Mac Security

4 Reasons Why You Really Need to Ditch MacKeeper

Ben Stegner 12-05-2017

Supposed one-click solutions are common in the computer world, and attract many users. Have a slow computer? Download free software, click a button, and everything will be perfect again.


Of course, experienced users know that this is rarely the case. Computers are complex and problems rarely have instant solutions. While you’d figure that Windows users are more susceptible to these shady programs, there’s one well-known Mac tool that has no right to enjoy its popularity.

MacKeeper claims that it’s the best all-in-one utility for your Mac, but in reality, you should stay far away. Here are four big reasons why you don’t ever need MacKeeper Does Your Mac Really Need Tools Like MacKeeper? System cleaning tools and utility suites aren't just for Windows PCs. But what do these tools do, exactly? And should you use them? Read More .

1. It Exposed User Information

Companies losing your data to hackers What You Need To Know About the Massive LinkedIn Accounts Leak A hacker is selling 117 million hacked LinkedIn credentials on the Dark web for around $2,200 in Bitcoin. Kevin Shabazi, CEO and founder of LogMeOnce, helps us to understand just what is at risk. Read More via security flaws is nothing new. But it’s especially bad when a company selling security software is the one hit. In December 2015, a security researcher found a huge pile of MacKeeper user data publicly available through a search engine. Some 13 million usernames, licenses, password hashes, and public IP addresses were available for anyone to find and abuse.

The researcher didn’t own a Mac, and had no idea that MacKeeper is a big scam. He reported the vulnerability to the company and they fixed it quickly. Thankfully, no credit card information was stolen, but this highlights a bigger problem with MacKeeper. The “security” company behind it used a public server without authentication to store this information — definitely a terrible security practice Change Your Bad Habits & Your Data Will Be More Secure Read More .

If you were a MacKeeper subscriber when this breach occurred, you should absolutely change your password. Anywhere you re-used the same password is vulnerable, too, so you should change those. But instead of changing your MacKeeper account password, you’ll want to consider deleting your account after hearing about what else this product does.


2. MacKeeper Hampers Performance

Generally, Macs last a long time and provide solid performance even after years of use — it’s one of the reasons why people love Macs Drinking the Kool Aid: 8 Reasons People Love Their Macs When you can buy a laptop for under $500, and a Chromebook will satisfy most people's computing needs, why do people insist on spending well over $1000 on a Mac? Read More . Unless your Mac is ancient and in need of replacement 6 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Mac How long do Macs last? What are the signs that let you know when to get a new Mac? Here's when you should replace your Mac. Read More , you probably don’t have many slowdown issues. If you find your newer Mac chugging, MacKeeper could be to blame.

There are regular reports from computer repair workers who service customers who complain of slow Macs. Often they find that the user has MacKeeper installed on their system. Upon removing it, the slowdown goes away. macOS is a stable operating system out of the box, so it’s clear that something else is causing the problem.

Why would you want to add something to your nice, clean Mac that causes a bunch of problems? You might think that its features are worth the performance hit, but…

3. The Tools Aren’t Necessary Anyway

The entire point of having MacKeeper installed is so that its tools can keep your Mac safe and improve performance. Let’s quickly review what each of these claim to do — right from the MacKeeper website — and why you don’t need them:


More Useless Utilities

You’ll note that every “feature” of MacKeeper is something we’ve explained how to do yourself. Learning these basic Mac tasks will help you better understand your system instead of keeping you hostage by paying for nothing.

4. The Company Is Shady

Even if the above problems weren’t in play, MacKeeper doesn’t respect you as a customer. When you start using the software, you’ll see all sorts of “warnings” and other scare tactics letting you know that your Mac is “dirty” and full of problems.

These are the same tricks you’ll see in snake oil Windows software The 7 Worst Places for Downloading Windows Software Software can be packed with bloatware and worse, malware. You can catch malware, if you download your tools from the wrong source. These are the sites you should avoid... Read More . Claiming that temporary files are “slowing down your Mac” and that your system is “insecure” because Chrome is one half-version out of date is ludicrous. They’re only using these tactics to scare you into keeping the software installed or paying for an upgrade.

MacKeeper has also come under fire for using scummy marketing techniques. Many Mac users have seen random new tabs or “pop-under” ads Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Pop-ups can catch you off guard, and if you're not careful they can create problems. Learn how to avoid them and how to handle them if they do come up. Read More open up to advertise MacKeeper. These also claim that the user’s Mac is “dirty” and needs cleaning. You can add phony testimonials and a lawsuit that arose from their dishonesty about what the free product offered to the list of reasons not to trust them.


But that’s not all! In 2016, a YouTuber known as LUWADO published several vides reviewing and discussing MacKeeper. It was a fair and neutral review, ultimately recommending that you stay away from the app for many of the same reasons we’ve discussed. But MacKeeper didn’t like this. The company contacted him and threatened to sue if he didn’t take the videos down.

When did it become illegal to publish negative reviews Leaving An Online Review? Word It Right To Avoid Legal Action Companies are chasing down negative commenters and reviewers with threats of legal action. How serious is this problem, and what can you do to receive an unexpected letter from a lawyer? Read More of an app? Blackmailing someone who informs viewers about a scam app is completely wrong. Why would you want to trust the security of your computer to such a vile company?

Your Mac Is Better Without MacKeeper

We’ve covered five major reasons why you should never use MacKeeper on your Mac. Simply put, there’s no reason to use this software. It doesn’t value your security, is run by a vile company, duplicates built-in macOS utilities, and will make your Mac run worse, not better.


Of course, MacKeeper doesn’t want to see you go, so they’ve made the process more difficult than most Mac apps. We’ve written a complete guide to removing MacKeeper It's Finally Time To Ditch MacKeeper: Replace It With These Free Tools Apparently your computer is riddled with problems, junk files and wide-open to attacks that only MacKeeper can protect you against — but we know that's not the case. Read More and replacing it with superior tools if you need help ditching it.

You only need a few tools and some common sense Here's The Only Mac Security Software You Need For most people, OS X is fairly secure out of the box — and there are a number of programs out there that potentially do more harm than good. Read More to keep your Mac secure. Don’t overthink it and let these thieves steal your money and waste your system’s resources.

Have you ever used MacKeeper on your Mac? Did you know that its tools aren’t as useful as they claim? We’d love to hear your personal experiences with the software down in the comments.

Image Credits: Picsfive/Shutterstock

Related topics: Computer Security, Scams.

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  1. Simon
    June 23, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Agree with everything you say. I also treat companies who let macKeeper advertise on their sites as shady. I downloaded very late one night and I was never able to get everything of MacKeeper off my mac. In fact to this day there are some pieces of our plant which we control through HTML and my Mac is still blocked by this 'virus'. It works it's way all over your mac so it is a virus as it infects your machine for ever.
    Where is from? Russia? Romania? It is a dog!
    Thanks for the article which I have sent to several others.

  2. Jill Dalton
    May 15, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    But...but .... but... I'll miss having their popup ads disturbing all the websites I try to visit.