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How to remove Smart Mac Care "virus"

Learn how to get rid of Smart Mac Care potentially unwanted application that blows its scan results out of all proportion by reporting nonexistent issues.

Smart Mac Care sounds like an application with some great protection and maintenance features under the hood. Moreover, that’s exactly the way it is marketed. The publisher claims it to deliver a combo of security and system tune-up so that the computer runs as smooth as new and isn’t vulnerable to common malware and web threats. However, this officially stated functionality doesn’t always cohere with the tool’s actual behavior. It often dramatizes the risks found on a Mac, thus trying to scare the user into wanting to dodge those issues right away. Most of the wrongfully detected items are malware and junk files – although some of them are actually there, their overall severity is artificially magnified as part of the pressure approach. This tactic is the reason why Smart Mac Care is sometimes labeled as a PUA (potentially unwanted application) or scareware.

Smart Mac Care looks competently designed but may exaggerate risks in its scan reports

Although the controversial app in question is readily available to download on its official web page, its authors diversify the distribution channels by adding some foul play to the mix. Lots of users who discover Smart Mac Care running on their machines cannot recall installing it. How so? It’s because the rogue tool often arrives with other programs, usually benign and free ones, and the process isn’t nearly as straightforward as one might expect. Bundles embracing multiple utilities can look like a single app installer while containing no apparent indication that anything else is being promoted along the way. This holds true to the default install mode – the one most people never opt out of. The only way to see what’s in the bundle and deselect the unwanted items, if any, is to go for the custom option. This simple habit can really make your day and help you steer clear of PUAs like Smart Mac Care.

Once inside a Mac, this questionably safe app adds itself to the startup items so that the system executes the process at boot time. This change isn’t conspicuous to the naked eye, though. What definitely draws the victim’s attention is the scan by Smart Mac Care that starts running all of a sudden. When the checkup is completed, the scareware displays a report that will make even the most self-possessed users feel uneasy. It usually reports hundreds of infections, junk items, and privacy issues. In fact, most of these are relatively harmless browser cookies, some are far-fetched problems, and quite a few are fictitious altogether. Nevertheless, gullible users may fall for this fake heads-up, which is the perfect circumstance for the software publisher to sell their licenses because the repair is a matter of registering the full version of Smart Mac Care.

The scareware may additionally meddle with the victim’s preferred web browser by hijacking the homepage, default search engine, and new tab settings. This way, it forcibly forwards a portion of the online navigation routine to landing pages that host additional fabricated alerts and recommend that the users pay for fixing the bugs. The victims who are vigilant enough to grasp the whole malicious manipulation shortly realize that the Smart Mac Care rogue app, rather than the reported items, is the source of the predicament. When the removal of this PUA ends up on an infected user’s agenda, there turns out to be a hurdle thwarting the easy way. Dragging the dubious program from the Applications folder to the Trash may be a short-term or outright inefficient measure and the pest will quite likely reappear. Therefore, it takes a special procedure to get rid of this Mac software completely. See the following sections of this article for details regarding the thoroughgoing cleaning techniques.

Smart Mac Care PUA manual removal for Mac

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.

  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 the entry for Smart Mac Care, select it and click Quit Process
  4. A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the Mac Cleanup Pro executable. 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 LaunchAgents directory opens up, find the following entries in it and move them to Trash:
    • com.SmartMacCare.agent.plist
    • com.SMC.agent.plist
    • com.SmartMacCare.mcphlpr
    • com.SMC.msphlpr
  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. Similarly, go to the ~Library/Application Support folder. Locate and move the following entries to Trash:
    • SmartMacCare
    • helpermcp
    • hlprmcp
    • hlprsmartmaccare
  10. Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the entry for Smart Mac Care on the interface, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it

    Malware’s icon under Applications

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

    Pick the System Preferences

  12. Select Accounts and click the Login Items button. The system will come up with the list of the items that launch when the box is started up. Locate Smart Mac Care there, put a checkmark next to each one, and click on the “-“ button

    roublemaking entry under Login Items

Get rid of browser redirects caused by Smart Mac Care

To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by the Smart Mac Care virus should be restored to their default values. The overview of steps for this procedure is as follows:

1. Reset 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, hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Remove All Website Data and click on it

Remove All Website Data option under Privacy

• 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

Confirmation dialog

• 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

Clear data for specific websites in Safari

• 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.

2. Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome and click the Customize and Control Google Chrome menu icon

• Select Options for a new window to appear

• Select Under the Hood tab, then click Reset to defaults button

Reset Chrome

3. Reset Mozilla Firefox

• Open Firefox and select HelpTroubleshooting Information

• On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button

Reset Firefox

Use automatic tool to uninstall Smart Mac Care unwanted app from your Mac

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove Mac Cleanup Pro 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 Mac Cleanup Pro 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 an update of the 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 Mac Cleanup Pro 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.

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