Best Malware Removal For Mac 2018

26 November 2019

The issue of how to remove malware from Mac has become a hot topic over the years - and with good reason.

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Mac malware is on the rise and shows no sign of stopping.

Mac users also have the option of seeking the expertise of live experts for malware removal, if they opt for priced editions of CIS (Antivirus Advanced, Internet Security Pro, and Complete). Contingency plans are a must when dealing with security attacks and therefore having live experts in standby mode to assist you in case of malware. 10 Best Malware Removal Software for Windows/Mac Used for various purposes and editions like for anti-virus, anti-phishing, adware etc. Each of them comes with different features. Still wondering which one is the best for your system? Intego's Mac Internet Security X9 is our pick of the bunch, making it the best antivirus for Mac 2018. Systweak Anti-Malware is a dedicated malware scanning and removal software for MacOS. Just like Malwarebytes, Systweak Anti-Malware scans for malware, rootkits, viruses, and adware in your hard disk and system memory. Once it finds a threat, it automatically quarantines it. Malwarebytes is THE software to prevent Malware on your Mac. Get it HERE: Malware on Apple Computers is scarily common these days. The issue of how to remove malware from Mac has become a hot topic over the years - and with good reason. Mac malware is on the rise and shows no sign of stopping. Here we take a look at some of the most recent malware threats faced by Macs in 2019, symptoms of malware on your Mac, and the best removal tools (as voted by MacUpdate users) to get.

Here we take a look at some of the most recent malware threats faced by Macs in 2019, symptoms of malware on your Mac, and the best removal tools (as voted by MacUpdate users) to get the job done.

Ready? Let's go!

Here's what you'll learn in this post:

Do Macs Need Malware Protection?

In a word: Yes.

Despite earning a reputation for being almost impervious to viruses, Apple devices are facing a growing threat of malware - one that's been bubbling away for 15 years.

  • The first example of macOS malware dates back to 2004.
  • More recently, a 2018 report highlighted a 270 percent increase in Mac malware.
  • Of the ten most popular cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2019, Mac malware took up two spots.
  • April 2019 witnessed a whopping 16 million instances of Mac malware - four times the previous record.

Why is this happening?

The most obvious answer is the fact that Macs are increasing in popularity. As more consumers purchase these devices, more cybercriminals are opting to target them.

This has also coincided with an increase in more complex attacks, such as:

  • Adware
  • Ransomware
  • Phishing sites
  • and cryptojacking

5 of the Best Malware Removal Tools, As Voted For by MacUpdate Community

2.8 stars from 114 MacUpdate users.

A well-known name in the world of anti-malware, Malwarebytes is a simple and straightforward solution. It works away in the background largely unprompted, and if you need to run a manual scan, it's only ever a few clicks away.

The free version gets to work cleaning up an already infected Mac, but if you want ongoing protection, you should opt for Malwarebytes Premium. This prevents further malware infections, proactively blocks adware, and runs superfast scans when required.

3.8 stars from 177 MacUpdate users.

A solid and reliable antivirus for Mac, VirusBarrier X9 from Intego is slick, quick and focused.

There's no feature bloat here as it gets to work on the task at hand - identifying, removing and blocking malware. Folder scanning is fast, and the full scans are thorough.

You can also schedule scans ahead of time, which is always handy.

The downside is the full scan can be time-consuming, while the free trial only offers very limited functionality.

4.1 stars from 642 MacUpdate users.

Little Snitch's primary function is to alert you to outgoing network connections. It essentially stops your private data from being sent out without your knowledge or approval - sort of like a reverse firewall.

It runs quietly in the background and can also detect network-related activity of malware, trojans and viruses.

But (and there's always a but) it only looks at single connections and overlooks patterns of network activity that malware can engage in.

It's good at what it does, however, there are better malware-busting alternatives out there.

4.4 stars from 273 MacUpdate users.

An award-winning general-purpose software, Catalina Cache Cleaner (CCC) makes system maintenance a breeze, but we're interested in its capabilities as a malware scanner. We're pleased to report that it shows up well.

Malware For Mac

CCC helps keep your Mac safe from malware by adding three additional layers of security. It also ships with the open-source, cross-platform ClamAV antivirus built-in. It's always-on, scanning downloads on the fly to ensure you receive the very best malware protection from both Mac and Windows threats.

And the Winner Is..

4.5 stars from 127 MacUpdate users.

Designed to scan, identify and delete malware quickly and easily, MacScan is a worthy winner.

Rewritten from the ground up for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (and later), it takes a no-nonsense approach to dealing with malware, spyware, Trojans, and more.


Simple and easy-to-use, its comprehensive and consistently up-to-date library of known threats keeps your Mac ticking along nicely. With its new Smart Scan engine, it gets to work in the very areas of your device where security and privacy threats like to hide.

The only real cons are the annual license, and the high CPU usage while scanning. If the latter seems like a fair trade when you get such a complete security solution in exchange.

Bonus review: The Perfect Solution for Post-Malware Attack

4.9 stars from 344 MacUpdate users.

A software befitting of its name, SuperDuper is a powerful and popular app for creating a fully bootable backup of your hard drive. It's particularly useful when recovering from a malware attack.

SuperDuper is easy to use and geared towards less technical users, but it also caters to more experienced users with a slew of sophisticated features such as customizable scripts and version control.

What Are the Most Recent Mac Malware Threats?

For the sake of brevity, here are five of the most recent, significant and scary:

  • OSX/MaMi
  • OSX/CrescentCore
  • LoudMiner (aka Bird Mine)
  • Mshelper
  • CookieMiner

Looking for a full list of recent Mac malware threats? Check out this article from Macworld.


First reported back in January 2018, the OSX/MaMi malware is a nasty piece of work. It exists to route all traffic through dodgy servers in order to steal sensitive info.

The program installs a new root certificate to intercept encrypted communications (eek!), and it can also take screenshots, execute commands, and upload and download files.


CrescentCore was found on a number of websites and even showed up in Google search results. It was cleverly disguised and very sneaky.

Before running, it would check to see if it was inside a virtual machine. It would also search for antivirus tools. If the machine was unprotected, it would go ahead and install malicious files.

The alarming part? It had a signed developer certificate, issued by Apple. This meant it could bypass Apple's Gatekeeper.

Although later revoked, the fact it had a signed developer certificate in the first place proves that malware can get through the in-built protection.

LoudMiner (aka Bird Mine)

LoudMiner found its way onto Apple devices via a cracked installer for music production software Ableton Live. It was a cryptocurrency miner designed to use Mac's processing power to make money. Not cool.


First spotted in May 2018, another cryptojacker called Mshelper was causing all sorts of issues.

Those infected noticed hardware problems right away - namely their fans spinning much faster than normal, and devices running hotter than usual. This typically indicates that an often malicious background process is using up processing resources.


Discovered at the end of January 2019, CookieMiner was able to steal user passwords and login information for cyberwallets from Chrome.

It could also grab browser authentication cookies associated with crypto exchanges, and access iTunes backups to build up a user profile with enough personal information to bypass two-factor authentication.

All of this meant easy access to the victims' cyber currency.

Shout out: Listen to the brilliant Intego Mac Podcast to learn more about the most recent Mac malware threats.

How Do I Know If There's Malware On My Mac?

Okay, that list above makes for some scary reading, right?

That's why it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common symptoms associated with malware. If you ever notice any of the following, you can quickly take action and avoid potentially catastrophic consequences.

Common Malware Symptoms

  1. Your Mac slows way down, becoming laggy or sluggish. The fan is spinning like crazy and the hardware is overheating. Pages are taking longer to load and the cursor doesn't move in real-time. It's almost as if there's something running in the background, hogging processing power.
  2. Your web searches are being redirected to a site you don't recognise.
  3. You notice a toolbar or addons in your browser (Chrome, Safari) that you didn't install.
  4. You're redirected to spam pages when visiting your favorite websites.
  5. Random pop-ups serve ads on your desktop, even when you're not running any programs.
  6. Web pages are covered in dodgy-looking adverts - especially sites where you wouldn't usually see ads, such as Wikipedia.

It might not be malware

If you notice any of those signs, don't panic. It doesn't always mean your Mac is infected with malware. There are other reasons why a Mac runs slowly.

The one thing you definitely want to avoid doing is Googling the problem and installing the first thing you find in an attempt to remove the problem.

This could result in you downloading more malicious software and making the entire situation much worse.

Instead, you need to turn to a reliable software solution (like those listed above) to run a check and - if you do have malware - safely remove the offending files.

What to Do if Your Mac Has Malware

If you think your Mac is infected with malware or a virus, take these steps to keep the situation under control:

  1. Avoid Passwords - In case there's a keylogger running on your system, avoid typing in passwords or login details. Some more sophisticated malware can also take secret screenshots, so be careful not to expose sensitive information until you're certain your device is clean.
  2. Try to Stay Offline - Staying offline can essentially cut off the oxygen supply to the malware. Naturally, this is easier said than done, and if you need to download an antivirus tool after infection, it's not going to be an option. That's why it pays to protect your device right away.
  3. Contact Your Bank - If you unwittingly paid for the malware, make sure to contact your bank or credit card provider and explain the situation. They can stop the scammers in their tracks by freezing your card.
  4. Shut Down + Restore - If you can, shut down your Mac immediately and restore from a recent backup.
  5. Update Passwords - Once you're certain that you've managed to remove the malware, update your passwords. Better yet, use a password manager for yet another layer of security.

How to Recover from a Malware Attack

When recovering from a malware attack on your Mac, there are a few things you need to do:

1. Update your system software

If you've missed a recent update, you could leave your device vulnerable to further attacks. It might even be the reason why you suffered the attack in the first place!

Click on the Apple menu icon > Select App Store > Click on the Updates tab > Install all available updates.

Best Malware Removal For Mac 2018 Download

2. Check the disk for errors

Apple's Internet Recovery Partition allows you to safely check the hard drive for anything out of the ordinary.

Restart your device > As it reboots, hold down Command + R > Once rebooted, you should see the Internet Recovery Partition > Select Disk Utility and click Continue > Click on First Aid > Click Run.

Your Mac will now run a scan on the hard drive to look for errors and - if possible - fix them.

3. Use SuperDuper

If you have SuperDuper installed, you should reboot from the previous day's backup, reformat your drive and move forward malware-free.

The Bottom Line

Malware can cause mayhem on a Mac - and fast.

These days, it's often not enough to just be careful when you're browsing and vigilant about what you open or download. You have to be proactive and take steps to protect your device and the data it holds.

Download a malware removal tool today, and have a recovery plan up your sleeve should you need one. If you ever cross paths with Mac malware, you'll be glad you did.

What is an Adware?

Adware is considered as an unwanted piece of code whose major purpose is to display unauthorized advertisements on your screen, that is most often a browser screen.

How Does Adware Get on Your Mac?

Many times, while browsing a site or while installing any software, Adware’s masks themselves as a part of a legitimate software and gets installed on your Mac in the background. This majorly happens because most software’s installed by the user do not convey any information about the silent installation of alternative software that may be infectious.

What Happens When an Adware Gets Installed on Your Mac?

If an Adware manages to enter your Mac machine, your system may be a victim of the following changes:

  • Unwanted adds on your Mac and installed Browsers.
  • Abnormal functioning of the browsers.
  • Redirection to unwanted sites.
  • Change in the browser’s homepage.
  • Unwanted installation of third-party products.

How Can You Remove Adware From Mac?

Adware installation leads to abnormal functioning of any Mac machine. Once any user experiences the above-mentioned points on their Macs, it becomes evident that their machines are infected by adware.

There are ample ways using which a user can remove adware from Mac, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Closing and blocking all types of pop up ads.
  • Customize search engine settings to avoid illegitimate software’s getting installed.
  • Checking for extensions and removing the unwanted ones.
  • Installing Adware Cleaner Apps for Mac.

Best Adware Remover for Mac:

While adware infections can be manually removed from Mac machines, there are many software’s available in the market that can do the job for you. Continue reading the article to get a brief about the best adware removal tools for Mac.

1. Systweak Anti-Malware for Mac

Systweak Anti-Malware for Mac tops the category of adware cleaner for Mac. Protecting Mac machines nowadays as important as protecting Windows. Since Mac systems are no more secure from the deadliest infections, pop up ads can shut down your machines within seconds and can steal important information from your machines.

Best Malware Removal For Mac 2018 Crack

Systweak Anti-Malware for Mac comes with an advanced engine capable enough to detect and remove the most heinous malware infections like adware, spyware, trojans etc.

This adware cleaner for Mac is power-packed with the below mentioned features:

  • Regular database updates to keep your machine free from the latest malware and adware infections.
  • One-click scan to detect malware infection like spyware, adware etc.
  • Scans browser plug-ins and extensions for any infections.
  • Easy scanning for applications that launch or run in the background at the system startup.
  • Easy scheduling of scans as per ease.
  • Log reports that can easily be accessed in a detailed manner whenever required.
  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.9 or later.
  • Advanced Scan engines to scan and detect the latest malware and adware infections.
  • Can be installed easily.

One more reason that Systweak Anti-Malware can be considered as the best adware remover for Mac, since it gives users the liberty to perform scan as per their requirement. Its effective scan engine is categorized into three scans namely Quick Scan, Deep Scan and Startup Scan that easily remove adware from Mac.

15 Best Malware Removal For Mac In 2021Here is the list of some of the best anti-malware software for Mac to prevent your Mac from being victimized..

2. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

This is yet again an amazing adware cleaner for Mac. Equipped with some of the most advanced and detailed cybersecurity technologies it keeps Macs free from all kinds of malware and anti-virus infections. The extensive scan engine allows easy detection and removal of adware, spyware, malware etc.

Some of the most noted features of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac are:

  • Easy removal of pop up ads bombarding your Macs browser.
  • Automatic updates to protect your Mac from dangerous infections including malware, adware and spyware infections.
  • Automatic renewal to give you a never-ending safety.
  • All-around ransomware protection.
  • Time machine protection to revert your infected mac machine to the normal state.
  • Prevent unauthorized pop-up ads being displayed on the browsers.
  • Extensive and fast scan engines to detect and clean adware infections.
  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.9 or later.

With a database of over 500 million users, Bitdefender is undoubtedly one of the best software to remove adware from mac.

Free Malware Removal Mac

3. Avira Free Antivirus

Best Malware Removal For Mac 2018

Avira is not a name people don’t know. It has been in the tech world since years and has been saving computers and Macs from all kinds of infections. With its intuitive design and effective engine, it is amongst the most loved security tool to remove adware from Mac.

Its major features include:

  • Easy installation and ease of access due to simplistic User Interface.
  • One-click repair to make the most of this amazing utility.
  • Provides all round online protection.
  • Advanced technology and scan engine to scan and detect all kinds of online threats. These online threats range from adware, spyware, trojans etc.
  • Activity Stream that displays all the important security information as well as the details about threats being blocked by the software.
  • Automatic scheduling for all time protection.

Avira Free Antivirus is an amazing utility to remove all kinds of harmful threats and has an extensive database of users relying upon it.

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Final Words

In order to safeguard Mac machines from all kind of online threats including malware, spyware, adware, trojans etc, it is important to use an effective utility that can do the job for you. We have tried to jot down three of the best adware remover for Mac, download and install one of these adware cleaners for Mac and keep your important information safe and stay away from annoying pop-up ads.