How to Remove MacKeeper

Sometimes antivirus software does more harm than good

MacKeeper has been around, in various forms, for quite a while. It's marketed as a collection of utilities, apps, and services that keep your Mac clean, protected from viruses, and in tip-top shape.

Unfortunately, many users find that MacKeeper causes more problems than it fixes. The product also came under fire for aggressive advertising and affiliate marketing. To make matters worse, the product was notorious for being difficult to uninstall.

If you've decided it's time to uninstall MacKeeper, here's what you need to do.

MacKeeper's reputation has improved significantly in recent years, adding more functionality to its software, offering a 14-day money-back guarantee, and backing off the aggressive marketing tactics.

A man checking the MacKeeper website on his Macbook.
Prykhodov/iStockEditorial/GettyImagesPlus

How to Remove MacKeeper

Earlier versions of MacKeeper had a reputation for being difficult to uninstall, but uninstalling more recent versions is a straightforward process. If you're uninstalling an older version (before version 3.x), we offer some tips, as well.

If you've used any of MacKeeper's encryption options to protect any files, be sure to use MacKeeper's Data Encryptor to decrypt all of your files before uninstalling the program.

  1. Quit MacKeeper by pressing Command+Q. In older versions, go to the MacKeeper menu and select Preferences > General. Uncheck the box for Show MacKeeper icon in menu bar. Now you'll be able to quit the program.

    Screenshot of MacKeeper preference pane
  2. Go to Go > Applications, and drag the MacKeeper icon to the Trash.

    Viewing Applications in macOS.
  3. Confirm that you want to uninstall the product, and enter your Mac admin password in the two notification boxes.

    Confirmation of MacKeeper deletion.
  4. An optional Uninstall Survey will open in your browser. Complete this if you'd like to give feedback, or simply ignore it.

    A survey has opened up in a web browser.
  5. Right-click on the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

    Emptying the Trash in macOS.
  6. Confirm that you'd like to empty the Trash by selecting Empty Trash in the warning dialog box.

    Confirming to empty the trash.
  7. Restart your Mac.

Verify That MacKeeper Is Gone

While all traces of MacKeeper should be gone, it's a good idea to verify that all associated files have been erased. If you uninstalled an older version of MacKeeper (prior to version 3.x), it's even more important to go through these steps to make sure no MacKeeper files are lurking around.

  1. After you restart your Mac, verify that the MacKeeper icon is no longer in the top menu bar.

  2. Go to Finder > Go > Home and make sure the MacKeeper Backups folder is gone.

    Opening Home in macOS.
  3. Go to Finder > Go > Go to Folder and search for the following directories to make sure they're gone:

    • Library/Application Support/MacKeeper
    • Library/Application Support/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper
    • Library/Application Support/com.mackeeper.MacKeeperAgent
    • Library/LaunchAgents/com.mackeeper.MacKeeperAgent.plist
    • Library/Caches/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper
    • Library/Caches/com.mackeeper.MacKeeperAgent
    Selecting Go to folder in macOS.
  4. If none of these directories are found, you can be certain that MacKeeper is gone.

Clearing Safari of MacKeeper

On its own, MacKeeper doesn't install any Safari extensions, but if you downloaded the app from a third party, you might experience unwanted popups.

To correct this problem, remove any Safari extensions that may have been installed.

  1. Launch Safari while holding down the Shift key. This will open Safari to your home page.

    Opening Safari home page.
  2. Select Preferences from the Safari menu.

    Selecting preferences in Safari.
  3. Select the Extensions icon.

    Selecting Extensions in Safari.
  4. Remove any extensions that you're not familiar with. If you're not sure, remove the checkmark from the extension to keep it from loading.

  5. When you're done, quit Safari and launch the app normally. Safari should open without displaying any unwanted MacKeeper popups.

Clear Your Keychain

If you activated MacKeeper or created a user account at MacKeeper, then you likely have a keychain entry that stores your account password. Leaving this keychain entry behind won't cause any issues, but if you want to completely rid your Mac of any MacKeeper references, you should do the following:

  1. From Finder, select Go > Utilities.

    Selecting utilities in macOS.
  2. Double-click on Keychain Access to open it.

    Opening Keychain Access.
  3. Enter MacKeeper in the Search field.

    Searching for any keys in Keychain access.
  4. Delete any password matches that are found.