Remove Adware, pop-ups, and browser redirects from your Mac

This article helps you recognize, avoid and remove Adware from a Mac. Free your Mac from annoying browser ads, intrusive pop-up adverts, and browser redirects.


What is Adware?

Adware is a form of ad-based software, a form of monetization that allows the developer to offer products for free to the public, but still get paid by an advertising company. In exchange for a fee, the developer will either put together code that will display advertisements for the ad network or convince the user to install software from another vendor along with the original product. Adware can be dangerous. The line between adware and spyware is so fine and blurred that the initial offering may include more than you would have liked. Ads, which may be pop-ups or videos, may not be a problem at first, but behind them may be a suspicious program monitoring the user’s activity, establishing a shadow pattern of browsing habits, or encouraging them to purchase a product through an affiliate network.

Remove adware from Mac

There is certainly controversy about ad-supported applications, and that’s because some e-book readers, phones, and messaging apps include this type of software and also require user consent for certain benefits. Occasionally, companies include information about adware in terms and conditions or in the end-user license agreement. Aggressive adware is not harmless and has so far attacked a significant number of known and trusted applications.


How to avoid Adware

There are very rarely signs that an app would run in the background or that suspicious files have been installed on your device. Even security solutions can face some problems when it comes to adware, and that’s because there are legitimate services that come bundled with ad-based apps. Even if detecting adware is difficult, it is almost impossible to determine the extent of the damage. Often, advertising companies illicitly combine open-source applications with adware, and this sometimes happens against the wishes of the developer. In order to distribute these unofficial ad-supported software kits, advertisers trick the original website itself and register domains for the purpose of typo-squatting.

If you use a cybersecurity solution, there’s not much left to do. A simple scan will reveal all suspicious files and programs which you can then delete with a single click. Security solutions also give users the option to disable adware detection, but this isn’t necessarily a good idea if you want complete protection.

After all, it’s up to each user to be careful what they install on their devices. So make sure you download files that only come from trusted shops, such as the app’s official website, and that you pay attention to all installation steps. If you see that the app you want to install comes bundled with a “special offer”, make sure you don’t install that too by unchecking the box next to it or pressing the Cancel button.


Eliminate Adware, pop-ups, browser redirects from your Mac

To get rid of annoying adware, so you can enjoy a pleasant Internet browsing experience, follow the instructions below on your Mac:


Step 1. Run a full System Scan with Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac.


Step 2. Next, reset your web browser to get rid of any unwanted add-ons/extensions.

Instructions for Safari  |  Instructions for Chrome  |  Instructions for Firefox


ⓘ Note: If there is any recurrence of adware signs on your Mac, please open a support ticket that includes a BDSYS log and screenshots of these macOS folders: 



/Library/Application Support/




~/Library/Application Support/




To access each of the folders specified above, copy the name of each location then and paste it into the Go to Folder search bar. To do this, follow the steps illustrated below.


1. Click on Finder at the bottom left of the Dock (Finder is the icon that looks like a blue square with a smiley face). 

Remove adware from Mac


2. Next, click Go at the top left of the screen, on the menu bar.

Remove adware from Mac


3. Click on the Go to Folder… option in the list that appears.

Go to Folder


4. Type or paste the name of the folders indicated above, one at a time, then click on Go (see the example below).

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