How to Remove Mac Tweaker PUP from Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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What is Mac Tweaker

Mac Tweaker is a program developed by a company called PCVARK. This company is known to have ties with malicious software that is programmed to advertise other shady programs they’ve developed. Mac Tweaker is such software. IT specialists categorize it as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). If you have this program on your Mac and you started receiving an enormous amount of intrusive advertisements with no obvious source, it is highly likely that Mac Tweaker is behind this.

How it is distributed

The Mac Tweaker program is most commonly distributed through freeware or bundled packages. Users should be aware that additional software is often not disclosed properly, and if you don’t specifically opt out of its installation, the hidden program will automatically gain access to your mac along with the software you actually wanted to install. That’s why it’s important not to skip any part of the installation process and read thoroughly any Terms and Conditions available during the setup. Be on the lookout for hidden bonus content that is unfamiliar to you. If such is found, make sure to uncheck the boxes next to such programs. Another way to install Mac Tweaker is through its official site. The PUP in question can also be advertised on other shady websites, run by PCVARK.

How it operates

This PUP is programmed to show fake alert messages on your Mac, aiming to trick you into installing other dubious software. Inside the application, there’s a file named Info.plist which contains over 200 types of files it claims to be able to open. So, if a pop-up appears, stating that you have no suitable software to open a certain file, you will be advised to open it with Mac Tweaker. That pop-up message will be a fake but convincing version of the official OS X dialog message box. It will also contain a link to the official Mac Tweaker website, so you can download the program from there, or get other similar product by the same unreliable company. This malware will use scare tactics to make you fall into its trap. It will lie to you that it has found many issues and virus infections on your Mac. The main goal here is to make you install more junk on your device. To ensure the success of its mission, the PUP will continuously attack your browsers will various shady ads, pop-ups and banners that redirect to potentially harmful sites or such that contain download links for other PUPs. If you do not act soon, this malicious software may be able to obtain private data that you store on your browser, such as web history, searches, most visited pages, passwords, credit card information, etc. That’s why it’s best to remove the Mac Tweaker program as soon as you detect it on your Mac.

Staying safe from Mac Tweaker 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 Tweaker PUP from Mac

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