September 25, 2020

How to check your Mac for viruses?

5 min read

Despite the high protection of MacOS against viruses, there is a risk of harming your MacBook with malware. If you suspect that your MacBook is infected, it should be thoroughly checked for a virus or malware. In our article, we will tell you how to do it.

Mac malware threats

Many macOS users believe that the operating system is invulnerable to computer viruses. Unfortunately, even Apple computers can be affected by malware. The macOS architecture greatly complicates the operation of viruses compared to Windows OS. But it does not negate the fact that there is no risk of catching a virus on your MacBook. You should always be careful and attentive when working at your computer because viruses do not spare anyone. They can make your MacBook vulnerable to other malicious software, interfere with the normal functioning of your computer, or damage your operating system files. We will tell you in this article how to check your MacBook for viruses and prevent them from being infected by malware.

What is MacVirus?

MacVirus is the common name for cyber threats (such as trojans, worms, and others), which can adversely affect your MacBook’s operating system. Malware does not attempt to get into your computer without your consent. It tries to disguise itself as a real, useful software. It lures you to install it on your MacBook, like any other usual application or utility. And finally when it is installed, it will gradually begin to collect information about you. Such MacVirus can get access to the information from your address book and contacts. It can even find out your stored passwords or bank card information. There are also utilities that use system resources. As a result, your MacBook spends its computing power to generate cryptocurrency or becomes a participant in a DDoS attack on some websites.

Signs that your Mac is infected with a virus

There are some signs which could help you to determine whether your MacBook is infected with viruses or not. If you notice any of the signs mentioned below on your computer, you should immediately check it for infecting with a MacVirus.

  • A lot of pop-up ads appear.
  • Computer performance is deteriorating, it begins to lag.
  • Applications that have been working fine until recently can not be opened or cause an error.
  • Frequent errors of the local network or the Internet, most likely mean that your MacBook might be affected by malware. This is one of the most common signs of infection.
  • Files for personal use or documents do not open or have disappeared.

How to check a MacBook for being infected by MacVirus?

You can check your MacBook for virus infection manually. Below we will tell you how to do this easily.

  1. Go to “Finder” and then click “Applications” on the sidebar.
  2. Look through the list of programs and explore any program which might be suspicious to you. A search query in Google will give you the information to determine whether this program is malware or not.
  3. Select any suspicious program from the list, then press “Command-Delete” to delete it from your MacBook.
  4. Go to “Command-Space”, type “Activity Monitor” and then press “Enter”.
  5. Look through the list of running processes and also check any program which can be suspicious.
  6. Select this suspicious process and click the “Quit Process” to stop any program which can threaten the safety of your computer.

Also, you can check your MacBook’s DNS server for virus infection.

  1. You need to open System Preferences and select “Network”.
  2. Press the “Advanced” key. If extraneous addresses are set in the DNS tab, they should be deleted. Be careful and do not delete the address of your router! It can be compared and verified in the line “Routers”.

If you are still thinking that your MacBook is infected by a virus, then it is time to use an antivirus program to scan your computer. You can use well-known antivirus products to check your MacBook for viruses. Among them are products of such developers as Kaspersky, Avast, Dr.Web, or MacKeeper.

How to prevent infection of your MacBook?

Apple has a built-in security mechanism which is called Gatekeeper. When you first start any new application on your MacBook, Gatekeeper checks it with the list of known viruses. In addition, Gatekeeper carries out additional protective procedures.

If you would like to prevent infection of your MacBook by the virus, you need to follow some easy rules of computer literacy and safety. The risk of infecting with the MacVirus is almost reduced to zero, If you follow these rules below:

  • Update macOS to the latest available version. Most of the updates can find system vulnerabilities which can be used by virus creators and hackers.
  • Install programs and games only from the App Store, from the official developers’ website or from proven online digital distribution services like Steam.
  • You should look through the applications on your computer from time to time, and delete those which you don’t use or which look suspicious. Use special software to remove unnecessary and potentially malicious programs, as well as scan your MacBook for viruses.
  • Do not visit dubious sites or online resources.
  • Do not open attachments in the email or messenger from unfamiliar recipients.
  • If you need to use a file from the network, pre-check it using online services.


Unfortunately, even despite the high degree of protection of MacOS, it cannot be 100% protected from computer viruses, which can ultimately lead to different consequences. Some of them can be fixed, but some of them can harm your MacBook and personal data. Almost all of these difficulties can be avoided, or at least you can minimize the risk of their occurrence. You just need to follow the rules of computer literacy, remove unnecessary programs in a timely manner, and not succumb to advertising tricks.


By Naomi Stone @Naomi99Stone is a business strategist, storyteller and global speaker who’s crazy about technical stuff and how things work. She’s a regular contributor to The Thrive Global and HubPages.