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Malware Removal (Macintosh)


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Have a Windows device? Click here to learn how to remove malware from it.

What is malware?

"Malware" is short for malicious software, and is generally used as an umbrella term for any kind of software that is designed to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems, display unwanted advertising, etc. Things such as viruses, worms, adware, and spyware are all examples of malware. See the following articles for more information on some types of malware and what they do, Microsoft TechNet's Defining Malware: FAQ, and Apple's OS X El Capitan: What is malware?

Knowing how to effectively remove malware once your device is infected can prevent further harm from occurring. Below you will find some free software options that can be downloaded and used to remove malware from your device. 

Sophos Home

Sophos Home protects every Mac (and PC) in your home from viruses, stops malware from slowing down your computer, and helps prevent unwelcome hackers from gaining access to sensitive personal information. With just a few clicks, you can also block access to sites that may contain inappropriate content or malicious software. Click here to download Sophos Home for Mac. Click the “Get Started” button to create your account and begin the download process. Please note that this free version of Sophos Home is for private and non-commercial use, letting you protect up to ten computers per account. 

Avast Free Mac Security

Avast Free Mac Security software includes anti-malware protection, password protection, and browser cleanup. Click here to download Avast Free Mac Security. Upon clicking the “Free Download” button, you will be redirected to This is a trusted download site! On this webpage, click the “Download Now” button to begin the download process. 

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware's industry-leading scanner detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a scan. Click here to download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac. Click on the "Get my free download" button to begin the download process. 

Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool for Mac

Bitdefender Adware Remover Tool for Mac removes adware from you Mac. The current version detects and removes Genieo and Vsearch. Click here to download Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool for Mac. Minimal system requirements: Intel-based Macintosh computers with Mac OS X version 10.7 or later.

Mac Rogue Remover Tool

The Mac Rogue Remover Tool was created to remove the Mac Defender, Mac Security, Mac Protector, and Mac Guard rogue anti-spyware programs from a Mac (for OS Leopard/Snow Leopard/Lion/Mountain Lion). Once run, the Mac Rogue Remover Tool will scan the computer for known files and remove them.  It will also remove the startup entry for the rogue so that your Mac does not attempt to run it when you restart your computer. Click here to download Mac Rogue Remover Tool. On the webpage, click the "Download Now @BleepingComputer" button to begin the download and installation process.

If Safari is configured to Open "safe" files after downloading, you should disable it to be more secure, the Mac Rogue Remover will automatically be unpacked for you in the folder that you downloaded it to. If not, then you will need to double-click on the file to extract the application. Once it is extracted, just double-click on the mac-rogue-remover app icon to launch it. When launched you will be presented with a license agreement that you must agree to in order to use the program. Once you agree to the license, Mac Rogue Remover will launch and remove any items associated with the rogue. It will then display what it has found and create a log of what actions it took on the desktop called mac-rogue-remover.txt. The rogue should now be removed from your mac. 

AdBlock Plus

Adblock Plus (ABP) is a free browser extension (available for Safari, Chrome, and more) that allows you to block annoying ads, banners, and pop-ups, disable tracking, and block domains known to spread malware. ABP does not function on its own, meaning it does not block anything until you "tell" it what to block by adding external filter lists. Filter lists are essentially an extensive set of rules that tell Adblock Plus which elements of a website to block. You can add any filter list you want. You can also create your own filter lists. Click here to download ABP for Safari. On the webpage, click the “Install for Safari” button to begin the download and installation process.

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