Is MacKeeper a Virus?

You probably came here wondering if what you heard about MacKeeper is true. And chances are, you’ll think this article is biased since it’s published on the MacKeeper blog. But no need to worry about impartiality. Below we’ll transparently address these issues, explain why our app is not a virus and why there’s so much talk about it on the web.  

The short answer is, no

To call MacKeeper a virus, one needs to know what a real virus is.  


According to Wikipedia, a computer virus is “...a type of computer program that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code…”


We’ve double-checked it with our developers, who created the very first MacKeeper back in 2010. MacKeeper’s code has never contained anything malicious, or anything intended to replicate or damage other apps. Here comes a good question…

Why do online articles call MacKeeper malware?

MacKeeper’s legacy is indeed controversial. In the past, the app has been known for excessive advertising, a reputation which is not completely MacKeeper’s fault. We used to work with multiple affiliate partners, some of which went over the top with their advertising. Those shady ads are the reason why MacKeeper’s reputation used to be far from perfect.  


The good news is, since 2017, MacKeeper has been committed to revisiting our partnership and marketing strategy. In case you come across a questionable ad that says it’s from MacKeeper, then don’t hesitate to take a screenshot, copy the ad link, and email this to We want to do what we can to protect our reputation since we’ve enhanced how we work with partners and promote our product.

How do I know if MacKeeper is really safe?  

We don’t shy away from discussing our past, but we are proud of how MacKeeper has changed. Since Clario Tech DMCC acquired MacKeeper, we’ve been drastically transforming the app. It’s current iteration is far away from the 2015 app that many reviewers still rely on.  


But let’s talk about facts only. How do you check if MacKeeper is a virus?

  1. Trust Apple, not the articles. MacKeeper has been successfully notarized by Apple, and this confirms that the app contains zero malicious components. Starting from late 2019, Apple has successfully notarized every MacKeeper version, including the latest one you can download from
  2. Check independent certifications. The AppEsteem website monitors deceptive software practices and verifies which apps are safe and compliant with the latest requirements. Every MacKeeper version is certified by AppEsteem before its public release—to make sure the app is not only explicitly honest but easy to use too.
  3. Compare with other antiviruses. MacKeeper has been matched against other major security software by AV-TEST. It’s an independent IT security institute based in Germany, and has provided quality assuring comparison tests of security products for over 15 years. In December 2020, our Antivirus scored 6.0 out of 6.0—the highest in all 3 categories (Protection, Performance, Usability). In addition, MacKeeper has managed to detect 99.7% of the most widespread malware out there.
  4. Make sure the company is safe. To prove that MacKeeper has the strongest level of security controls, we also passed the ISO 27001 certification in early 2021. It verifies that MacKeeper’s internal data security systems meet current industry standards and best practices. Passing this certification is not easy to do—and very few other security-focused companies have managed to achieve this. Bitdefender and ESET are on the list, along with MacKeeper.
  5. Read genuine reviews. Checking feedback from real MacKeeper users might be the best idea. Try Trustpilot or ShopperApproved as both are known for fighting against fake reviews. Check them out - we don’t think that a virus would ever score 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

If you’re looking for expert reviews, within the last two years, MacKeeper has been reviewed by top tier tech media, including big names like PCMag, Makeuseof, MacUpdate, SafetyDetectives, and more. You can check the latest MacKeeper media reviews here.  

Why antiviruses mark MacKeeper as a virus?

Still, some secure software can falsely mark MacKeeper as PUP (potentially unwanted program). The thing is, PUP is not the same as a virus. Naming an app ‘potentially unwanted’ is usually a subjective decision made by antivirus vendor makers. Oftentimes, they avoid explaining the reasons for labeling apps as unwanted, creating further confusion.  


This complicated advertising history is often the only reason why MacKeeper might be falsely marked as a virus. However, if you study recent MacKeeper reviews and certifications, you’ll realize that there are no valid reasons to regard MacKeeper as malware.  

The key takeaway

There are valid reasons to say MacKeeper has been wrong when it comes to past advertising campaigns. However, there are no valid reasons to call MacKeeper a virus in 2022. The product has gone through a complete makeover, with clear communication, honest advertising, and a rock-solid feature set. MacKeeper is the app you can trust—there are multiple certifications and reviews to prove this.  


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