How to Remove a Virus on a Mac in 3 Easy Steps

In general, cybercriminals are less likely to develop programs that target Macs for two very simple reasons: their number is limited and their operating system is very secure. In addition, Apple is extremely vigilant about the safety of its products and regularly issues to protect them from possible attacks.

how to remove a virus on a mac

How can you tell if your Mac has viruses?

The Mac system provides powerful protection. It runs in the background without you noticing it, but it’s there. Two programs make this possible.

The first is Gatekeeper, which prevents you from opening malicious apps on your Mac.

The second is Xprotect, which automatically scans downloaded files and scans them for viruses. Both are very effective at keeping viruses and malware at bay before they can spread.

These programs make viruses and malware attacks on Macs very rare. Of course, there are still malware and virus creators targeting Mac users, and a small portion exceeds Apple’s protocols.

Viruses can reach your Mac in a variety of ways. It may be malicious software or malware. You might have downloaded software that seems legitimate, but things are not always as they seem.

A virus can also get to your Mac with a downloaded file such as an image or document. Installing a fake update to an app can have the same effect.

Some viruses and malware are more dangerous than others. There are those that even steal data, such as your credit card information and credentials.

Therefore, viruses must be traded immediately.

Here is a list of symptoms Here’s if your Mac may have been attacked by viruses or malware:

  • Your Mac is slower than usual and this happens every time you use it.
  • You’ll see apps and software that you haven’t even installed.
  • All the websites you visit seem to be filled with too many ads. this also applies to the sites where you least expect an ad to appear
  • Ads appear on your desktop.

To remove the virus from Your Mac:

If you find that they happen on your Mac, don’t just install antivirus software for Mac and install what appears first. This can be a hidden malware.

Instead, follow our guide to effectively removing viruses from your Mac. We’ll also show you how to prevent a virus from recurring.

To remove the virus from Your Mac

Empty the download folder.

Since viruses mostly come from what we download, it makes a lot of sense to remove everything in the download folder. Drag them to the Recycle Bin and press the empty Recycle Bin to permanently delete these files.

Remove browser extensions.

Browser extensions can sometimes be malware in sheep’s clothing. This even applies to those you haven’t even installed. Delete them as follows:


  • Start Safari and click Safari in the menu bar.
  • Select Preferences> Extensions.
  • Review the list of extensions and look for extensions that appear malicious.
  • To delete an extension, select it and click Uninstall.


  • Open Chrome, click the menu, and press Settings.
  • In the upper-right corner of the window, you’ll see a three-point icon. Click on it.
  • Select More Tools> Extensions.
  • You’ll see a list of extensions on your Mac. Select one or more that you want to delete and click Remove.


  • Start Firefox and select tools from the menu bar.
  • Press Extensions and simply select any extensions you want to delete and click Remove.

Uninstall suspicious malware

What should you do with an app that you think is actually malware? Well, the most obvious solution is uninstalling. How to normally uninstall apps from Mac.

  • Open the Programs folder and search for the app in question. Drag it to the trash.
  • Open a Finder window and click the folder, the library, to search for related files in the app. Also, open the other folders under the folder.

Use antivirus software.

If deleting files or uninstalling apps is not enough, you may do so with an antivirus tool. There is a lot of reliable software, some for free and others paid for.

It’s up to you whether you’re willing to spend money on the security of your Mac. Stay as far as possible with the software of well-known developers.

Some malware may disguise itself as antivirus. Instead of fixing the problem, it can get worse. Research first and read the reviews before downloading an anti-virus program.

For your reference Here are just some highly rated antivirus software for Mac:

  • Intego Mac Internet Security X9
  • Norton Security for Mac
  • Sophos Antivirus for Mac
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Reset your Mac.

If the above solutions didn’t work for you, the next option is to reset your Mac and restore it with a backup.

Whether you are using Time Machine or other tools to perform a backup, the backup must have been performed before the time your Mac was infected.

Restoring a newly created backup risks infecting your Mac again. This does not achieve the full purpose of resetting your computer.

To restore a backup via Time Machine follow the steps below.

  • Connect the drive you used to create your Time Machine backup.
  • Restart your Mac and hold down the command and R keys until the Apple logo appears.
  • The macOS utilities are displayed. Choose from the list of options Restore from a Time Machine backup. Click Next.
  • Select a backup from the list of available backups.

You can also reinstall macOS, but you should consider this as a last resort. When you perform this step, everything on your Mac will be deleted.

This includes your apps and files. Read this Apple guide if you still want to continue with this method.

Now you have removed The viruses on your Mac, you need to do your part to keep your Mac virus-free. Do not download or install apps from untrusted sources.

The best place to search for apps is still through the Mac App Store. Also, check the attached flash drives before opening them or transferring files.

Finally, install a trusted antivirus on your Mac.

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