How to tell if there is a virus in your Mac

Many Mac users may think that they do not need to install anti-virus software on their devices, but this perception is completely incorrect. Computers have become more susceptible to viruses and malware because of new and novel threats to their software. And while Apple has usually done a good job when it comes to protecting its laptops from external threats, adding another layer of security simply for your peace of mind may be a great idea.

How to tell if there is a virus in your Mac

Machines that have become infected vary in terms of the red flags that they give when indicating that there is a problem. Your computer will most likely not show every sign, but at least a couple of them. These signs may include:

  1. Your computer is running much slower than it usually does.
  2. A change to your web browser’s homepage, such as new toolbars in Safari that you did not manually install.
  3. Unexpected advertisements, notifications, security alerts, or other adware clicks.
  4. Not being able to open files or system settings on your Mac is one of the most major signs that something is wrong with your device.

How can you take action? 

If you are absolutely convinced your computer has been infected by malware, then there are a few things that you can do to troubleshoot and hopefully find a solution to the issue.

  1. If you have an anti-virus software package installed, run a system scan immediately and see whether or not it manages to detect a problem.
  2. You must make sure that the software is using the latest update, or you can install it.
  3. If malware has been detected, directions will be given to you from your anti-virus software provider for the removal of the virus.

Even without anti-virus software, there are other troubleshooting methods that you can undertake.

  1. Go to the ‘Applications’ folder on your Mac and search for unknown software titles. Delete these apps by putting them into ‘Trash.’ Right-click and choose ‘Delete Trash’ from the drop-down menu.
  2. Delete everything in the ‘Downloads’ folder, as it may contain unnecessary files downloaded from the internet.
  3. Examine the login items on your computer. Navigate to ‘System Preferences’, click on ‘Users & Groups’, and select the ‘Login Items’ tab. Use the checkbox to uncheck any item that looks suspicious or unnecessary.

Even after taking all these steps, if you continue to have issues with your Mac, the final option is to contact Apple Support for any extra troubleshooting methods.


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