Remove Mac Defender (Uninstall Guide)

  • May 8, 2011
  • 11:50 PM
  • Read 85,849 times

What is Mac Defender?

Mac Defender is a fake rogue anti-spyware program that for the Mac OS operating system. This infection is spread through the use of advertisements on web sites that pretend to be fake online scanners. When these fake scans are finished, it will state that your computer is infected and then automatically download the Mac Defender program onto your computer. Once the program has finished downloading, the installer will start and prompt you to install the program.

Once the program is installed it will be configured to start up automatically when you login to your Mac. Once running it will pretend to scan your computer and then state that there are numerous files on your computer that are infected. If you attempt to clean these fake infections, though, the program will state that you must first purchase a license before it will allow you to do so. After the scan the Control Center screen for Mac Defender will be updated to state that your computer is infected and at Risk. Regardless of the information presented by this program, you should not purchase this program as all of this information is false.

Unfortunately, when Mac Defender is installed on your computer it will also be added to your accounts Login Items so that the program is launched every time you login to your Mac. As there is no Dock icon for this application, it is also not easily closed and will instead require you to terminate its process through the Activity Monitor before you are able to remove the application from your computer.

  • Mac Defender
  • Scanning screen
  • Scan Results
  • Installer
  • System is Infected Alert
  • Unregistered Copy Alert
  • Virus Found Alert

While the program is running it will also display fake security alerts that are further used to scare you into thinking that your computer has a serious problem. Some of these alerts include:

The system is infected
Your system is infected. It's highly recommended to cleanup your system to protect critical information like credit card numbers, etc.

Unregistered Copy
Sorry, the copy of your program is unregistered. Register to have an ability to cleanup your system.

Virus Found
Infected file detected:
Virus: Dialer
File: Safari

Virus Found
Infected file detected:
Virus: Worm
File: clri

Virus Found
Infected file detected:
Virus: Worm
File: Software Update

Just like the fake scan results, these alerts are also fake and are only being used to scare you into purchasing the program. Therefore, please ignore them and do not purchase the program. Last, but not least, while the program is running it will also open up web sites to various pornographic sites.

As you can see, Mac Defender was created to scare you into thinking your computer has a severe security problem so that you will then purchase this program. For no reason should you purchase Mac Defender , and if you already have, you should contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating that the program is a computer infection. Finally, to remove this infection, and any related malware, please use the removal guide below.

Self Help Guide

This guide is intended for advanced computer users only. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding. If you’re uncomfortable making changes to your computer, consider having a professional help clean your computer or ask in the forums.
  1. Print out these instructions so it will be easier to reference it as you follow these steps.

  2. As Mac Defender will stay on top of any other programs that are running, we first want to close the program so that we can see the other screens that we need to open during this cleaning process. Please close this window by clicking on the red close (X) button in the top left of the Mac Defender Windows. The button that you need to click in order to close the window is shown below:

    Mac Defender Start Screen

  3. Next you should open Safari, or other web browser, and download the BleepingComputer Mac Rogue Remover Tool from the following link:

    Mac Rogue Remover Tool Download Link (

  4. Once the program has finished downloading, open up the folder that you downloaded the program to. If you have Open "safe" files after downloading enabled in Safari, then the application will automatically have been extracted. Otherwise double-click on the file to extract it. Once it is extracted you should see an icon similar to the one below in your folder.

    Mac Rogue Remover Icon

  5. Please double-click on the mac-rogue-remover icon to start the program. Mac OS will now prompt you as to whether or not you wish to run the program.

    Open Program Confirmation

    Please press the Open button to run the program.

  6. Mac Rogue Remover will now start and you will see a message box that displays the End User License Agreement for this program. If you agree to this EULA, click on the I Agree button to start the program. Otherwise, click on the Cancel button to not use Mac Rogue Remover.

  7. If you agreed to the license agreement, Mac Rogue Remover will start to scan your computer for the MacDefender infection. When it has finished it will display another message stating what it has found and removed. You can press the OK button to close the program. While Mac Rogue Remover was running it also created a file on your Mac OS desktop called mac-rogue-remover.txt that contains a log of what the program removed from your computer. Please review this file as if it found that MacDefender was installed under a different user account, it will prompt you to run Mac Rogue Remover while logged in as that account to completely remove the infection.

    When using Mac Rogue Remover, if you have any questions on how to use it or would just like to tell us how the program worked, please leave a post in this topic:

    Introducing the BleepingComputer Mac Rogue Remover Tool

  8. Now that Mac Defender has been removed, we need to change a setting in Safari so that these types of programs are not automatically run on your computer in the future. By default Safari opens and launches programs that it considers safe to run. These programs include movies, pictures, sounds, PDFs, text documents, archives, and disk images. Due to this, these types of infections are able to be downloaded and automatically run on your Mac. To fix this, start the Safari program and then click on the Safari menu option. From the Safari drop down menu, select Preferences. This will open the Preferences screen as shown below. When the screen opens, if you are not on the General settings screen, please click on the General button.

    Safari Preferences screen

    You should now uncheck the checkbox labeled Open "safe" files after downloading as shown in the image above. After unchecking this box you can close the Preferences screen and Safari.

Your computer should now be free of the MacDefender program and Safari should be secure so that it does not automatically launch these types of programs again in the future.

View Associated Mac Defender Files

/Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ /Applications/ ... <numerous other image and media files>

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk. can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus,Trojan,Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.

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