Skip to main content

How to remove MacKeeper virus from Mac [July 2019 upd.]

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.

Update: July 2019

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.

MacKeeper GUI might instill trust but actually reports imaginary issues

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.

  1. Open up the Utilities folder as shown below

    Open up the Utilities

  2. Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the screen and double-click on it

    Locate the Activity Monitor

  3. Under Activity Monitor, find MacKeeper or some other item that appears suspicious, select it and click Quit Process
  4. A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the troublemaking process. Select the Force Quit option
  5. Expand the Go menu in Apple Finder and select Go to Folder
  6. Type or paste the following string in the folder search dialog: /Library/LaunchAgents

    Go to the LaunchAgents folder

  7. Once the LaunchAgentsdirectory opens up, find the following entries in it and move them to Trash:
    • com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper.plist
    • com.mackeeper.AdwareAnalyzer.plist
  8. 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
  9. 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

    Malicious app icon under Applications

  10. Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option

    Pick the System Preferences

  11. 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 virus in web browser on Mac

To begin with, the web browser settings taken over by the MacKeeper virus should be restored to their default values. Although this will clear most of your customizations, web surfing history, and all temporary data stored by websites, the malicious interference should be terminated likewise. The overview of the steps for completing this procedure is as follows:

  1. Remove MacKeeper virus from Safari
    • Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list.

      Go to Preferences in Safari

    • Once the Preferences screen appears, click on the Advanced tab and enable the option saying “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

      Advanced tab under Safari Preferences

    • Now that the Develop entry has been added to the Safari menu, expand it and click on Empty Caches.

      Empty Caches in Safari

    • Now select History in the Safari menu and click on Clear History in the drop-down list.

      Clear history in Safari

    • Safari will display a dialog asking you to specify the period of time this action will apply to. Select all history to ensure a maximum effect. Click on the Clear History button to confirm and exit.

      Select all history to clear

    • Go back to the Safari Preferences and hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Manage Website Data and click on it.

      Manage Website Data option under Privacy tab

    • The browser will display a follow-up screen listing the websites that have stored data about your Internet activities. This dialog additionally includes a brief description of what the removal does: 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 on the Remove All button.

      Confirmation dialog

    • Restart Safari
  2. Remove MacKeeper in Google Chrome
    • Open Chrome, click the Customize and control Google Chrome (⁝) icon in the top right-hand part of the window, and select Settings in the drop-down

      Chrome Settings

    • When on the Settings pane, select Advanced
    • Scroll down to the Reset settings section.

      Reset settings in Chrome on Mac

    • 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.

      Here’s how to reset settings in Chrome on Mac

  3. Remove MacKeeper from Mozilla Firefox
    • Open Firefox and go to Help – Troubleshooting Information (or type about:support in the URL bar and press Enter).

      Open Firefox and go to Help

      Select Troubleshooting Information

    • When on the Troubleshooting Information screen, click on the Refresh Firefox button.

      Refresh Firefox on Mac

    • Confirm the intended changes and restart Firefox.

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:

  1. Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.

    Download Combo Cleaner

    By downloading any applications recommended on this website you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. The free scanner checks whether your Mac is infected. To get rid of malware, you need to purchase the Premium version of Combo Cleaner.

  2. 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.
  3. Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.

    Combo Cleaner Mac scan progress

  4. 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).

    Combo Cleaner scan report – no threats found

  5. 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.

    Combo Cleaner – threats found

  6. 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.

Was this article helpful? Please, rate this.

There are no comments yet.
Authentication required

You must log in to post a comment.

Log in