There are no viruses for Mac, right? Well, it’s just a myth. macOS is less likely to get infected, but it’s not invulnerable. Malware creators are looking for new sneaky ways of infecting Macs. Even such a genuine-looking pop-up alert as “Your computer is low on memory” can be a part of their dodgy tactics.
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Your computer is low on memory! To free up some memory, please close a few applications. Don't hurry to hit the Close button. This notification looks like an official one by Apple. If your PC is rated lower than 2 or 3, it might be time to consider a new PC, depending on what tasks you want to do with your computer. Change the size of virtual memory If you receive warnings that your virtual memory is low, you'll need to increase the minimum size of your paging file. How to free up memory on your computer Load OP (RAM) remains the main reason for the reduction in speed when working on a PC. The more open applications and different programs, the greater the loss of performance. To solve this problem, you need to free up memory. Type free up disk space in the Search box. Tap or select Settings. Tap or select Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files on the left side of your screen. In the Drives list, tap or select the drive that you want to clean up. Tap or select OK. In the message that appears, tap or select Delete files. Select PC and devices, and then select Disk space. Under Free up space on this PC, note the amount of free space and total size.
Today, I’ll show you how to detect a pop-up virus on your Mac, get rid of it, and keep your computer as safe as possible. Let’s get started!
What is a pop-up virus?
Do manipulative pop-up messages keep bombarding your Mac? Chances are it got infected with a pop-up virus. These malicious warnings usually appear while you’re browsing the web and disguise as:
- Fake virus alerts.
- Error messages telling there is an issue with your computer.
- Pop-ups advertising fake software updates.
Such notifications persuade you to click on the link or button to solve the non-existent problem with your Mac. In most cases, clicking the link kickstarts malware downloading. These links and buttons can also lead to dubious websites where you may be enticed to provide personal or payment details.
Manipulative alerts can be very profitable for cybercriminals. According to the Information Warfare Monitor, hackers behind Koobface made over $2M in revenue in just one year (2009-2010). The virus spread among Facebook via messages with fake Adobe Flash Player update.
Here are some other symptoms of the pop-up virus:
- Browser’s homepage and search engine have been changed without your knowledge.
- Computer glitches or slows down dramatically.
- Unwanted extensions and toolbars you don’t remember installing appear in your browser.
- The link you click in search results redirects to another website.
Now that you know how to identify a scammer, let's see one of them in detail.
How “Your computer is low on memory” virus works
If you notice a pop-up message that states:
Your computer is low on memory! To free up some memory, please close a few applications.
… don't hurry to hit the Close button. This notification looks like an official one by Apple. However, it's spread by a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that got into your computer bundled with other freeware. The chief goals are to trick you into:
- giving the malware different permissions, such as control over your browsers.
- installing other malicious apps or fake software optimizers on your Mac.
So what’s so dangerous about clicking on the Close button? When you press it, you unintentionally hit the disguised button as well. In such a deceptive way, the malicious app hides a request to allow potentially harmful actions. For instance, it might ask permission to change your browser’s settings.
The pop-up virus is intrusive because of unwanted alerts. But it also could be hazardous for your system performance and data safety as it makes a path for more threats to come. The best way to eradicate malware is to prevent it from even getting into your computer.
How to avoid getting the pop-up viruses
Here is a brief safety instruction to use:
Always opt for custom installation
Make sure that anything you install on your Mac comes from known and trusted sources. Check dialog boxes during installation and deselect anything that seems unfamiliar. Of course, never install the software you don’t trust.
Keep antivirus software up to date
Developers release new versions to add extra features and boost security. To make your computer less vulnerable, update your anti-malware tool regularly or installing a new one from scratch if you don't have it yet. I always rely on CleanMyMac X by MacPaw as it's an Apple-notarized software. That means its code has been deemed safe by Apple itself.
You can eliminate the pop-up using this tool
It'll take a few clicks to scan your Mac with CleanMyMac X's Malware Removal and get rid of any malicious app. You can be sure that any files related to system performance won't be deleted. You can get CleanMyMac X free version here.
The interface of this app is absolutely gorgeous by the way:
Ignore manipulative messages
Never click any suspicious pop-up ads, error notifications, or virus alerts. The more dramatic the warning is, the more likely it’s to steal your data and money.
If possible, use a pop-up blocker or at least make sure not to click on the links. Pay special attention to the links in any message you get unless you're sure who has sent it and where this link takes you to.
Visit only trustworthy websites
Heed the warning if your browser says that a website may be unsafe. Watch out for sites that offer freeware or illegal content as they’re more likely to display adware or try to trick you into downloading malicious software. Make sure your browser's security settings are high enough to identify any unauthorized downloads.
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Back up your data regularly
What’s the most valuable thing on your computer? Right, it’s your data! Set an automatic, regular back up using Time Machine or your preferred backup tool. If the worst happens, your data will be in safety.
Still, sometimes even the most vigilant efforts fail. If you keep getting “Your computer is low on memory” message or any other alerts that seem shady, check your Mac for malware right away. You can also enable real-time protection from CleanMyMac X to monitor your computer for threats on the background and neutralize them right on the spot.
Load OP (RAM) remains the main reason for the reduction in speed when working on a PC. The more open applications and different programs, the greater the loss of performance. To solve this problem, you need to free up memory on your computer from a kind of “ballast”. Let’s look at some ways to accomplish this task without the need to reboot the entire system.
We close programs that we do not use
Open applications have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the OP. Deactivation of some of them is impossible for the reason that they are systemic. This leads to poor performance or system errors. The type of active software determines the procedure for performing the cleaning process.
We close those programs that we do not use. You can see them in the taskbar. The most correct way is to enter the software interface and then close it.
Certain actions are necessary when the memory is overloaded, which does not allow entering the program:
- open the task manager with the combination of keys Alt + Ctrl + Del;
- find the software with the inscription on the absence of a reply in the “Applications” tab;
- After selecting the desired line, activate the “End application” button.
- It is necessary to take into account the possible loss of data as a result of the action. We apply it only in case of extreme necessity. Always try to wait for the transition to normal mode to complete the process with the maximum correctness.
- Such processes are not displayed on the taskbar and also increase the workload of the operating memory. To complete their operation there is a different methodology.
We move to the “processes” section in the task manager. We sort the programs by value.
- The degree of allocated memory to ensure their operation is the main factor in the order of location. Only absolute certainty that the absence of a specific component will not affect the functioning of the computer, allows you to complete their work. The main tasks are those responsible for the operation of external equipment, network connections and system.
You can define the name of some background processes by hovering the cursor over them in the right corner of the desktop. Closing them is done by selecting the appropriate menu item after right-clicking the mouse. Some of the anti-virus programs do not have this function and need to activate the software with the left button, after which the closure is performed from the main menu.
Clearing Auto Backup
This function initiates selected applications to improve user comfort. Automatic launch of programs without your intervention is embedded in the configuration of the installation by many developers. Most often this applies to background processes. You can remove them from startup as follows.
Editing folder: Pfsense plex firewall.
- looking for a startup folder in the contents of the system disk;
- search sequence – C: ProgramData Microsoft Windows StartMenu Programs Startup;
- from the list of shortcuts loaded with the system, delete unnecessary ones.
- go to the “Standard” section by clicking the Start button;
- the system configuration window will open after you enter msconfig into the command line;
- turn off applications by clicking on the Startup tab.
But the release of OD when using this method is possible only when the computer is restarted.
Restarting Windows Explorer
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A universal file manager built into the operating system can be rebooted without the need to close other operations.
- activation of the utility by the combination Alt + Ctrl + Del;
- image explorer.exe found in the “Processes” tab and pressing the corresponding button completes the task.
Do not be afraid of disappearing on the desktop sign “Start” and the taskbar. All other applications remain active.
- click the Task button in the Task Manager and click Run;
- the dispatcher will start after entering the explorer.exe command in the command line.
- a standard type file with a .txt extension is created using Notepad on the desktop;
- write taskkill / f / im explorer.exe, start explorer.exe after opening it;
- “Restart explorer.bat” – the name of the file after saving.
After clicking on the file icon, the reboot starts.
It is not necessary to make repeated attempts at initialization. It will take some time for the system to complete the process.
Clearing the memory without rebooting the PC
Setting up the Windows registry manually helps you to solve the task most effectively.
The Regedit command
After you include the command line in the “Standard Buttons” folder of the “Start” command, open the menu by typing regedit. Further we carry out:
- Select libraries that are not used. Create the DWORD parameter in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer folder and denote it with 1.
- Find the parameter NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate in the above folder and also note it 1.
Over time, a significant number of errors accumulate in the registry, which are leveled only by special utilities.
In addition to direct harm, viruses also significantly reduce PC performance. Standard methods cannot always detect them and you need to install utilities, among which Kaspersky and DrWeb are popular. Let’s also highlight Avast.
Important conditions for effective work – the installation of automatic updates and the implementation of a full scan at least once a week.
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Similar utilities, despite the wide advertising, have very low efficiency. It is much more expedient to use the application “Resource Monitor” from the Windows set.
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This method is the most optimal, because third-party utilities themselves require a certain PC resource.
Clean the disc
The execution time of operations increases with the maximum load of the hard disk.
You can fix the problem as follows:
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- removing unnecessary files from the disk;
- having defragmented.
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To increase the speed, it is recommended that both items be run.