Can Macs get viruses? Yes they can.

April 15, 2021 | Blog
virus on computer screen

Can Macs get viruses? You bet. The misconception that Macs are immune to viruses is a myth. Macs have been less vulnerable to threats than PCs, but that’s changing. Hackers create stronger, more mutant strains of malware every year as Apple rolls out new products such as the latest colorful iMacs and iPad Pro.  

What Is Malware?

Apple defines Malware as malicious software that includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, and other programs that harm your Mac and invade your privacy. Malware can infect a computer when you download items from emails, messages, and websites. In another blog post, we go more in depth into different malware types most damaging to Macs.

Internal Virus Protection In Macs

Among others, Apple has two major built-in safeguards to help protect your Mac from malware; Gatekeeper and XProtect. Let’s explore those. 


Gatekeeper is a security feature embedded in the macOS operating system. The technology ensures only trusted software runs on your Mac. Gatekeeper verifies the apps and plug-ins you install from outside the App store are from an allowed developer. 


XProtect is an anti-malware scanner for macOS that works in the background. Apple monitors for new malware strains independent from system updates. The anti-virus technology blocks malicious software and sends you a notification to move it to the Trash. 

Signs Your Mac Is Infected With A Virus

Apple’s security features aren’t enough to protect your computer against all online threats. As hard as Apple works to strengthen its barriers, cyber criminals work just as hard, if not harder, to get around them. Be vigilant against web-based threats, but how do you know your Mac has a virus lurking in its system?

Slow Performance

The computer is slower than you remember. This can be a sign there’s malware installed in your system. 

Ad Overload

You notice a lot of ads and pop-ups, even when you’re not browsing the internet. This is a sure sign you installed something you shouldn’t have. 

Strange Behavior

You notice strange things like routine computer crashes. Your web browser installs suspicious updates without you hitting a button. You may even notice app plug-ins in your navigation menu that weren’t there before. Frequent pop ups alert you to a drastic lack of storage space on your hard drive. These indicate a virus has taken over. 


Two of the best things you can do to prevent your Mac from getting a virus is to download apps only from the App Store and to install Apple’s latest software update as soon as it’s available


Get Expert Help From The Professionals

Just as you wouldn’t treat an infection in your body on your own, you don’t want to self-medicate your Mac and make the problem worse. Reach out to a reliable computer tech company you trust that can help you build a stronger line of defense.

Our dedicated technicians at My Computer Works have been helping homes and businesses across the country with virus and spyware removal challenges for over 15 years. Whether your computer is infected, you’re not sure, or you want to safeguard it from the get-go, we’re here to help. 

Our technicians will thoroughly scan your computer, single out the viruses and threats, without compromising contents and the unit’s integrity. In no time, your Mac will be good as new! We want to ensure your computer lasts so we’ll advise you on how to keep your computer protected for years to come. 

Reach out to us and we’ll walk you through the options that best suit you and your Mac.

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