Is your web browser acting oddly all of the sudden? Do funny windows pop-up showing you ads? Do your Google searches look weird? If so, you might have inadvertently installed some adware on your Mac. Over the past 6 months, I’ve seen a rash of Macs infected with adware. Adware is software that makes ads pop-up in your web browser. The good news is Thomas Reed, of The Safe Mac, has created a great application, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac (donations encouraged), which can be used to remove most adware from your Mac. Use these instructions to download a copy of AdwareMedic and scan your Mac.
[UPDATE July 2015: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac was previously known as Adware Medic. It was recently bought and renamed. All references to AdwareMedic have been changed to reflect this name change.]
[UPDATE September 2017: Malwarebytes Anti-Malare for Mac has been renamed to Malwarebytes. Additionally, it’s been updated from version 1.x to version 3.0. While Malwarebytes is still free to use, there is a paid version. This paid version offers real-time monitoring for malware and auto-updates. While you’re welcome to pay, the free version is adequate for many people, you’d just have to open Malwarebytes periodically to initiate a scan and an update. When you install Malwarebytes you’re automatically given a 30-day trial version of the paid version. You can simply let this trial end and your version will automatically revert to the free version.]
- Visit Malwarebytes’ web site
- Click the big blue Download button to start a download.
- Open the Malwarebytes installer. Typically, you’ll find this in your Downloads folder.
- Drag the Malwarebytes application into your Applications folder to install it.
- Go to your Applications folder and double-click Malwarebytes to open it.
- If you’re notified that you downloaded Malwarebytes.app from the Internet and asked if you want to open it, click the Open button.
- Click the Scan for Adware button. Wait about 20 seconds for your Mac to be scanned.
- If no adware is found click the OK button. If adware is found let Malwarebytes remove the files that it lists. You’ll need to type in your administrative user account password to give Malwarebytes permission to delete these files.
- If adware is found you’ll likely be notified by Malwarebytes to restart your Mac so that it can completely remove all of the bits of pieces of the adware.
- If adware was found and removed you may still need to change your web browser’s home page manually.
- Please consider making a donation to Malwarebytes to support its on-going development and support.
If you’re still experiencing issues after running Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac, you might want to check out our tip on DetectX, an app that removes malware.