How to Clean an Infected MacBook

Written by robert kingsley
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How to Clean an Infected MacBook
The Mac Defender fake security application is a Mac-specific Trojan released in 2011. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

There are many types of malware, or infections, that can cripple your MacBook. Mainly, however, you must be aware of Trojan horses. These programs masquerade as something innocuous to trick unsuspecting users into downloading them. Once installed on your machine, they reveal their true nature and wreak havoc. If your Mac is infected, install an antivirus program to scan and remove the malware.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Download an antivirus application for your Mac. Many applications are available online, including popular options such as Sophos Anti-Virus, iAntiVirus and Avast! Mac Edition, and some offer free trial versions. Save the installation utility on your desktop for ease of use.

  2. 2

    Double-click the downloaded installation utility and accept the default installation options. Launch the program when the installation is complete.

  3. 3

    Update your chosen antivirus application to ensure it has the most recent virus signatures. These signatures are small code snippets that allow the application to recognise a virus when it finds one.

  4. 4

    Run a full system scan once the update is complete. This scans all files on all hard drives in your computer. Any detected viruses are listed in a summary screen when the scan is complete. Delete all malware detected with the scan.

  5. 5

    Schedule your antivirus application to update and scan automatically. Make sure to schedule the tasks for a time when your computer will be running, and have them run at least twice a week to keep your system clean.

Tips and warnings

  • Any computer, whether it be a Mac or a PC, should be protected with antimalware applications before connecting it to the Internet. Your personal information and data could be at risk if you do not have such an application.

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