How to Scan Your Mac for Viruses

Many avid Apple users still think Macs can’t get viruses. It may come as a shock to them that from 2020, malicious software targeted at Mac now outpaces Windows by 2 to 1.


Don’t panic just yet! We’re here to the rescue! In this post, you’ll find out how to know if your Mac has a virus and how to check your Mac for viruses.

How do Macs get infected by viruses?

Before we tell you how to find a virus and run a scan on Mac, you have to understand how Macs can get viruses. They become infected in several ways:

  • Malicious software is accidentally downloaded - Malicious software or malware sometimes disguise themselves as attachments in emails.
  • A free program was bundled with a virus - Be careful what you download, especially free software. You may think you’re getting a good deal but your freebie can come with an uninvited guest.
  • Hackers are able to trick you with phishing or spoofing - Phishing is the act of sending a fake, malicious message. On the other hand, spoofing is when cybercriminals try to impersonate a reputable institution. They pretend to be a bank or an insurance company to trick you into revealing your financial information. Sometimes, hackers also use phishing and spoofing to trick you into downloading a virus. They will later try to extort money from you in exchange for removing the virus.
  • You visit an unsafe site, click on a link and inadvertently download the virus - in the course of your browsing, you may stumble across a website offering you a prize or a freebie. If you don’t trust the website or your browser alerts you that it may be unsafe, follow your instincts and don’t click on that link!
  • You update a questionable app - Not all apps are safe. There are some apps with hidden viruses capable of taking over your device after an update.

How do you know if your Mac is infected with a virus?

Will your Mac tell you if it caught a virus? It will usually show signs there is something wrong. The symptoms include:

  • Your Mac starts running very slow
  • You start seeing unwanted advertisements
  • When you go to a specific website, it redirects you to another
  • You find odd pieces of software you don't remember downloading

How do you run a virus check on a Mac?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can do a virus scan on a Mac:


Step 1: Download an antivirus program. Choose one able to scan not just for viruses but also unwanted programs like adware.


Step 2: Run the virus security scan. And on this note, let us point out how it’s important to choose a jargon-free and easy to use cybersecurity app, like Clario.


Step 3: Turn on your protection every time you go online. Your antivirus software should automatically secure your browsing and also alert your Mac when it does a potentially dangerous action.

How do I clear my Mac of viruses?

There are several ways to get rid of viruses from your Mac. Though it may not be the easiest thing to do, it is certainly not impossible.


Does resetting your Mac get rid of viruses?

Unfortunately, if you reset your Mac to factory settings, it cannot completely clear all the viruses from your machine. While this may work on some less threatening types of malwares, complex viruses can actually survive a factory reset.


How do I get rid of malware on my Mac for free?

There is a manual way to get rid of malware for free as outlined below:


Step 1: Go offline and enter safe mode by restarting the Mac and holding the Shift key.


Step 2: Delete temporary files installed by the malicious software. You do this by going to Finder > Go > Go to Folder.


Step 3: On the search bar, type ~/Library/


Step 4: Move all files from the cache and click Move to Trash


Step 5: Make sure malware still isn't running by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities.


Step 6: Go to Activity Monitor, select the suspicious application, and click Quit.


However, if you want to be sure your Mac is squeaky clean of viruses, then you have to use an antivirus program. Most antivirus software may not be free but they are worth it.


Do you need antivirus on Mac?

Macs really don’t have a built-in antivirus but they do have security features both for hardware and software. However, if you need stronger protection, it is better to get a cybersecurity program for your device.


Now, does Apple recommend antivirus for Mac? Well, they don’t really endorse a specific software but let us give you some pointers when choosing the perfect antivirus or antimalware program for your Mac...


Which antivirus is best for Mac?

Next time, we hope you don’t go searching for articles on how to detect if your Mac has a virus … simply because you know you are protected with a strong cybersecurity app.


So, what are the characteristics of a good cybersecurity software for a Mac?

  • It protects you 24/7
  • It proactively gives you pointers on how to stay safe
  • It’s tailored according to your needs and habits
  • It alerts you when you are about to do something capable of compromising your security
  • It can cover multiple devices too such as your Mac as well as your iPhone
  • It’s easy to use and you find it very easy to get tech support

Do you need a recommendation with all of those requirements? Look no further than Clario, a simple, easy-to-use app that secures your digital life!

Read more:

Mac Security

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