How to Remove Viruses from Your Mac

Viruses are a sad fact of computing. Click on the wrong link, install a rogue app, and boom! It’s on your system. A lot of Safari viruses work on a psychological level to trick you into installing them. As such, a good dose of common sense can save you a world of pain. That said, even the most computer savvy on the planet can be caught out.

Signs You Have a Safari Virus

If you see any of the following the chances are you’ve picked up a virus:

  • Your system is suddenly slow and sluggish.
  • Everywhere you look you see an ad. Some hackers get paid to show you more ads so if you’re seeing them on every site you visit or you’re seeing an influx of popup ads, the chances are you have a virus.
  • Links in search results take you to dubious websites.
  • Your homepage is a page not chosen by you.
  • Extensions are installing themselves. If you find you have a lot of extensions that shouldn’t be there, it could be a virus installing them for you.

Any kind of strange behaviour could well be down to a Safari virus. So try the following to remove the virus.

Removing Viruses from Your Mac

There are several ways to get rid of a virus. We’re going to start with apps.

Manually Remove Apps

One thing Safari viruses do is install rogue apps. Or you may have been tricked into installing one. So:

  • Scan your Applications folder. Any apps you don’t remember installing or the most recent apps installed, drag to Trash.
  • Empty Trash.

It is important to delete any files related to the apps. So:

  • Go, Go to Folder.
  • The following folders should be scanned for any related files which if found, should be dragged to Trash-
    • /Library/LaunchAgents
    • /Library/Application Support
    • /Library/LaunchAgents
    • /Library/LaunchDaemons
    • /Users/Shared/

Delete Unknown and Unwanted Browser Extensions

Safari viruses lurk in the browser extensions. They normally kick in when you’re surfing the web. To get rid of your Safari virus, do the following:

  • Open Safari, Preferences.
  • Under the Extensions tab look for any that you don’t remember installing or look a little dodgy.
  • Select each and every extension you don’t like the look of and click Uninstall. Hopefully, this will get rid of any viruses you may have.

Reclaim Your Homepage and Search Engine Settings

Go to the General tab in Safari and enter your preferred homepage. You may find that the Safari virus changed it. While in the tab, chose your preferred search engine as this may have been changed to.

If All Else Fails…

If things seem really dire, you may want to consider creating a new user profile. Malware is often user specific so by creating a new profile you render them useless.

  • Go System Preferences, Users & Groups.
  • Click the padlock and type in the admin password.
  • Click plus and create your profile.

You can use the shared folder to transfer personal and important files between accounts.

Viruses are annoying but most can be removed by following the above steps. See Apple Support for more information.

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