How to Get Rid of Malware on Mac: (A Guide to Removal ✅) 2024

How To Get Rid Of Malware On Mac? It’s a fact that Mac users haven’t had to worry about malware and viruses for many years. Apple’s Gatekeeper software, which is designed to limit the number of programs that can run on its devices, is one of the main reasons.

Another piece of software, called XProtect, runs in the background and scans Macs constantly for malware. Apple is very good at updating its malware list and malicious programmes.

Macs are popular because of their lack of malware and viruses. Macs are now popular, and this is a major reason for the development of new malware every day. According to AVTest (an independent security institute), there will be 670,000 malware pieces targeting macOS by 2020. This means that more than 56,000 malware pieces are detected each month. There were also 48,000 pop-up advertisements identified.

This figure will be lower in 2021. Only 17,210 malware pieces were found in the year to November. That’s $1,434 per month. It could be because of security patches, cleaner programmes, or an increased awareness among users of the dangers of malware.

Malware can get onto your Mac even if you have taken all precautions. Read on to learn how to remove malware from your Mac if this has happened.

How to detect malicious software on a Mac 🙄

There are some red flags that you should be aware of. Malware may not always be obvious. If your Mac exhibits any of these behaviours, be on the lookout.

  • Mac is running unusually slowly.
  • Even when you are not using a lot of processing power, it can still heat up.
  • Macs can randomly hang or crash, and you may not even know why.
  • Your Mac is acting in a different way than it usually does.

You can use the Activity Monitor on your Mac to investigate if you are concerned. To find it, click on Spotlight. You can then see all the processes and programmes that are using your Mac’s processing power. If you see processes using a lot of resources that you do not recognise, this could be a sign of malware.

Tip. It’s not a good idea to delete processes before you know what they are. The developers of legitimate software don’t always give processes names that make it obvious what they are. Search the Internet for more information.

How to get rid of viruses on a Mac?

Boot into a safe mode.

Follow these steps before you begin the removal process:

  • Disconnect your Mac and keep it disconnected from the Internet until you have removed all malware and viruses. Toggle the WiFi button off by clicking on the WiFi icon at the top of the screen. You must disable the Wi-Fi button in order to prevent malware from reconnecting and infecting your Mac.
  • Start your Mac in Safe Mode. Some malware runs automatically when your Mac starts, making it impossible to stop. Safe Mode only loads the files that your Mac needs to start. Malware should not run automatically.

Intel Macs

  • Restart or power up your Mac.
  • Hold down the Shift keys as soon as your device switches on.
  • Hold Shift and wait until the login screen appears.
  • Safe Boot should appear in the upper-right corner of your screen when you log in.

M1 Macs

  • Shutdown your Mac completely.
  • Hold down the P button and press it.
  • Release the power button once you see the Startup Options window.
  • Hold down Shift to select the drive from which you want to boot.
  • Click on the option to continue in safe mode. Click on it and release Shift.
  • Log in as usual, and your Mac will run in safe mode.

If you notice that your Mac behaves strangely but then returns to normal operation after you start it in Safe Mode, it is likely infected by malware or has another software issue.

One of the easiest ways to determine if your computer is infected with malware is to use one of the many available programmes that can scan for it. Many of the most popular protection software programmes have malware features. These include MacKeeper, Sophos, and Malwarebytes.

If these steps do not work, you should run a malware removal programme to clean your Mac completely. This example is Mac Malwarebytes.

  • Click the Get Started button after the software is installed.
  • Select whether the software is for your personal computer or your work computer.
  • The scan icon is located in the middle of the screen.
  • The scan can take between five and twenty minutes. After the scan, you will see a list of all infected files.
  • Click on the quarantine to remove them.
  • If prompted, restart your Mac.

Check your profile

In the past, only network administrators could use profiles to restrict what was installed on a Mac. Malware corrupts profiles so that you can’t delete them. Follow these steps to check your profiles.

  • Click the Apple logo at the top left of your screen to select System Preferences.
  • Search for profiles in the search bar at the top-right corner. You may skip these steps if you don’t see this option. Click the Profiles icon if it appears.
  • Click the minus icon at the bottom of the box to remove any profiles that you do not recognise.

Eliminate dubious applications.

Checking a list that identifies programmes as malicious for Apple devices is a great idea. You can find it by doing a simple Google search.

  • Choose Applications in the toolbar to the left of a Finder window.
  • Look for apps that you have downloaded from the malware list and other applications.
  • Click on the application that you wish to remove and select Move to Bin.
  • To remove all files, right-click the trash can and select Empty Bin.

It will delete the files, but some fragments might be left. It’s worthwhile to download a cleaner application after removing apps in this manner.


You may have to restore your Mac to factory settings if you are unable to remove malware. This will remove all malware, as it only installs files that your Mac came with.

If you are having problems with software on your Mac, it is possible to restore a time machine. You may not be able to pinpoint exactly when your Mac became infected. You risk restoring malware if you restore your Time Machine backup. You should also back up your important files to iCloud.

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