Fix Your Mac Adware Woes With AdwareMedic

Man painting the word Delete on a billboard

Adware is some pretty nasty stuff. Once it was only the worry of Windows users, but thanks to the steady increase in Mac usage, adware makers are now designing malicious software for Macs, too. While it’s still fairly uncommon, the amount of adware on Macs has increased significantly over the past year, so you need to be extra careful when clicking and installing software.

If your Mac is running slowly, or if you’re seeing far more ads than before in places they shouldn’t appear, then you probably have an adware issue. Luckily, the folks over at The Safe Mac have built AdwareMedic, software that can remove adware quickly and easily.

Here’s how to get your system cleaned up with AdwareMedic.

What Exactly Is Adware?

First, a little background. Adware is basically malicious software built to display or download advertising material. It shows you ads and popups that generally appear in your Web browser. The makers get ad revenue from the software and can even charge you money to have them remove the software for you.

As you might guess, ridding your machine of adware is pretty tough, as the makers want it to stay there as long as possible. Adware can come as a piggyback on actual software you need, as well as via links from emails or disreputable websites.

RELATED: 5 Simple Ways to Better Secure Your Mac

AdwareMedic homepage

Installing AdwareMedic

First things first: Download AdwareMedic at this link. To keep yourself from getting more adware in the future, you should only download applications from trusted locations, and this one we have personally verified. You can either donate a few bucks or download it for free. Either way, you get the full app.

Once you have the DMG file downloaded to your Mac, double-click it to bring up the installer. Drag the AdwareMedic app to your Applications folder to continue.

Mac window instructing to drag AdwareMedic to Applications folder
Then you can delete the DMG file, and using Finder un-mount the image by clicking the eject icon next to it. This will copy the application over.

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Now that it’s in your Applications folder, double-click AdwareMedic to open it. When you run AdwareMedic you’ll see the “donationware” screen. Basically the software is free, but if it helps you, you might want to give some money to the developer.

AdwareMedic donation dialog box

Once you click past this popup, you will see the AdwareMedic screen. Click Scan for Adware to start your scan.

AdwareMedic app window

Hopefully your scan comes up clean, but if it doesn’t, follow the steps provided to clean the adware from your system.

No adware found! dialog box from AdwareMedic

That’s it! Your Mac should now be clear of adware. If you’re wary about installing a third-party application when that’s probably how you got here in the first place, you can check out The Safe Mac’s manual removal instructions. These are far more complicated, but they’ll get you clean all the same.

Next Steps

If you’ve run AdwareMedic and you’re still experiencing adware-related issues, check out the Next Steps section on AdwareMedic to see what you can do next. There’s a lot of great information here, so make sure to check it out.

AdwareMedic Next Steps window

Beyond this, if you still have an issue you probably need some good anti-virus software. For this, your best bet is Sophos, a totally free anti-virus app for the Mac.

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