Find out why many users consider MacKeeper to be a potentially unwanted application and learn how to completely uninstall MacKeeper from Mac in a few steps.
When it comes to keeping one’s Mac computer safe and performing at its peak, there are quite a few effective solutions out there as well as impostor apps that pass themselves off as ultimate, all-in-one security and optimization suites. It’s might be difficult to state outright whether MacKeeper is the former or the latter type, but there is a great deal of user feedback that doesn’t play into its publisher’s hands. People have been complaining of shady promotion mechanisms, where they are redirected to what’s called landing pages that highly recommend them to download and install MacKeeper and have it clean up and secure their Macs instantly. This questionably ethical marketing also involves annoying popup ads that accompany users’ web surfing and report numerous issues. Such an atrocious malvertising literally coerces the targets into installing the program.
All in all, the distribution facet of MacKeeper is amongst the biggest issues accompanying this utility, but not the only one. Upon making its way into a Mac, often without even asking for user authorization in a clear way, the app continues to shell the admin with noxious error reports as well as popup dialogs about poor performance and security problems. The motivation for conducting this brainwashing campaign is to persuade the user to register the full licensed edition of the program. Note that some issues reported by MacKeeper may actually be there, but the way it presents this information does not fit in the paradigm of legit software activity.
To top it all off, MacKeeper runs system scans at random. The scan results are, predictably enough, disconcerting and have a flavor of pressure upon the victim. It purports to detect hundreds of megabytes of junk on the machine, spyware or other perpetrating code, and critical performance issues. Simply closing the graphical interface to get those scary results out of sight will be a short-lived relief, because popup alerts will continue to bombard the user with recommendations to apply a fix, a paid one of course. Yet another flip side of MacKeeper’s activity is that it may have a conspicuous system footprint. Therefore, the Mac will run slower than usual. Furthermore, this application may install rogue browser add-ons on its own, that is, without asking for admin’s consent.
To recap, this utility may create a delusively good impression of a handy tool accommodating useful functionality, such as Mac cleanup and protection modules. And yet, it isn’t the most unobtrusive app imaginable, to put it mildly. The myriads of irritating popup alerts are likely to make user experience go down the drain. If MacKeeper is on board your Mac and you are unwilling to endure its activity any longer, follow the steps below to uninstall it. Before getting down to removal, though, be sure to undo some changes that you may have made to your data using this program. These include file encryption and backup. An extra tip is to refrain from installing any apps pushed by fishy online ads.
MacKeeper manual removal for Mac
The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this application. Be sure to follow the instructions in the order specified.
- Open up the Utilities folder as shown below
- Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the screen and double-click on it
- Under Activity Monitor, find MacKeeper or some other item that appears suspicious, select it and click Quit Process
- A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the troublemaking process. Select the Force Quit option
- Expand the Go menu in Apple Finder and select Go to Folder
- Type or paste the following string in the folder search dialog: /Library/LaunchAgents
- Once the LaunchAgentsdirectory opens up, find the following entries in it and move them to Trash:
- Use the Go to Folder lookup feature again to navigate to the folder named ~/Library/LaunchAgents. When this path opens, look for the same entries (see above) and send them to Trash
- Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the entry for MacKeeper on the interface or some other one that clearly doesn’t belong there, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it
- Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option
- Select Accounts and click the Login Items button. The system will come up with the list of the items that launch when the computer is started up. Locate MacKeeper or other potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ button
Get rid of MacKeeper pop-ups in web browser on Mac
To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by the MacKeeper adware should be restored to their default values. The overview of steps for this procedure is as follows:
- Reset Safari
- Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list
- Once the Preferences screen appears, hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Remove All Website Data and click on it
- The system will display a confirmation dialog that also includes a brief description of what the reset does. Specifically, you may be logged out of some services and encounter other changes of website behavior after the procedure. If you’re okay with that, go ahead and click the Remove Now button
- In order to selectively clear data generated by certain websites only, not all of them, hit the Details button under the Privacy section of Safari Preferences
- This feature will list all websites that have stored potentially sensitive data, including cache and cookies. Select the one, or ones, that might be causing trouble and click the appropriate button at the bottom (Remove or Remove All). Click the Done button to exit.
- Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list
- Reset Google Chrome
- Open Chrome, click the More (⁝) icon in the top right-hand part of the window, and select Settings in the drop-down
- When on the Settings pane, select Advanced
- Scroll down to the Reset settings section. Under the Restore settings to their original defaults option, click the Reset settings button
- Confirm the Chrome reset on a dialog that will pop up. When the procedure is completed, relaunch the browser and check it for malware activity.
- Reset Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox and select Help – Troubleshooting Information
- On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button
Get rid of MacKeeper virus using Combo Cleaner automatic removal tool
The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove MacKeeper virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.
Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the MacKeeper issue using Combo Cleaner:
- Download Combo Cleaner installer . When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.
- Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run the update of malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
- Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.
- Examine the scan results. If the report says “No Threats”, then you are on the right track with the manual cleaning and can safely proceed to tidy up the web browser that may continue to act up due to the after-effects of the malware attack (see instructions above).
- In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove MacKeeper threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.
- Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.