how to uninstall MacKeeper – updated

MacKeeper – also known as 911 Bundle‘ in the App store — yes, you’ve seen the ads all over the internet, pop ups on your favourite webpages, it seems to be everywhere.

Many people that download and use MacKeeper experience severe problems as a result. If you have installed MacKeeper and wish to remove it, read on.

Uninstalling MacKeeper 2012

If you have used MacKeeper to encrypt any data, unencrypt it now. If you remove MacKeeper without unencrypting your data first, you will not be able to access it later. This only applies to data encrypted with MacKeeper, and not data encrypted using Mac OS built-in encryption services or using any other program.

Once that is done, you can follow MacKeeper’s uninstall instructions here:

http://help.mackeeper.zeobit.com/Manual/GettingStarted/UninstallingMacKeeper.html

These instructions promise that they will remove all MacKeeper’s associated files (see the note ‘Important’ at the bottom of their page). However, you may wish to do Step 4 in the procedure below for earlier versions of MacKeeper to check MacKeeper does not have access to your Keychain.



Uninstalling earlier versions of MacKeeper

If you have a version of MacKeeper earlier than MacKeeper 2012 you should follow the procedure below. You may not find ALL of the following, but any you do find should be removed.

Preparation:
i. Again, a warning: if you have used MacKeeper’s encryption feature, be sure to unencrypt before you uninstall MacKeeper.

Time Machine
ii. If you use Time Machine, leave it connected and do the Time Machine Step (TM step) where indicated. Instructions for the TM step are given in the box in step 1 below.

Clones
iii. If you use a clone without archiving, disconnect the clone and run the procedure below on your internal disk. When it is complete and you have verified everything is OK, connect your clone and wipe the partition using Disk Utility. Then make a new clone.

iv. If you use a clone with archiving, reboot into your clone now and run the procedure below on the clone first. Then shutdown your computer, disconnect the clone from the system and reboot into your internal drive. Run the entire procedure again on your internal drive.

Trash
v. If you have anything in the Trash, empty it now before you start.



The Uninstall Procedure:
Once you have prepared everything as above, you’re ready to start the uninstall procedure.

1. If MacKeeper is running, quit it. From the sidebar in any Finder window, choose your hard disk icon and go to your Library folder. Look in the Application Support folder for the folder inside it called ‘MacKeeper’:

/Library/Application Support/MacKeeper

Click on the folder once.

TM Step
If you are using Time Machine do the TM Step now.

Enter Time Machine via the TM icon on your menubar at the top of your screen.
Click the little gear/cog in the Finder window and choose ‘delete all backups of xxx file’.
Enter your Admin password to confirm the delete. Exit Time Machine and then…

If you don’t use TM or after you have completed the TM step, hold down the ‘command’ key and press the ‘delete’ key once to send the file to the trash.

2. Still in Library, look for and trash any of these you find in the same way, remembering if you have Time Machine to do the TM step first in each case:

/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.AntiVirus

/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plugin.AntiTheft.daemon

3. If you are using OS X Lion 10.7 or later, use the ‘Go’ menu in Finder’s menubar and hold down the ‘option’ key. Choose ‘Library’ from the menu (yes, this is a different Library folder from the one you were just in). If you are using Snow Leopard or Leopard, just click on the little ‘Home‘ icon in the Finder sidebar and navigate to the Library. Then trash any and all of these that you find, remembering to do the TM step (if applicable) first in each case:

Home/Library/Caches/com.zeobit.MacKeeper

Home/Library/Caches/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper

Home/Library/LaunchAgents/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper

Home/Library/LaunchAgents/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plugin.Backup.agent

Home/Library/Preferences/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plist

Home/Library/Preferences/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper.plist



Be careful not to delete the wrong files: only those that have got the words ‘zeobit’, ‘MacKeeper’, ’911′ or ’911bundle’ should be trashed.

4. Go to Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access.app and double click on it. Notice the padlock in the window is up there on the left, rather than down the bottom. Click on it and enter your admin password. Now go through all the items in the ‘Keychains‘ list (such as Login, System, Root) with ‘All items’ selected in the ‘Category’ list. Anything you find related to ‘MacKeeper’ or ‘zeobit’, click on it, then choose Edit > Delete from the menu.
(Thanks to Al for also mentioning this point in the Comments below! :) ).

5. Open the Activity Monitor utility (Applications>Utilities>Activity Monitor.app), make sure ‘All Processes’ is showing in the drop down menu just over on the right of the dialogue box, then scroll down the list and see if any processes called ‘MacKeeper’, ‘zeobit’ or ’911 bundle’ are still running. Older versions of MacKeeper may have a ‘WINE’ process running, so also look for ‘wine’. Anything you find, click on it and hit ‘Quit Process’ (top left).

6. Go to your Applications folder from a Finder window and select MacKeeper (if you have Time Machine, do the TM step now). Then, hold down ‘command’ and press ‘delete’ once. If you assigned MacKeeper to be pinned in the Dock, be sure to also drag the icon off the Dock and release it anywhere over the desktop. It will, satisfyingly, disappear in the ‘poof’ of a cloud. :D

7. When you’re done filling up your trash can with all this junk, click on the Finder> Empty Trash.

8. Go to

 > System Preferences > Users & Groups (or ‘Accounts’ for Snow L) | Login Items

If you see anything to do with MacKeeper in the list of items there, highlight it, then click the little minus ‘-’ button near the bottom of the list.

9. Restart your Mac. Everything should be back to normal, but check the Activity Monitor one last time to be sure.

10. After restart, be sure to fix your system permissions. If you encounter any problems that you did not have before, fix the ACLs too.

**If you are running a clone, remember to follow the instructions given above under “Preparation: Clones”.**

Supplementary: If you have a problem with MacKeeper pop-ups while using your browser, try clearing out the caches, like this:

In Safari menubar, choose ‘Safari > Reset Safari’. Make sure all the options are checked.
This will not only clear out your caches, but everything else stored by the browser. Don’t worry, it won’t affect your bookmarks, but it will reset your ‘top sites’ and history.

In Firefox menubar, choose ‘Tools > Clear Recent History…’ and choose ‘Everything’. Again, it’ll clear everything out but won’t delete your bookmarks.

Obviously, if you use any other browsers like Opera or something you’ll have to find the same options for those too.

Related Posts
block MacKeeper and other browser ads
protect your mac from malware viruses and other threats
FastTasks 2 – get the free utility app from Sqwarq.com
Adware Removal Tool (external site)


NOTES
1. If you have any problems carrying out the steps, try starting your Mac up in Safe mode, and then running the procedure.
2. You can safely ignore any MacKeeper files that are in the Logs, BOM or Receipts folders.
3. If you have only downloaded the MacKeeper package but not ran the installer, you only need to send the .pkg file in your Downloads folder to the Trash. That’s it!

Acknowledgements
This post has been refined and improved over time thanks to suggestions and replies made in the Comments and on Apple Support Communities. Thanks especially to Al, Lyndon and Jack.

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About philastokes

Freelance Writer, Developer and Technical Communicator. Explaining the unexplainable with images, video and text. Scripting anything imaginable in Applescript, Bash, C, Objective C, Cocoa, Python and Xcode.

Posted on September 21, 2011, in OS X Lion, Snow Leopard and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 606 Comments.

  1. Okay I’ve stupidly purchased Mackeeper 2013 6 weeks ago on my Mac Mini running 10.8.4. At the time I installed it I was running snow leopard and then upgraded to mountain lion soon after. I too am having trouble with my mac. I have followed your instructions, however the problem that I have is when I place the Mackeeper icon from the App folder (using command-shift-A as well) into the trash it does not ask me for my password nor does the uninstall window come up. For now I have not trashed it just in case and I have placed the Mackeeper icon back into the applications folder, until I get some more advice. I look forward to your reply.

    • Throw it in the trash. Hit ‘empty’ and see what happens.

      The worst that can happen is it doesn’t get deleted. Then we can look at how to solve that. Likely it’ll either delete or ask you for your password at that point.

      Of course, you have your entire system and personal data backed up on an external drive before you do anything… :)

  2. I just downloaded mackeeper (I FEEL SO STUPID!) It did it’s scan thing and then I read commens about it and realized what an idiot I was. I put it in the trash right after and it asked me to uninstall so I did. I then deleted all of my trash. WIll my mac be fine? do I still have to worry about getting issues from it? (As I just installed it today I havent had an issues) Also will it force me to pay money?

  3. After trashing it and entering my password, I did not get a window asking if I want to uninstall it… Is there something wrong with that or is it okay to just skip that step and move on to the next?

    • That sounds like expected behaviour, Ashley. There shouldn’t be a message asking you to uninstall when you send any app to the Trash. Those kind of messages are usually generated by the app itself when you use its own installer, not when you do a manual uninstall procedure.

      • Awesome, thank you!

      • i did not get the uninstall window too. how do i uninstall it? i did all the steps above but i dont have any of those keywords anywhere like mention above. so i empty my trash. is it fully uninstall now?

  4. I realize now that Mackeeper has caused several headaches over the past year or so. Some people were too naive to realize that it is indeed a scam, but whoever wrote the malicious code knows it is their way of taking advantage.

    So over the past month my Macbook has declined in performance. Like others who have posted, Mackeeper is the problem. But unfortunately I have encountered another problem.

    My Macbook is now shutting itself off deliberately, even on a full battery. iCal now sets the date to random times (even going back as far as January 1, 2000). I am signed off from my own WiFi and I have to use a password each time I turn on the Macbook. Once I sign in my Macbook shuts down. There are no issues with overheating and everything else as far as I’m aware of is running fine. Now I can’t even attempt to rid my system of Mackeeper because the system keeps shutting itself off.

    …and of course, Mackeeper keeps asking me for the admin password.

    I really don’t want to take my Macbook down to the Apple Store, but it seems I have no choice.

    Is there any advice I can use to try to get my system back in working order?

    I am running a Macbook 10.6.8, and the Mackeeper is the 2012 version.

    I shouldn’t of fallen prey to Zeobit’s trap.

    • It sounds like you may have some issues that are in addition to anything MacKeeper may be causing. I recommend you visit a more general problem solving forum such as the Apple Communities Support forum and post to the Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard area
      https://discussions.apple.com/community/mac_os/mac_os_x_v10.6_snow_leopard. Once there download and run EtreCheck http://www.etresoft.com/etrecheck and post the results along with the above description of your issues for fastest response.

    • Aside from what Al has advised, you might try an SMC reset

      http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964

      but if that doesn’t work you may well have hardware issues, and should probably think about taking it into an Apple store for a full diagnostic.

      • Ian Sadlier

        I realize that my Macbook was shutting down because of a bad adapter, which I had bought online a year ago. The guys in Apple Store were quick to realize that the adapter I bought was in fact a counterfeit. There was no orange light (which you will see when your battery is being charged) with the counterfeit, so with extended warranty I was able to get a new adapter with no cost.

        Mackeeper is still asking me for my password, so hopefully with the steps provided I should be able to get rid of it.

        Thanks for applying the steps for everyone having problems with Mackeeper.

  5. Krescent Crucet

    Thank you so much for this easy to follow, step by step guide. I am no computer guru by any means and I usually have to rely on my teenage sons to ‘help’ me. Which means they jump on my mac with fingers flying over the keys and I never am able to follow what they are doing. I know where to go now when I have any issues.

    Thank You!

  6. Thanks so much for running this blog and helping us non-techie types out.
    I stupidly downloaded Mackeeper late the other night – i.e. 2 AM – because I must have had a temporary brain fart! As it was running checking my MacBookPro for “problems” and I allowed it to start to clean the errors – it dawned on me that I had not checked it out before downloading it.
    And then I saw the dreaded word – MALWARE – Ouch.And I’m usually sooooo careful.

    Anyway, I let it clean – which it only seemed to do a few files before you have pay, but, I never gave it access to my MAC by typing in my password. So my question is – did I encrypt my files? I have no idea how to encrypt the files – can you explain?

    By the way, thanks to your blog, I believe I have completely uninstalled MacKeeper and emptied my trash and my computer seems to be running well. But, I keep getting update e-mails from them now. Do I just throw them into my SPAM? Can they get any access into my computer now that I have uninstalled?

    • These are all common questions I get asked a lot, so here’s the best answers I can give to you or anyone else with the same queries. Hope it helps! :) Phil.

      did I encrypt my files?

      You didn’t encrypt any files unless you specifically chose the encryption function in MacKeeper and followed the instructions for creating and encrypting a folder. Only you will know if you did that or not, I’m afraid, but from what you have described above it doesn’t sound like you did that.

      I keep getting update e-mails from them now.

      You get update emails from them probably because you gave them your email address at some point when you signed up. You could see if there is an ‘unsubscribe to emails’ option in one of the emails they sent you, or mark the emails as junk so they get filtered out. Alternatively, define a rule in Apple Mail > Preferences > Rules that will automatically delete all mail from zeobit.

      Can they get any access into my computer now that I have uninstalled?

      They should not be able to access your computer unless you signed up for and allowed remote access. This is a feature that their support team offer for troubleshooting. As far as I know, that feature is not enabled by default and, in any case, requires authentication (giving of your password) at your end before it could be implemented. I’m afraid I don’t know whether their remote login feature survives uninstalling the app – it could do, as remote login is possible on OS X without MacKeeper, but I think you’d know if you had set this up. It requires several steps that presumably you would have remembered doing.

      If you have any doubt as to whether you did allow remote login, go to System Preferences > Sharing and make sure that ‘Remote Login’, ‘Remote Management’ and ‘Remote Apple Events’ are all unchecked. For good measure, also uncheck ‘System Preferences > Energy Saver > Wake for network access’ (unless you are using this or the other services yourself for some reason).

      All in all, from what you’ve described above, it sounds as if you’re MacKeeper free.

  7. Gillian Evans

    Hi Phil,

    Thank you for providing this wonderful service.

    I too have suffered all the problems that your other commentators have complained of after installing MacKeeper.

    I followed your very clear instructions for manual uninstall and am happy that I did it properly.

    I put all the zeobit and MacKeeper files I found in the trash.

    I then “emptied” the trash of everything but here’s the problem….it’s not empty.

    There is still a folder called MacKeeper containing a file called “AntiVirus.app” which is 12.9 MB in size according to the Trash Can info, but when I click on “Quick Look” it’s only 89 KB.

    I’m worried that the difference in size means it’s hiding malicious content. (I’m paranoid after the serious problems caused by MacKeeper)

    However, somewhere it said it was Linux & I thought it said MacOS also, but I can’t get that info back up again to confirm this.

    When I try to empty the trash again it says it can’t because “the application is still running or in operation” (sorry not the exact phrase).

    If I try to open the app it says it can’t because it’s in the trash.

    I tried to put it back from the trash to the applications folder but there was no option in the drop down menu.

    I then copied it & pasted it back to applications and tried to open it again from there and again from the trash but with no success.

    I deleted the copy in the applications folder. I went to check the trash and it says I can’t open it because it’s being emptied.

    I’m stuck.

    My questions are:
    (1) Is this AntiVirus.app part of MacOS or is it part of MacKeeper?
    (2) If it is part of MacOS how do I get it back where it belongs & where does it belong?
    (3) If it’s part of MacKeeper how do I empty it out of my trash?
    (4) I’ve never encountered the “can’t open trash because it’s being emptied” message before. Is this normal Mac behaviour or is part of MacKeeper’s arsenal?
    (5) WillI I ever be able to & how can I access & empty my trash again?
    (6) Is there anything else I should be asking?

    Thank you so much for helping me, I really do appreciate it enormously.

    Kind regards,

    Gillian

    • Hi Gillian

      AntiVirus.app is not part of Mac OS X and should be deleted.

      To do so, please shutdown and restart the computer. After restart, you should be able to empty the Trash.

      • Gillian Evans

        Hi Phil,

        It worked !

        The trash is now empty and a search of my files failed to find any trace of macKeeper.

        Wooo Hooo !

        Thank you so much.

        I am going to make a donation so you can sustain this great service.

        I encourage others to do the same. We all need to eat !

        Many thanks again Phil,

        Cheers,

        Gillian

  8. Hi,
    I have installed MacKeeper also and have now issues with my word documents that won’t open anymore. I like to uninstall it but before that you say I have to unencrypt it . How will I do that, I am not a wizard with my computer :(

    • Please read the instructions carefully. It says **if** you used the MacKeeper encryption feature, you must decrypt any files that you encrypted first.

      **If** you did that, you will have to refer to MacKeeper help manual/tech support on how to undo it. I can’t offer any technical support on how to use 3rd party software.

      If you **didn’t** do that, then follow the instructions on how to uninstall as given.

      However – if you feel any doubt about your own ability to follow the instructions precisely, get someone who is more proficient with computers to do it for you. You could cause more harm than you’re trying to prevent if you don’t follow the instructions exactly.

  9. I’ve removed it to my trash and done everything you’ve said above (thank you so much for this “blog” by the way) but it won’t delete from my trash even with “secure empty trash”. What else do I need to do? It says “The operation can’t be completed because and unexpected error occurred (error code -8003).” I’ve tried restarting a few times now and also done a search on my whole computer for the two keywords: mackeeper and zeobit. The only place it’s showing up is in my Email as a “welcome message” in my InBox. Should I be deleting that too? I’m in the process of running a scan on my Hard Drive and Home with Avast! Free Antivirus software and it’s only coming up with warnings so far …

  10. To clarify (just in case). When I say “LaunchAgents” I mean the files listed there by Phil to delete:

    Home/Library/LaunchAgents/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper

    Home/Library/LaunchAgents/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plugin.Backup.agent

    These were launching every 10 sec. for over 2 years trying to find a home ( a deleted file). Filling the daily.out log with infinite (and I mean infinite) streams of:

    Fri Mar 29 06:42:29 admin-admins-power-mac-g4-3 com.apple.launchd.peruser.502[103] (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper[19882]) : Exited with exit code: 1
    Fri Mar 29 06:42:29 admin-admins-power-mac-g4-3 com.apple.launchd.peruser.502[103] (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper) : Throttling respawn: Will start in 10 seconds
    Fri Mar 29 06:42:39 admin-admins-power-mac-g4-3 com.apple.launchd.peruser.502[103] (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper[19883]) : Exited with exit code: 1
    Fri Mar 29 06:42:39 admin-admins-power-mac-g4-3 com.apple.launchd.peruser.502[103] (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper) : Throttling respawn: Will start in 10 seconds
    Fri Mar 29 06:42:49 admin-admins-power-mac-g4-3 com.apple.launchd.peruser.502[10

    Thanks again. Wm

  11. Thanks so much for this Phil. Everything worked perfectly.Things I’d like to mention from personal exprience:

    If “LaunchAgents” isn’t deleted, it will fill your daily.out log file forever.

    After using the first part of your tutorial I found no bits in /Library/Application Support/MacKeeper or /Library/LaunchDaemons/ (I had done the drag and drop to trash via the website’s tutorial two years ago). Also nothing in Home/Library/Caches/.

    I encourage everyone to plow further. The Home/Library/LaunchAgents/ seemed to be the culprit for me, but I also found a file in Home/Library/Preferences/ as well. I did this first with my HD clone (using Carbon Copy Coner) to make sure I didn’t screw anything up.

    I think “LaunchAgents” was trying to run MacKeeper every 10 sec. (for over two years) and was filling up my daily.out log file to a massive size ( 10.3 gigs, and slowing things down). Ironic since it claims to help you clear your HD and speed it up. It did just the opposite, filled my HD and slowed it down.

    It’s a good idea to check your daily.out file via Console.app. It may be still filling.

    If you have ever downloaded MacKeeper, I strongly suggest you view your daily.out log file via Console.app. You can see Mackeeper working simply by viewing “All Messeages” in Console if it’s still running… or trying to run (every 10 sec.), that is the problem, and follow carefully all the steps listed here (you are there now) http://applehelpwriter.com/2011/09/21/how-to-uninstall-mackeeper-malware/ .Use the 2nd portion of the tutorial. Do not trust that by simply dragging and dropping the app. file into trash you have gotten rid of this beast (even though Mackeeper says you can).

    Ironically, I found this anomaly using the freeware GrandPerspective (1.5.1) http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/ and noticed a huge, very pretty, yet clear (not subdivided) block in the colored rectangles right away (the software was so intuitive, I simply clicked the block and then the “Reveal” button) and saw that my daily.out file (a file I didn’t even know I had) was at 10.3 gigs

    I find it ironic simply because I’m using freeware to free up hard disk space and speed up the computer, by getting rid of malware that claimed to do the same (Mackeeper) for a fee.

    Onward… You then need to go into terminal (something I’ve never done before… just be careful and unintimidated) and follow these instructions to delete or empty your daily.out log file. (cannot be done with a simple drag and drop to trash). I found terminal instructions for deleting (not harmful and will reconstruct) or emptying the daily.out files here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1229894
    After a try or two, this did not work for me somehow… (user error?) but this did…

    Some files are locked. In order to delete locked files, go to Apps/Utilities/Terminal, use Terminal command line : sudo rm -rf …add one space after “f” then drag the file “daily.out” that grandperspective “revealed” into the terminal (it should read ….) hit “return/enter” type admin. password. Hit “return” again.

    The files should delete. You will see more HD space (in my case 10.3 gigs… small these days perhaps, but can throw an almost full HD off). The daily.out log file should reconstruct on your mac’s next scheduled daily. Obviously, you should read your daily.out log file via Console.app first before delete to determine the problem.

    Hope this helps, and thanks so much.

  12. Thanks for the help. I did have a snag, though. I am using Mac OS 10.5.8 and Time Machine backup. When I tried to do the Time Machine step I never found and option to “delete all backups of xxx file”. Do Ineed to worry about that?

    • No, probably not, so long as you don’t do a restore of any folders in TM that contain MacKeeper.

      If it were me, I’d disconnect the TM disk, ensure Mackeeper is cleaned off my internal disk, make a clone with Carbon Copy Cloner, then wipe the Time Machine disk and create a new TM backup from scratch.

      That assumes you’re not deliberately keeping old backups on TM as archives (you shouldn’t use TM for archiving anyway; anything you want to keep permanently should be copied off to another disk).

    • Once you have found and highlighted the file, click on the gear symbol in the window toolbar to see that “Action”.

  13. the icon is still at the top and its still in my applications folder, really frustrating.

    • > the icon is still at the top
      At the top of what? If you are referring to your menu bar, next to the apple, then it just means that it’s still running. Select “Quit” form that menu then drag it from your Applications folder to the Trash Can.

  14. Pretty sure I just messed something up. I went through the steps for “earlier versions” of MacKeeper even though I installed MacKeeper 2012 because I wasn’t reading properly. Now, when I go into Applications to try to drag the MacKeeper icon to the Trash, it won’t let me. I also just noticed I do have Time Machine (didn’t know that or what it even is because I know nothing about computers) but it says it’s turned off and always has been. So why can’t I seem to get rid of MacKeeper entirely?
    When I go to Activity Monitor and try to Quit or Force Quit MacKeeper Helper, it disappears for a second then comes right back. I don’t understand….:S

    • > Now, when I go into Applications to try to drag the MacKeeper icon to the Trash, it won’t let me.

      What error message do you get when “it won’t let” you? Are you logged in as an admin user? What OS X are you running?

      > When I go to Activity Monitor and try to Quit or Force Quit MacKeeper Helper, it disappears for a second then comes right back.

      Yes, the system is told to keep it alive. It’s going to continue to do that until you trash Home/Library/LaunchAgents/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper and reboot.

  15. What if I started to run the installer, freaked out and cut the internet connection before it finished the process? I looked for things that said zeobit/911/MacKeeper all over the laptop and couldn’t find anything. Seemed a lttle weird to me, because the installer was going for such a long time, I was certain I’d find something.

  16. I guess they named it MacKeeper because it grabs control of your Mac and keeps it forever.

  17. Oh jeez.
    I just successfully got through step 5 – but every time I tried to delete the process called Mackeeper (the only one in the list I was seeing), I would wait a half a second, and it would pop back up. The PID kept changing – like 715 one time, then 732, then 717…I went in to the applications folder and deleted the Mackeeper there, but it wouldn’t let me empty the trash because a few of the offending files were in use. So I went and deleted the Mackeeper process, and then within that half second emptied the trash. Poof. Haven’t seen it come back up.
    Also, I ran “keychain first aid” and see a lot of those files back, so no more panic. Thanks again.

  18. About backups and recovery. If I have Mackeeper on backup files, and I backup recent files after having deleted mackeeper and say I needed to restore the backup files. Can I just back up from the most recent files without re-installing mackeeper?

    • I’m not sure exactly what you’re describing. If you’re using Time Machine you should be able to restore individual files and folders in your User accounts without worrying about MacKeeper. However, beware of restoring any System folders (and that includes you Applications folder) that contain MacKeeper files.

      If you’re using some other kind of backup system such as a clone, if you restore the entire clone with MacKeeper on it that will indeed cause MacKeeper to be reinstalled.

      If you have to use the Recovery option in Lion/Mountain Lion, and you restore the OS from a Time Machine backup, you could inadvertently reinstall MacKeeper if it or any of its executable files are present in the last saved version of any of the folders being restored.

      There are instructions in the main post on how to remove Mackeeper from Time Machine. Another alternative is to simply scrub your current TM backup disk and start again with a fresh backup. Obviously, that will cause you to lose all your history of older backups.

  19. yeah, I read about the donation. Gave twice. Asked Questions twice. Got answers or some kind of response: 0.

  20. @Phil- Donation made.

    All of us here who were walked through the process of removing the invasive MacKeeper from our system should really send him a little ‘thank you’ donation.

  21. When searching 911 is it those numbers in a chain? For example ’8911.html’ or ‘r2911.html? Or is it simply searching only for those numbers alone?

    • “911″ alone. It only applies if you downloaded the Zeobit app ’911 Bundle’ from the App store. In your case, that’s probably not relevant so you can ignore the instructions about searching for 911.

  22. Regarding last post. I also used EasyFinder and it cannot find anything under mackeeper, zeobit or 911

  23. Hi, I copied and pasted ‘cd /Library/Application\ Support’ etc and received the following but I don’t know what it means.

    Hewlett-Packard SubmitDiagInfo
    .. Macromedia iDVD
    .DS_Store Microsoft iLifeMediaBrowser
    Apple NetServices iLifeSlideshow
    CrashReporter ProApps iPhoto
    GarageBand ResearchSoft iWork ’09

    Please help! I’m at my wits end! Every time I look at the console I find ‘Mackeeper. plugin.AntiTheft.daemon’

    • I wondered about that myself. I would expect it to be

      /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plugin.AntiTheft.daemon

      • The /Library/Application Support folder was mentioned a few posts down in relation to looking for the MacKeeperATd folder. Nothing to do with looking for this file.

        As Al says, it should be in /Library/LaunchDaemons.

        Regarding EasyFind, be sure you set it up as in the image here

        • Okay so I went back to EasyFind and changed “home” to “LIbrary” and found the menacing com.zeobit.mackeeper.plugin.antitheft.daemon.plist and feeling ecstatic I press on delete but it wont delete this item. What do I do now?

          • Use the “Reveal In Finder” button to open a window with it highlighted, then drag it to your trash can. It will probably ask for your admin password.

          • This was it for me. The above image that philastokes mentioned isn’t there anymore. If you hadn’t said change “home” to “Library” I would have never found that those damn files!

            Thanks, everyone!

        • I finally managed to delete it and its completely off my machine. Thank you so much. I will make a donation. Thanks so much.

  24. Amazing!
    You must be a nice men, Phil. Thanks for all the hints and the article.
    MK is really a slow-downer, a better name might be: MacKiller…
    Usually I clean any distortion in my MBP with MainMenu, I’ll stick to that!

  25. Hi Phil, I was sent to your site by a concerned friend. I’m having a lot of problems with my Mac right now and that was one of his questions (Did or do you have MacKeeper)… however on the advice of an lady at the Genius Bar at Apple I uninstalled it using App Cleaner from the App Store… I was wondering if you or anyone else reading this would know if that is sufficient. I also have Time Machine but hadn’t thought of that until I read this so I’m Assuming I’ll still have to take the steps you laid out? Thanks for your time…

    • Hi Dave

      I’ve never used App Cleaner so I can’t comment on what it does or doesn’t do, I’m afraid, nor would I personally trust or recommend removing system files by an automated process.

      I’d be very surprised if it has cleaned out your Keychain or repaired your permissions, amongst other things.

      You might try contacting the developers of App Cleaner for an explanation of what it actually does with regard to MacKeeper.

      • Thanks fill, I followed your instructions and the only file I could find was the
        /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.AntiVirus file. But I checked everything else (caches, preferences, keychain and activity monitor etc) and couldn’t find anything else? Does that sound like we’ve gotten it all out?

  26. You’re a legend! I was about to give up, thinking that it was my Mac giving up on me. You’ve just saved me $2000 and a bunch of heartache. Thank you thank you! Zeobit, kiss my ass!

  27. Great help. Thanks a million! Buh Bye, Mackeeper.

  28. man, your a star, thanks for taking the time for a thorough, and i mean thorough exorcism!!

  29. Nothing indicating how to unencrypt all data/files which may have been encrypted by ‘Mackeeper’. As first step in this ‘correcting set of procedures’, how is this done? Thank you very much.
    Brian
    [edited by Admin - /email removed/ - do not post email addresses, it attracts spam. Thanks.]

    • Encryption is one of MacKeeper’s optional functions. If you didn’t use it, you can ignore this step.

      If you did use it, but don’t know how to unencrypt, consult MacKeeper documentation or Zeobit support.

      I don’t offer any advice on how to use MacKeeper, only how to uninstall it.

  30. You really hit the nail on the head with a excellent write-up with a bit of fantastic
    information

  31. I have followed the instructions I believe to the T but I still see in the Activity Monitor “MacKeeperATd” and no matter what I seem to do with the instructions it will not go away?

    • Just restart your Mac and it won’t be there.

      • Nope sorry still there??

        • Find and delete

          /Library/Application Support/MacKeeperATd

          and you’re done.

          • I must have done something wrong as I do not see that anywhere?

          • That’s the Library folder directly in your HDD drive, not the one in your user home directory (nor the one in the System folder).

            If you’re 100% sure you’re looking in the right place and it’s not there, and you’re still seeing MacKeeperATd in Activity monitor after a restart, you need to use EasyFind to track down its location.

            You can find a link to EasyFind in my Free Downloads tab at the top of this page.

            Edit: it could be that the MacKeeperATd is a hidden folder, so to check, just go into Terminal and copy/paste this:

            cd /Library/Application\ Support

            and hit ‘return’ on your keyboard. Then type

            ls -a

            and ‘return’ to see if its listed.

          • Found it finally, my miss! Now it’s finally all gone, thanks!

  32. Hello. The guide seems great and I want to get rid of my mackeeper. One problem though.
    The guide starts with “go to /Library/Application Support/MacKeeper”

    I do not have a mackeeper folder in my application support folder. I am on OS X 10.6.8, and version 1.9 of mackeeper installed. Any idea where I can find it?

    I also noticed someone else having the same problem within the comments, so it seems to be a common problem?

  33. Thanks a lot. Very useful step-by-step procedure.
    Luigi

  34. Sampath Kannan

    Hi, I followed all the steps and got to the step where I had to remove MacKeeper Helper from the processes listed in the activity monitor window. I tried quitting it and then force quitting it, since quitting didn’t work. It goes away for a second and then pops back into the list of processes. I have tried repeatedly with the same effect. How do I handle this?

    Thanks for your advice.

  35. Hello,
    Thanks so much for taking this time to give this information to people who need it. I am so sick of seeing these intrusive pop-ups everywhere I go. I finally decided to google “Mac-Keeper” because I was curious if it was related “mac defender” or any of the other malware B.S “Security” programs out there. Sure enough it is malware of some kind. I hope these people choke in their sleep.

  36. I was advised by a person from Apple to NOT use any links which go via zeobit site, your shortcut takes me there. I am reluctant to use it, yet I REALLY want to rid my PC of the rotten apple (excuse the pun). Any other suggestions please.

    • Hi Donna

      If you don’t trust the info I gave in the main post, why would you trust what I say in the comments? Just a thought… ;)

      As for Apple’s advice, well, that sounds like a blanket warning to avoid all Zeobit/MacKeeper links, which in all other cases I would agree with as they have a habit of using links to download their software without warning. However, this is only a link to their uninstall information.

      The link is safe; it basically just tells you to dump MK in the trash. However, you should read it fully. If you don’t want to follow the link I provide, you can try the manual uninstall procedure in the rest of the post although much of it won’t be applicable to MK 2012.

  37. Thought I would mention, tonight I went to a web page on deviantart, a well known artists sight, and upon accessing a persons’ profile, the mackeeper popup page appeared instead, and when I attempted to close the window, it self-downloaded rather than performing the operation of closing the window, so I would venture these bozo’s are still up to the same tricks, and possibly worse. I do believe that is a form of browser hijack. They should be jailed for cyberterrorism.

  38. THANK YOU THANK YOU. YOUR INSTRUCTIONS DID THE TRICK!!!!

  39. Here’s my concern: I clicked on the download bar after I listened to the spokesperson guy in the red shirt. It said it fixed only some of my problems because the demo reached its limit and there are still a bunch of problems (system is “critical”) to fix. I know now it’s all BS. But now I have the robot icon below. Can’t get rid of it. And when it’s clicked the MacKeeper 2012 window comes up. I just want to make sure that all I got was the demo and nothing more. Haven’t given any CC info or anything. Just created a password for the demo “cleanup” and that’s it. Am I good? And how do I now get rid of the icon and, in turn, the MacKeeper window. Sorry for the simpleton questions. Much appreciated.

  40. Phil, thank you!!! My computer is finally running more like normal after I followed all your tips. It was installing Lion that I think did it for me!
    Thank

  41. Im dragging mackeeper into the trash but its not going anywhere, what can i do to get rid off it?

  42. I use Time Machine periodically…I’m not continuously connected. Do I need to connect to my TM to conduct this uninstall?

    • No need, but whether connected or not, MacKeeper will still be backed up to TM for some period of time, so if you ever have to restore from TM be sure and remember that you may need to uninstall MacKeeper again after the restore completes. Attempting to delete it from your TM at this time would be more trouble than it’s worth to you.

  43. The steps provided worked well, and the pointers to Find Any File and EasyFind were extremely useful. I also found in the google search that brought me to this fine forum. That page is nearly the one which suckered me into downloading and installing MacKeeper, a loathsome marketing tool; I only wish I knew which software I was trying to obtain when this happened.`

    BTW, I tried to understand how to register for this forum and failed. Please advise. And thanks for hosting it.

    • Hi Glenn,

      First comments are moderated, which means there is a delay between your first post and your comment appearing. Subsequent comments should appear much faster (occassionally, WordPress sends them for moderation too, I’m not sure based on what, but more often than not second and further comments are pre-approved).

      Best

      Phil

  44. Tks. Very useful and easy steps.

  45. Hi, can somebody help me? I have uninstalled the MacKepper app, but still get this log in the console:

    10/11/12 10:26:38.049 PM com.apple.launchd.peruser.501: (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper[11770]) posix_spawn(“/Applications/MacKeeper.app/Contents/Resources/MacKeeper Helper.app/Contents/MacOS/MacKeeper Helper”, …): No such file or directory
    10/11/12 10:26:38.050 PM com.apple.launchd.peruser.501: (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper[11770]) Exited with code: 1
    10/11/12 10:26:38.050 PM com.apple.launchd.peruser.501: (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper) Throttling respawn: Will start in 10 seconds

    What to do to get rid of it?

    • Have you removed Mackeeper from your login items? Check in

       > System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items

      Remove it and restart the computer.

    • And after you delete the the mackeeper.helper file, you must reboot to stop the log entries.

      • Ok. But how can I find the mackeeper.helper? From the log I understand that this app is trying to start mackeeper, but finds no file in the directory. Am I correct? Or is this an app – com.apple.launchd.peruser.501?

        • Step 3 above tells you it’s in Home/Library/LaunchAgents/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper

          • in /LaunchAgents I have only those tree rows:
            com.adobe.ARM.202f4087f2bbde52e3ac2df389f53a4f123223c9cc56a8fd83a6f7ae.plist
            com.google.GoogleContactSyncAgent.plist
            com.google.keystone.agent.plist
            But I still get the message in Console

          • We could keep guessing about where it might be, but I think it’s time to haul out the big guns. Download either EasyFind http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/freeware.html or Find Any File http://apps.tempel.org/FindAnyFile/ (also in the AppStore) and search for “com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper” without the quotes. When you find it let Phil know where and what version of MacKeeper you had.

            While you’re at it, look around for anything else that has either “mackeeper” or “xeobit” in the file name.

          • As Al says, the answer here is to use EasyFind. If you have any backup disks connected (Time Machine, Archive or Clones), be sure to search All Volumes.

            However, be judicious about how you delete anything found on a backup. If it’s an Archive disk, you can just go ahead and delete it from within EasyFinder. Time Machine and Clones must be dealt with differently or you’ll risk corrupting them.

            For Time Machine: find the parent folder on your internal HD of any backed up Mackeeper files. Restore the MK file, then delete it and its backup (see the instructions given under ‘Time Machine Step’ in the main post above for how to delete all backups of a file).

            For clones, boot into the clone first and then remove the MacKeeper files.

            I’d very much appreciate knowing the location of the .helper file when you track it down and which version of MK you were using (2012 or earlier? Full or Demo?)

            Also, did you sign up for an account when you installed MacKeeper that requires your internet connection to be on?

          • I am not able to reply to your last comment so I write here. I have found only this: path /private/var/db/receipts – there are 4 files: com.zeobit.Mackeeper.affid.pkg.com, … Mackeeper.affid.pkg.plist, …Mackeeper.pkg.com, … Mackeeper.pkg.plist. Should I remove?

          • Hi Gordon, I think we need to start this procedure from scratch. Please do the following (you may wish to print or copy these instructions first).

            1. Disconnect from the internet.

            2. Disconnect all external disks (if you have more than one internal disk, ensure the one you’re not booting into is dismounted).

            3. Restart your mac in safe mode. To do this, turn your mac off, then turn it on again while also holding down the ‘Shift’ key. Keep the ‘Shift’ key held down until you see the Apple logo on a grey screen with a progress bar underneath it. You can let the ‘Shift’ key go now.

            If you do not see the progress bar, restart again (try holding the ‘Shift’ key down before and during hitting the power button) as you haven’t successfully entered Safe mode.

            4. Once successfully in Safe mode, log in to an admin account and check that your Wifi is still ‘off’. Leave it that way.

            5. Run EasyFind again. Set up EasyFind like this:

            easyfind

            Remove EVERYTHING that comes up with either ‘mackeeper’ or ‘zeobit’ (run both search terms separately). You can delete safely from within EasyFind. Just select all the files in EasyFind’s viewer and click the ‘Delete’ icon.

            6. Restart your mac normally. Check the Console log. Any MacKeeper error messages? Hopefully not. If so, post back here.

            7. If Console is free of any MacKeeper error messages, turn on your internet connection (but do not reconnect any external hard disks) and let the computer run for an hour or so. Restart the computer normally again and re-check Console. Do the error messages return? If so, please post back here.

            8. If not, reconnect any external disks. Restart the computer. Check Console for MackKeeper error messages. Check again after another restart about 1 hour later.

            Let us know how it goes and at what step, if any, the error messages reappear.

          • Guys I have to apologize. I prepared for the repeating of the procedure as Phil have described. And after Restarting my Mac I found out there is no more message in Console connected with MacKeeper. I really appreciate your support. Thank you!!!

          • Glad to hear its fixed!

  46. I have MacKeeper on my IMAC for about a year, ran the application today and it seem to work fine. It said it found 4 viruses. I quarantined them. I see no slowing or problems with my computer, but these posts scare me. Should I just let it stay on because of no problems? I feel if I try to delete the program, I will then get problems because it is not really an easy task and I am not an expert on computers.
    Thanks,
    Sean

    • This page is only relevant to people who have decided that they want to uninstall MacKeeper and need help with doing that. It offers no advice as to whether you should or should not do it.

      If you’re not having any problems with MacKeeper, then presumably you don’t need to uninstall it, but I can’t tell you that one way or the other.

  47. Hi!
    Ok so I followed all your instructions and now I am MacKeeper free. But there is ONE process that keeps coming up: AntiVirus. I ran a “sample” using Activity Monitor, and it shows the location as /Library/Application Support/MacKeeper/AntiVirus.app/Contents/MacOS/AntiVirus

    Which is really ODD since I deleted MacKeeper from the Application Support folder, so I can’t delete it again.
    The only thing I couldn’t do from your instructions was deleting files from the LaunchDaemons folder, since I don’t have one.

    What can I do?
    Pleeease help me
    Thanks a lot

    Best wishes,
    Francisca

    • Restart the computer again and have a look in Activity Monitor. Is it gone now?

      • Hi again :)

        After a lot of digging I manage to delete those hidden files. Restarting didn’t work, but I used the advanced search on Finder (added System Files) and looked for more “zeobit”, “MacKeeper”, etc. files. I found like 5 more files, not on the list above.

        It’s really weird though because the path showed the MacKeeper folder should’ve been there, but it wasn’t!
        But yes, after that I restarted again and the “Antivirus” process was gone.

        In case anyone else has this problem, just add “System Files” on the advanced search of Finder (there is a plus sign on the left of the screen, that allows you to make a more detailed search. Choose “Other” and then “System Files” and then “are included”). Be sure you are in the Library folder when you do this.

        Thanks philastokes! :)

        Ps: I also tried to contact MacKeeper’s live chat support. Can you believe they asked me to install ANOTHER program so that they could remotely connect to my computer? Yeah right.

  48. Great info, thank god I finally got rid of it!!!

  49. In the Activity Monitor I can’t get rid of MacKeeperATd because it is owned by root and says I need to enter an administrator password. How do I get a window to enter the password?

    • > In the Activity Monitor I can’t get rid of MacKeeperATd because it is owned by root and says I need to enter an administrator password.

      Did you use “Force Quit”? That should have given you a password dialog.

      If it doesn’t and you have moved everything to the trash, do a restart and you should find that MacKeeperATd is no longer running.

      • I deleted all the MacKeeper files I found in Libraries and such. have emptied my Trash and rebooted but the MacKeeperATd still appears in the Activity Monitor. So, I brought up a terminal and did a ps -ef and saw that MacKeeperATd had a child process with a zeerobit name which I killed with a -3 option and no longer see it in the ps -ef list. Then I did a kill -9 on MacKeeperATd’s pid. It immediately starts up again (naturally with a different pid).
        Since MacKeeperATd’s parent is launchd I must have to change launchd’s conf file but I can’r find it in either $HOME or /etc.
        Any suggestions?

        • launchd items are controlled by items in both the LaunchAgents and LaunchDeamons directories of ~/Library/ and /Library, that is the User and root libraries. Check all four for anything containing “mackeeper” or “xeobit”. Since you seem to be unix savy you can use launchctl unload to prevent them from keeping a process alive, or just trash the file and logout for user files or reboot for the all user ones.

        • I should also have mentioned that for launchd items in the /Library folder you will have to use sudo launchctl unload and for the ~/Library/ it’s launchctl unload rather than .

          • I found a MacKeeper directory in the Library so I did an rm -rf of it and everything is Okay now. Thanks for all the help.

  50. If Antivirus is is the Activity Monitor, do I have to quit that process too?

    • > If Antivirus is is the Activity Monitor, do I have to quit that process too?

      Yes, either that or simply restart your computer if you have checked that all files are in the trash.

  51. Having it installed for over a year .. I really did not have any issues.. it “seemed” to do as advertised.. in anycase.. you guys are the Gurus.. so I dumped it off all my Macs..

    Now.. any input as replacement apps that gets your gold star as a replacement for MacKeeper ? ..

    thank !!

    Matt

  52. Hello Phil – my name is Mitch. I downloaded Mackeeper yesterday. (In my defense I trusted the tuaw and Macworld recommendations). My suspicions arose when no price info came up until after the download. So I tried their phone. After nearly an hour of redials, they finally answered. That was even more alarming. I told them that was making me reconsider their product and I would have to do some more research.

    I did a search on the apple forums and found a link to this web site. Boy, am I grateful for your great help! I’m going to trash the Mackeeper but I’m inclined to run the clean up first (mindful of your warnings about the fast clean up mode). Am I crazy? Macckeeper finds 1.7 GB of junk, largely foreign language stuff.

    Thanks – Mitch

  53. Thanks… in addition, to remove the Antivirus… Kill “ANTIVIRUS” in the Process window in Activity Monitor

  54. Fantastic! I was about to take my MBP in to get a new hard drive under warrantee tomorrow. One little glitch in the process was trying to empty the trash – wouldn’t let me empty the trash completely because two tasks – one of which was virus.app and I can’t remember the other (despite quitting MacKeeper). All it took was one restart and then it deleted fine. and, that trash emptying noise was lush!

    Thank you so much Phil!

  55. Phil- Thanks for all the info on getting rid of Mackeeper. I’m pretty naive when it comes to computers but I read a lot & am always trying to learn. I was able to get rid of all files & backups, even the pesky mackeeper & antivirus in Activity Monitor. Anyhow still being suspicious I went to a finder window & typed in mackeeper. Besides coming up with my PayPal receipt, which I read one of your posts that stated I could leave it, finder also found a proc.txt & a Slowdown 2. doc.. I took a quick look & though I have no clue what is on either one, I did notice some interesting words on both. When I ran System Level Permissions the first thing that came up was: warning SUID file system/library/cores…as been modified & will not be repaired. I saw this file many times in the, I believe, proc.txt. I also saw mackeeper-atd, antivirus, wine & wine bundle, and macshield. If you want to look at these I can e-mail them to you. ( Don’t know your e-mail address ). Otherwise should I dump them & should I also do the TM step. Thanks again. Oh & Thank You also Al

  56. Many thanks. I had been struggling to find why my iMac had, for weeks, not gone into sleep mode, and had tracked it down to zeobit.MacKeeper appearing every 10 secs in Console, where it was trying, but not succeeding, to find some MacKeeper programme. I then traced this to emails received in February and April. I may have looked at their web site because it was being promoted, but I did not want what was on offer. There is no record of a download of it on my computer, and nothing in the applications folder. Nevertheless, following your guide, I found an entry in the Key Chain and one home/library. Now that these are deleted, the computer is back to normal. The question, is how did these entries get in to the heart of the Mac without any acceptance on my part, and are other people similarly affected?

  57. I can’t empty trash because it says I have Antivirus running. I clicked off the antivirus on the toolbar, so I figured it was off. In Activity Monitor it took many tries to quit Mackeeper Helper, but it finally quit. There is an antivirus still listed in Activity Monitor, but it doesn’t say anything other than Antivirus. Does this process have anything to do with MacKeeper. If not, what am I doing wrong? I’ve followed all the steps. Plus I’ve never fixed system permissions before. What does that involve?

  58. How do you unencrypt data? I don’t even know if MacKeeper encrypted any data. How do I find that out and unencrypt it?

    • MacKeeper has a utility which you can use to create encrypted files and folders. If you didn’t actively choose to use it, then you have nothing to worry about it.

      • Phil,
        How do I know if I chose to use the utility that creates encrypted files. I did buy the Mackeeper and it did look for “suspicious” data. Will Mackeeper encrypt data when you install it?

        • No, MK will not encrypt any data unless you’ve told it to do so. If you “don’t know” whether you’ve used the encryption facility or not, then it’s pretty likely that you haven’t used it. It’s hard to do so without knowing what you’re doing.

  59. When I drag it into Trash, it doesn’t come up with Mac user password. So I can’t get rid of it!

  60. Well! Thank goodness I’ve found you! And not just for getting me out of MacKeeper, but for losts of other juicy Mac help, too :)

    I’ve been fed up with the way my MBP’s been behaving for AGES… never thought it could be MacKeeper. And what a PAIN getting my pre-2012 version uninstalled. Happily that will help performance.

    Many thanks!

  61. I am trying to uninstall mackeeper using your guide. I am using LION and pre 2012 version of mackeeper which I have used for quick fixes. I also use TM for backup. I am already stumped on step 1. I can not see/find any files called MacKeeper in /Library/Application Support/. Should I just ignore step 1 and move on to 2?

  62. As my little MacBook shifted into slow-motion, I began to wonder about MacKeeper; in my PC era, I discovered that the anti-virus (etc.) programs killed performance. So, this evening I tackled MacKeeper under your guidance for a pre-2012 version. Similar to others, no matter what I did, MacKeeper “Helper” kept turning itself back on (Activity Monitor) and the program app plus the anti-virus app resisted the firing squad, even with using Option/Empty Trash. But when I used Command/Empty Trash, everything got erased. I’ve rebooted, so far so good.

    It seems clear that any program that is written so that it is difficult to impossible for the non-expert to get rid of it is going to be a bad bit of code with malicious aims deliberately built in to the program. I won’t ask why — greed and the thrill of putting something over on “naive” people — but I do wish there were easier ways to prevent this and to make it extremely costly to inflict this upon the public. Any idea who is behind this?

    In the end, thank you for your efforts. And I hope that MacKeeper is not long for this world.

  63. When emptying my Trash Bin, I keep recieving a notice saying “The operation can’t be completed because the item “UpgradeDockTail” is in use. How do I solve this problem?

    • Seems like this has been answered here before, but with 470 comments here, I’m not surprised you didn’t run across it.

      First try holding the option key down when selecting “Empty Trash”.
      If that doesn’t work, reboot and empty the trash.
      If all else fails, see Note: 1.

  64. I’m a bit confused by a lot of what is going on with this. MacKeeper keeps insisting to download itself – several times and even with different versions. I didn’t ask for it recently but installed it many yeas ago (I’m an old-timer with a iBook G4).I just ignored it when it became a pest. so this new round of hassle started without notice. It is turning into a real headache because it won’t go into the trash and it seems to want me to release my admin password in the Finder BEFORE I can dump it. Not sure if I should do that. I followed the instructions above but found no files in the Library and it was installed in the Applications. Again, it won’t let me dump it. Help.

    • > it seems to want me to release my admin password in the Finder BEFORE I can dump it.

      Why are you unwilling to do that? As you said, it’s the Finder that needs your permission. It’s not like you are sending your password to anybody.

  65. Thanks for your detailed description.
    I had a trial version of mackeeper about 2 or 3 months ago and when it started to remember me for purchasing it, I just deleted it. I do it by simply deleting macKeeper form my applications folder and then emptying the trash.
    Today I noticed in Console that every 10 second, my mac tries to lunch mackeeper.helper. Here is the log recorded in Console :

    ——————
    ۱۶:۲۴:۱۲، ساعت ۱۲/۷/۳۱ م. com.apple.launchd[102] (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper[40339]) posix_spawn(“/Applications/MacKeeper.app/Contents/Resources/MacKeeper Helper.app/Contents/MacOS/MacKeeper Helper”, …): No such file or directory
    ۱۶:۲۴:۱۲، ساعت ۱۲/۷/۳۱ م. com.apple.launchd[102] (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper[40339]) Exited with exit code: 1
    ۱۶:۲۴:۱۲، ساعت ۱۲/۷/۳۱ م. com.apple.launchd[102] (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper) Throttling respawn: Will start in 10 seconds
    ——————–

    I searched my mac for any evidence of mackeeper or zeobit, but there isnot any. I’ve also followed the steps you listed above, but I didn’t find any mackeeper or zeobit again. There was just one entry in my Keychain that I deleted it.

    would you please guide me to get ride of this lunch issue?
    I have a snow leopard with Mac OS X 10.8.5

    • Hi Aki

      Please re-do:
      Step 3
      Step 8
      Step 9

      In Step 3, ‘Home’ means your User account (whatever name you use as Admin user), not the Hard Disk. Click on the little ‘house’ icon in Finder sidebar and navigate to the Library folder you see immediately in the main window.

  66. Ive just uninstalled MacKeeper 2012 and can confirm that the freezing and the hanging of my mac is gone instantly. So when you experience such problems try uninstalling Mackeeper and see if it helps for you.!

  67. okay, I went under File and then to Find and typed Mackeeper. It pulled it up and I threw it away there which then followed your steps. It is no longer showing up in my Applications, but is everything really gone or do I need to do something else?

    • I don’t see anywhere in the instructions where it said to do that, but if you really went through all the other steps, then it must be gone.

  68. I downloaded mackeeper yesterday and all i did was the scans and fix button. I tried taking it off before I read your blog by going to GO and selected downloads. I threw it away in trash from there and emptied the trash. The icon is still in my applications folder and it wont let me put it in the trash. I also still have the small icon on top of the screen by my wifi icon of the mackeeper. I’m at a loss.

    • All you did was get rid of the installer. Read Note 1 above and then follow all the uninstall steps exactly.

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