how to uninstall MacKeeper – updated

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Last updated: Dec 30, 2016

If you’re unfamiliar with the reputation of MacKeeper but have come here because you downloaded it – or it downloaded itself after you were inadvertantly redirected to some unwanted website – and are now wondering whether you made a mistake, let me present you with a few facts.

MacKeeper is one of the most infamous pieces of software on the macOS platform. This post itself was first published in September 2011, and has since received over 2 million hits from people wishing to uninstall MacKeeper from their computers.

When I ran MacKeeper’s free trial version on a brand new clean install of macOS, it told me that my system was in ‘serious’ condition and that I needed to buy MacKeeper in order to solve all my problems.

MacKeeper on Mavericks

It seems, then, that MacKeeper thinks macOS, freshly installed, is a poor piece of software engineering, but the feeling is mutual. macOS doesn’t like MacKeeper much either. macOS provides the following warning about MacKeeper:

MESSAGE FROM CONSOLE
12/05/2015 17:48:00.946 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1]: (com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper) This service is defined to be constantly running and is inherently inefficient.

If you have installed MacKeeper and wish to remove it, read on.

Preparation:
i. If you have used MacKeeper’s encryption feature, be sure to unencrypt before you uninstall MacKeeper. You should also check whether any of your personal files are stored in /Documents/MacKeeper Backups.

Backups & other disks
ii. If you have any disks connected to your mac, including Time Machine, eject them before you start the uninstall procedure.

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

You are now ready to uninstall MacKeeper.


The Easy Way

As I’ve been involved in helping people uninstall MacKeeper for over 5 years, I eventually got round to the task of automating the process so that folks who were not that technically proficient with computers could take advantage of the information on this page.

If that sounds like you, then the easiest way to uninstall MacKeeper is to use my app DetectX or FastTasks 2. Both are shareware and can be used for free. 😀 You do not need to sign up to anything, subscribe to anything or give anyone your email address. Just download the app, run it, remove MacKeeper and be on your way.

After several years of testing and refining my app’s removal procedure, I now recommend using them even for proficient users as it is simply faster, more reliable and less prone to error than doing it any other way. The only people who should really consider the manual option are those that are running versions of macOS that are too old to run DetectX. Currently, there are versions of DetectX available for macOS 10.6.8 (Intel only) thru to 10.12. FastTasks 2 requires 10.10.5 or higher.


The Manual Way

If you need to remove MacKeeper manually then follow these instrutions carefully. They’ve been refined over the years by many people who contributed in the hundreds of comments that follow this post and have been proven to work without exception. However, bear in mind that the onus is on you to follow the instructions to the letter. For that reason, go slow, read carefully and don’t do anything if you’re not sure what you’re doing. If you have any doubts, post a question in the comments.

Here we go!

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

Drag this folder to the Trash.

2. Still in Library, look for and trash any of these you find in the same way:

/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:

~/Library/Caches/com.zeobit.MacKeeper

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

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

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

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

~/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.

Update May 2015:

Due to recent changes in MacKeeper, the following files should also be searched for and removed:

~/Library/Application Support/MacKeeper Helper

~/Library/Caches/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper

~/Library/Caches/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper

~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper.plist

~/Library/Preferences/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper.plist

~/Library/Preferences/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.plist

~/Documents/MacKeeper Backups

~/Library/Logs/MacKeeper.log

~/Library/Logs/MacKeeper.log.signed

/private/tmp/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Installer.config

/Library/Preferences/.3FAD0F65-FC6E-4889-B975-B96CBF807B78

The last item above will require removal in Terminal or turning on of invisible files in the GUI (various 3rd party apps can do this, including my own DetectX and FastTasks 2).

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). In 10.10 Yosemite or later, select the View menu and choose ‘All Processes’. For earlier versions of macOS, select ‘All Processes from the drop down menu just over on the right of the dialogue box. Next, scroll down the list of items shown 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 the ‘Quit Process’ or ‘X’ button (Yosemite) in the top left corner.

6. Go to your Applications folder from a Finder window and select MacKeeper. 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. 😀

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 Leopard) | 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.

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
Terminal tricks for defeating adware
block MacKeeper and other browser ads
protect your mac from malware viruses and other threats
FastTasks 2 – get Applehelpwriter’s free utility app from Sqwarq.com

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 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!

4. If you are seeing ads on this site, we recommend that you use an adblocker!

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.

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, Performance, Snow Leopard and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 606 Comments.

  1. Phil – many thanks. Great job. Just followed your instructions to the letter and this legalised braking system on my system has gone. Thank you. I wish you were round the corner so I could buy you a pint!

    Bruce – Re your post 26 July, I too couldn’t erase it from my trash initially. However, I rebooted anyway, checked everything was gone as per Phil’s instructions, then emptied the trash successfully. I’ve now rebooted again and everything is clean. Good luck!

  2. Thanks a lot..It worked..U r a legend!

  3. Hi phil
    i have red all the comments and i cant find one that helps me yet..
    i recently downloaded and installed mac keeper on my mac pro and ran the free scan on it…then realised something was not right then i whent and done some researching an stumbled across your comment but my problem is after reading your comment i thought it would be okay to delete mac keeper without having to encrypt any data because i did not sign up or clean all i done was a free scan…after i deleted it i red some more comments and found i may be wrong in this case now i am scared..can you please help me and tell me what i should do please help thanks..

  4. Chris Talbot

    Dude, you are a life saver,

    I installed Mackeeper when I first got a Mac, (os x Lion)
    And now I am un-installing Mackeeper from a friends machine.

    Following your steps has taught me a lot more about Mac upkeep.
    Again;
    Dude you ROCK

  5. Great instructions. However, after following the instructions I get to the point of removing MacKeeper from the trash bin and then I get the following message:

    “The operation can’t be completed because the item “UpgradeDockTail” is in use.”

    And I cannot remove MacKeeper from my trash bin. I did no see a process running named “UpgradeDockTail”.

    Any thoughts?

    I’m afraid to restart until I have MacKeeper removed

    • First thing you might try is to open the Trash folder, hold down the ‘option’ key on the keyboard and click the ‘Empty’ button on the right of the window.

      If that doesn’t work, open Activity Monitor.app, click ‘All Processes’ in the drop-down menu in the main window, and filter for ‘UpgradeDockTail’. If you find the process in Activity Monitor, click on it and hit the ‘Quit’ button. Choose ‘Force Quit’ if necessary from the resulting dialogue box.

      • Thanks Phil. I went ahead and went through the whole procedure again from “safe mode”. MacKeeper is now gone.

  6. thank you so much for your guide… mackeeper is killing my macbook pro. i’ve deleted everything except my keychain access won’t open, so i can’t see if there’s weird mackeeper activity going on. i checked in my library preferences folder and com.apple.keychainaccess.plist is missing. i’ve already tried in terminal your tip of: mv ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.keychainaccess.plist ~/Desktop and a restart but keychain access still won’t open. what can i do to fix this? thank you so much.

    • Try booting into the Recovery disk by restarting the mac while also holding down the ‘Command’ and ‘R’ keys. In Recovery, choose ‘Disk Utility’ and hit ‘Repair Disk’.

      Restart the mac normally and test. If the problem persists, try both of these diagnostic tests below and let me know the answers to these two Yes/No questions:

      1. Make a new user account in

       > System Preferences… > Users & Groups

      Log into it and try to open Keychain Access. Does it open, yes or no?

      2. Start your mac up in Safe Mode by restarting while also holding down the ‘shift’ key. Log in to the account that has the problem and try to open Keychain Access. Does it open, yes or no?

      • Hi Phil. The disk was ok and had nothing to repair. 1. no 2. no. In all 3 cases the keychain access icon will move a little when I click it but will not open. What would you suggest as the next step? Thanks again for your help… much appreciated.

        • If you don’t have a backup already, you need to create one. The easiest way to do this is to create a clone.

          Next, go to

           > System Preferences… > Users & Groups | Login Items

          and remove everything from the Login Items list.

          Once you have your important data backed up and cleared the login items list, restart the mac in Recovery mode by turning the mac on while at the same time holding down ‘command – r’ on the keyboard. From the Mac OS X Utilities window that appears choose ‘Reinstall Mac OS X’.

          You will be asked for your AppleID and password (not your user name and password for the computer). Enter the requested information and follow the onscreen instructions. The whole procedure will probably tie your computer up for at least a couple of hours, depending on your internet speed.

          This will reinstall all the system files, including the Keychain Access.app. It will leave your user accounts, apps and preferences untouched, so you do not need to reinstall your apps or any personal data. However, do make that backup first in case anything goes wrong.

          After the system finishes reinstalling, login and test Keychain Access. It should now work as expected.

  7. I too was suckered into loading this trash and then made a hash of deleting it. Your helpful instructions on how to clear up the mess have been invaluable. Many thanks.

  8. Kay Fieldhouse

    Hi Phil, I was told to install MacKeeper by a company I’m doing some training with but then it stuck at 49%. I forced quite from installer and then found all the blogs about not installing it. I put the download into trash and deleted the trash (one this item in there). If it only got to 49% is my hard disc affected and if it is, what do I do? I’m using a MacBook Pro. Many thanks.

    • No, if the installer didn’t complete, you’ve nothing to worry about except perhaps the company that told you to install MacKeeper in the first place. 😡

      No idea why they would require you to do that, unless they’re training you how to solve problems with it. If they are looking for a solution to common Mac tasks and maintenance, you could suggest they contact me for advice.

    • Thank you – I appreciate you taking the time to reply and set my mind at rest. I will certainly pass your web page on to them.

  9. I can’t find the folder called Mackeeper in my Library?? I know it is on my computer, because I had the application open but the folder is definitely not there! Help! Thanks 🙂

    • If you downloaded “MacKeeper 2012” all you need to do is drag MK to the Trash. All the Library folders are contained in the application bundle.

  10. Hi all,

    I bought this stupid program and can not remove it. I tried to follow the steps, comments etc., but I have not succeeded. My problems already start at step one, opening App folder and drag it into trash. It will not do this. What to do? Plz help…

    • See Note 1 at the end of the post about running the procedure in Safe mode.

      • I’ll try. Where do i find Easy Finder and Activity monitor..? Sry, but Im a new MAC user…

        • Activity Monitor is in your Applications/ Utilities

          You can find a link to EasyFind on my ‘Free Downloads’ page.

          However, I’d advise you seek help from your nearest Apple store if you’re new to Mac and have them run the uninstall procedure for you.

          You might also want to look here for general tips on becoming familiar with your mac:

          http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/

  11. Ralph Gyoery

    hi,

    I have followed the above steps but still get the following message in my log files;

    9/07/12 8:11:07.647 PM com.apple.launchd.peruser.501: (com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper[18632]) posix_spawn(“/Applications/MacKeeper.app/Contents/Resources/MacKeeper Helper.app/Contents/MacOS/MacKeeper Helper”, …): No such file or directory

    which reloads every 10 seconds.

    Any advice would be helpful.

    Thank you in advance

    • Please double-check that you found and deleted ALL of these

      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

      Note that ‘Home’ means your user account, not your hard disk.

      If you are using Lion, in order to find this, you need to hold down the ‘option’ key and click on ‘Go > Library’ in Finder’s menu bar.

      After checking and deleting these, restart your computer.

  12. Thanks Phil. After using MacKeepers “uninstaller” I followed your instructions and still found “ZeoBIT Account application password…(with modification dates) in the Systems Folder. Think I have purge the %*^&#&* now…

  13. latanya donaldson

    I used appcleaner to uninstall mackeeper and used find any file to delete any mackeeper/zeobit files. Nothing shows up now, does that mean I am mackepper free?

    • I used CleanMyMac and it seems to be gone, I searched Spotlight and Quicksilver and I can find no trace of it anywhere.

      • Glad you were successful, Steve.

        I wouldn’t recommend ‘CleanMyMac’, ‘Appcleaner’ or any other automated program for removing system files. That’s part of the reason MacKeeper can make a mess of people’s OS to start with. Much safer to do it manually.

  14. thanks for all your info on Mackeeper. I am in the process of removing it now. AppCleaner seems to do a pretty good job. The TM instructions have confused me though. Could you just clarify those instructions in the box? I have gone into time machine but I am not sure where I am supposed to go after?

    • The TM Step says

      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.

      After you enter TM, look for the little gear/cog icon, it is in the menubar along the top of the Finder window and looks something like this:

      cog

      If you click the little arrow, you should see the option to delete backups of the current file.

  15. Phil, many thanks for providing this info. My new Mac Book Pro had been running so slowly and I could not understand what was going on until today someone asked me if I had MacKeeper on it and then pointed me to this site. I have uninstalled the program manually following your instructions and it running much better.

    One comment on something that was a bit different from your instructions.
    In the Activity Monitor I needed to quit something called “AntiVirus.app” which was part of MacKeeper but was not identified as “MacKeeper”, “zeobit” or “911 bundle”.

    I have a question. Even though I cleaned out Time Machine as per your steps, somehow while I was doing this the system seems to have backed up, because I now find no MacKeeper on TM apart from the most recent backup from tonight. There it still sits. As I no longer have the components on my machine I am not given the option to delete it, only to restore it. Any advice?

    • Thanks for that feedback regarding AntiVirus.app. I haven’t heard of that before. Out of interest, that makes you think it was part of MacKeeper, and not something entirely separate?

      The obvious move regarding the MacKeeper.app still on your TM is to restore it, then delete it and its backup. Alternatively, simply leave it where it is. It should be harmless, but at least you know where to look if not.

      • I am pretty sure the “Antivirus” was part of MacKeeper, because when I wanted to empty my trash with all the bits in it (based on your instructions) I got a message that it could not delete Antivirus.app because it was in use. So I went back to the Activity Monitor and quit the process name “Antivirus” and then I was able to completely empty the trash. I did not have a different antivirus on my machine either, so I just assumed it was the antivirus that came with MacKeeper.

        • I too have Antivirus & it wouldn’t allow me to empty the trash, stating antivirus was running. I wasn’t sure what this was either. I now feel a little safer about quitting the process. Thanks Kim & Paul.

  16. Thanks Phil, you’re a great help.

  17. Hmm. I definitely have it installed, and have used it before – but there is no Mackeeper folder in my Application Support folder. I did a spotlight search for Mackeeper, and all I found was the .pkg file and the application itself, the enclosing folder of which was the normal Applications folder. What do I do?

    • Follow the link at the beginning of my post to Zeobit’s instructions for uninstalling MacKeeper. After doing that, post back here if you still experience problems.

      • Well here’s my experience: I followed all your steps but the ones that happen in the Macintosh HD Library folder. There was nothing there.
        However everything you named (except the application support business) was to be found in the home version of Library. I deleted everything, and proceeded to the activity monitor. I stopped the Mackeeper help file, and tried to delete everything in the trash. This failed, and I realized that every time I stopped the help file, it would reactivate about 3 seconds later with a different 3-digit number beside it. A counter-measure os some sort?
        So I clicked to stop the process and immediately emptied the trash before the help file could ‘restart’ itself. I am happy to say everything worked out after that. I followed your instructions, only checking the ones linked above AFTER (I still trashed the Mackeeper file in my applications folder). Am I Mackeeper free?
        And interestingly enough, if you spotlighted for Zeobit or Mackeeper, the only things that ever came up were the .pkg file and the Mackeeper app itself.
        But thank you!

    • When I was about to uninstall MacKeeper, there was no Mackeeper folder in my Application Support folder. One or two other files listed in the procedure were not there either. I just skipped the steps to remove them and their Time Machine counterparts. The uninstaller did not complain.

  18. Hey Phil,

    Thank you so much for the informative guide. I do have a question, however – I could only find the Mackeeper application and the .pkg file when looking around. On your first library step, I could not see the Mackeeper folder, or any of the things in the cache or preferences folder. Am I still safe?

  19. Worked like a charm for me — Thank you so much!

  20. Hi Phil, I am trying to remove Mackeeper from my system and have followed the steps you outlined. However I am unable to remove MacKeeper from the activity monitor. I keep pressing ‘force quit’ but program doesn’t disappear. I am wondering if you have a workaround for this? The stubborn file reads, ‘MacKeeperATd’ (user) root.

    Also just to note, my roommate also downloaded the program and upon doing so the finder and spotlight stopped working. She took it into a nearby Mac store and they informed her the program had irreparably harmed her hard drive, which she now has to replace.

    Thanks in advance for any help you may have to offer.

  21. Hi Phil,
    I am trying to remove Mackeeper from my system. I have followed all the steps you’ve outlined above but the file is still reading in the activity monitor even after I force close it. Any suggestions as to how to remove this? The stubborn file is MacKeeperAtd (user) Root. Thanks in advance for any tips.

    Also just to note, my roommate also downloaded MacKeeper and upon doing so her hard drive stopped working. She had to take it to an Apple store for replacement.

  22. Hi Phil

    Thanks all done and mac seams to be running OK, also a lot faster now the permissions have been fixed.

    Also worth a mention is I have received a refund, so all in all no harm done.

  23. HI
    having gone through the grat instructions I cant seam to quit mackeeper thus cant empty the trash.
    Help please

  24. Hi Phil

    Just did the uninstall as per MacKeeper website and the following files still remained and needed to be deleted manually:
    Library/caches/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Uninstaller
    Library/caches/com.zeobit.MacKeeper
    Library/caches/com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper
    There was a “login” in the keychains utility that needed to be deleted.
    Otherwise all other signs of it are gone. YAY!

  25. Hi Phil,
    I just installed MacKeeper, but I can’t seem to find it in my library. I did use the uninstall link you provided and I also deleted any MacKeeper related files I found through finder. Does this mean my Mac is MacKeeper free? Or am I just missing something? Thanks!

  26. Phil,

    I just downloaded Mackeeper, but I haven\’t run anything yet. The application only opened after downloading. What should I do? I want to run it by you before I did anything to mess up removing it completely!

    Thanks so much,

    Annie

    • Did you actually install it or not? When you download MK it doesn’t do anything at first. There’s a .pkg file sitting in your Downloads folder.

      mk pkg

      If you click on that file, you’ll see something like this:

      Mk installer

      If you clicked ‘continue’ on this screen and went through to the end of the procedure, read the main post above and follow the instructions.

      If you didn’t click past this screen, just go to your Downloads folder and drag the Mackeeper.pkg to the Trash.

      Empty the Trash and you’re done!

  27. Richard Menard

    Hi Phil, this may be a stupid question but what do you mean by “be sure to unencrypt before you uninstall MacKeeper”? I’m new to the mac world here and just installed the free version of mackeeper and now I’m worried I did something wrong after reading all the comments. so far all I did was installed the free version and ran a scan. It says I have like 1500 things wrong but I find this unusual because its a pretty new Lap top. Anyhow back to my first question if you can really help me thanks

    • MK has a feature called ‘Data Encryptor’ which you have to actively set up yourself (give it a password and choose ‘hide’ for some of your data). Only if you did that do you need to worry about unencrypting whatever you ‘hid’ with MacKeeper. If you didn’t do that, forget about it.

      No, you do not have 1500 things wrong with your Mac. The only thing likely to be wrong with your Mac is that it has MacKeeper installed on it… 😉

  28. Hello Phil & Other Readers,

    Just installed MacKeeper after seeing several positive reviews, then while doing my first scan began stumbling across the not-so-positive reviews, but a tad bit too late.

    Quickly realizing my blunder, I searched for how to get rid of [all of] it, and came across your website for the first time.

    Your instructions seem to have worked [thus far], but one issue I had & would like to bring up is this:

    Using Snow Leopard with Mac OS X 10.6.8, I was unable (following Step 5 of your uninstall procedure) to quit a MacKeeper help process. When I chose to “force quit” it would actually go away for 5-10 seconds, but then reappear (with numerous attempts). I knew at this point I had something pretty nasty on my MacBook Pro & feared I wouldn’t be able to remove it, even with your instructions. However, I elected to follow the rest of the steps, and then went back and repeated Step 5 one last time, and fortunately that MacKeeper process didn’t come back (though I still had to “force quit” it).

    So, if anyone else has the same problem, it seems that after you delete the actual app from the Applications folder it then allows you to force quit any remaining processes that wouldn’t quit back in Step 5.

    Hope this is helpful to someone, and many thanks to Phil for this site!

    • Thanks for that feedback. I suspect that the .Helper which should have been deleted in Step 3 has either moved in MK v2.0 to (or is duplicated) inside the app bundle. That might explain why it kept relaunching.

      If I recall from earlier reader comments, with older versions of MK you couldn’t delete the app until you’d deleted the helper. I’ll consider switching the order of the steps in light of this if anyone else confirms the same problem.

      Once again, thanks for your input. Reader feedback here is vital to keep the instructions up-to-date for everyone, so folks, keep us posted of anything you find! 🙂

      • Chris Howell

        Using 10.6.8, I experienced the same inability to ‘force-quit’ MacKeeper Helper, and also the inability to completely empty the trash (certain resources still in use, w/in the MacKeeper package) so deleted what could be deleted, and eventually at the end was able to force-quit the Helper but not empty the trash. So did a restart, checked Activity Monitor – there was no Helper running, and was able to empty the trash. It is a circular process.

  29. Pauline Myint

    Hi Phil,
    I stupidly installed mackeeper on my MacBook . When I realised what it was I went to the apple genius bar and took this page with me on my iPad. They were pleased and used your recomended steps to uninstall it, that was on Monday….. Now it’s Friday and a small box keeps appearing when I am using safari saying, please clean your mac from mac keeper. I can’t close it or safari or use the apple logo to shudder down as it won’t let me, so I’ve closed it down by holding down the on/off button, when I reboot, the message comes back as soon as I open safari again. I’ve got another appointment with the genius bar tomorrow evening, they seem to agree, you have the most knowledge on this topic, so can you suggest anything for this on going nightmare pleeeese
    Pauline

    • Restart your mac in Safe Mode by powering off, then powering on as normal but while also holding down the shift key. Keep the shift key held down until you see the progress bar appear on the screen.

      Then, ensure that you have removed any mention of Mackeeper here:

       > System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items.

      Still in Safe mode, download and install EasyFind if you don’t have it already (there’s a link on my Free Downloads page) and set it up like this:

      http://applehelpwriter.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/zeobit.png?w=604

      Try searching for ‘zeobit’, ‘mackeeper’ and ‘911 bundle’ in turn in EasyFind’s search bar.

      Remove anything that you find.

      In Safari, clean out the caches and cookies as instructed in ‘Supplementary’ in the post above.

      Restart your mac normally and test.

  30. Thank you so much for these detailed instructions!

  31. Unfortunately , I did buy Mac Keeper, I haven’t to this date had any real issues with it,
    but after reading your article, I would like to remove it. Can I just drag Mac Keeper into the App Cleaner and have it all removed ? Look forward to your reply.
    Thanks
    Cj

    • I don’t recommend any other way of uninstalling MacKeeper other than the one given in the post above. If you do choose to uninstall it, read the entire post carefully and fully, taking note of the precautions mentioned at the beginning and the notes at the end.

  32. Thanks for these instructions. MacKeeper is the biggest piece of crap software package I have ever experienced. I’ve had this iMac system for 7-8 years and **never** had a Finder crash until installing MacKeeper. Since I ran the ‘authorized” uninstall procedure I’ve been having repeated crashes — so reinstalled the program, and then followed your manual instructions for removing the package. (Definitely a couple things I neglected looking for.)

  33. Thank you so much for these detailed instructions!

  34. Please can you help? I downloaded MacKeeper and ran the free bit then did not pay for anything. I can see MacKeeper in my Applications list, it is not in my downloads list any more but when I tried to take the steps to uninstall it I cannot see a Mackeeper folder in my Library\Application Support folder

  35. I really appreciate this. I hope when the one year is up that they don’t charge me again. I feel violated! Can’t we all band together and file a lawsuit? Anyhow, thank you for this article. It seems to have worked, though when I searched in Spotlight, it shows Mackeeper Installer in “Documents.” I looked there, but found nothing. I finally chose “Show All” in Spotlight, and it brought it up, though it seems to only be an icon. i sent it to trash the way you described, but it is still there. Nothing comes up in Activity monitor, but it feels like spyware or something to me. I really wish we could take them down!

    • Hi Christine,

      I’d like to find out a bit more about what that installer is doing in your Documents folder and why it won’t trash. Can you email me (you can find my email address in the ‘Contact’ tab at the top of this page) and I’ll walk you through identifying and removing that file.

  36. Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou, I now know why my mac has been running slow. I followed all the steps and also removed the pkg file as well and my iMac is back to normal.

  37. I also (stupidly) bought MacKeeper as my Macbook Pro 10x was really slow. It told me to update so I did. Got Office updated to 14.2.2. since then Word and Excel doesn’t work. I have uninstalled Mackeeper but still sit with the Office problem. Any idea of how to uninstall 14.22 to revert to the previous programme, that worked just fine?

    • Hi Ann

      Sorry, I really can’t help with this. It sounds like something you should take up with either Mackeeper support or Microsoft (see their respective websites for links to their Support teams).

  38. can’t find the files mentioned above anywhere. Help please????

    • Hi JP,

      if you’re following the instructions correctly and you can’t find any of the above files, then MacKeeper isn’t installed on your system and you have nothing to worry about.

      Do check the Downloads folder for ‘MacKeeper.pkg’. Possibly you downloaded the program but didnt’ install it. If you find that, just send it to the trash and you’re done. 🙂

  39. I have a macenstein MbP 2.33 in a 2.16 shell no battery draw though. I tried sodder trace worked for five minutes Only so power cord is mandatory always. that’s history and I was researching why it might be hot and slow and let mk- do there thing and even (er) fix a % but I didn’t buy, download or install. Am I still at risk for popups and problems without doing something and if so what?

  40. Hi Phil! THANK YOU x a million. I am far from computer savvy and I too fell victim to this mackeeper crapwear. After installing it and trying the “free” part, the only big difference I saw was that some of my websites were jumbled mess! UGH!! I almost bought the program anyway because I thought I’d have to, to fix the issues … but then I saw your post.
    Add this grateful little granny to your list of admirers!
    Thanks again! ❤
    JRG

  41. Why not simply run this command in Terminal?
    sudo find / -iname *mackeeper* -exec rm -rf {} \;

    • As it stands that looks pretty dangerous as it doesn’t give the user the chance to review what files would be deleted.

      A safer way would be to run the find command without the -exec rm -rf {} \; part. That will echo the results of the find to the terminal screen. If you know what you’re looking at and are sure all those files in the results are safe to delete, then run the full command.

      Let me just say that bit again, tho: if you know what you’re looking at and are sure those files in the results are safe to delete…

      I won’t be responsible for anyone that tries Pierre’s command and bawks their system.

      Use the procedure I detailed in the main post above. It’s safer.

    • Well, for one thing it will corrupt your Time Machine backup, likely making it worthless unless you dismount it first. I suspect it would do the same to most backup volumes.

      • Thanks Al. Even without Time Machine connected, it’s still pretty dangerous.

        It’s worth pointing out that that command will delete anything with the string ‘mackeeper’ in the filename, not just MacKeeper files. That includes this page in Safari’s caches. If you opened my .pdf guide for uninstalling MacKeeper, or any other .pdf with the string ‘mackeeper’ in the filename in Preview, made any changes and then closed it, this command would likely corrupt .DocumentRevisions folder in Lion with the potential loss of all saved Versions of everything else on your system.

        I’ll say again: stay away from this unless you know what you’re doing, and on your own head be it.

  42. Phil,

    I downloaded the FREE version of this but have now deleted it. I was so close to purchasing this and I am now glad I didn’t.

    What I want to know is there actually a decent program out there that you would recommend that might work like MacKeeper? What I am looking for is something that will possibly defrag and keep my mac book pro running at optimal speeds as I have noticed a decline since purchase last year.

    Thanks

    • You don’t want to be doing that, OS X does its own maintenance and defrag isn’t necessary as it is on Windows machines. OSX runs maintenance schedules on daily, weekly and monthly schedules. However, sometimes these schedules get delayed by your pattern of use. You can see when they were last run in Console (look for daily.out, weekly out., monthly.out). You can run them all manually by using this command in terminal:

      sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

      There are other causes of slow downs: disk is nearly full, too many items in your login items, not enough RAM for some program or set of programmes you’re running together. See my post here: http://applehelpwriter.com/2011/12/05/why-is-my-mac-running-so-slow/

      There is a free ‘maintenance’ utility in my Free Downloads page called ‘OnyX’ you might look at if you really feel the need. It automates a lot of tasks that can be done manually, but really there’s no need to do any of them unless you’re troubleshooting. Personally, I don’t use any maintenance software and my Mac runs fine despite all the abuse I give it testing stuff and experimenting with various configurations.

    • > is there actually a decent program out there that you would recommend that might work like MacKeeper?

      Not in my opinion. I find all of these all-purpose “cleaner” apps to potentially cause more harm than good. Thomas Reed wrote this article with specific alternatives to each of the “features” of MacKeeper, most are free http://www.reedcorner.net/news.php/beware-mackeeper/ .

      Randy Singer has good advise on Mac OS X Routine Maintenance at http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html .

      > What I am looking for is something that will possibly defrag…

      OS X does a great job of defrag on it’s own as long as you keep about 20% of your hard drive free. iDefrag http://www.coriolis-systems.com/iDefrag.php can take care of the rest, if you really need it, as well as optimize your hard drive to shorten seek times.

  43. If i have down loaded the app but not installed it in my application folder yet can i just send the download to the trash or do i have to go through all of this?

  44. bostonantifan

    I’m having problems with the TM step. My finder doesn’t have the “gear/cog” icon, so I have to right click and select “delete all backups of…”. When I do that, however, nothing happens except I get a message box stating that the action can’t be undone, and do I want to continue. I click yes, the dialog disappears, and that’s it. Nothing is deleted, I’m not asked for an admin password, nothing. Can anyone help? I really want MackKeeper gone.
    Thanks!

    • > My finder doesn’t have the “gear/cog” icon

      It will be in the window Toolbar, which apparently you aren’t showing. You can either click the little oblong blob in the upper right hand corner, select “Show Toolbar” from the Finder “View” menu or type Command-Option-T before entering TM. But that may not solve your problem.

      • bostonantifan

        Thanks Al. I now have the “cog”, but when I try to delete, still nothing happens.

        • @bostonantifan: When you select a file in TM and tell it to delete all backups, it deletes backup copies, not the current version. If the middle of the “Cancel-Restore” bar at the bottom of the screen says “Today (Now)”, you are looking at the current version, not a backup. Simply click one of the other windows in TM’s window stack and you’ll see a backup. The file you chose should be missing from the backup; if the file is still there, wait a few seconds–you may even see it vanish.

  45. Thanks Phil. Since today you’re my hero…

  46. You have to run chown as sudo (in other words, put ‘sudo’ at the beginning of the command).

  47. Thanks Phil.. I’m done with uninstalling the application. I am now trying to fix my ACLs but I encountered problem after pasting this command “chown -R `id -un` ~” in the terminal..The terminal says that the operation is not permitted.

  48. Hi Phil,

    I cannot move the application to the trash, there’s a pop up that says the application is open so it cannot be moved but i already stop/quit it. what will i do? really appreciate your help..

    • The easiest way to deal with this is to restart your computer in safe mode by holding down the shift key when you here the start up chime. Then run through the steps in the proceedure again, completing any that you hadn’t already done.

  49. i feel really sad because i just bought the mackeeper just now..so ashamed that i don’t find this thread first before i bought the bundle..Are they going to give my money back? after what i have read from your posts i am afraid on what this software might done with my mac…:(..what will i do? i just bought 3 license..:((..i want to uninstall my mackeeper and give my money back…:((…i thought this will solve the slowness of my mac but the truth is they made this problem for you to fall for their trap..:((

  50. Bless you for this! I only just bought the program–multiple licenses for my husband and me, and had liked the duplicates finder, but I had no idea how it would wrap its tentacles around my system. I can’t tell you how stupid I feel. Your steps worked like a charm, until…the Activity Monitor step. I had a terrible time force quitting–the program kept rising from the grave. I had to log in as the root user–I searched online for the steps, which required enabling the root, logging in, following the steps you gave, then logging back out and disabling the root. Oh, my terror at doing such a thing! But, it worked and now the program and my money are both gone. You have really done people a service by providing these instructions.

    • If you can’t kill the process in Activity monitor, you should be able to just restart your Mac after deleting all the other files and folders mentioned in the procedure and find that the process is gone from Activity monitor, too.

      There shouldn’t be any need to go into the root user, but well done for finding a way round the problem!

    • Many people asked for refunds and were successful, so give it a go! what have you go to lose?
      I now check everything before I download even things like Adobe. I check on their website,, Never go through a POP up.

      • And you know, I thought I’d done my homework on it. I went to three or four websites where they do software reviews, and they were generally positive. The fact that they gave some “it’s not perfect” aspects made me feel more like I knew what I was getting into (and hey, I switched over from PCs, so I figured *some* bugs were just part of the deal). But one of the websites now has an update saying to steer clear, and as I look at those that have user reviews and comments, the users seem to be unhappy–there seems to be a distinct difference of opinion among those who test the software and those who actually use it. Even that may be understandable, but I think most of us dislike the idea that once we install something it will take on a life of its own and require great efforts to get rid of it.

        • I learned from a user the other day that ZeoBIT is offering free updates to those who post an “honest” review on those sites. But what user is going to post a negative review of a product that is paying them to do so?

  51. Hi Phil,
    I am also trying to uninstall MacKeeper and have read your instructions.
    Quick question: Easyfind is on Macupdate.com but this site also recommends MacKeeper!! I’m worried that Easyfind and Macupdate.com may not be trustworthy either!
    Can you please advise?
    Thank you.
    Aran

    • EasyFind is developed by DevonTechnologies, a very reputable company. You don’t need to get it through MacUpdate (it’s just convenient), you can get it directly from the developers here:

      http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/freeware.html

      I doubt MacUpdate and Zeobit are in any way related, but I think I’ll change that link in the main post to go straight to Devon Tech in any case. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

  52. Hi

    Please help!

    I stupidly downloaded mackeeper (911) last night after it popped up on my screen. This was at the same time I had an alert telling there were updates that needed to be installed. It looked so legitimate I downloaded mackeeper and then ran it. I instantly realised how reminiscent of windows scam-ware it was.

    I didn’t look around the web or wait around for any instructions but dragged the mackeeper folder from my applications folder to the trash and thought that I deleted it. This morning after a little calm I checked the web and came across your website. I downloaded the easyfind file and ran a check to find I still have a no. of mackeeper files on my mac!!!

    What do I do in this case? Any ideas please? The folders/files that easyfind found are:

    com.zeobit.MacKeeper

    com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper

    com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Uninstaller

    /Users/jak1966/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History/http:%2F%2Fapplehelpwriter.com%2F2011%2F09%2F21%2Fhow-to-uninstall-mackeeper-malware%2F.webhistory

    /Users/jak1966/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History/http:%2F%2Flockergnome.net%2Fquestions%2F128664%2Fis-mackeeper-a-virus-or-trojan.webhistory

    /Users/jak1966/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History/http:%2F%2Fwww.apple.com%2Fsearch%2F?q=mackeeper&section=global&geo=us.webhistory

    /Users/jak1966/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History/http:%2F%2Fwww.apple.com%2Fse
    arch%2F?q=mackeeper&section=global&geo=us.webhistory

    /Users/jak1966/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History/http:%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fsearch?client=safari&rls=en&q=mackeeper&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8.webhistory

    /Users/jak1966/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History/http:%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fsearch?client=safari&rls=en&q=mackeeper+scam&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8.webhistory

    /Users/jak1966/Library/Logs/MacKeeper.log

    Finally and what is really worrying me is does mackeeper take any personal details off the mac e.g. bank details, etc. when it does its’ ‘system check’?

    Many thanks for your help.
    Jak

    • The first three and the last one are probably worth junking – you can do that from within EasyFind by selecting the files and hitting the ‘delete’ icon in the taskbar. The others all look harmless, but you could just as easily select the whole bunch and delete. 🙂

      So long as you didn’t sign up for an account with MK or fill out any webforms giving away personal information, I doubt that you’ve leaked any personal details to them.

      • Wow that was a fast reply.
        I have deleted the lot and feel a little happier!
        Thanks Phil

        Jak

  53. About a month ago, I installed MacKeeper and paid the money to activate it. At the same time, my entire computer slowed way down. Ten minute videos took hours to load, applications that once took only a few seconds to open now took almost half a minute, and even typing in word was extremely laggy (something that’s very annoying for an English Major who lives off the Word). I troubleshooted about it for a few days, but nothing. Then, I decided to see if it really was mackeeper slowing down my comp, and uninstalled it. Sure enough, my Macbook returned to its usual performance standards. Mackeeper will never be installed by me ever again, and I’ll never recommend it.

  54. Thank’s Phil,

    my Mac Book Pro is new and i’d just upgraded to 10.7.3 and I was searching on what’s new since am about to start using Time Machine…. then i got this “offer” on MacKeeper. Once it checked my Mac and told me in order to complete i need the full version i knew something was amiss… i searched for help then i found you.

    Thanks a lot for the help. I followed all the steps.

  55. Thank you Phil for sharing all your knowledge, much appreciated.

    I stupidly bought 2 licences last November and installed MacKeeper on my iMac & MacBook. Blissfully, I thought I was removing unneeded files and protecting my computers, when in reality I was just blindly giving a company my money for something I could have done myself.

    Last week I upgraded my iMac to Lion OS and MacKeeper *required* me to upgrade to 2012 version. I wasn’t happy about having to pay additional money to upgrade since my lifetime licence was less than 4 months old. I wrote an email to ZeoBit customer support explaining the issue and asking them to either pro-rate my licence, give me the 2012 upgrade free, or refund some of the original cost.
    To which they responded: “Kindly be informed that MacKeeper 2012 is another application similar with MacKeeper 2011. Its the similar when you pay for Mac OS upgrade (we sure you’ve payed for this upgrade) so we do have the upgrade for MacKeeper 2012.”

    That was enough annoyance for me and I started looking into their company. I can see I’m not the only unhappy customer. I’m so glad I found your invaluable forum. I’m willing to kiss my money good-bye and be done with these people.

    I have managed to remove it from the iMac (haven’t completed exterminated it from my Time Machine, I didn’t ignore the pop-ups, so will try your suggestions) and then will start on the laptop next. With any luck, by the end of day, I will be free of the MacKeeper!

    One question about trash, I use Trash It! to delete the files, any concerns about that app?

    Thanks again!

    • Sorry, I’m not aware of Trash It! There’s no reason to use any app other than the built in Trash facility for removing unwanted files.

      Please also take note of Al’s informative comments about using Trash and Secure Empty Trash. I think in your case as you’ve been using MK for some time you might want to just try emptying the trash normally rather than securely. As a precaution, I’d also suggest you disconnect from the internet before you uninstall MK. I’ve no idea what access signing up to an account might have granted them.

      Do check Activity monitor after you reboot.

  56. My trash bin isn’t emptying. Did I do something wrong during the clean-up process?

    I chose “Secure Empty Trash” and then “Remove All Items”. I get a box that shows up telling me how many files I have in the trash (11, 157) and that it’s emptying the trash….and then it disappears and nothing has been removed.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
    L.

    • > My trash bin isn’t emptying. Did I do something wrong during the clean-up process?

      Secure empty trash takes a long time and I’m really not clear on why it’s recommended here. Normally that’s only used when you want to make sure sensitive information isn’t recoverable.

      Try holding your option key down and selecting regular “Empty Trash” from the Finder menu and see if that doesn’t do it.

      • @Al:
        Secure empty trash does a 7-pass overwrite on the disk sector where that data was stored. It will ensure that MK is physically written over rather than just ‘forgotten’ (as in the case of ordinary Trash) by the disk indexer.

        There may be no reason to use ‘secure empty trash’ at all, but I haven’t been convinced by the arguments that I’ve heard to that effect so far; importantly, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

        • > Secure empty trash does a 7-pass overwrite on the disk sector where that data was stored. It will ensure that MK is physically written over rather than just ‘forgotten’ (as in the case of ordinary Trash) by the disk indexer.

          Yes, I know as I played an extremely small part in getting Apple to add this capability in order to deal with the government (although this exceeds governments standards for such things).

          > There may be no reason to use ‘secure empty trash’ at all, but I haven’t been convinced by the arguments that I’ve heard to that effect so far…

          That’s fair, but I haven’t seen such arguments, so I’m not sure what to say about them. I wouldn’t mind discussing it with you, but I fear this isn’t the right place for that, so I’ll limit my remarks to something related to this blog.

          I’m convinced that MacKeeper uses a technique for resurrecting deleted files by keeping a copy of everything that is emptied from the Trash in a directory it owns (my guess would be somewhere in /Library/Application Support/MacKeeper/). I am personally aware of another Mac Utility that has an option to do this. It’s even possible that it’s keeping temp files, but I don’t exactly know why it would. Anyway, in following your instructions, users are moving that “stash” of files to their trash can. That’s how a few dozen “MacKeeper” files turn quickly into over 11,000 in Leanne’s case. That’s when a “Secure Empty Trash” turns into a 77,000 file overwrite exercise, easily an overnight task.

          • That’s an interesting theory, Al and one I’ll look into (I’ve currently got a demo of Mackeeper imprisoned in an isolated Lion install.)

            However, I think its precisely something like this that justifies using ‘secure empty trash’, IMO. The reason I included it in the procedure is that I suspected MK might sniff out and stash personal info in its own folder/files somewhere (trawling the trash is a very smart way to do it that I hadn’t thought of, rather like private detectives in real life!).

            Since there’s no telling what MK has really been up to, it seems wisest to me to nuke everywhere its been. I appreciate for some who don’t have any sensitive information on their computers or aren’t worried about unknown copies of data being present then its probably not necessary. Still, I’m trying to cover all the bases for as many people as possible.

            For me, its rather like my aversion to Versions. I don’t like not knowing where my data is, or having some other process storing it away out of my sight.

    • You can just empty Trash normally if needs be. If it that doesn’t work, restart the computer first then empty Trash. Remember to double check Activity monitor after you restart.

  57. Thank you for your very easy-to-understand instructions on how to remove MacKeeper!!! No problems at all. The one up-side to this experience is that I feel I got more intimately acquainted with my Mac. I saw places and hidden zones (Library) that I had no idea about!

    Me and my Mac are tight now. 🙂
    Thanks again.
    L.

  58. For those who got their refund, what did you say was the reason why you wanted one?

    I also bought this program without doing the research I normally do…(head hung in shame)…and will now attempt the above approach to remove it from my system. I want my money back and I want this knot in the pit of my stomach gone too! At least I just bought it last night and we haven’t been on the computer at all since then, so hopefully no real damage.

    Thanks to all for your comments. I’ve learned my lesson. 🙂

    • > For those who got their refund, what did you say was the reason why you wanted one?

      It has a 1 year money back guarantee, so I would guess it doesn’t matter what reason you give them.

  59. I can’t find anything. I did uninstall 😦 hope that didn’t open something else up 😦
    never did find it in the library or applications
    jeez all i wanted to do was clean up my machine, it is running slow and I need to maintain it better. Thanks for your help, I hope I got rid of mackeeper 😦

    • > I can’t find anything. I did uninstall hope that didn’t open something else up
      never did find it in the library or applications.

      If you did the uninstall, then chances are good that you got rid of the majority of it. Did you try using Find Any File or EasyFind to look for “mackeeper” and “zeobit” as outlined in Steps 3 and 5? Don’t use Spotlight or Finder as they will not look in all the right places.

  60. I can’t find it in my library! i can’t believe i downloaded this, I NEVER do stupid stuff like this!
    it is not in my library, what does that mean? I never did the step to enter email pass word etc?

    • Is it in your Applications folder? If so, do the following:

      1. If MacKeeper is running, quit it.

      2. Go to your Downloads folder and drag the ‘Mackeeper.pkg’ file to the trash.

      3. In your apps folder, drag ‘MacKeeper.app’ to the Trash.

      4. Ignore the pop up asking you to tell why you’re uninstalling it (you can’t close it down, but just leave it on the screen)

      5. Click ‘secure empty trash’.

      6. When the trash has finished, restart your mac.

      7. Check in Activity Monitor for ‘Mackeeper helper’ (you shouldn’t find it, but if you do, post back here please!).

      8. Now use EasyFind (not Finder) to dig out the few remnants of caches, preference files and so on that its left behind if you wish as described in the main post above.

  61. I followed all of your instructions but there is one process that I have yet to be able to get rid of from Zeo/MacKeeper… It’s called AntiVirus. It’s running from the root user and I can’t seem to get rid of it. Any ideas? When I sample the process, it points to MacKeeper. Here is some of the sample….HELP! 🙂

    Analysis of sampling AntiVirus (pid 101) every 1 millisecond
    Process: AntiVirus [101]
    Path: /Library/Application Support/MacKeeper/AntiVirus.app/Contents/MacOS/AntiVirus
    Load Address: 0x1000
    Identifier: AntiVirus
    Version: ??? (???)
    Code Type: X86 (Native)
    Parent Process: launchd [1]

    Date/Time: 2012-03-03 00:48:57.007 -0500
    OS Version: Mac OS X 10.7.3 (11D50b)
    Report Version: 7

    Call graph:
    2789 Thread_683 DispatchQueue_1: com.apple.main-thread (serial)
    + 2789 start (in AntiVirus) + 53 [0x2651]
    + 2789 main (in AntiVirus) + 560 [0x28be]
    + 2789 -[NSRunLoop(NSRunLoop) runMode:beforeDate:] (in Foundation) + 273 [0x93e674e3]
    + 2789 CFRunLoopRunInMode (in CoreFoundation) + 120 [0x9682b328]
    + 2789 CFRunLoopRunSpecific (in CoreFoundation) + 332 [0x9682b47c]
    + 2789 __CFRunLoopRun (in CoreFoundation) + 1428 [0x9682bda4]
    + 2789 __CFRunLoopServiceMachPort (in CoreFoundation) + 170 [0x96822c7a]
    + 2789 mach_msg (in libsystem_kernel.dylib) + 70 [0x935251f6]
    + 2789 mach_msg_trap (in libsystem_kernel.dylib) + 10 [0x93525c22]
    2789 Thread_973 DispatchQueue_2: com.apple.libdispatch-manager (serial)
    2789 _dispatch_mgr_thread (in libdispatch.dylib) + 53 [0x9043b6a7]
    2789 _dispatch_mgr_invoke (in libdispatch.dylib) + 969 [0x9043cc58]
    2789 kevent (in libsystem_kernel.dylib) + 10 [0x9352890a]

    Total number in stack (recursive counted multiple, when >=5):

    • Hi Suzi

      If you’ve deleted that file fron the library as in the procedure above then just restarting your mac should do it. However, if you can’t delete that file then follow the link to starting in safe mode that I gave in reply to John’s comment earlier this page.

  62. Thanks Phil for the guide it really helped.
    Note: I am unfortunately one of the idiots that actually bought the 38 Euro version. I started to get cautious when there was hardly any details in the “My account” pages or any possibility to cancel licenses etc.

    Hope my system is now free of this crap.

    @ All – MacKeeper is MALWARE! – so BEWARE!

  63. Shame I can’t post a pic of my grinning face…

    Die, you little RAT ! Die and begone with you !

    It’s a little like carrying out an exorcism. lmao

    I must admit that I keep looking in “activity monitor” just in case it’s risen like a damn zombie !

    Phil, and other contributors, I salute you. Thank you so much for being there, taking the time and making the effort.

    P.s. We all know that I’ll be checking the system for the 50th time tomorrow though : ) Blimey, but that things hard to kill !

    Have a good weekend all.

  64. Thank you for your instructions, but I did fail on steps 1, 2 and 5 😦 Time Machine actually wont let me delete the backups?? As soon as I click onto delete, it wont react anymore, I just can quit it by hitting ESC. Another problem I had, I just found MacKeeper Helper in the Activity Monitor and I cant quit that one either! Its staying either way, no difference in quit or force quit :-/ Any help or hints? Thank you for your help in advance, very much appreciated!

  65. Be careful with speedtest.net!

    Postby Blueswoman on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:04 pm
    Many thanks to Phil! I have just successfully (I hope) got rid of MacKeeper on my MacBook using his instructions. I think MacKeeper is a horrible piece of malware, and I downloaded it quite by accident.

    What happened was, I had been having problems with my download speed, and contacted TalkTalk, my provider, who supplied me with a new router (the router they sent is rubbish, but that’s another story).After connecting the new router, I wanted to run a speed test to see how it was performing. I went to , and the website told me to test my mac for slow performance before running speedtest. When I tried the “Free test” offered, I ended up with a “Trial download” from MacKeeper, which showed all sorts of scary (and nonsensical) issues with my MacBook, which is only 8 months old. I was then bombarded with pop ups, emails, and all the rest, telling me I had only hours left to pay for the full version of MacKeeper and save my computer!

    I am now resolved never to use speedtest.net again, and I would advise others to be careful if they use it.

    What I would like to know is what virus protection etc I should have, if anyone could advise me, I’d be very grateful. I have an older mac mini (PowerPC), and have always used Norton AntiVirus on that, but several members of my family have macs, and have used them for years without virus protection and have never had any problems, so I did not bother getting virus protection for the MacBook, which was mainly intended for travel.

    Once again, thank you Phil!

    • Hi Linda

      Unless you have a Windows installation on your mac, you don’t need any AV software.

      • Thank you Phil! I’ve probably been paying for Norton AV for years on my old mac mini without needing to! I shan’t bother to renew or to get AV for my MacBook.

    • Thanks Linda! That is really some good info!

  66. Just a quick note to say thank you for helping me remove this program, without your guide I would have been left with a spoilt powerbook

    The program generated daily messages of doom and around the 7th day a number of programs disappeared to be replaced by question marks across the dock. The screen also began to blink and flash requiring programs to be restarted.

    If this program did all that was claimed then it would sell itself and not require all the messages of impending computer doom to pressurise potential customers.

    Thank you, I couldn’t have done it without your help.

    • May I just query that you don’t need any AV programs. I use one so that I do not inadvertently
      pass on a virus to a windows user .
      So I use ClamXAV which is free and find it very useful.

      Best regards
      Shirley

  67. Thank you! I downloaded the trial version a while back and guessed it was a scam when it claimed my then brand-new Mac was in a critical condition and that only upgrading to the full version could save it.

    I’d forgotten all about it until recently, when I started wondering why my computer was running so slowly. Now that I’ve followed your instructions, things are back to normal.

  68. Macs don’t require a KEEPER as much as they require a cleaner. I use OnyX for mac. It’s free, open source, safe and it really works if you know what you are doing, otherwise little mistakes can render your computer useless until you do a clean install.

  69. Hi Phil. After removing MacKeeper, how do I correct the damage? For example, my computer no longer has an ip address and can’t connect to the internet. I have had to manually configure dhcp with a different ip address. My computer says that another device is using the old ip address, but I have no other device here.

    How about the other files this malware deleted/”cleaned” out? Would you know what files these would be? How do I get them back again?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi, well, do you have a Time Machine back up or Clone that you can restore the entire system from? If you have Time Machine, you can reboot the computer from your install disk (Leopard/Snow Leopard) or using ‘Command-R’ (Lion) and re-install the OS from Time Machine. If you have a recent clone, you can re-boot into the clone and then copy it back to your internal disk.

      Note that in both cases you will lose any changes made after the date of the backup you restore from.

      If you don’t have TM or any other backup, you are going to have to solve each problem individually. You may need people with different expertises for different problems, so for that reason I’d suggest you post on the Apple Support Community forums. Not only are there people there with more expertise than myself (for example, about IP configuration), but there’s a great deal of collective experience that you can’t really find anywhere else (I’m also active over there too, so if it’s something I have knowledge about I’ll be able to help through that channel).

  70. Yes, you could do some serious damage if you delete the wrong files. However, don’t let ANYONE no matter how competent, start messing with your system unless you have a backup (ideally a clone — see here, but TM will do). Then, no matter if anything goes wrong, you can restore your system to how it was before you (or someone else) messed around with it.

    If you don’t know how to make a clone, get someone who is comfortable with computers to first make one for you. Then run the procedure above on your system. After that, make a new clone of your (now) clean system on top of the old clone (which will have MacKeeper still on it).

    All this is actually in the instructions above, but if its a bit daunting, it’s probably less stressful to let someone do it who is comfortable around computers.

  71. Can I do any damage to the OS ( Snow Leopard ) if I attempt this myself ? Give me wood or steel and I’m fine, confusers and gidgets just confound me : ( although I can follow the instructions so far as reading them through is concerned. Or is it best to wait for someone more competent.

    My machine, iMac 27″ from late 2010, just keeps getting grindingly slow at processing the simplest of tasks and I want to spring clean it. That’s when I found your blog/homepage.

    Annoyed that I got suckered… Grrr…

    Hope I’m not bothering with inane questions and thanks for any help in advance.

  72. All I can say is… ” DOH !!! ”

    I bought into it.

    : (

    Getting a more competent friend to follow your instructions !

    Thanks for your time and efforts : ) All best with the MA : ) Sheff is ok, Leeds is better but Vienna is soooo nice !

  73. OK, I am also a lucky one who came here first and for that I thank you. Now, there is a reason this MacKeeper is so attractive. My question is: What would you recommend instead? Is there a utility you would go to instead?

    • To do what? Most of the functions of MK are functions that either exist already in OS X or unnecessary. There are other 3rd party apps that are not as invasive or destructive to do most of the other things. It all depends on what you’re trying to do.

      • Well… I am one of those lazy dummies who almost got sucked in by MK’s slick advertising falsely promising to Clean, Secure, Protect data on and Optimize my mac for me and I’m really glad I didn’t click that button but came here instead. So could you pls point me toward those ‘other 3rd party apps that are not as invasive or destructive’?

        I think what I want to do is pretty obvious. I still want to Clean, Secure, Protect data on and Optimize my mac. MK may be a piece of crap but I still want a utility that will do it all for me so I can get it all without having to really do or learn anything because I am still the lazy dummy who almost fell for their spin!

  74. My iMac and MBPro were both running extremely slowly – sometimes 30 seconds of SPOD to simply display the contents of a local folder. I found this post, followed the steps and completely removed MacKeeper, and voila! My Macs are Back! Thanks so much!

    Next, I contacted Zeobit, and without any hesitation after seeing I purchased it back in October of 2011 (a scant 5 months ago), issued a refund to my credit card. So, good on them. They did suggest I try the new version, and said it wouldn’t have the same issues. I decided to go with the refund, and they were fine with that.

  75. Hi Phil,

    Well I appreciate your endeavours. I only downloaded MacKeeper yesterday so only have one file showing which is now on the back-up disk. I can’t see it can do any harm so I don’t think it’s worth pursuing your valued time on it anymore.

    Thank you so much for your endeavours. At least I now know my Mac is safe once again and all thanks to you.

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