It’s somewhat ironic, but pop-ups that alert you to the fact that you have malicious software installed on your Mac are actually malicious themselves. These pop-ups try to scare you into thinking your computer is infected with a virus when in actual fact there is nothing wrong with it. However, if you click on one of these pop-ups, that may not be the case afterward!

How to Get Rid of Fake Virus Alert Pop-Ups on Mac_1
An example of a fake virus alert pop-up

Some of these virus pop-ups are nothing more than a slight annoyance, but many of them can cause some serious harm. Whether you’re currently dealing with annoying fake virus pop-ups, or you would just like to know how to deal with them just in case, keep on reading to learn everything about how to get rid of fake virus alert pop-ups on Mac.

What is a fake virus alert?

A fake virus alert is a pop-up window or new browser tab that says your computer is infected with a virus. These alerts will almost always advertise some fake virus-removal software and prompt you to download it.

If you’ve recently seen what you believe to be a fake virus alert but you’re not sure if it was legitimate, the simple answer is, if you don’t have anti-virus software installed on your Mac, the alert was 100% fake. No legitimate virus alert will ever appear in your web browser either. If you have an antivirus program installed, the only virus alerts you should be seeing are ones displayed by that program.

What should I do if I see a fake virus alert?

Under no circumstances should you click on any fake virus alerts. If you do so, it could result in your Mac becoming infected with some type of malicious software. You should exit out of the alert straight away — either by closing down the pop-up window or closing down the web browser entirely.

If the alert is particularly troublesome, you may need to use Force Quit to close down the web browser. To open Force Quit, press the Option, Command, and Esc keys on your keyboard at the same time. Within the Force Quit app, select your web browser and then click on the Force Quit button in the bottom right.

Fake pop up mac_Force Quit
Using Force Quick

What should I do if I’ve already clicked on a fake virus alert?

It’s certainly not guaranteed, but it is decently likely that your Mac is now infected with some form of malicious software. However, there is no need to panic. If you have an antivirus app installed on your Mac, you can use it to run a comprehensive scan. This will find and remove any malicious applications, restoring your Mac to full health. If you don’t have an antivirus app, skip to the next section…

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Here are some of Antivirus One’s awesome features:

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  • Adware Cleaner — Gets rid of pop-ups, adware, and browser hijackers, so you can browse safely.
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If you think you might’ve accidentally downloaded something malicious after clicking on a fake virus alert, don’t wait any longer and download Antivirus One to find out for sure! Click the button below to learn more.