How to Remove Mac Purifier PUP from Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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What is Mac Purifier

Mac Purifier has been categorized by malware researchers as a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP). This type of malware aims to promote other software by the company that has created it. The thing is, none of the programs are safe. If your Mac gets infected by this malicious software, you need to remove it as soon as you notice it, so it doesn’t jeopardize your personal information and cause damage to your device. This PUP is also known to display various advertisements, pop-ups, alert notifications, and use scare tactics, just to make you install shady programs.

How it is distributed

The Mac Purifier PUP can be downloaded directly from its official website. However, it is also commonly distributed via bundled software packages in the form of bonus content. Other spread techniques include fake update messages, shady ads, torrent files, etc. In the case of software bundles, the PUP manages to sneak through by posing as additional programs, which are optional during the installation process. However, users are known to overlook this due to negligence and carelessness. You should be on the lookout for such bonus content, as in a lot of cases, these programs turn out to be malicious. If you find any, make sure to opt out of them, so they don’t get automatically installed without your consent.

How it operates

The Potentially Unwanted Program Mac Purifier has a malicious mission – to show a very convincing version of the OS X dialog message box stating that you have no suitable apps on your Mac to open a certain file. The fake message will then direct you to a suspicious third-party website, often that page being the official page of Mac Purifier. The goal here is to trick you into downloading and installing unreliable software that can be harmful to your device. By falling into this trap, you risk getting your Mac infected with dangerous viruses, and even allowing cyber criminals to steal your private data like passwords, IP addresses, credit card and bank account information, etc. This PUP can also display various advertisements of other software, making you think you need them on your Mac, when in reality, you don’t.

Staying safe from Mac Purifier 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 Purifier PUP from Mac

If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the Mac Purifier 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 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 Purifier. 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 Purifier 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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