What ‘MacKeeper’ is and why you should avoid it

“Literally every time I work in the computer store, we’ll get a customer whose Mac is plagued with problems they don’t understand: Their Mac is acting slow. It crashes. And more. And in more cases than not, we find that they’ve installed a program called MacKeeper,” Peter Cohen writes for iMore. “Removing MacKeeper fixes the problem. So what is MacKeeper and why should you avoid it?”

“The software purports to be a suite of more than a dozen individual utilities that are actually supposed to improve the performance and stability of your Mac — antivirus software, optimization software, junk removal tools and more,” Cohen writes. “MacKeeper uses scare ads that appear as ‘pop-under’ ads on web sites, telling people to clean their Macs. The pop-under business is the first thing I really don’t like about MacKeeper.”

“But the real problems with MacKeeper that I can see is that it provides questionable value to most users, can destabilize an otherwise stable Mac, and embeds itself so thoroughly into the operating system that removing it is an uncomfortable and weird process,” Cohen writes. “I’ve seen multitudes of forum posts and comments on web sites calling MacKeeper a virus or a malware package. The pathetic thing is that it isn’t. It’s just extremely persistent, poorly developed software whose developer tries very hard to keep you using the software and engages in really shady tactics to get you to use it in the first place… So if you’ve ever seen an ad for MacKeeper — even if it’s here on iMore — and thought about giving it a try, my recommendation is not to. And if you do and run into problems, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Read more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Exactly. It’s slimeware.


  1. Same here. Not only is MacKeeper the worst software I’ve used in ages, they have the most unforgivable and annoying advertising of any company on the web and that’s saying a lot. People keep accidentally installing it because they use the same tactics as malware pushers to get the shit installed. They have no qualms about screwing up computers, just spreading their crap.

  2. Mackeeper is malware and will put more malware on your computer like genio search engine which is nothing more than more malware that will create pop ups of advertising all over your browser and make it unusable. Another so called utility to never install is TuneUpMyMac. That one will create crashes on your computer and will always say that you have major problems. Then ask for $99 to fix it. Ransomware type of malware. DON’T INSTALL EITHER OF THESE!!!!!!

  3. Oh to get rid of fake search engines like Genio you can use a donation ware software called AdwareMedic. It will remove all of those pop up advertising malware and have your browser running like normal after a restart. Then just empty the trash.

  4. I did not find the “Full article — highly recommended,” persuasive. The only decent evidence was a squishy correlation: remove MacKeeper, then everything will be OK. Everything else seemed to be about marketing tactics.

    I’ve been using MacKeeper for 2 plus years. I have experienced no trouble. If the MacKeeper results reports are to be trusted, then it’s working very well. The marketing is annoying, true, but I’ve seen no good persuasive evidence that it’s not useful, even valuable, software.

    1. Seriously? Take it from someone who’s been dealing with Macs for 30 years when I say it’s an egregious pile of ordure.

      I’d be surprised if you can tell your fecking arse from a hole in the ground!


      1. You might want to try contradicting someone without finishing with an insult. Insults add nothing to the validity or force of what you might say. And usually have the effect, I think, of making any statement LESS effective.

  5. I had this problem. Here was my solution:

    1. Export your bookmarks as an html file
    2. Delete your browser from the Applications folder
    3. Go to your User folder > Library folder > Application Support and delete the folder for your browser (in my case it was Firefox)
    4. Download and re-install browser
    5. Import your bookmarks

    1. This sort of deceitful social engineering fakery marketing was standard on the Windows platform for many years before MacKeeper fell out of ZeoBIT’s back orifice. MacKeeper really is the most shameful POS software available to the Mac community. It still nauseates me every time it’s vicious robot logo infests itself into my web browser.

      At one point, Kromtech perpetrated a version of MacKeeper at the Apple Mac App Store. Apple got an earful for that blunder. Then Kromtech foisted a free RAM cleaning app at the Mac App Store that was used as a MacKeeper marketing nag. Thankfully, everything Kromtech/ZeoBIT has been WIPED off the Mac App Store. Burned at the stake. 😛

  6. My rule of thumb. Never agree to install something unless you know what it is. If a pop-up appears I automatically ignore it.
    If I want to purchase a type of program I will look at what is available and download it from the website directly.

  7. MacKeeper was the Mac community’s very first CRAPWARE. I may well have invented the term (yeah right) specifically for MacKeeper. Over at MacUpdate there was a gang of us who caught out ZeoBIT both FAKING and COERCING 4 and 5 star reviews of this crapware circa 2011-2013. Their scam ended when their crapware was sold off to Kromtech. But the dirty rotten subversive marketing attacks did NOT stop. They still plague rat infested corners of the Internet.

    Meanwhile: Best article about MacKeeper EVER Peter! Thank you!

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