Every day, more than 350,000 new malicious programs (a.k.a. malware) are registered with the AV-TEST Institute. Macs have a reputation for being a bit more secure than Windows. In fact, many people believe that Macs just don’t get viruses. But that’s not the case.
Macs are now outpacing Windows when it comes to malware problems. Advanced Mac Tuneup is one type of malware that’s become a big problem for Mac users. It sounds like a helpful program, but what it really does is flood your Mac with fake scans and popup alerts.
What is Advanced Mac Tuneup?
Advanced Mac Tuneup masquerades as an optimization tool that improves your system performance. To get you to fall for the scam, the malware program creates fake system scan results. These results can be pretty convincing, and they’re designed to scare you into buying their system cleaning tool. The tool, like the scans, are completely worthless.
To top it all off, the malware sends an incessant number of popup alerts that make it sound like your Mac is doomed unless you buy their tool to clean things up.
Oh, I forgot to mention that this malware will also hijack your browsers and send you to malicious sites with more fake virus alerts.
Some malware programs are really malicious, as in they’ll steal your personal information. There’s no evidence that Advanced Mac Tuneup will do that, but the malware is highly intrusive.
It usually winds up on your Mac through a fake Adobe Flash Player update on hacked or malicious websites.
Fortunately, you can remove this pesky malware from your Mac in a few simple steps.
How to Remove Advanced Mac Tuneup from Your Mac
Follow the steps below to remove Advanced Mac Tuneup from your Mac.
- Click “Go” to expand the menu, and select “Utilities.”
- Double-click the Activity Monitor icon on the Utilities screen.
- You should not be in the Activity Monitor app. Check the list for any processes that look suspicious. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, narrow down your focus to processes that are using a lot of resources or have unfamiliar names. Advanced Mac Tuneup may show up as “helperamc” or some other strange name.
- Once you find the suspected process, click the “Stop” icon at the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
- A pop-up dialog box may appear confirming that you want to stop the process. Choose Force Quit to shut down the troublesome program.
- Next, head back to the “Go” menu. This time, choose “Go to Folder.” You can also press Command>Shift>G to get here.
- A pop-up dialog box should appear. Type in “/Library/LaunchAgents” and click Go.
- Scan the folder for anything that seems suspicious or unfamiliar. Sometimes, malware programs create files that don’t really have descriptive names. If you don’t see any files that stand out to you, look for entries that were recently added and are suspicious. If you find any files that don’t belong, send them to the Trash.
- Use the Command>Shift>G shortcut again and type in “~/Library/Application Support.”
- Check the Application Support directory for suspicious folders that may have been generated and delete them. Look for folder names that aren’t related to Apple products or anything that you installed.
- Use the Command>Shift>G shortcut to get back to the Go to Folder search dialog. Type in “~/Library/LaunchAgents,” and click Go.
- The directory will list all LaunchAgents in your Home directory. Again, look for anything suspicious. Move these items to the Trash.
- Open up the Go to Folder dialog box again, type in “/Library/LaunchDaemons” and click “Go.”
- Look for files that the malware may be using to stay in operation. Some examples of dodgy items include:
Remove any items that seem suspicious.
- In your Mac’s Finder, expand the Go menu and select Applications.
- Scan your Applications folder for suspicious apps and move them to the Trash. You may be asked to enter your admin password. Enter it, and delete the app(s).
- Next, we’re going to head over to your System Preferences, which you can find in the Apple menu.
- Select Users & Groups.
- Head over to the Login Items tab. You should see a list of items that launch when your Mac starts up. Look for any suspicious or unwanted apps (like Advanced Mac Tuneup). Click the minus button to stop it from launching at startup.
- Finally, we’re going to check your Profiles under your System Preferences. Check for any malicious or suspicious items on the left sidebar. It may show up as “Chrome Settings,” “AdminPrefs,” “TechSignalSearch,” or something similar.
Advanced Mac Tuneup should now be removed from your Mac, but you may need to clean up your browser to stop it from bothering you while you browse the web.