What is ByteFence and how to uninstall it from Mac

When you’re downloading a legitimate app directly from an official website, you expect that it will work flawlessly and do no harm to your device. But when it comes bundled with other software and modifies your computer settings, how should you react to this nasty surprise? Every cybersecurity expert will recommend you to get rid of such intruder as soon as you can. 

ByteFence is an anti-malware tool that appears to be malicious primarily because of its distribution methods. In this article, we’re going to explain why some security vendors still call this app potentially unwanted and show how to remove ByteFence if it suddenly sneaks into your Mac. 

Is ByteFence a virus?

Actually, it’s not. Developed by Byte Technologies, it’s a legitimate anti-malware software that became infamous for being distributed via bundling methods. ByteFence not only installed itself silently on users’ computers but changed browser settings without approval as well. 

Because of such misleading promotional techniques and deceitful behavior, cybersecurity experts categorized ByteFence as a potentially unwanted application (PUA). 

Did you know?

PUAs are one of the most common types of malware currently bothering both PC and Mac users. They look like extra programs you don't need at all, which come bundled with the one you choose to download. However, under the guise of these apps are often hidden adware, browser hijackers, and even viruses.

Today, Byte Technologies developers claim that all PUA’s features are eliminated. Even so, some antivirus providers still consider this program as potentially unwanted and recommend using more reliable apps.

How does ByteFence anti-malware work?

Once installed, it scans a computer for malicious software and tells how many threats are uncovered by showing a warning message. But the free software version won’t remove them right away. To get rid of detected malware, you have to activate Pro version by purchasing a license.

How did it get on my computer?

If you use PC or Boot Camp to run Windows on your Mac, you can freely download ByteFence from its official website. But it also might get to your computer unexpectedly, without your permission. As mentioned above, the anti-malware got its bad reputation as a PUA because of bundling tactics used to promote its free version. 


ByteFence is an anti-malware tool created solely for Windows PCs. Still, it can be downloaded on macOS as a bundled software with apps like PDF Mac Master.

Main symptoms of the ByteFence “virus”

You might not even realize that you have this program on your computer until it starts bombarding you with obtrusive warning messages and pop-up ads promoting Pro version.. 

Previously, users reported that ByteFence malware used to manage browser settings and change the default search engine to Yahoo Search. Some Mac users also detected so-called ByteFence Helper after getting it bundled with other freeware. The app asked to enable Accessibility in System Preferences and allow it to control Security & Privacy settings.

Although Byte Technologies guarantees that their app does not act like PUA any more, you should be aware of these signs. I recommend you immediately uninstall ByteFence once you detect it appeared on your computer without you knowing about it.

How to uninstall ByteFence on Mac

There are several steps on how to get rid of ByteFence. Since it’s not a virus, you can try to uninstall it on your own.

Step 1. Get rid of the app manually

The easiest way to initiate ByteFence removal on your Mac is by using the Trash located at the right end of the Dock.

  1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock and go to the Application folder. 
  2. Once you find the suspicious app, drag it from the folder to the Trash.
  3. Empty the Trash.

Note that Apple renamed the Trash to Bin in the UK and some other countries with the macOS Catalina update.

Step 2. Be sure to remove every trace of ByteFence scam

Sometimes ByteFence won't uninstall in full when you try to do this by yourself. There still may be some sneaky app's components hidden in various folders. So how to remove it once and for all? The most effective way is to use a reliable anti-malware tool. 

When it comes to removing apps, I choose CleanMyMac X. This tool copes flawlessly not only with malware removal but also software uninstallation. Most importantly, it’s notarized by Apple, so there is no need to worry about safety.

Here is how ByteFence “virus” removal looks like with CleanMyMac X’s Uninstaller module:

  1. Download the free version of CleanMyMac X.
  2. Install and launch the app.
  3. Select the Uninstaller tool on the sidebar.
  4. Uninstaller module in CleanMyMacX
  5. Find ByteFence in the list of programs and check the box next to it.
  6. Push the Uninstall button. That’s all!

How to avoid getting ByteFence again

As an anti-malware tool, ByteFence won’t do any harm. But as PUA, it might slow down your computer, regularly show annoying pop-ups and hijack your browser setting. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to uninstall by following the steps above. 

To protect your computer from software bundles in the future, always opt for the custom installation and verify available settings. Regular malware checks will also help you reveal any suspicious activity on your Mac. For this purpose, I opt for CleanMyMac X. Its real-time malware monitor scans my computer and keeps it protected from any threat automatically.

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