How to Remove Unwanted Pop-Up Notification Alerts and Other PUAs for Mac

What Are PUAs?

PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) are a type of malware that can cause unwanted alert notifications, display unwanted pop ups or ads, or even install unwanted applications on your Mac. They are typically found within your web browser and might be unknowingly bundled with other free software you download off the Internet. Once installed, they will begin to appear repeatedly until removed.




Removing PUAs and Unwanted Pop-Up Notification Alerts From Your Mac

It can be difficult to get rid of PUAs or other adware, so we've created this article to assist you. It's important to follow all of the instructions outlined below. If you have any questions or concerns about completing these steps as listed, we recommend Contacting Intego Support for further assistance.

To completely remove PUAs from your Mac, follow these steps in order:

Scan Your Mac with VirusBarrier 
Remove Malicious Software
Uninstall Adware Extensions
Disable Website Notifications


Scan Your Mac With VirusBarrier to Remove Adware and Pop-Ups

The best course of action if your Mac is infected with adware is to scan it with an antivirus solution to delete all malicious files from your device. Intego's award-winning VirusBarrier software is the best solution available to protect your Mac from malware, viruses, ransomware and adware.  You can download and install VirusBarrier X9 as part of our Internet Security bundle from the link below:

Download Mac Internet Security X9, Including VirusBarrier

After the download is complete, double-click the installer file which should appear in your Downloads folder by default.
(Note: It may be in another location if you have modified your browser settings)


Follow the on-screen instructions to properly install the software:

Once installation is complete, open VirusBarrier from the top-right corner of the menu bar using the Intego castle icon:


Now, run a Full Scan:


VirusBarrier will automatically detect any adware or potentially unwanted programs (PUP) on your Mac. Once the scan is complete, use the options provided in the window to Quarantine, Repair, or Delete the infected files.


Remove Malicious Software

After scanning your Mac with VirusBarrier, you'll want to check for any remnants of the malicious applications which may be left behind.

Open a Finder window and navigate to Applications:


Find and Remove Adware or Malicious Software

Look through the list of Applications to locate the software to delete.  Once you have found the adware, right-click and select 'Move To Trash'.


A few examples of adware you might find include Mac Cleanup Pro, Dock2Master, WeKnow, Shlayer, Spigot, SurfBuyer, MacSaver, ShopperHelper and CrossRider. (Note: This is not a complete list of all known adware, and the names of these malicious programs change constantly. The name of the application you need to remove on your Mac may differ from this list.)

Empty the Trash from your Dock to completely remove the application from your Mac, then restart your computer to complete the process.



Uninstall Adware Extensions From Your Web Browsers

In addition to scanning your Mac with VirusBarrier, you'll also want to check all of the web browsers you use to see if there are any extensions installed for adware.  There are plenty of browsers available for macOS, but we're going to cover the three most popular choices in this article: Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

Delete Unwanted Extensions

Some adware will also install extensions in your web browser which allow them to display ads and pop-ups for potentially unwanted programs and services.  You'll want to remove these from your web browser if they exist by using the Uninstall or Remove command.

Location:  Safari > Preferences > Extensions


Location: Chrome > Settings > Extensions


Location: Firefox > Settings > Extensions & Themes



Disable Website Notifications Within Web Browsers

Some PUAs will also install notifications from within your web browser which allow them to display ads and pop-ups for potentially unwanted programs and services.  You'll want to remove these from your web browser if they exist.

Location:  Safari > Settings > Websites


Location: Chrome > Settings > Privacy and Security > Site Settings > Notifications


Location: Firefox > Settings > Privacy and Security > Permissions





Contact Intego Support


If you still have questions about adware or malware on your Mac and cannot find the answer in this article or our Knowledge Base, please contact our Support Team directly for assistance by completing a support ticket online here:

Contact Support

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