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Remove MacKeeper pop-up ads (Removal Guide) - updated Oct 2019

removal by Alice Woods - -   Also known as Mac Keeper | Type: Adware

MacKeeper – an optimization tool for Mac OS that used to generate intrusive popups

MacKeeper optimizer can display promotional ads

Questions about MacKeeper pop-up ads

MacKeeper is promoted as a Mac maintenance and optimization tool. Its developers claim that it's a number one selection of millions of Mac users due to powerful scan engine, 24/7 support service, and other advantages. However, when looking at its reviews online, users' opinions divide into two groups. A part of users claim it to be one of the best optimization tools used ever; the others consider it to be a virus due to MacKeeper popup ads. However, it's a fact that MacKeeper is NOT a virus, and it can't perform illegal activities on user's PC. 

Name MacKeeper
Classification System tools
Compatibility Mac OS only
Danger level Not dangerous. It's a legitimate Mac optimization tool that does not implement malicious activities on the system.
Why is it called a virus? Some people claim it a virus due to irritating MacKeeper popup ads
Removal If you are not satisfied with this tool, you can eliminate it manually or with the help of Reimage.

MacKeeper has been launched in 2010 by ZeoBIT, LLC. In 2013, the software was sold to Kromtech Alliance Corp. The previous company, ZeoBIT, used aggressive marketing strategies to promote the MacKeeper software, which consequently earned a bad reputation for the product. As a result, the company was sued for using deceptive tactics to convince users to purchase the full version of the software.

According to AppleInsider[1], the company didn't admit its fault but agreed to settle the lawsuit[2] for $2 million instead of going to trial. The indicated amount of money was put into a fund to cover expenses of attorney fees, refunds to users and administrative costs. Therefore, users who purchased the software prior to July 8, 2015, were eligible for a full refund. However, those willing to fill a claim had to do it before November 30, 2015.

MacKeeper popups

The current owner of MacKeeper is Kromtech Alliance, and the company has significantly lowered the program's campaigns. Although you can still run into MacKeeper pop-ups while browsing the Internet, they are not aggressive as they used to be when the product was owned by ZeoBIT. The current company that develops and controls the product (Kromtech) states[3]:

As we move forward in this next chapter, one of our main focuses is to change the way MacKeeper™ is advertised and marketed: we’ve improved our advertising to offer useful and helpful information; we’ve revised the language used during our software installation process to make it the best customer experience possible; and in the coming months we will be donating much of our extra advertising space to non-profit organizations and worthy causes. We want to earn the trust and customer loyalty that MacKeeper™ deserves.

Such statements really do sound promising. Although it takes a lot of time to rebuild user trust, it seems that the company is taking small steps towards this goal. We can already see fewer complaints about MacKeeper ads in online forums.

The reputation of the software is still not ideal – to be improved in the future

The latest version of the tool receives few negative reports, meaning that the company has already did much to get rid of erratic advertising campaigns and other traits disapproved by Mac users. 

However, some of the user reviews give an impression that there is a lot of space for improvement, especially when talking about earlier versions. A popular discussion[4] on Reddit shows that users are still looking for an answer on how to get rid of mackeeper pop up. 

Besides, we have noticed that some ad networks are still showing MacKeeper ads promoting the software. Usually, after entering the website, it displays a pop-up saying “Please consider cleaning your Mac from junk.”

While the promotional website is not annoying or aggressive at all, it contains one promotional line that can be quite confusing: at the top of the page, there is an image saying that MacKeeper is the “#1 System Utility for MAC in the World.” However, at the bottom of the page there is a line that clarifies the statement, saying that it is “solely subjective opinion” of the software developers and “is used purely for advertising and promotional purposes.”

However, we have also came across websites such as www[.] that advertise the product in a much worse way. The detected site claims that “Your system is infected with 3 viruses!” and suggests that “personal and banking information are at risk.

Consequently, the site suggests to “remove viruses now,” and clicking the button downloads MacKeeper to user's computer. However, we couldn't find any statements explaining how the web page detected “2 malware and 1 phishing/spyware” on our computer, which seemed suspicious and not really convincing to install the Mac maintenance product.

MacKeeper ads illustrated

We hope that such advertising techniques will be replaced with different ones soon – in our opinion, it isn't the best way to advertise a software when trying to earn users' trust. While writing this article, we have downloaded the installer of the said program and uploaded it to VirusTotal file-scanning engine.

The results showed that 8 out of 58 computer scanners identify this file differently – some of them recognize it as a potentially unwanted program, while others mark it as riskware. However, the rest of scanners identify it as clean file, and we believe that if the new owners of the software continue to update the product, the detection ratio will drop to zero. In case you no longer want to keep the described program, you can find easy MacKeeper removal guidelines below the article.

The old version of MacKeeper: reasons why users didn't like it

Mac users who have been tricked into installing the older version of this program didn't seem to be too happy about it. Although the previous MacKeeper version was also presented as an optimization program which can improve computer's performance, many people reported it for not initiating significant changes that would boost Mac's performance. 

The most annoying thing, according to users, is that it displays ads and keeps opening Chrome automatically. Despite the fact that some people may consider such activities malicious, MacKeeper advertising campaigns are more intrusive than destructive. 

In many cases, MacKeeper optimizer appears not to be guilty for the ads that people receive. The culprit may be related to the adware-type programs that people may install bundled with freeware, so checking the system for ad-supported applications is a must before judging a particular program that is advertised via the pop-ups.

In a nutshell, MacKeeper is not a virus. The latest version of the software presented by Kromtech can turn out to be extremely useful for improving Mac's performance. 

The security experts used to rank the previous version as a potentially unwanted program (PUP)[5] and recommended users to remove MacKeeper from their computers without a doubt.

That cannot be said about the new version, however, if you feel that it does not meet your expectations, you can easily uninstall it the way regular computer programs are uninstalled (via Control Panel).

MacKeeper virus
MacKeeper is presented as a highly popular product. Nevertheless, we do not recommend using this questionable tool.

Beware of fake software versions and untrustworthy download sources

The only place to download current and legitimate version of MacKeeper is its official website and verified distributors' webpages. You should never attempt to download it from suspicious file sharing sites or, even worse, attempt to obtain its full version illegally.

We must remind you that attempts to install paid license versions for free using software cracks or keygens can not only result in accusations of copyright infringement but a serious malware infection as well. You must know that cracks are often filled with malicious software such as Trojans that can spy on your activity.

Tips to keep your computer spyware-free

If you are looking for Mac maintenance program, you might consider using MacKeeper. It may help you to improve your computer's performance, but make sure that you use the legitimate copy of it. In addition, we recommend following the tip provided by[6] to keep your Mac spyware-free.

  • Today, Mac OS can be affected by adware in the same way as Windows. It means that your Mac may get infected with an adware right after installing another freeware.
  • Therefore, we highly recommend you to be careful when installing software from the Internet. Besides, you should start checking freeware before downloading them on your computer. In order to make sure if your selected program is filled with “optional downloads”, you should select “Advanced” or “Custom” installation option and carefully check every checkbox.
  • The most important thing that you have to do is to find the list of 'optional downloads' and unmark all additional programs. In case annoying pop-ups started bothering you, you may need to check your system for adware programs.

Remove MacKeeper easily

If you decided that MacKeeper does not meet your expectations and you would like to remove it, you can use simple guidelines prepared by our team. In fact, the same instructions can be used for removal of any other legitimate Mac app. Simply be careful when removing it, and it won't bother you again.

Full MacKeeper removal guidelines can be found down below.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Reimage (remover) Happiness
Reimage (remover) Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove MacKeeper pop-up ads, follow these steps:

Uninstall MacKeeper pop-up from Mac OS X system

To remove MacKeeper, go to Applications folder and drag the unwanted program to Trash. Please look at screenshots provided below to perform the task correctly.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for MacKeeper pop-up or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Delete MacKeeper pop-up ads from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, MacKeeper pop-up should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of MacKeeper pop-up from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select MacKeeper pop-up and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete MacKeeper pop-up removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate MacKeeper pop-up from Google Chrome

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select MacKeeper pop-up and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete MacKeeper pop-up removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase MacKeeper pop-up from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for MacKeeper pop-up or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete MacKeeper pop-up removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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