Mac Pop-Up Viruses

You’ve probably seen those annoying pop-ups claiming that you’ve won a free iPhone during your time as a computer owner. But receiving a Mac virus warning pop-up isn’t just irritating; you could put yourself in huge danger of having your identity stolen and much more.


When looking at the most common pop-up virus on Mac, you’ll often see many of the following:

  • “Congratulations, you won!”: These pop-ups promise you a free expensive gadget, such as an iPhone, or a cash prize. However, you never actually receive the promised perks
  • Pop-ups claiming that you have a virus: Ironically, these pop-ups will claim that you have a virus on your computer. Once you click on them, you could potentially install malware on your device
  • Ads: Some pop-up viruses disguise themselves as ads. In most cases, you can easily identify them by poor spelling and low-quality images.

Are you worried that you’ve got a pop-up virus on your Mac? Fear not, I’ll do my best to help you solve the problem today. Together, we’ll cover the biggest pop-up virus risks and how to solve the issue. And to prevent encountering such difficulties in the future, I’ll reveal how you can protect yourself for the long run.

Before we begin


Blocking annoying ads is one of the best ways to stop pop-up viruses from attacking your computer. MacKeeper’s StopAd solution can help you block malware of this kind, while also ensuring that other websites can’t track you.


To use MacKeeper’s StopAd tool:

  1. Download MacKeeper
  2. Go to Privacy > StopAd
  3. Select Open at the bottom of your screen
  4. Next to the extension for your web browser, hit Enable
  5. Open the preferences for your browser and tick all of the boxes associated with MacKeeper.

What is a pop-up virus?

A pop-up virus is a cybersecurity threat that appears on your screen in the form of an invasive warning. The only exception is when you see prompts asking you to sign up for a newsletter.


Knowing how to get rid of pop-up virus on Mac is crucial as they’re often incredibly dangerous. Not dealing with the problem as soon as possible can, at best, result in your computer working at a suboptimal level. At worst, sensitive information—such as your banking details and social security number—could land in the hands of criminals.


Considering how difficult removing malware of this kind is, the best way to stop virus pop-ups on Mac is to be proactive before an infection occurs.

What are the risks of pop-up viruses?

With a little more knowledge about what pop-up viruses are, let’s look at why they’re so dangerous. You’re at risk of each of the following if you don’t stop or remove pop-up viruses on your device.

Let’s dig deeper into each of the risks now, so that you fully understand the consequences of inaction with pop-up viruses.

Fraudulent transactions

Pop-up viruses can contain spyware, which gives criminals access to your computer screen. If you aren’t careful, you could reveal your credit card details and other important banking information. Once someone has obtained these, they could use your account to make fraudulent transactions.

Identity theft

If you’ve clicked on a pop-up virus containing spyware, criminals could steal other important bits of information—such as your passport details or home address. Besides the risks of fraud, someone else knowing your sensitive information could put you, your friends, and your family at risk of harm.

Computer performance issues

Can Macs get viruses? Yes, and one reason it’s so important to remove pop-up viruses on Mac is because they can detriment your computer’s performance. Your device needs to work harder when malware is present, potentially resulting in slower processing speeds and overheating. Your battery often drains much faster, too, and you’ll have less storage space.


Pop-up viruses often contain adware, which—besides being annoying—can result in third parties obtaining information that they can sell. Adware can often make your Mac difficult, if not impossible, to use.

How to get rid of pop-up malware alerts

Whether you see a pop-up adware virus on Mac, the Bing redirect virus, or another kind of danger, understanding how to remove viruses of this kind is essential. Thankfully, you can try numerous fixes.

Below, you’ll find a suite of options you can try if you suspect that your Mac is infected with pop-up viruses.

Close your browser

Before trying some of the more complex solutions, you can try to remove virus pop-ups on Mac by closing your web browser.

  1. Hit Control + trackpad on the open browser in your Dock
  2. When the dropdown menu appears, click on Quit.

Use your Activity Monitor

Your Activity Monitor can help you identify suspicious activities on your device, such as pop-up viruses, and stop these from continuing to run.

  1. Select the magnifying glass icon to open Spotlight
  2. Search for Activity Monitor and select this option when it appears
  3. Click on the CPU tab at the top of your screen
  4. Highlight the process you want to quit and tap the x button
  5. When the pop-up window appears asking you to confirm your decision, hit the blue Quit button.
The CPU tab in Activity Monitor, which helps you view which programs are currently active
Step 1. Spotlight > Activity Monitor > CPU
The x icon, which allows you to close an open activity in Activity Monitor
Step 2. Click the x icon
The Quit button in an Activity Monitor pop-up will stop the activity from running
Step 3. Select Quit

Update your macOS software

Updating your macOS software can also help remove any pop-up viruses that are present on your device. You’ll also, in many cases, receive new security features that’ll help protect your computer in the future.

  1. Go to Apple logo > System Settings
  2. Select Software Update
  3. If you see a prompt to update your software, click on this
  4. Confirm that you agree with Apple’s license agreement
  5. Wait for your new version of macOS to download.
Updating your macOS software in System Settings will help remove viruses. You can do that in System Settings on your computer.
Step 1. Apple logo > System Settings > Software Update
Clicking on the Apple licensing agreement will commence your macOS software update. This is crucial if you want to continue using the service.
Step 2. Agree to Apple’s licensing agreement

Restore your Mac

Restoring your Mac to a previous version can help remove any malware that you might have previously downloaded via a pop-up virus.


How you restore your Mac depends on the chip you have. For users with an Apple T2 security chip, you’ll first need to delete everything on your Mac via the Erase Assistant:

  1. Open System Settings and go to General > Transfer or Reset
  2. Select Erase All Content and Settings
  3. Sign in with your Mac admin details when asked to
  4. Choose what you want to delete from your Mac and confirm your decision.

After erasing the content and settings on your Mac:

  1. Go to Apple logo > Shut Down
  2. Hold the standby button immediately. You can release it when you see Loading Startup Options
  3. Reinstall macOS via Recovery > Reinstall for your macOS release.

If your Mac doesn’t have an Apple T2 security chip:

  1. Go to the Apple logo and select Restart
  2. Hold Command + R straight after doing the above
  3. Go to Disk Utility > Continue in Recovery Mode
  4. Click on Erase when you find the version of your Mac you’d like to delete
  5. Select Erase Volume Group after choosing a name
  6. Hit Done and quit Disk Utility
  7. Go to Reinstall for your macOS release and restore your Mac.

Ways to protect your Mac in the future

Knowing how to delete pop-up viruses on your Mac is wise, but understanding how you can prevent the issue in the future is even better.

Consider implementing each of the following to give your Mac a better chance of repelling pop-up virus infections.

Use an antivirus program

Using an antivirus tool is one of the easiest ways you can protect your Mac against pop-up viruses and many other possible cyberattacks. MacKeeper’s Antivirus solution is one that you can try, and it’s included in a premium subscription alongside the StopAd feature.

  1. In MacKeeper, go to Security > Antivirus
  2. Select Enable to begin the process of allowing 24/7 protection
  3. Click on Open Settings when you’re asked to
  4. In Privacy & Security, select Allow when you see this prompt: “System software from application “MacKeeper” was blocked from loading.”
The Enable button in MacKeeper will allow you to enable the Antivirus solution and protect your device in the background
Step 1. Security > Antivirus > Enable
Open your Mac System Settings. Here, you can enable MacKeeper Antivirus and confirm your preferences for your computer operations
Step 2. Open your Mac settings
Enable MacKeeper in System Settings > Privacy & Security and hit the Allow button. After this, Antivirus will be enabled
Step 3. Allow MacKeeper in System Settings

Turn on Rapid Security Response

In early 2023, Apple introduced a new feature called Rapid Security Response. The tool aims to provide important security interventions in between macOS updates, which can help mitigate the damage caused by breaches.


Hint from our team: 


You’ll need to first download macOS 13.1.1, and you can do that by following the instructions for updating your software that we discussed earlier.


Then ensure that your device has enabled Rapid Security Response by following these steps:

  1. Go to System Settings > General > Software Update
  2. Click on the i icon next to Automatic Updates
  3. Toggle Install Security Responses and system files on if needed
  4. Hit Done.
Install Rapid Security Response. Rapid Security Response allows you to install critical updates among security threats, keeping you safe

Set your macOS software to update automatically

So that you don’t need to think about whether your Mac software is outdated, you can always set your device to install future updates automatically.

  1. Go to System Settings > General > Software Update
  2. Choose the i icon next to Automatic Updates
  3. Toggle Install macOS updates on
  4. Select Done when you’re finished.
 Install macOS updates automatically. Toggling macOS updates can help you automatically keep your computer updated and stop viruses

Remove pop-up viruses from your Mac with our top tips

You might thought that it’s complicated, but now you’ve got several solutions to fix the problem of pop-ups. And once you’ve deleted the malware from your device, protect your computer in the future by implementing Rapid Security Response, updating your macOS software, and using an antivirus program.


To stop your Mac from getting infected by pop-up viruses in the first place, use MacKeeper’s StopAd tool. With its help, you can not only delete pop-up malware, but block annoying ads and stop third parties from tracking your online activity.

Use your Mac to the fullest! Sign up and get:
Effective tips on how to fix Mac issues
Reliable advice on how to stay safe online
Mac-world news and updates

Thank you!

You’ll love exploring your Mac with us.

Oops, something went wrong.

Try again or reload a page.

Here’s another sign you need to upgrade your macOS ASAP:

30% off your MacKeeper subscription

Сopy the code now and use it in the MacKeeper checkout after the upgrade.

Copy Code

Please be aware that this code cannot be combined with any other discounts, offers, or promotions.



MacKeeper - your all-in-one solution for more space and maximum security.

Try Now

Read more

Fake Viruses on Mac
Fake Viruses on Mac
How to Remove Search Marquis from Mac
How to Remove Search Marquis from Mac

Run Application


Click Continue


Click Install


Your macOS version is lower than OS 10.11. We’d like to offer you MacKeeper 4 to solve the cleaning, privacy, and security issues of your macOS.