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How to Remove a Virus from a Mac

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"mac virus"Mac computers do not generally get viruses or other malware, but it can and does happen. Apple has reported about a phishing scam where the user will receive a message that they have a virus and are offered software to remove it. If you click on the link, you actually download a virus onto your mac computer instead of the software. This type of virus is a security threat as it goes after your personal information, such as social security or credit card numbers. This type of phishing scam has been known to use names such as MacSecurity, MacDefender, or MacProtector.

Remove Installer

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First, you should remove the installer if you notice your browser is trying to download it. You can quit the browser by clicking File and then Quit, or you can use the option keys on your keyboard Option+Q to quit. If none of these options work, you can use the command keys on the keyboard Command+Option+Escape to force quit the browser.

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Open the downloads folder on your computer and drag the installer file to your trash can to remove it. Once it is in the trash can, Click the File menu in the Finder and select Empty Trash to completely remove the file from your computer.

Delete Virus

Close the window that you see running a scan on your computer. If you cannot close it, move the window so that it is out of your way.

Open the Applications Folder, and then launch Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder. Click All Processes from the menu that opens on your screen. Look through the list of processes, paying close attention to the names in the Process Name column. Find either MacProtector, MacSecurity, or MacDefender in the list and click the Quit Process button, and then click Quit. Click File and then Quit to close the Activity Monitor, or you can use the keyboard shortcut keys Option+Q.

Find the virus, either MacProtector, MacSecurity or MacDefender in the Applications folder. Drag the virus to the trash can, and then empty the trashcan by clicking Empty Trash from the Finder file menu.


You should set your Mac computer to run updates automatically either daily, weekly or monthly. You can do this in the Software Update panel in System Preferences, which is accessible through the Apple Menu. It is recommended that you run Weekly updates on your computer to keep it safe.

If you dual boot with Windows on your Mac computer, do not forget that Windows is more vulnerable to viruses and spyware and should have the appropriate applications installed to prevent it from becoming infected.


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