While Apple’s computers do have more features than Windows to keep you secure when browsing the internet, they are not entirely immune to viruses.
So, if you have noticed startup issues, abrupt behaviors like apps crashing, noticeable lags, or frozen screens, lots of pop-up ads, it might be because of a virus infestation.
Best Tips to Get Rid of a Virus on a Mac
For you to get rid of it manually, you will need to know or guess the root cause. Once you know the source, here’s what you can try –
Delete suspicious apps
If your problems started after downloading an app or you see an app in your APplications list that you do not remember installing, it is best to get rid of the app.
You should also empty your Trash afterward to get rid of the app from your system altogether.
Stop malicious processes
Check your Activity Monitor and go to the CPU tab. If you see processes that you do not recognize, close them.
Get rid of extensions
Browser extensions may also be equally responsible for slowing down your Mac and for introducing the virus to your system. If you use Safari, go to ‘Safari Extensions’ and uninstall any extensions you do not recognize.
On Chrome, click on the three dots on the top right corner. Go to ‘More Tools’ and then ‘Extensions’ and start removing extensions you deem suspicious. For Firefox, click on the three lines in the top right corner and click on ‘Add Ons.’ You can disable any and all extensions you think might be causing the issue.
Disable login items
Some apps launch as soon as you start your Mac, and this is where a virus may hide and cause startup issues. Disable all login items in Users & Groups.
Check your Downloads folder
The virus may be biding its time in your Downloads folder. Do a sweep and make sure every file in your Downloads folder has been downloaded by you. If not, delete it. If you are not able to delete it, it is a clear sign that you are dealing with a virus.
Create a new user profile
Viruses on a MacBook may be specific to a user instead of affecting the entire device. Try creating a new user profile to see if your problems go away. If it does, use the admin login to delete the user profile. Before you do this, you should backup all your data to an external device. It is a good practice to take regular backups to avoid data loss in such situations.
As a preventative step, do not use the Admin profile on your MacBook. Create a standard user profile to avoid this situation.
Perform a clean install
If the device is infected and a new user profile does not help, then it’s advisable to wipe out the device and perform a clean install of the macOS. Again, make sure you use Time Machine to back up your data or iCloud or a combination of both to protect yourself against data loss.
What to do if you don’t do the source of the virus
Get an expert’s help
If you don’t know what might be causing the issue and nothing works, it may be wise to get an expert to take a look at your system. If your system is under coverage, take it to an authorized center to get to the bottom of the issue.
Use cleaning software
Often, there are viruses hidden in subfolders that are not easily found through simple searches. Using some of the popular mac cleaners can take care of this quite easily. Cleaning software is designed to remove all kinds of obscure files. This can also act as a preventative measure in the future.
Disconnect from the internet
If there is a virus on your system, then it is best to disconnect from the internet to avoid data leaks.
Prevent another virus from entering your system practicing data hygiene is essential when using technology. Follow these X tips to prevent another virus attack –
- Install a good antivirus program
- Do not click on any links in your email
- Do not open attachments from unknown senders
- Check sender name and email address before opening emails
- Do not visit websites with expired SSL certificates or HTTP in the URL
- Do not download apps from the internet
- Do not install plugins unless you trust the creator
- Do not use the same password or simple passwords
All in all
A virus attack is preventable if you practice safe methods of browsing online like the ones mentioned above and use your browser’s firewall. When connecting peripheral devices, always scan devices before you connect them to your system. Make sure you back up your files and regularly scan your device for viruses.