Despite what many Mac users would like to believe, Mac OS is not immune to computer infections. While it’s less likely that you will encounter a serious threat like ransomware, lower-level infections are much more common.
They often are browser hijackers, adware or some other kind of potentially unwanted program. You anti-malware programs may not necessarily pick up on the infections, simply because your computer is not directly harmed. What those kinds of threats do is they change your browsers settings and try to redirect you to sponsored sites. That is how they make money. However, this means that your screen is probably filled with adverts and you are randomly redirected.
It is quite easy to spot an infection when it comes to potentially unwanted programs, and here is what you should look out for:
- Random redirects leading to questionable websites;
- The appearance of extensions/toolbars you have no recollection of ever installing;
- Adverts appearing everywhere, even on sites you had no trouble with before;
- Pop-up ads suggesting you install some kind of program or extension;
- Sluggish computer, and browser acting slow.
These are just the most obvious signs of an infection but it should be enough to identify if something that should not be there is inhabiting your computer. And if you do discover something on your Mac, below are a couple of ways you can get rid of it/them.
Remove unwanted programs/extensions from Mac OS
- Launch Safari.
- In the Apple menu bar, Safari -> Preferences -> Extensions. If you notice extensions you did not install yourself, look into them. If they come with questionable reputation, it’s best you click Uninstall to remove them.
- If you wish to reset the browser completely, Safari -> Reset Safari. Make sure you check all the boxes, and press Reset. This should restore your browser’s settings to default.
- Launch Google Chrome.
- In the Apple menu bar, Chrome -> Preferences.
- Click Extensions and you will see a list of add-ons that are currently running on Chrome. If you see something you do not want, press the Trash icon and it will be deleted.
- If you wish to reset the browser completely, Settings -> Advanced settings. Select Reset browser settings to restore your Chrome to default. In the confirmation dialog that appear, click Reset.
- Launch Mozilla Firefox.
- In the Apple menu bar, Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions. If you notice extensions you did not install yourself, look into them. If they come with questionable reputation, it’s best you click Remove to delete them.
- If you want to restore Firefox to its default state, Help -> Troubleshooting Information. You will see an option to Rest Firefox to its default state. Select Rest Firefox.