How to remove the Eicar test file virus from Mac
Eicar test file
|Potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Slow performance and hard drive completely freezing
|Bundled installations and malicious pop-ups
Poor performance and could leave your computer vulnerable to future attacks
Is the Eicar test file safe?
The Eicar test file is not as harmful as most of the other malware files out there. And it’s not even a virus at all. It was initially developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research to help test the effectiveness of antivirus software. But for whatever reason, it has recently been used to find vulnerabilities on a computer, so they could later be exploited by more harmful malware.
The thing that makes the Eicar test file worrisome is that it can be a sign you have other malware installed on your computer. Or it could act as a false positive, tricking your antivirus into thinking that it’s a problematic file and ignoring files that could actually cause issues.
So, if you think you have the file saved somewhere on your hard drive, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and scan your entire computer for malware and suspicious software.
Keep reading to learn the quickest way to remove the file and how you can check to see if any other suspicious software has used the file to sneak onto your machine.
How did the Eicar test file end up on my computer?
There are a couple of ways you could have ended up with the Eicar test file saved to your Mac’s hard drive. The first is rogue pop-up ads. You might have accidentally clicked a pop-up ad on one of the websites — this could start the download of malicious files. One of those files could potentially have been the Eicar test file.
The second way, which is much more likely, is that the Eicar test file was bundled with some other software you installed. Malware and other potentially unwanted programs will hide in installation bundles. The best way to make sure you’re only getting the app you want is to make sure you always click “Customize” or “Custom Install” during the installation process.
Always doing a Custom Install gives you a chance to see if anything else is being installed. For legitimate apps, this window will typically just show you extensions and added features. But it’s also where the app will tell you if it has any sneaky software it’s trying to get past you.
Eicar test file removal from your Mac
This is the best section of the entire article. That’s because finding and removing Eicar is really fast and simple. With the help of the app CleanMyMac X, you can scan your Mac for malware — and more specifically, the Eicar test file — to see what might be lurking on your computer.
Once you download CleanMyMac X, you can follow these steps to scan for malware:
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- In the sidebar, click Malware Removal > Scan.
- When the scan is finished, click Remove.
Staying in the habit of scanning with CleanMyMac X can help you catch suspicious software before they do too much damage to your computer.
CleanMyMac X also comes with the bonus of optimizing your Mac and helping it run faster. You can use the app for uninstalling app leftover files, cleaning up system junk, and running system maintenance scripts. All in all, it’s a great app to help keep your Mac running smoothly.
While the Eicar test file was initially created with great intentions, over time, it’s been used to expose vulnerabilities on a computer. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re less concerned about how dangerous that file is and know how to remove it quickly. Plus, you know how to use CleanMyMac X to scan for other malware and protect you against any future infestation attempts.