiest way to get rid of Mac malware with CleanMyMac X

Clean my Mac Xis an application that every Mac owner should have. It monitors your macOS system and provides a routine cleaning service to ensure your Mac is running at its best. One of your best tools is malware detection and removal. How to clean Mac malware with CleanMyMac X:

  1. Open CleanMyMac X on your Mac
  2. Select "Malware Removal" on the left side of the window
  3. At the bottom of the window, select Scan

CleanMyMac X has a malware knowledge graph that is constantly updated, so the chances of anything coming out are really limited. It also scans your entire system in seconds and informs you about items it considers to be malware. Again, if you know something is safe, don't remove it, but CleanMyMac X is very smart, so it's not really an issue.

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (3)

Check the activity monitor

You can use Activity Monitor to scan for malware, viruses, and other malicious software, but be careful. Activity Monitor does a good job of letting you know what's using your Mac's resources, but it's not Apple's malware removal software.

To use Activity Monitor, just open the app that comes with every Mac. It shows you immediately what is consuming your resources. Using it as a malware detection tool only makes sense if you know what you're looking for. not all processes with strange names are malware. Sometimes a browser like Chrome runs services for necessary purposes. Activity Monitor also does not remove malware. You need something better for that.

Find malware in login items

A login item is usually benign software that loads an app because you want it to run in the background every time you log in to your Mac. These items can be very simple operations like cloud syncing with Google Drive or Dropbox, or some applications that allow you to create custom keyboard shortcuts locally. Both are examples of things you'll probably want to do when you sign up.

In other cases, login objects are less necessary and can harbor malware. Some apps even use login elements as camouflage for outright malware like cryptocurrency miners.

(Video) 🦠 Use CleanMyMAC to remove (Adware malware) virus from computer 🦠

There are two ways to check which login items you have enabled on your Mac. The first is via the system settings:

  1. From your Mac's menu bar, select the Apple logo in the upper-left corner
  2. Select "System Settings"
  3. Select "Users and Groups"
  4. Select "Login Items"

This shows all login items on your Mac. From there you can select the items you want to disable or remove.

A better way is with CleanMyMac X. It shows a much more comprehensive list of login items and even lists startup agents next to it (more on that in a moment). Here's how to check login items on your Mac with CleanMyMac X:

  1. Open CleanMyMac X on your Mac
  2. Select "Optimization" on the left side of the window
  3. Select "Show All Items"
  4. Select "Login Items"

From here you can quickly disable or remove login items that you want to manage. Where our Mac only showed two login items, CleanMyMac X shows a dozen or more. It's incredibly complete!

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (4)

Disconnect your Mac from the Internet

If your Mac seems infected with a virus, disconnect from the Internet immediately. This will not mitigate the damage already done, but will certainly prevent the malware from spreading further. After exiting, continue with Apple's malware removal process.

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Uninstall unknown apps

Applications that you don't want on your computer can also slow it down. Finding and removing them is often important.

In your Mac's app drawer, you can press and hold an app to bring up the familiar iOS-like icon, where you can just click the "x" next to apps that are ready to be deleted. This is the easiest app removal method, but usually only scratches the surface. Typically, an application's files are left where malware can hide.

Again, a better option is CleanMyMac X! It has an "Uninstall" module that allows you to easily remove apps from your Mac. We especially like the fact that it's aimed at developer apps; If you decide to stop having Google in your life, CleanMyMac will show you all your Google apps in one list.

One of the features that really sets it apart is the "Leftovers" module in the uninstaller. It finds out and offers to delete the remaining files. As you can see in the screenshot below, Cisco Webex left files behind when deleting. No thank you! All you have to do is select the files you want to remove and click "Uninstall" at the bottom of the window.

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (6)

(Video) Stop Apps from Launching at Startup - MAC - Tech Talk America

Remove malware from browser extensions (Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox)

Now that you know how to remove malware, Mac computers have another place to look: browser.

Browser extensions run when you use a browser, but for most of us it takes most of the day, every day. Browsers are basic tools for accessing the Internet, but they can also be very powerful.

If you use Chrome, you can manage extensions by selecting "Window" in the Mac menu bar when Chrome is open, then "Extensions". This will take you to a special page in Chrome where you can disable or remove extensions.

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (7)

In Firefox, you can select "Add-ons" from the settings menu in the top-right corner of the browser window, and then "Extensions" from the list on the left side of the browser window. This page allows you to disable or remove extensions.

Extensions are a little harder to find in Safari. You need to select "Safari" from the menu bar and then "Preferences". In this window there is a tab called "Extensions" where you can disable or uninstall your extensions.

Not all extensions are bad and not all trusted extensions are good! A good way to tell if an extension is doing more than it should is by using itless about the state, an application that monitors the performance of your Mac, including browsers and extensions.

Computer performance is an indicator of malware, and iStat's menus give you a real-time view of which apps or extensions are eating up your Mac's resources, then offer to remove them.

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (8)

Agents and Demons

Like login items, agents and daemons are pieces of code packaged with applications designed to work behind the scenes. Agents and daemons run at boot time; The difference is that daemons run system-wide, while agents are limited to working with applications.

It's important to keep these two elements in mind when looking for malware. Daemons can be particularly sneaky because they tend to hide deep in your Mac's file system and operate at such a level that they cannot be detected.

(Video) My favourite Setapp apps on the Mac

Remember that not all agents or demons are bad. Just like login items, they are often useful and necessary. In the screenshot below, we've highlighted a few daemons running on the system, but none of them are cause for concern! But it also pays to know what to look for; Daemons usually have names ending in 'd' or, as in the iStat menus, properly named 'daemon'.

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (9)

Boot into safe mode

If there are signs of malware infection on your Mac, it's a good idea to start it in Safe Mode. This prevents suspicious software from running when you start your Mac. To enter Safe Mode:

  1. Reboot your Mac
  2. Hold down the Shift key on startup
  3. Release the Shift key once you see the Apple logo.

This is just a small step to stop malware infection; You still have a long way to go to identify the virus and get rid of malware on Mac with CleanMyMac X.

How to protect your macOS from malware

Routine scans with CleanMyMac X help keep your computer malware-free, and routine Clean Mac backups can help if you need to restart from a backup. Once your system is up and running with CleanMyMac X,Get Backup ProIt is your best choice to create bootable and zipped backup for Mac.

If you find that your Mac keeps showing malware symptoms, there might be some issues with your Mac's security settings. For example, if you accidentally leave Gatekeeper on, your Mac is more susceptible to infection.

Pareto securitycan help you run a security scan on Mac directly from the menu bar. It identifies all the settings you need to change to protect your Mac from malware.

How to Remove Mac Malware and Keep It Away 2022 - Setapp (10)

What to do if you still can't remove malware

First, download Setapp and install some essential Mac security tools: CleanMyMac X, Pareto Security, iStat Menus, Secrets, Get Backup Pro and others to make sure you not only know how to get rid of malware on your MacBook, but also have all the necessary tools at hand. These tools help prevent viruses and protect your Mac from viruses.SetappIt comes with a 7-day free trial and covers all the essential apps you need on Mac and iPhone.

If there is still no help and you cannot get rid of malicious threats, then you should consider a factory reset. Keep in mind that this will completely erase everything on your Mac, so keep a safe backup of your important files on an external device.


How do I manually remove malware from my Mac? ›

How to remove malware from a Mac for free
  1. Update macOS to the latest version. ...
  2. Use Activity Monitor to find viruses on a Mac. ...
  3. Delete the file or app and empty the Download folder. ...
  4. Clear your cache. ...
  5. Shut down and restore from a backup. ...
  6. Wipe your Mac and reinstall macOS.
Jun 29, 2022

How do I get rid of malware 2022? ›

How to remove malware such as a virus, spyware, or rogue security software
  1. Install the latest updates from Microsoft Update. ...
  2. Use the free Microsoft Safety Scanner. ...
  3. Use the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. ...
  4. Manually remove the rogue security software. ...
  5. Run Microsoft Defender Offline.

Will wiping Mac remove malware? ›

When malware infects your Mac, iPhone, or Android device, you might consider a factory reset to wipe the virus from existence. While the method can be effective, you'll also lose all of your important information. Even if you back up your data, you'll need to ensure that the backup is free from infection.

Do Macs need antivirus 2022? ›

In short, yes, you do need antivirus for your Mac. Mac computers are not immune to viruses, and other malware and Mac-targeted attacks are increasingly prevalent. Following best practices for securing your device and using built-in security features can help, but antivirus software can protect your device even further.

How do I force remove malware? ›

Manual malware removal guide
  1. Restart the computer in Safe Mode. ...
  2. Display hidden objects in Windows. ...
  3. Locate and delete the infected file: right-click on the file and then select Delete in the menu.
  4. After you do this, you can restart the computer normally and run a Bitdefender System Scan to be sure the computer is clean.

How do I find hidden malware on my Mac? ›

Check Activity Monitor for Mac malware

If you suspect your Mac has been infected with a virus, one of the best places to look is Activity Monitor. Here, you'll be able to see background processes and apps that are running – including malware.


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