If you’re Mac has started to slow down and your worried you might have something lurked on your machine, you can remove malware, viruses and adware from your Mac for free. Following these steps should help to protect and repair your Macbook, increase speed and performance, as well as clear up some space.
Disk Utility for Mac
The inbuilt “Disk Utility” can fix certain disk problems that you may have. This is great if your Mac is crashing frequently displaying cryptic error messages or just behaving a bit strangely.
Go to “Finder” and select “Go” from the menu bar.
Select “Utilities” and “Disk Utility“.
Ensure that you have the option selected on the left-hand side and then click onto “First Aid“. First aid is the first step to check for defects and in many cases, it will also repair them.
This can take anywhere between several minutes or hours, so just ensure that you save any documents you’re working on.
Malwarebytes for Mac
This step will check to see if you have any malware on your machine. There is a great free tool that you can use for this which is Malwarebytes.
Head over to the website www.malwarebytes.com and download/install the free trial. If requested allow full disk access.
Once installed, click “Scan” and if anything is detected, remove it from your machine.
Alternatively, you can use another great tool to remove Malware and clean your Mac called CleanMyMac X.
If adware is installed on your Mac, unwanted advertisements will pop-up on your screen or your browser settings will be changed when you go onto the internet. Bitdefender is a free scanner to help you find Adware on your machine.
Head over to Bitdefender and download the free Adware removal tool.
Once installed, ensure you have closed down your browsers and “Search for Adware”.
Remove any Adware that appears as a result of the search.
AntiVirus for Mac
There are a lot of virus scanners that you can find online for free. Some of these include the likes of Sophos, Avast or AVG. In this example, we’ll take a look at the AVG virus scanner.
Head over to www.avg.com and download/install.
Click to “Scan Mac“.
Again, remove any viruses that appear as a result of your scan.
How to Make Your Browser Secure
Your browser is a great place to check for any potential gaps in security. Extensions are great add-ons to your browser but are often not very good in terms of privacy and security. It’s also important to make sure that you’re browser is up to date.
Head over to your browser, usually in the ‘About‘ section you will find your version, if there is an update available, update your browser to the latest software version.
Next, locate the Extensions added within your browser.
Have a look through and try and remove any Extensions you aren’t using, especially any that state the word ‘Toolbar’. Password manager’s like LastPass are fine, but also consider disabling your extensions when you aren’t using them.
Then repeat this process across all your browsers.
Update Your Mac Apps
It’s important to update the apps on your Mac, they will not only speed up your machine, but they will also include security updates. So it’s worth checking you’re on the latest versions.
To check if there are any updates available for your apps, go to the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen and select ‘App Store‘.
Click onto ‘Updates‘ and update any apps you can.
Mac Login Items
It’s worth making sure that nothing strange is loading up when you are starting up your computer as this is sometimes where viruses can hide.
To check what apps may be running go to the Apple icon on your desktop.
Go to System ‘Preferences‘ and then ‘Users & Groups‘ and then choose ‘Login Items‘ from the top.
Nothing should really be running when you start your machine, unless it is designed to protect you like a VPN. To remove items from the list, click the lock to make changes and enter your credentials Then click onto the ‘-‘ button.
Switching this feature on will help to protect your Mac and stop incoming connections to your computer.
To check if your firewall is switched on, go to the Apple icon on your desktop, select ‘System Preferences‘ and ‘Security & Privacy‘.
To turn the firewall on, you will need to click the lock to make changes, enter your credentials and click onto ‘Turn On Firewall’.
If you have sensitive data on your machine, you may want to encrypt it. There is an inbuilt tool named ‘FileVault’ which will take care of this for you.
To check if your FileVault is switched on, go to the Apple icon on your desktop, select ‘System Preferences‘ and ‘Security & Privacy‘.
To turn FileVault on, you will need to click the lock to make changes, enter your credentials and click onto ‘Turn On FileVault’.
Some people do find that switching on this feature does slow down their machine, so only use if required.
Ccleaner is a free app that will help to control which apps use your computer resources and remove any tracking files and browsing data. The free version will remove internet cache, history, cookies and recent documents and logs from your Mac.
Navigate to www.ccleaner.com and click onto the ‘Free Download‘. You may be prompted to allow full disk access during the installation and will need to follow the instructions on screen.
Click onto ‘Run Cleaner‘.
Uninstall Mac Apps
It’s worth taking a look through your list of apps and familiarising yourself with what apps are on your Macbook. In this way, you will recognise what apps you actually need.
Go to your ‘Finder‘, and select ‘Applications‘.
If you see any apps that include the word ‘Toolbar’ or ‘Cleaner’ I’d suggest removing them. Therefore, now that you have used the malware, adware and virus apps you can remove them from this list also.
Remove Malware, Adware, Viruses from your Mac Tutorial
When you remove malware and viruses from your Mac, along with using the steps in my blog how to clean your mac it should help to protect and repair your Macbook, increase speed and performance, as well as clear some space.
Louise created the Every Bit Helps YouTube channel back in 2017, after finding the process of buying Bitcoin difficult. Therefore, in an aim to help others, she hopes that her tutorials will make the process of buying, selling and storing crypto a lot easier for newbies in the future.
After spending 20 years working in London in cyber security, she left the corporate life after having her second child in 2018. Louise now travels the world with her two small children trying to make the most out of life.