How to Clean up Mac from Virus or Malware Infection


You may have heard that Mac systems don’t get attacked by viruses. But that is just incorrect information. Sure, your Mac’s do have a built-in protection and better security, but it is important to understand that they are not exempt from virus or malware.

How to know if your Mac is infected?

Listed below are some common symptoms if your Mac has been infected by a virus.

Note: These symptoms don’t always indicate virus infection but it is just a possibility.

  • Your Mac is experiencing an unusual slowdown and nothing you do to improve the speed helps
  • Malware attacks your system mostly in the form of browser extensions. These plugins normally claim to help you make search easier, but they are just malware
  • You find way too many advertisements in all the web pages you visit

How to clean your Mac from the virus?

Solution 1: Remove browser extensions

Follow the steps below to remove browser extensions from your system.

  1. Open Chrome application and click on the three dots in the top right corner
  2. Choose More Tools > Extensions
  3. Carefully go through all the extensions in the list and remove the ones you are not familiar with.

Solution 2: Remove troublesome applications

Certain applications may present to you in the form of security software or a cleaner. But when you go ahead and download it, it may turn out to be a virus or malware. Luckily you can uninstall these apps and get rid of the malware.

To uninstall these apps, go to the Applications folder, click on the app and drag it to the Trash. In some cases, even if you uninstall the app, there may be certain residue files related to the app still on your computer.

Go to the ~/Library folder and check the Application support folder for files related to the app and delete them. But before you delete, confirm if they are the right files as deleting wrong files may cause major problems.

Solution 3: Scan using an anti-virus program

Although the above steps help in removing certain kinds of malware or virus, it is not always as effective as using an antivirus to remove viruses.

There are many antivirus programs available in the market, but it is important that you choose a reliable one. But beware of free ones, as they may themselves be viruses in the form of antivirus.

It is a good idea to invest in a good anti-virus program even though it sets you back a few dollars. You will save yourself a great deal of time, money and avoid painful data loss disasters.

Solution 4: Restore from Time Machine backup

What if none of the above methods help you remove the virus from your system? The best solution is to use Time Machine to restore your Mac to a time when things were normal.

To restore using Time Machine, connect your Time Machine drive and restart your Mac by pressing Command + R keys. Then select Restore from Time Machine backup and choose an appropriate backup point. That’s it, your Mac will be restored and all programs and data installed after that backup point will be erased, effectively eliminating the virus. If you find some important files are deleted during the process, you can use tools such as Remo Recover to recover deleted Time Machine files.

If you don’t have a Time Machine set up, the last option is for you to reinstall macOS. But be sure to back up your entire system before you attempt this step.

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