How to Know You Have a Virus on an iMac

By James Wright

Macintosh computers are often advertised as being immune to viruses, and while they do not suffer from as many viruses as computers running Windows operating systems, this does not mean that they are completely immune. As they become more popular and widely used, more viruses may begin to make their way into the Mac OS. Checking for viruses on a Mac computer is not difficult and can be relatively quick except for the scanning process.

Step 1

Download a Mac antivirus program. A popular and free program is ClamXav, which is a small yet reliable program that can scan your entire computer. A download link has been provided in the Resources section below.

Step 2

Extract the DMG file and drag the ClamXav program into your Applications folder. You can do this by simply dragging the icon onto the Applications folder on the left hand side of the Finder window. After this you can open the program inside the Applications folder and complete the install process.

Step 3

Select the "Choose what to scan" button and navigate to your Macintosh HD folder. You cannot select it to scan, but you can select every folder within it. Simply click the top folder, then hold down the "Shift" key and click the rest. Then you can press the "Open" button, and press "Start Scan."

Step 4

Check your scan log for the results. If you don't have any viruses you won't have to do anything else, but if you do find you have any, you will need to decide what to do from there. Usually you will want to quarantine and remove the virus as soon as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make use of the scheduled scan feature. Scanning for viruses can use up a lot of power and slow down your computer, so if you set it up to scan while you are away, you can skip the hassle.
  • Practice safe browsing to avoid getting viruses to begin with. Be careful of what sites you visit, what you download and how you access the Internet. This will greatly decrease the chances of ever getting a virus at all.