While browsing the web, you may have seen a “Porn Virus Alert” appear on your Mac, asking you to call Apple to resolve the issue. But this alert is a scam and calling the number provided could cost you a lot of money.
Apple doesn’t issue virus alerts like this, so you need to be extra careful.
In this guide, we will tell you where this “Porn Virus Alert” came from and how to safely remove it from your Mac for free.
Does my Mac have a pornography virus?
Despite the claims of any pop-up window, it is very unlikely that you will get a computer virus while viewing pornography on your Mac. In fact, “Porn Virus Alerts” appear even when no one has ever viewed pornography on your Mac.
As we have already mentioned, this is not a true virus scare; it is a scam.
Everything that is mentioned in a “pornographic virus alert” is designed to scare you into calling the fake Apple support number it displays. These fear tactics could include:
- Pretending that you broke the law
- Warning that your Mac is blocked
- Accuse you of sharing viruses from your Mac
- Play a robotic voice that tells you to call Apple
This bogus “virus alert” can even start downloading files to your Mac, which it does to slow down your Mac. It might even freeze your internet browser to make your Mac appear to be blocked.
The purpose of this alert is to convince people to call the fake Apple support number provided, which leads to a team of crooks pretending to be Apple. These scammers will try to trick you into paying them to remove the virus from your Mac.
Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to get rid of these “virus alerts” and any other viruses on your Mac for free.
Step 1. Force close your browser to “unlock” your Mac
Most likely, your Mac’s internet browser stopped working when the “Porn Virus Alert” appeared. This is because this alert wants you to think that your Mac is stuck and will no longer work.
Fortunately, this is not the case.
All you have to do is press Cmd + Q to quit your Internet browser. If it does not respond, press Cmd + Option + Esc and choose to Force quit your browser instead.
If you are using Safari, hold Offset while opening it again to avoid loading the same bogus “pornographic virus alert”. For other browsers, visit the developer website to learn how to open a new window without loading your previous session.
Step 2. Stop suspicious processes in Activity Monitor
After closing your browser, your Mac should resume working at its normal speed. However, if you have a virus, there may be other processes running in the background that are slowing it down as well.
hurry Cmd + Space, then find and open Activity monitor to stop these processes.
In Activity Monitor, check for any suspicious processes that use a % CPU, then select them and click the Stop icon to exit them.
Step 3. Create a new backup to avoid data loss
Now that you’ve closed your browser and stopped all the power-hungry background processes, your Mac should be running at normal speed again.
Don’t be fooled, we haven’t done anything to remove viruses or virus alerts from your computer yet. But now that your Mac is back at full speed, now is a good time to create a backup in case you lose data in the following steps.
When backing up your Mac, it is essential that you do not overwrite any existing backup.
Right now, there may be a virus on your Mac that we cannot help you remove. If so, you will need to restore a backup from before the virus in order to remove it.
For this reason, be sure to create a brand new backup, rather than just updating your existing backup. We suggest you use Time Machine to back up your Mac. Time Machine preserves your existing backups so you don’t have to worry about overwriting anything.
Step 4. Update macOS and all your Mac apps
Keeping your Mac up to date is important to make sure you take advantage of the latest security enhancements in macOS. With each update, Apple updates its list of known malware and computer viruses while fixing potential security holes.
To update your Mac, click the button Apple in the upper left corner, then navigate to System Preferences> Software Update.
You should also take the time to update all the apps on your Mac.
To update the apps you got from the App Store, open the App store and click Update in the sidebar. So choose to Update all.
For apps you downloaded outside of the App Store, visit the developer’s official website to download the latest updates for that app.
Step 5. Restart your Mac
Your Mac includes a built-in tool that removes known malware and computer viruses with every restart. This means that removing “Porn Virus Alert” from your Mac can be as easy as turning it off and on again.
Click it Apple in the upper left corner of the screen, then select Restart and confirm that you want to restart your Mac.
If you still see the “Pornographic Virus Alert” after doing this, it means Apple is not yet aware of that particular virus. Repeat the above steps and then follow the below steps to manually remove this virus from your Mac.
Step 6. Remove newly installed apps from your Mac
If there is a virus on your Mac, chances are you installed it yourself thinking it was another application. Remember if you’ve recently downloaded any new apps. It is a good idea to delete them now.
To uninstall an app, open Searcher and click Applications in the sidebar. Find the app you want to uninstall, then drag it into the Waste. When you empty the Trash, it will remove that app from your Mac.
You may also need to check the installed apps in your user account, rather than on a Mac as a whole.
To do this, open Searcher and press Cmd + Shift + Home to access your user account files. Then open the Applications folder to display all the applications installed on your account.
Step 7. Reset your browser homepage and extensions
Some viruses change your browser settings to continue to redirect you to the same “pornographic virus alert” web page. It can even happen due to an extension that you recently installed on your browser.
We recommend that you reset your browser’s home page in settings and disable or uninstall any extensions you recently installed.
If you are using Safari, press and hold Offset when opening Safari to avoid loading the last session you opened. Then click Safari> Preferences to display the settings.
Of General tab, modify the Home page on a trusted website, like https://www.apple.com/.
Of Extensions tab, uncheck the extensions to disable them or select them and click Uninstall to remove them completely.
If you don’t use Safari, check your browser developer’s website for instructions on how to change the home page or uninstall your extensions.
Step 8. Scan your Mac for viruses with MalwareBytes
Most viruses find a way to hide in your Mac’s system files, making them difficult to find and remove on your own. Fortunately, you can use MalwareBytes to find and remove these viruses for you.
MalwareBytes is a cybersecurity application that can protect your Mac from viruses, adware, spyware Trojans, and various other types of malware.
Although MalwareBytes offers premium monthly subscriptions, you can download it and scan your Mac for free to remove “pornographic virus alerts” and other similar viruses.
Visit the MalwareBytes website to download this software, then follow the application’s instructions to allow full disk access and scan your Mac for viruses.
You have to follow different steps for iPhone viruses
These steps are effective in removing just about any virus from your Mac, including the pesky “pornographic virus alert” virus, but they might not be that helpful if you’ve managed to catch a virus on your iPhone.
Check out our other guide to removing viruses from iPhone or iPad.
And be sure to let us know in the comments if these steps helped you remove a virus from your Mac. Which step did you find the most useful? And what virus were you struggling with?
Dan writes tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help people get the most out of their technology. Before becoming a writer, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sound technology, supervised repairs at an Apple Store, and even taught English in China.