Despite a common belief that Macs are immune to malware and viruses, that’s sadly not true. In fact, according to security researchers, Mac infections have surged in recent years as the popularity of Apple’s computers has increased. And, no matter how careful you are, there’s always a possibility that you could inadvertently download something dangerous.
The good news is that keeping your Mac free from malware doesn’t have to be difficult. There is a range of malware removal tools available that can help ensure your machine is always safe — and that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But which is best? We’ve tested a whole bunch of them and picked out five of the best.
Protecting your Mac and ensuring it’s always free from malware can be easy and affordable. There is a wide selection of tools from many different companies dedicated to this task. But how do you pick the right one for you? Here are some things you should look for:
MacKeeper is an incredibly powerful suite of system tools that are brought together to help you ensure your Mac is always running at its best. A key part of that is keeping it free from malware and other malicious files. MacKeeper’s excellent malware removal tool scours your whole system for files that should not be there, then safely removes them to keep you safe.
With the ability to detect up to 99.7% of known viruses, MacKeeper is incredibly effective at clearing your system of dangerous software — including adware and spyware — that can expose your most sensitive data. One click is all it takes to scan your whole system, and MacKeeper will automatically block the worst viruses for you before they can get to work.
What’s more, unlike some other all-in-one suits, MacKeeper offers real-time malware scanning, so it will identify threats as soon as they arise – not days later after they’ve had time to do damage. MacKeeper also bolsters your privacy by offering a built-in ad blocker and even a VPN, so you can mask your online browsing habits to protect your data.
AVG doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves, but it’s actually one of the best and highest-rated antivirus tools, according to AV-Test. It gets top scores for protection, performance, and reliability, and when tested with all malwares discovered over the last four months, it recognizes 100% of them. It’s also great at not accidentally identifying legitimate software as dangerous.
On Mac, AVG AntiVirus offers always-on antivirus scanning, as well as the ability to manually scan your entire system whenever you see fit. It also blocks unsafe links and attachments in your emails, and it does all of this completely free as part of its basic protection package. If you’re interested, there’s a “full protection” option that offers ransomware and anti-phishing protection as well.
Avira is another malware remover for Mac that is recognized for its great detection rates, and it’s just as reliable as MacKeeper or AVG, according to AV-Test. One advantage it does have is its “activity stream” feature, which lets you see and review all the security-related activities on your system to quickly identify things that shouldn’t be there. It also offers real-time and on-demand system scanning.
Avira also helps keep your apps up to date, which is important if you want to ensure you always have the latest security patches as soon as they’re available. And, unlike its rivals, it has a built-in price comparison tool that helps you save money while shopping online — though that may be of no interest to you if you’re only looking for system protection and malware removal.
There are several versions of Avira available for Mac, including two — one of which includes a VPN — that are free to use. However, you will have to upgrade to its Pro license if you want real-time system scanning, the ability to scan USB devices, and online banking protection.
Antivirus One from Trend Micro is a streamlined application that does a great job of removing all kinds of system threats, including viruses, ransomware, and malware from your Mac. It performs a full system scan incredibly quickly, then effectively removes any malicious software that it detects. It can also carry out scans in the background, so you don’t have to remember to start them manually.
In addition to its malware removal capabilities, Antivirus One has a set of incredibly handy web security tools that keep you safe online. It can help you avoid dangerous websites that are designed to steal your data or are filled with malicious software, and it can remove annoying toolbars and browser hijackers that monitor your online activities. However, it does miss out on a VPN.
CleanMyMac X is the closest alternative to MacKeeper in that it’s an all-in-one system suite with a wealth of optimization and security tools. And just like its rivals, it scans your entire system in one go to weed out malware and other dangerous files so that they can be safely removed. CleanMyMac X also offers background scanning to detect any threats as quickly as possible.
It does a pretty decent job of this, though it is important to note that CleanMyMac X doesn’t rate as well as others for virus detection, according to tests carried out by PCMag. But in addition to malware removal, CleanMyMac X can remove other software you no longer want, as well as any unnecessary browser extensions and browser data — if that’s something you’re interested in.
It’s dangerous to assume that your Mac is immune to malware and other viruses, or that you will never stumble across at least one of them. The good news is that protecting your system can be easy and affordable. If all you need is basic protection, free solutions like AVG AntiVirus and Avira may be plenty good enough. However, if you’re after real-time system scanning and additional protection tools, we recommend looking at the paid versions of these apps.
If your Mac is also in need of system tuning because it’s running slow or low on storage, you might want to look at a solution like MacKeeper. In addition to real-time antivirus scanning and the ability to eliminate malware right away, it has a whole bunch of excellent system optimization tools that can help ensure your Mac is always running at its best. It packs a great VPN, too.