How to get rid of Safari virus

Even the macOS is vulnerable to browser hijackers, adware, and other malware these days. If you consider intrusive pop-ups or strange extensions showing up in your Safari browser, you’re almost certainly dealing with the Safari virus. 

Although this virus is not so harmful to your computer as a Trojan, it still brings potential security risks. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can remove the virus from Safari manually and with a cleaner tool like CleanMyMac X

In this article, we’ll show you what Safari virus is, how to remove it for good, and protect your Mac from future threats.

What is a Safari virus?

Safari virus on Mac is a browser hijacker that targets the same-name browser. This type of malware is called to generate web traffic and collect sales leads for suspicious websites.

How to find out that your Safari has a virus? Here are the main symptoms:

  • Ads show up more often than they should, usually in unexpected places.
  • Pop-ups and banners that advertise fake updates or software regularly arise.
  • Your homepage redirects to a website different from what you expect.
  • The link you click in search results redirects to dubious or possibly malicious websites.
  • Unwanted extensions appear in your browser.
  • Your computer performance decreases.

This virus can also ask you to update Adobe Flash Player or download any other program that would help you fix the problem. But such warnings don’t always mean that you have issues with the browser in the first place.

If you notice any of these signs, your Mac is likely to be infected with the Safari virus. Watch out for it, as this malware can turn your web-browsing experience into a nightmare.

A virus or an extension?

Safari viruses often pose as extensions. In 2021, security writer and researcher Patrick Wardle reported a “come-back” of a dangerous extension GoSearch 22, which previously went under the name of Pirrit Mac adware. Now it has been revamped in order to target the new Macs with Apple silicon.

How to get rid of the Safari virus on Mac

There are several steps on how to get rid of the Safari virus.

Step 1. Remove malicious apps from Mac manually

  1. Go to the Applications folder and find any suspicious software. It may disguise itself as a legit app, so search for anything you don’t remember downloading or the last program you downloaded before you noticed the virus.
  2. Once you detect the malware, drag it to Trash and empty it. 
  3. Choose Go > Go to Folder in the Finder.

  4. Go to the folders listed below and delete any files related to the browser hijacker:


/Library/Application Support




Step 2. Delete unrecognized extensions

  1. Go to the Safari menu on the menu bar and choose Settings.
  2. Click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for any extensions that shouldn’t be there. If you find anything, select it and hit the Uninstall button to remove it. 

Step 3. Check homepage and search engine settings

  1. Go to the General tab, enter the preferred website in the Homepage field, or click the Set to Current Page button.

  2. In the same way, go to the Search tab and choose the search engine you like the most. 

While changes made by the hijacker to the browser seem insignificant, sometimes users can’t undo them. Typically, it’s rather tricky to remove the Safari virus manually. But anti-malware apps like CleanMyMac X can make Safari virus removal effortless and eliminate it with a click.

Step 4. Get rid of every trace of malware

How to remove Safari virus from Mac once and forever? Initiate a Safari virus scan to be on the safe side and make sure that no harmful elements are left on your Mac. For this purpose, we prefer to use CleanMyMac X as it can detect Mac-related threats in no time and prevent them from obtaining user data. It performs a folder-by-folder scan to block any suspicious activity so that no malware will go unnoticed.

Here is how to remove a virus from Safari with CleanMyMac X:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X for free and open it.
  2. Select the Malware Removal module on the left-side panel.
  3. Click the Scan button.
  4. If the tool detects no malware on your Mac, it’ll give you the all-clean.
  5. If it finds anything, click Remove.

What we like the most about CleanMyMac X is that it can scan a computer in the background and immediately inform a user when it finds something harmful. 

A non-privileged user account: The simplest way to keep viruses out

This tip gets rarely mentioned; nevertheless, it’s probably the single most effective way to combat computer viruses. The advice is to use a non-administrative account on your Mac.

The thing is that most viruses are designed to hijack the admin privileges, so they can do whatever operations they want. But if your account is not an admin on this Mac, the harmful activity is reduced to a minimum.

  1. Go to System Settings and choose Users & Groups.
  2. There, create a Standard user account and use that one.

How to protect your Mac from Safari Virus

Now that you know how to stop Safari pop up virus, let’s proceed with some tips on how to prevent it in the first place. To avoid getting the Safari “Warning! Virus detected” sign, pay attention to the websites you visit, files you download, and apps you install. Avoid using third-party software downloaders and installers, as they usually include PUA. Never ignore the warnings if the Safari browser alerts you that a website is not secure.

Still, it’s always better to prevent the problem than try to deal with it. Regular malware checks will help you repel any attack. That’s why we use real-time malware monitor from CleanMyMac X. This feature is created to automatically eliminate all kinds of threats, even without running a malware scan. Let it monitor your Mac to keep it clean of malware and protected.


What are the potential risks of Mac Safari virus infection?

As a browser hijacker, Safari pop-up virus is categorized as a potentially unwanted app (PUA). Once the malicious program attacks your Mac, it starts modifying browser settings, so the main hazards of having this virus are web tracking and data leaks. Safari virus scam is all about collecting personal details (IP address, geolocation, search queries, etc.) and sharing them with third parties. This may cause serious problems related to privacy and data security.

How did the Safari redirect virus get on Mac?

Generally, users install the Safari virus on their Mac by mistake. The primary sources of this PUA are deceptive pop-up ads that, once clicked, execute scripts developed to download the virus, fake Flash Player installers, torrent file downloads, and freeware installers (bundling).

How to avoid getting infected with Safari virus? 

The easiest way to avoid any malware is to be cautious when it comes to clicking on links, visiting websites, and installing third-party apps. To avoid installing the bundled software, opt for a custom installation and never skip steps without checking available settings.

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