How To Check For Malware On Mac And How To Remove It Too

Did you know that the volume of Mac threats increased by 400% in 2019?

With the Mac outpacing Windows computers for threats per endpoint, you must protect your computer even more. But if you’re a basic Mac user, you might not know how to check for malware on Mac. With this, you’re at risk for malware incursions.

Don’t feel threatened yet.

With this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of malware on Mac. Read on and find out more:

Signs of Malware Infection on Mac

All malware infections have a common thing: they infect your computer using processes beyond the App Store. Most of the time, pirated software is the cause. But you’re likely to get malware from untrustworthy software.

Here are some symptoms of a malware infection:

1. Unexpected Pop-Ups and Ads

The Mac platform is becoming an ever-bigger issue on the Mac. So, when you see ads where they aren’t supposed to be, it’s likely because you installed something harmful. This likely happens when you get pop-up ads even without browsing the World Wide Web.

2. Your Mac Slows Down

Some malware aims to make your Mac PC a botnet component. A botnet is a network of computers used to accomplish various tasks. If your Mac gets infected, it might be mining Bitcoins or doing other tasks requiring CPU power.

If you closed out all your programs and the Mac remains slow, it’s likely infected. But the good news is it isn’t the only reason this happens. Look for other underlying issues before blaming malware.

How to Remove Malware on Mac

Once you ascertain that malware infests your Mac, you can now get rid of it. The following steps are important for a safe malware removal process on your Mac. Also, check out the linked website if you want an in-depth guide on removing malware from Mac PCs. 

1. Disconnect from the Internet

By doing this, you prevent the malware from sending more data to its server. It also puts a stop on the malware’s spread. If your computer got infected, ensure you’re offline as much as you can.

After downloading a malware removal tool, disconnect after it completes. Never reconnect until you’re sure the malware got eradicated.

2. Enter Safe Mode

Safe mode is a method of booting your computer with minimum required software and programs. If the malware loads automatically, this mode stops it. This makes the removal process easier.

To do this, restart your Mac and hold the Shift key. The Apple logo appears on your screen. After seeing the login window, release the Shift key.

3. Look at Your Activity Monitor

Close suspicious applications if they’re currently running. It’s easy to do since all you need is your activity monitor. It shows the processes currently running on your Mac.

Manage these to check the way they impact your computer’s performance. Check the CPU tab to look for the hardest-working application. It’s because malware programs are likely taking up most of your computer’s resources.

Once found, close it using your activity monitor. Look for it on the Finder menu and delete it permanently.

4. Run a Malware Scanners

Standard infections are often removable by most malware scanners. If your current antivirus program didn’t detect the infection, install a different one. Get installers from reliable sources when getting a new malware scanner online.

Your scanner must have some features that give protection against both existing and emerging malware. This includes ransomware and other Mac-related viruses.

5. Check Your Browser’s Homepage

Most malware will change your browser’s homepage in an attempt to infect your Mac once more. Depending on your preferred web browser, the steps can vary. Here are steps for both Safari and Google Chrome:


To start, look at the top left corner of your current window. Select Safari and click on Preferences. Open the General option and see the following options: “New windows open with” and “New tabs open with.”

Pick the Homepage option and check your default homepage next to the appropriate field. If it isn’t the one you set, change it immediately. Don’t attempt to open it since it might lead to a website that automatically downloads malware.

Google Chrome

This is the most popular web browser, with 61% of the world using it each month. If Chrome is your preferred method of surfing the net, go to the top right corner of your browser. Click on More and pick the Settings option.

Find the Search Engine section and go to the dropdown menu. Verify whether your homepage is the one you set before. If not, change it as soon as possible.

6. Clear the Cache

After verifying the homepage setting, it’s time to clear out your browser cache. This is where your browser stores data to make websites load faster. It’s a temporary storage location that can also serve as a breeding ground for malware.

If you use Chrome, it’s easy since all you need is to go to your History. After that, select Clear Browser Data and select the “All Time” option on the Time range dropdown menu. Once done, press the blue Clear Data button.

For Safari, go to your Preferences menu. Here, you’ll click on Privacy and select Manage Website Data. Once there, press the Remove All button to get rid of your cached data.

What If The Malware Removal Fails?

If these steps fail, your last resort is to reset your computer. It means reinstalling your operating system and applications. Before getting rid of all your files, back them up using an external hard drive.

Consult Apple support before you go through the reset process. To reinstall your MacOS, restart your Mac and hold down Command + R. Do this after the startup chime sounds.

On the Disk Utility menu, pick your drive and press Erase.

Learn How to Check for Malware on Mac Today!

These are some things you must do on how to check for malware on Mac. Use these tips to secure your Mac from malware threats. But why stop with cleaning your Mac from malware? There are other tips to optimize your unit and get the most out of your Mac. To discover these tips and tricks, we encourage you to read our other posts right here!

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