One of the more controversial pieces of software available for OS X is a package called MacKeeper, which by fairly aggressive and widespread scare-tactic advertising has many Mac users convinced it is required software for keeping their systems safe, clean, and in proper working order. Any claims that this or similar software are requirements are false, but unfortunately many who have tried the software may find that even after removing it, they still have remnants of it on their systems that issue various notices about how their systems are critically unsafe, with recommendations to re-activate and re-install the software.
If you have installed this software on your Mac, then there is a way to remove it and all of its contents from your system, which will take a little digging around on your Mac, but which should be quite doable for most people.
1. Backup your Mac
First, be sure you back up your Mac by updating or creating a Time Machine backup or a system clone. Even though this backup will contain the MacKeeper files, it will ensure your system is restorable in case something goes wrong.
2. Turn off all MacKeeper security features
MacKeeper includes a numbers of security options, such as file encryption and safe browsing, so be sure to open MacKeeper and completely turn these features off. This will ensure your “secured” files are accessible once MacKeeper is removed. After doing this, close the program and again update your Time Machine backup to ensure all files are properly backed up.
3. Remove the MacKeeper Files
Now for the fun part: remove all of the following files from your system, which seem like a lot, but they can be accessed primarily through the Finder just like any other file. There are several places these files are located, so we will go through each location separately. At most you may be required to supply your administrative password when removing some of these files, and will only need to use special tools like the Terminal for a couple of the files:
The Applications Folder
Go to your Applications folder and remove the MacKeeper.app program located in there. As with all the files here, do this by dragging it to the trash (select it and press Command-delete), followed by emptying the trash.
Your Home Library Folder
For the files in your home library, open the Go menu in the Finder, and then press the Option key to reveal the Library if it’s not already present. Selecting this will open the Library folder, in which you can locate and remove the following files (note that “Library” here indicates the folder opened from the Go menu):
Library > Application Support > MacKeeper Helper Library > Caches > com.zeobit.MacKeeper Library > Caches > com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper Library > Caches > com.mackeeper.MacKeeper Library > Caches > com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper Library > LaunchAgents > com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper.plist Library > LaunchAgents > com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plugin.Backup.agent.plist Library > LaunchAgents > com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper.plist Library > Logs > MacKeeper.log Library > Logs > MacKeeper.log.signed Library > Preferences > com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plist Library > Preferences > com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper.plist Library > Preferences > com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.plist Library > Preferences > com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper.plist
Keep in mind that these files will need to be removed for every user account that has been logged into while MacKeeper has been installed, especially if the program has been run under that account.
Your Documents Folder
Choose “Documents” from the Go menu in the Finder, and then locate and remove the MacKeeper Backups directory.
Your Mac’s Global Library folder
Now open the Go menu and choose “Computer,” in which you will see your hard drive (e.g., “Macintosh HD”). Open this drive, and then then locate and remove the following files and folders in the Library folder you see here:
Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > MacKeeper Macintosh HD > Library > LaunchDaemons > com.zeobit.MacKeeper.AntiVirus.plist Macintosh HD > Library > LaunchDaemons > com.zeobit.MacKeeper.plugin.AntiTheft.daemon.plist
The Hidden System Files
The last step is to remove some hidden files in system folders that are not directly accessible in the Finder. To do this, in the Finder press Shift-Command-G or choose “Go To Folder” from the Go menu. Then type “/private/tmp/” and press Enter to open this hidden folder. In here, remove the file called “com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Installer.config.” Next, repeat this step but type “/private/var/db/receipts/” instead, and then remove the following files:
com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.affid.pkg.plist com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.affid.pkg.bom com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.pkg.plist com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.pkg.bom
A last file to remove is a hidden preferences file, which is most easily dealt with by running the following command in the Terminal utility (copy and paste it if needed, and then supply your password when prompted–your password will not show when typed):
sudo rm /Library/Preferences/.3FAD0F65-FC6E-4889-B975-B96CBF807B78
4. Restart your Mac
After all of these files have been removed, reboot your Mac to ensure all running MacKeeper processes are shut down and are not launched again by the scripts and configuration files you just removed. At this point, your system should be clear from the MacKeeper software.
As of this writing, MacKeeper’s version is 3.4.2