Explore the malicious facet of “Your computer is low on memory” Mac popup alert and make sure it isn’t displayed by a virus as part of its dodgy tactic.
When it comes to electronic devices in general and computers in particular, one of the inescapable things is that they become obsolete over time. Macs aren’t on the sidelines of this “aging” phenomenon. Whereas the operating system and third-party software get updated down the road, hardware doesn’t. Ultimately, it means the machine will become incapable of smoothly handling increasingly resource-heavy apps at some point. In this scenario, the user’s options aren’t very plentiful and usually come down to a memory upgrade or a replacement of the MacBook or desktop computer with a new model powerful enough to support modern programs, including memory hogs such as graphics editing tools. But what if iterative alerts that go, “Your computer is low on memory” are appearing on a Mac equipped with resources in excess of what’s required to process all current workflows? This could be a way Mac malware signals its presence.
In fact, popup alerts stating that a Mac is running out of available memory have been a telltale sign of adware and scareware activity for quite some time. Also referred to as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), these culprits litter around the host system by displaying different kinds of sponsored information and misleading popup dialogs. The objective of generating ads in the victim’s web browser is to rake in profits through pay-per-click and other commission-based marketing methods. Meanwhile, the cybercriminals’ motivation behind showing fake system maintenance warnings may appear vague at first sight. It gets clearer once a few extra characteristics of mainstream rogue optimization software and adware are taken into consideration. One of them revolves around cross-promotion of associated threats, where the unsuspecting victim is duped into agreeing to the shady installation by clicking a button cloaked as something else. The only button the user can push on the spoof alert under scrutiny says “Close”, but it may actually invoke arbitrary commands such as to pull in another PUA behind the scenes. Adware programs that are known to trigger “Your computer is low on memory” Mac notifications include Spaces.app, ScreenSaver.app, and ScreenCapture.app.
Fake maintenance software is one more form of malicious code that leverages the low memory scare on Macs. It does so to draw the victim’s attention to the supposedly unsatisfactory performance of the host computer. Aside from the unnerving “Your computer is low on memory” message, the popup additionally says, “To free up some memory, please close a few applications”. The average Mac user’s natural response to such a dialog is to take a look at the current CPU and memory consumption to see what’s eating up the bulk of it. Strangely enough, though, there is nothing out of the ordinary shown in the Activity Monitor and the memory usage doesn’t appear to exceed any reasonable thresholds.
This inconsistency has got a name – scareware. One such application is called Mac Security Plus. Having silently infiltrated a system, this parasite deploys noxious brainwashing activity manifested as phony memory shortage reports, misleading virus detection alerts, and untrustworthy claims about boosting the Mac’s productivity in one click. This foul play is all about hoodwinking the user into purchasing the scam app’s license to purportedly unlock its repair and optimization features. All in all, by displaying fake “Your computer is low on memory” notifications the pseudo system utility tries to add a layer of pressure to its repertoire. No matter what type of malware is causing this faux warning activity, it should be purged without a second thought.
“Your computer is low on memory” virus manual removal for Mac
The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of the malicious application underlying this hoax. 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 a process named MacSecurityPlus, Spaces, ScreenCapture, or ScreenSaver, 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
- Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find MacSecurityPlus, Spaces, ScreenCapture, or ScreenSaver entry 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. The system will come up with the list of the items that launch when the computer is started up. Locate Mac Security Plus or other potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ button
Get rid of “Your computer is low on memory” virus adverse effects in web browser on Mac
To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by this virus 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 “Your computer is low on memory” virus alerts using Combo Cleaner removal tool
The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove “Your computer is low on memory” virus 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 “Your computer is low on memory” virus 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 “Your computer is low on memory” virus 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.