Do you keep getting a popup from MacKeeper stating that a System Scan is Recommended: Click Start Scan to launch system diagnostics? Wondering how your Mac got MacKeeper in the first place and after learning the hard way, you’re asking yourself just how do I remove MacKeeper from my Mac? Well, you aren’t alone!
A lot of Mac users find themselves regretting why they had Mackeeper in their macOS or Mac OS X. However, they just don’t know how to get rid of it.
Here is a quick guide to help you get rid of Mackeeper from your system.
- Is the MacKeeper safe?
- When Did I Install MacKeeper?
- How To Find Out If Your Mac Has MacKeeper Installed
- How-To Remove and Uninstall MacKeeper
- Downloaded MacKeeper But Never Installed?
- Get it Off Your Hard Drive
- Remove MacKeeper’s Associated Files
- Review (and Remove) Your Browser’s Extensions
- Clear Your Browsers’ Cache & Website Data as a Precaution
- Remove MacKeeper From Your Keychain
- Getting a message that MacKeeper can’t be removed because it’s open?
- Still Seeing MacKeeper on your Mac? Can’t Uninstall?
- Try a Third-Party Tool
- Reinstall macOS or Mac OS X
- Reader Tips
Is the MacKeeper safe?
The short answer is NO!
MacKeeper is malware. Although it advertises itself as a way to secure, clean, protect and optimize your Mac, it often does the opposite!
Apple designed macOS and OS X with security built-in. So if you keep your Mac up-to-date with all the latest security updates, your Mac should remain safe and secure–with no need for a third-party tool. If you decide you do want a third-party antivirus or malware tool, look for trusted sources like Norton.
When Did I Install MacKeeper?
You probably don’t remember installing it at all! Most people don’t.
Some of our readers believe that MacKeeper was installed on their Macs after downloading what appeared as an Adobe Flash, Reader, or other Adobe Software Update.
We’ve seen many reports of fake warnings that your Mac’s Adobe Software requires an update–and in that update is packaged MacKeeper.
Of course, Adobe does NOT bundle MacKeeper with the Flash Player installer or any other Adobe product. So when you see a message saying an Adobe product needs to be updated, always go to Adobe’s website to confirm an update is needed.
How To Find Out If Your Mac Has MacKeeper Installed
If you suspect that MacKeeper is in your system, check your Applications folder and see if it’s there. But DON’T OPEN IT!!!
What If MacKeeper’s Already Open or Activated?
- First, turn off MacKeeper’s menu bar
- Select Preferences from the MacKeeper menu
- Tap on General and untick the box next to Show MacKeeper icon in the menu bar
The Never to be Seen Quit Command
Go to MacKeeper’s menu bar and click on MacKeeper Menu.
If you see a Quit option, you probably using a Demo version of the app (which is good news) so go ahead and quit the usual way.
If you don’t find a “Quit” option there, you have an active MacKeeper service. Follow the steps above in the section What If MacKeeper’s Already Open or Activated? to deactivate MacKeeper on the Menu Bar.
Quit through Applications Menu
- Right-Click on the icon for MacKeeper’s in your bottom Dock and choose Quit
Force Quit The Application
- Press Command + Option+Esc keys together
- Scroll through the list and locate MacKeeper
- Highlight MacKeeper and press Force Quit
If you can’t quit via the Dock, open Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor and terminate all processes linked to MacKeeper
Is Your Drive Encrypted via MacKeeper?
If you used MacKeeper’s encryption feature, you must unencrypt before you uninstall MacKeeper.
Go to MacKeeper’s Data Encryptor and decrypt all of your files before you do anything else!
How-To Remove and Uninstall MacKeeper
Downloaded MacKeeper But Never Installed?
If you only downloaded the MacKeeper package but did not run the installer, just place the MacKeeper.pkg file from your Downloads folder and move it to the Trash.
Get it Off Your Hard Drive
- Eject any connected drives (including Time Machine drives, thumb drives, and any other external disks)
- Disconnect any devices (like iPhones, iPads, and so forth)
- Empty your trash first!
- If you have anything in the Trash, empty it now before you start uninstalling MacKeeper
- Drag the MacKeeper icon from the Applications Folder to the trash
- As you put it into the trash, enter an administrator password if asked
- You are asked whether or not you want to remove all the components of MacKeeper. Choose uninstall all the components
- If MacKeeper asks you for a reason for the uninstall, don’t provide anything! Just click Uninstall MacKeeper
Remove MacKeeper’s Associated Files
Not every file listed will be on your machine, but if you find one of these listed files, drag them to the trash and then, in the end, empty the trash
- Open System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items and check for any MacKeeper items
- Remove those items from Login
- Next, open Spotlight Search and type in MacKeeper to look for any associated files
- If you find any lingering MacKeeper files, delete them
- Also look in both your Main and User Library > Application Support and see if there’s a folder called MacKeeper, MacKeeper 3, MacKeeper Helper, and/or MacKeeper Backups
- Delete these
- Manually scan your Application Support folder for any other files or folders with the MacKeeper name in it, and drag those to the Trash as well
- Check manually for other hidden MacKeeper files (these may also be listed as zeobit.MacKeeper)
Review (and Remove) Your Browser’s Extensions
- It’s a good idea to check if any Safari (or Chrome, Firefox, etc) extensions were installed without your knowledge.
- For Safari: go to Safari > Preferences >Extensions
- For Chrome: enter chrome://extensions/ in your address bar
- Delete any extensions that are not familiar ones
Clear Your Browsers’ Cache & Website Data as a Precaution
- Chrome > Clear Browsing Data
- Safari > Preferences > Privacy tab > click Manage Website Data > Remove All
- Empty your Trash and restart
Remove MacKeeper From Your Keychain
It’s a good idea to check if MacKeeper stored any information in your keychain.
- Open Keychain by going to Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access
- If keychain is locked, enter your admin password
- In the search bar, type MacKeeper
- Delete any results
- Quit Keychain
Getting a message that MacKeeper can’t be removed because it’s open?
If you see this message, that means you have not successfully closed out of MacKeeper. Follow the instructions above in the section The Never to be Seen Quit Command.
Still Seeing MacKeeper on your Mac? Can’t Uninstall?
Try Safe Mode
If you’re not able to follow the instructions above, reboot in Safe Mode. When you restart your Mac, immediately press and hold the Shift key until the Apple Logo appears on-screen.
Safe Mode temporarily disables any malware, prevents startup items and login items from opening automatically and deletes your Mac’s font caches, kernel cache, and other system cache files.
Then try running through the uninstall steps again, but this time in Safe Mode.
To exit Safe Mode, just restart your Mac normally.
Use Some Terminal Commands to Uninstall MacKeeper
- Open Terminal via Application > Utilities > Terminal
- Type in the command: ls
- This command lists all of the directories available
- Type in the command: cd Applications
- This command goes into the application folder
- Type the command: ls
- Look for MacKeeper.app
- Type in the command: rm -r MacKeeper.app
- This removes the MacKeeper app from your Applications Folder
- If a browser window opens with the MacKeeper uninstall survey, exit the survey without answering and close your browser session
- Quit Terminal
Try a Third-Party Tool
If the steps above did not solve your problems with MacKeeper, our readers recommend using a third-party tool called Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware for Mac. Unlike MacKeeper, Malwarebytes is legit–but don’t take our word, please check out reviews before you download!
Other third-party options our readers use include DetectX or DetectX Swift, which are both shareware.
Reinstall macOS or Mac OS X
Some users tell us that reinstalling their macOS (or Mac OS X) solved their problems and cleared out MacKeeper.
First, back up your Mac using Time Machine or your backup method of choice.
Then to reinstall, start-up in macOS Recovery using Command+R keys and choose Reinstall macOS (or Reinstall OS X) from the utilities window.
- I did all these steps and then used CleanMyMac. Now, everything is good to go!
- I downloaded a third-party app called Malwarebytes for macOS and used it to uninstall MacKeeper and similar malware from my MacBook Pro! Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac detects MacKeeper as Potentially Unwanted Software (PUP for short) and removes the app and all of its components
- I follow these steps to uninstall MacKeeper:
- Disconnect your Mac from the internet
- Remove the connections to all external disks
- Restart your Mac in safe mode (Restart and hold down the ‘Shift’ key until you see the Apple logo on a grey screen with a progress bar underneath it
- In Safe mode, log in to an admin account and check that your Wifi is still ‘off’
- From the Apple Menu, choose Go > Applications
- Double-click the MacKeeper icon
- Select Preferences
- Choose General
- Untick the box for Show MacKeeper icon in the menu bar
- From the MacKeeper Menu choose Quit
- Drag the MacKeeper app icon from the Applications window to the Trash.
- Enter an administrator password twice when prompted
- Here’s how I uninstalled MacKeeper from my iMac:
- Open MacKeeper
- Select Preferences from the MacKeeper menu, and then select the General icon
- Untick Show MacKeeper icon in menu bar item and then immediately Quit MacKeeper
- Open the Applications folder and drag MacKeeper to the Trash
- Enter your admin password
- A pop-up window appears asks if you want to Uninstall the rest of the components
- Click Uninstall MacKeeper
- Select Go > Go to Folder from Finder
- Enter ~/Library/Application Support
- Find a file called NoticeEngine.plugin and drag it to the Trash
- Restart your Mac