How To Remove “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” Pop-ups (Mac Scam)

The “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” pop-ups are a social engineering attack that puts your browser on full screen and display pop-up messages that won’t go away, essentially locking your browser. These fake error …

The “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” pop-ups are a social engineering attack that puts your browser on full screen and display pop-up messages that won’t go away, essentially locking your browser. These fake error messages aim to trick you into calling an indicated technical support hotline. If you call these scammers, they can offer fake solutions for your “problems” and ask for payment in the form of a one-time fee or subscription to a purported support service.

These “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” alerts are nothing more than a scam. Don’t call the number in the pop-ups. Apple’s error and warning messages never include a phone number.
Apple does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information or fix your device. Treat all unsolicited phone calls or pop-ups with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.
Image: Chrome browser is redirected to the MAC OS is infected with Spyware pop-up scam
Image: Chrome browser is redirected to the MAC OS is infected with Spyware pop-up scam

Your browser may be redirected to the sites that display the “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” fake error messages either by malicious advertisements on the sites you visit or adware. This guide was written to help macOS users remove malware from their devices, if your just looking for a way to block the “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” redirect on a specific site, then you can use a free browser extension like Adblock.

When it comes to adware, these malicious programs are bundled with other free software that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed adware without your knowledge.

The “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” fake error messages is shown in such a way as to trick the user into thinking their device has crashed or that a virus has been detected. It does this to try and scare the infected user into calling one of the listed numbers in order to receive support. In reality, though, they will only be greeted with people who are trying to sell them unneeded support contracts and services.

The “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” fake error messages will have this message:

WARNING!
MAC OS is infected with Spyware and other malicious applications.Viruses must be removed and system damage repaired.
It is necessary to Call Apple Support +1-800-575-9227 and follow Virus removal procedure immediately.
**If you leave this site your Mac OS will remain damaged and vulnerable**

Prevent this page from creating additional dialogues.

The scammer will typically attempt to get the victim to allow remote access to their device. After remote access is gained, the scammer relies on confidence tricks typically involving utilities built into Windows and other software in order to gain the victim’s trust to pay for the supposed “support” services, when the scammer actually steals the victim’s credit card account information.

You should not purchase anything from numbers listed in these “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” alerts. Whatever you do, please do not call the phone number for support because it is not Apple’s but rather a group of scammers waiting to rob you of hundreds of dollars under false pretenses. Call your credit card provider to reverse the charges, if you have already paid.

How To Remove “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” Pop-up Scam (Mac Guide)

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

To remove MAC OS is infected with Spyware Pop-up Scam, follow these steps:


This step is needed if the site which is showing the “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” pop-up will not allow you to close your browser.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Command + Option + Escape keys simultaneously. This will open the “Force Quit” application window.
  2. In the “Force Quit”, click on Safari, Chrome, Firefox or any other browser in which your are seeing the “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” pop-up.
  3. Click the button that says “Force Quit“. This will forcefully end your browser, thus closing the “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” pop-up.
    If you cannot switch from the unresponsive app, press Command + Option + Shift + Esc for three seconds to force it to quit. This key combination tells macOS to force quit the front-most app.Alternatively, if you are using Safari or any other browser, you can disconnect your Internet, then open the web browser, navigate from the malicious web page, then reconnect to the Internet.

STEP 1: Remove the malicious apps from Mac

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious app that might be installed on your device.

  1. Open “Finder”

    Click the Finder application on your dock.
    Click on Finder

  2. Click on “Applications”

    In the Finder left pane, click on “Applications“.
    Click Applications macOS

  3. Find and remove the malicious app.

    The “Applications” screen will be displayed with a list of all the app installed on your device. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious app, right-click it, and then click “Move to Trash”.

    Known malicious apps: WeKnow, MacSaver, MacVX (and variants like MacVaX), MacCaptain, MacPriceCut, SaveOnMac, Mac Global Deals or MacDeals, MacSter, MacXcoupon, Shop Brain (or variants like SShoP Braaiin), PalMall, MacShop, MacSmart, News Ticker Remover, Shopper Helper Pro, Photo Zoom, Best YouTube Downloader, ArcadeYum, Extended protection, Video download helper, FlashFree or GoldenBoy.

    The malicious app may have a different name on your device. If you cannot find any malicious apps, you can proceed with the next step

    .
    Find The Malicious App and Remove It to remove MAC OS is infected with Spyware pop-ups

  4. Click “Empty Trash”

    On the dock, right-click on the trash icon and select “Empty Trash”. Doing so deletes the Trash’s contents, including the program that you just sent to the Trash.
    Right-click on Trash and select Empty Trash MacOS

Some browser hijackers may add a widget on the menu bar, if you see any unwanted icons in the right end of the menu bar, click on it and then select “Shut down”.
Click on the suspicious icon and select Shutdown MacosNext, click the desktop to make sure you’re in the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder, type in /Users/Shared/. In the Shared folder, delete the Slimi files and folders.Go to Users Shared folder and delete malicious files macOS

STEP 2: Uninstall the malicious extensions from Safari, Chrome, or Firefox

Safari

  1. Go to Safari’s “Preferences”.

    On the menu bar, click the “Safari” menu and select “Preferences”.
    On the Menu bar Click on Safari then Preference

  2. Check Homepage.

    This will open a new window with your Safari preferences, opened to the “General” tab. Some browser hijackers may change your default homepage, so in the Homepage field make sure its a web page you want to use as your start-up page.

    Change Homepage in Safari

  3. Click “Extensions”

    Next, click on the “Extensions” tab.
    Click on Extensions MacOS

  4. Find and uninstall the malicious extension.

    The “Extensions” screen will be displayed with a list of all the extensions installed on Safari. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious extension, and then click on “Uninstall” to remove it. By default, there are no extensions installed on Safari.

    Known malicious extensions: WeKnow, MacSaver, MacVX (and variants like MacVaX), MacCaptain, MacPriceCut, SaveOnMac, Mac Global Deals or MacDeals, MacSter, MacXcoupon, Shop Brain (or variants like SShoP Braaiin), PalMall, MacShop, MacSmart, News Ticker Remover, Shopper Helper Pro, Photo Zoom, Best YouTube Downloader, ArcadeYum, Extended protection, Video download helper, FlashFree or GoldenBoy.

    The malicious extension may have a different name on your device. If you cannot find any malicious extension, you can proceed with the next step.

    Click on Uninstall to remove the MAC OS is infected with Spyware pop-ups

Google Chrome

Google Chrome has an option that will reset itself to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programs. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.

  1. Open Chrome’s “Settings” menu.

    Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Settings“.
    Click on the Chrome menu button then on the Settings button MacOS

  2. At the bottom, click “Advanced”.

    Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link (as seen in the below example).
    Click on the Advanced button MacOS

  3. Under the section “Reset,” click “Reset”.

    Chrome’s advanced settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
    Scroll down and click on the Reset button remove MAC OS is infected with Spyware pop-ups

  4. Confirm by clicking “Reset”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button.
    Click on Reset Settings to restore Google Chrome to its default settings MacOS

Mozilla Firefox

If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.

  1. Go to the “Help” menu.

    Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
    Click on the Firefox Menu button then select Help MacOS

  2. Click “Troubleshooting Information”.

    From the Help menu, click on “Troubleshooting Information“.

    If you’re unable to access the “Help” menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.

    Troubleshooting Information option in Firefox MacOS

  3. Click on “Refresh Firefox”

    Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    Click on the Refresh Firefox button to remove MAC OS is infected with Spyware pop-ups

  4. Confirm.

    To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Click again on Refresh Firefox button macos

  5. Click on “Finish”.

    Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes for Mac to remove “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” adware

Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware apps, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

The first time you install Malwarebytes, you’re given a free 30-days trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After 30 days, it automatically reverts to the basic free version that will detect and clean up malware infections only when you run a scan.

  1. Download Malwarebytes.

    You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR MAC DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Mac)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the Malwarebytes-Mac-3.x.y.zzz.pkg file to install Malwarebytes on your device. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file Mac

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The setup wizard displays an introduction to Malwarebytes for Mac. Click on “Continue” to complete the installation process.

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install Part 2

    Next, click on “Install“.

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install Part 3

    Malwarebytes for Mac - Install Part 4

  4. Click on “Scan Now”.

    Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To perform a system scan, click on the “Scan Now” button.

    Malwarebytes scan for MAC OS is infected with Spyware virus

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning your Mac for adware and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes for Mac scanning for virus

  6. Click on “Confirm”.

    When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Confirm” button.
    Malwarebytes for Mac removing MAC OS is infected with Spyware
    Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.


The “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” pop-ups should now be removed from your device. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove the MAC OS is infected with Spyware pop-ups from your Mac, please ask for help in our Malware Removal Assistance for Mac forum.

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