How to Remove Mac Adware Cleaner from Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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What is Mac Adware Cleaner

Some users report that when they open their web browser, they get an annoying pop-up window saying:

“Recommended download, install mac adware cleaner”

Mac Adware Cleaner is a potentially unwanted program (PUP), which aims to make you purchase its full version in order to obtain your bank information. This rogue program puts your private data in danger of getting stolen. On top of that, it could also be very damaging to your Mac. That being said, as soon as you detect its presence, you need to remove it from your system ASAP!

How it is distributed

Users are known to mindlessly install software on their computers, without properly reading every step. If you want to prevent the installation of unwanted programs, you need to opt for a Custom/Advanced type of install, so you have full control over what gets access to your computer. Look for any additional programs that may be included in the installer. In most cases, they turn out to be malicious software in disguise, so it is best to opt out of their installation, to avoid an unwanted infection on your Mac. While software bundling seems to be the main distribution method, you can also get Mac Adware Cleaner from its official website macadwarecleaner.com or mackeeper.com. Fortunately, when you try to open this page, Google Chrome will display a message, stating the following:

This site contains harmful programs
Attackers on this site might try to trick you into installing programs that harm your browsing experience (for example, by changing your homepage or showing extra ads on sites you visit).

How it operates

Mac Adware Cleaner does not affect only the Chrome browser. It can infect every browser you have installed on your Mac like Firefox, Opera, Safari, Edge, and Explorer. There are some typical symptoms which give the PUP away. They include annoying pop-ups and ads that promote the program or another shady product, intrusive and aggressive advertising, unresponsive browser, slow internet, etc. The ads may contain one of the following phrases, or a similar one: ‘Powered by Mac Adware Cleaner‘, ‘Ads by Mac Adware Cleaner‘, ‘Brought to you by Mac Adware Cleaner‘, etc. Do not underestimate the power of the Mac Adware Cleaner PUP! It can trick you into installing dangerous software and steal not only your personal information, but that of your device as well. That being said, you need to remove this malicious software as soon as you notice it on your Mac!

Staying safe from Mac Adware Cleaner PUP

Apart from having a reliable AV software installed on your Mac, there are other things you can do to ensure your device’s safety. We highly recommend you to:

  • Pay close attention when you install third-party software, especially torrent files, so you don’t install shady additional applications that you don’t want. In most cases, that’s how malicious parasites are able to infect your computer;
  • Read any Terms and Conditions you see, so you know exactly what you agree to. The last thing you want is to unknowingly give permission to a nasty virus to infiltrate your Mac;
  • Follow links that lead to trustworthy sites only;
  • It is best to visit only reliable and official websites. You never know what dangers might lurk behind an unfamiliar site;
  • No matter how attractive an ad is, if you are not familiar with the website it redirects to, it might be best to steer clear of it and not click;
  • Always check the sender’s email address before opening a message. If it states that it’s from an official company, compare the email with the one given in their official page. If there is no match, delete the message, since it most likely is fake and has malicious aims;
  • Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. More often than not, such files carry infections that can seriously damage your computer.

How to manually remove Mac Adware Cleaner PUP from Mac

If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the Mac Adware Cleaner PUP, the instructions below can help you to remove it manually. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Go to Utilities. You can do that by using the ⇧+⌘+U key combination, or by going to Finder and choosing Utilities from the Go main menu at the top.

2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it.

3. A list will be displayed. Find any processes that seem suspicious to you and use the ‘Force Quit‘ option to quit them completely.

4. Open Finder. Click on the Go button from the main menu at the top, and choose Applications. An alternative way is to use the ⇧+⌘+A key combination.

5. Look for any suspicious applications, especially ones with a name similar to Mac Adware Cleaner. If any are found, right-click on them and select the ‘Move to Trash‘ option.

6. Remove any related left-over files by going to Finder‘s search bar and typing the name of the app you want to remove. Make sure to modify the two drop down menus above to ‘System Files‘ and ‘Are Included‘, so that any hidden files are visible for you to remove. Once you find the files you want to remove, simply drag them to Trash.

7. All that’s left for you to do is remove any related extensions to Mac Adware Cleaner from your Mac browsers.

For Mozilla Firefox extensions:

  • Open the Firefox browser and from the ‘burger’ menu in the top right corner of the window select ‘Add-ons’.
  • Select any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and click ‘Remove’.

For Google Chrome extensions:

  • Open the Chrome browser and select Tools > Extensions from the menu (the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window).
  • Locate any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and remove them.

For Safari extensions:

  • Open the Safari browser. From the Safari menu choose Preferences. Select Extensions from the options at the top.
  • Find any extensions you think are related to the virus, select them and click ‘Uninstall’. A new window will show up asking for confirmation. Click Uninstall again, for the extension to get deleted permanently from your browser.

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