Many people still believe the popular myths about Apple security because Mac’s system has built-in powerful protection that keeps viruses and malware at bay. But unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that your Mac is immune to all computer viruses.
The truth is Macs are just less exposed to threats because there’s less malware directed at Macs, but they can get infected with malicious software.
The top threats are adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUP) that are less dangerous than “traditional” malware, but they can be annoying, and some of them can even steal your data.
That’s why if you notice symptoms that your Mac has a virus, you should take measures and remove it as soon as possible. Here you’ll find tips on how to get rid of a virus on your Mac.
How to tell if your Mac has a virus
Viruses require immediate action, but you need to be sure your Mac has one. So what are the symptoms that your device is infected? Here are some common signs.
- You notice strange apps or toolbars you can’t remember installing
- Your Mac starts running slower than usual, behaves erratically or crashes
- You see suspicious icons appearing on your desktop
- You are bombarded with annoying pop-ups and ads when you surf the internet
These signs may mean you’ve got a virus, although it’s not that simple, and there might be some other reasons.
How to get rid of a virus on the Mac
There are two approaches to solving this problem. The fastest and the easiest way is to use a specialized application to scan your Mac and remove malware from it. But you can also remove viruses manually. Read on to learn about the steps you can take.
Clean your browsers
Many forms of malware and adware are spread as browser extensions that change your browser’s settings, such as search engine or homepage.
Here are steps you should follow to remove malware from Safari:
- Open the browser and choose Preferences in the drop-down menu
- Click on the Extensions tab and search for suspicious plugins that you don’t remember adding
- Select the extension you want to get rid of and click Uninstall
If you want to get rid of Chrome viruses on Mac, follow this procedure:
- Launch Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner
- Click on More Tools, and then Extensions
- Examine the list and search for suspicious or unwanted extensions
- If you find one you don’t recognize, click Remove
These are the steps for Firefox:
- Open the browser
- Click on the three vertical lines in the top right corner and select Add-ons
- Press Extensions and remove any that seems suspicious to you.
Uninstall suspicious apps
If you have recently downloaded any free apps from third-party developers, there might be a chance they were bundled with malware. Follow these steps to uninstall them.
- Go to the Applications folder, find the apps, and drag them to Trash
- In the Finder, open ~/Library folder and search for files related to the app. Look for them in such folders as Launch Daemons and Applications Support
- If you find any malicious files, drag them to Trash
- When you are done, empty the Trash.
Remove login items you didn’t choose
These are applications that launch automatically after the startup. Viruses can hide in this area as well. Here is how to get rid of them:
- Click on the Apple icon and choose System Preferences
- Click Users & Groups and go to Login Items
- If you don’t recognize any of login items, untick the box next to it