It’s not uncommon to see Mac scareware doing the rounds, but Cleanup My Mac virus is a potent threat that outstrips most counterparts in terms of prevalence.
Mac scareware is on the uptick. These electronic culprits mainly pose as must-have utilities to boost system performance and clean up all sorts of junk. Ideally, such features are really welcome as Macintosh computers get cluttered with unnecessary files and software leftovers that parasitize on disk space. Unfortunately, some software publishers that don’t take the ethical element of their business seriously have been releasing apps whose activity is about mimicking rather than actually optimizing. The malicious players who masterminded the Cleanup My Mac virus campaign, for instance, pursue the abominable goal of manipulating users through fake issue detection reports. Also known as Cleanup-My Mac, this phony program slithers into machines in a furtive way, instantly achieves the persistence effect, and inundates the victim’s computing experience with fake scans as well as annoying popup alerts.
The distribution of Cleanup My Mac relies on a malvertising stratagem where users are redirected to misleading web pages when they visit regular sites. This interception of web traffic can be blamed on corrupt scripts stealthily embedded into popular web resources. Another likely scenario involves a browser hijacker that infiltrates a Mac without the admin’s awareness. A bundle of multiple items combined under a single installation client’s umbrella is the most common entry point for the redirect malware. When the web surfing routine is forwarded to the deceptive site, such as apple.com-scan.live, the user sees a warning message that says, “Your Mac is heavily damaged”, “Your Mac is infected with 3 viruses” or similar. The linked-to download that will purportedly fix the problem leads to the Cleanup My Mac payload.
As soon as the rogue application is in, it meddles with important system set-ups such as Login Items and LaunchAgents. This way, it makes sure that the obtrusive binary is triggered every time the Mac is booted up and cannot be easily terminated. Then, the malady enters the active stage of its attack. It displays a fabricated scan that pretends to evaluate the current performance condition of the system by the following areas: cache, logs, extra languages, rogue apps, trash, duplicates, and large files. Given the indecent gist of the app, it comes as no surprise that it reports dozens or hundreds of issues by each category. Then, the bogus repair phase of Cleanup My Mac’s modus operandi comes into play. It strongly recommends that the user fix all the spotted issues by activating the full version, which boils down to purchasing a 2-year license for $118.80. Paying for a counterfeit cleaner that solves inexistent problems is a questionable venture, to put it mildly.
Under the circumstances, the best option is to get rid of the Cleanup My Mac virus in the first place. Be advised that an important component of the repair is to rectify the settings of the web browser that may have been hijacked by a troublemaking plugin or extension and will otherwise continue to be redirected to unwanted web pages. Use the walkthrough below to get the job done.
Cleanup My Mac virus manual removal
The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this potentially unwanted 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 the entry for Cleanup My Mac or Cleanup-My Mac, select it and click Quit Process
- - A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the Cleanup My Mac executable. 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
- Similarly, go to the ~Library/Application Support folder. Locate and move the following entries to Trash:
- Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the entry for Cleanup My Mac or Cleanup-My Mac on the interface, 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. Mac OS will come up with the list of the items that launch when the box is started up. Locate Cleanup My Mac, Cleanup-My Mac, or Mac Cleanup Pro there and click on the "-" button
Get rid of Cleanup My Mac add-ons in web browser on Mac
To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by Cleanup My Mac 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
Use automatic tool to uninstall Cleanup My Mac virus from your Mac
When confronted with malicious code like the Cleanup My Mac virus on Mac, you can neutralize its toxic impact by leveraging a specially crafted system utility. The Freshmac application (read review) is a perfect match for this purpose as it delivers essential security features along with must-have modules for Mac optimization.
This tool cleans unneeded applications and persistent malware in one click. It also protects your privacy by eliminating tracking cookies, frees up disk space, and manages startup apps to decrease boot time. On top of that, it boasts 24/7 tech support. The following steps will walk you through automatic removal of the Cleanup My Mac infection.
- Download Freshmac installer onto your machine. Double-click the Freshmac.pkg file to trigger the installer window, select the destination disk and click Continue. The system will display a dialog asking for your password to authorize the setup. Type the password and click Install Software
- Once the installation has been completed, Freshmac will automatically start a scan consisting of 5 steps. It scans cache, logs, unused languages, trash, and checks the Mac for privacy issues.
- The scan report will then display your current system health status and the number of issues detected for each of the above categories. Click the Fix Safely button to remove junk files and address privacy issues spotted during the scan.
- Check whether the Cleanup My Mac issue has been fixed. If it perseveres, go to the Uninstaller option on Freshmac GUI. Locate an entry that appears suspicious, select it and click Fix Safely button to force-uninstall the unwanted application.
- Go to Temp and Startup Apps panes on the interface and have all redundant or suspicious items eliminated as well. The Cleanup My Mac malware shouldn’t be causing any further trouble.