How to Remove Adware From Your Mac

Get rid of those programs that hijack your Mac with pop-up ads or toolbars

Tired of those random programs hijacking your Mac with unasked-for adware like pop-up ads and toolbars? Good news! There's a way to remove adware from a Mac and even prevent it from reaching your computer.

How to Remove Adware From Mac Using Malwarebytes

To get rid of the adware already on your Mac, you'll need an anti-malware tool like Malwarebytes for Mac or something anti-virus software.

Malwarebytes offers a free version, but it needs to be run manually to remove adware and malware. The paid version will automatically block any type of malware trying to access your device.

  1. Launch your preferred browser, navigate to Malwarebytes' site and click FREE DOWNLOAD.

    Malwarebytes for Mac website.
  2. Once the download completes, click the PKG file in the bottom left corner of your screen.

    Malwarebytes for Mac download file.
  3. An Install Malwarebytes for Mac window will open, you'll need to click Continue a few times to advance.

    Malwarebytes for Mac install dialog box.
  4. You'll be prompted to agree with the license terms, click Agree.

    Malwarebytes for Mac install dialog box.
  5. Click Install and enter the local administrator credentials to proceed.

    Malwarebytes for Mac install dialog box.
  6. Once the installation completes, click Close.

    Malwarebytes for Mac install dialog box.
  7. You will be prompted to enable the premium (paid) version 14-day trial, click Not Now.

    Malwarebytes for Mac free trial offer.

    If you enable the trial but don't purchase the premium version, the application will constantly prompt you to upgrade to the paid version whenever you launch it.

  8. Click Scan Now to begin scanning for malware.

    Malwarebytes for Mac software.
  9. Once the scan completes you'll see a list of found malware or a message stating your Mac is malware free.

    Malwarebytes for Mac software.
  10. If any adware was found and quarantined, you can find it under the quarantined section. Click Clear Quarantine to remove any quarantined files.

    Malwarebytes for Mac software.
  11. Enjoy an adware/malware free Mac.

Use a Pop-up Blocker on Mac to Prevent More Adware

There are two ways to approach this. You can either block pop-up windows in your preferred browser, or you can install the Adblock Plus browser extension.

These instructions apply to the Safari browser. However, one of the advantages of using Adblock Plus is it's also compatible with other browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.

  1. Launch Safari and navigate to the Adblock Plus website.

  2. Click Agree and Install for Safari and your App Store will launch automatically.

    Adblock Plus extension.
  3. Click Get in the top right corner, then click Install. You'll be prompted to enter your Apple ID credentials to allow the installation.

    Adblock Plus extension.
  4. Once the installation completes, click Open in the top right corner.

    Adblock Plus extension.
  5. An Adblock Plus window will open with instructions to enable the extension, click Launch Safari Preferences near the bottom of the window.

    Adblock Plus extension.
  6. Click the extension checkboxes to enable them, then exit the extensions window.

    Adblock Plus extension.
  7. Click Finish in the Adblock Plus window.

    Adblock Plus extension.
  8. Close the Adblock Plus Settings window.

    Adblock Plus Settings.
  9. Refresh your Safari browser and you'll see a new Adblock Plus icon next to the URL bar.

    Adblock Plus Settings.
  10. Enjoy a pop-up free experience in your browser.