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Remove MacRepair potentially unwanted application

MacRepair app can only be labeled benign by a very slim margin, so read this article to learn the whys and wherefores and find out how to remove it from Mac.

Imagine getting to know someone who claims to be a good professional in a certain domain. This experience seems to go well for a while, but it turns out that the acquaintance provides pseudo services and bills you for the assistance you don’t actually need. Guess what? It’s not necessarily a real world only scenario. There are applications like MacRepair that act in a similar way. This software is often introduced to a Mac via a sketchy website that displays an alert about severe threats and performance issues found on the visitor’s computer. While the installation of said app is supposed to address these concerns, it makes matters worse in the long run. MacRepair runs a system scan that reports gigabytes of junk, serious RAM problems, and sneaky malware. The green “Start Repair” button beneath the scan results looks like a life saver, but this is actually a conduit between the user and the scam operators’ well-being.

Some issues reported by MacRepair aren’t actually there

Mac Repair claims to be chock-full of optimization and security modules to anyone’s liking. These include features to tidy up hard drive space, find and delete duplicates as well as large and old files, identify viruses, keep the user safe online, overview disks and their contents, and more. Plus, the app purports to provide 24/7 phone support, which is something many people appreciate. Obviously, this looks like a competitive feature set, but it’s a bait rather than real advantage. Every time the software runs a scan, the results make the Mac user frown due to the massive amount of junk and a few malware entities allegedly found. The truth is, this reporting is blown out of proportion. Some of the problems listed by Mac Repair as critical are nearly benign, as is the case with browser cookies dropped by websites when the user visits them. A number of the detected objects may not even be there at all.

The objective of this activity is to lay on the colors too thickly so that the victim plunges headlong into addressing the issues. As an extra catch, MacRepair says it deletes 100MB of unnecessary data free of charge. However, situations where it finds less junk are extremely rare, which means the cleanup entails payment regardless. According to a prompt following the user’s fixing initiative, purchasing the license is the only way to get the job done. As far as the fraudulent logic goes, this isn’t a wheel reinvented. Scareware has acted this way since the very dawn of this phenomenon, which was over a decade ago. The technique is a cocktail of exaggerated scan results and persuasive recommendations to implement quick troubleshooting offered by a shady application. Whereas MacRepair might not be as aggressive and deceptive as many other rogue system cleaners out there, its advice shouldn’t be taken for granted and users are better off thinking twice before doing what it says.

Fake online alert pushing MacRepair and associated scareware threats

One more shade of MacRepair that’s undoubtedly on the minus side of it is that its authors use a very controversial distribution method other than the download option on the program’s official website. Lots of Mac users are literally fooled into installing it. The hoax involves a browser hijacking infection that repeatedly forwards one’s Internet sessions to a misleading site masqueraded as an online scan resource. It displays a faux popup alert saying that a virus called Bankworm has been detected on the machine. The warning message even fetches and shows the victim’s IP address, Internet service provider’s name, and geographic location. These details are intended to make the scam appear true-to-life. To get rid of the pseudo worm, the user is instructed to download MacRepair. Interestingly, the alert mentions another application, namely the infamous Advanced Mac Cleaner or MacKeeper, which is a clue about all of these threats hailing from the same lab.

Given the totality of adverse effects highlighted above, MacRepair should be uninstalled without delay. An additional layer of the removal procedure is to get rid of the browser hijacker that most likely promoted the scareware into the Mac in the first place.

MacRepair virus manual removal for Mac

The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this malicious 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 MacRepair, select it and click Quit Process
  4. A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the MacRepair 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 entry in it and move it to the Trash:
    • com.MacRepair.agent.plist
    • com.MacRepair.mrhlpr
  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:
    • MacRepair
    • helpermr
    • hlprmr
    • hlprmacrepair
  10. Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the entry for MacRepair on the interface, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it

    Malicious app 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 MacRepairHelper and MacRepairShield or other potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ buttonMac Auto Fixer entry under Login Items

Get rid of browser redirects caused by MacRepair

To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by MacRepair 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, 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

      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.
  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 MacRepair unwanted app from your Mac

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove MacRepair 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 MacRepair 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 MacRepair 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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