1 2 3 Previous Next 68 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2012 9:48 PM by MadMacs0
jayv. Level 4 Level 4 (1,230 points)

Hi,

 

I have seen, heard and read plenty of bad stuff on MacKeeper.

What i would like to know though is exactly HOW it messes with a Mac to the point it runs slow, crashes etc etc.
Hundreds of people are very opinionated on why not to install it or stay away from it but i'd like to know the details.

Currently reviewing a bunch of Antivirus solutions for Mac and MacKeeper is one of them.

 

I installed it (after making a TM backup and drive clone), ran a scan and so far i have no issues.

RAM and Processor usage is good, applications work, no browser windows opening on it's own or anything like that.

I know they scare their users into paying for the application by presenting issues that are not actually issues but

so far i do not see any performance issues on my Mac.

 

If anyone could clarify in detail if possible how exactly MacKeeper cripples a Mac it'd be much appreciated.

 

Jay

 

As there is no category for this i put it here, if there is a better place please let me know.

 

Message was edited by: Pr0digy V.


MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion, "Always make backups!!"
  • 1. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,655 points)

    It doesn't cripple a Mac - it's just malware that doesn't really do anything that free or shareware apps can do: and it's not very good at what it can do. Even after an uninstall, MacKeeper keeps popping up with insidious messages about how your computer may be at risk.

     

    See here - Do not Install MacKeeper and here - How to Uninstall MacKeeper.

     

    I installed it and paid for it. I not only found that it didn't really work as completely advertised, I found it extremely annoying. I contacted the Bay Area Better Business Bureau and got a refund. One thing that I will say in the developer's favor are that they were quick to issue a refund.

     

    Sorry that I didn't run down a detailed account of all that MacKeeper advertises to do well and doesn't - that would be a long laundry list and I simply don't have the time. Software should be seamless and play nice in the background when interacting with other tasks - MacKeeper is just annoying.

     

    My 2¢...

     

    Clinton

  • 2. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    jayv. Level 4 Level 4 (1,230 points)

    Thanks for your Clinton.

    Not meaning to take up much of your time but when you say you found it annoying, what do you mean by that?

    Would also be interested in hearing how MacKeeper can continue to operate on your Mac after an uninstall.

     

    Thanks again,

     

    Jay

  • 3. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    alwaysforever Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    All of the files aren't deleted after the uninstall. If Clinton got alerts after uninstalling, there were artifacts left behind that kept sending messages or running popups.

     

    This software is dishonest adware, is what it is. It alerts you of false positives... problems on your computer that aren't problems at all, or may not even exist.

  • 4. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,655 points)

    The continual popups - that's what I found annoying (and, yes, I use Growl and, now, Notifications, but I find those popups helpful).

     

    Even if you use MacKeeper's uninstall package, it will leave remnants that will popup and tell you that your computer is at risk. That's why you have to do the manual uninstall of those remnants, as outlined in the article by Phil Stokes. OS X does 90% of what MacKeeper claims to do - MacKeeper just brings the housekeeping tasks to the forefront to make it look as if it's actually accomplishing something. If you feel as if you need av software, ClamXav does a much better job. If you feel as if you need some 'spring cleaning' there are numerous apps to choose from - most are free. If you want help uninstalling apps, there is always the free AppCleaner and several others at a minimum price. In short, there's nothing on the laundry list of what MacKeeper does that can't be accomplished with free apps - or super inexpensive apps (or even OS X itself) - without advertising themselves. Wanna drag an app in the Trash - oops, here comes MacKeeper! Use the free AppCleaner if you don't want auxiliary files laying about.

     

    I could go on and on - and, mind you, I'm not one of those who just tried the application or are going on hearsay. I installed it and bought it and then felt like a fool.

     

    Now I'm up to 4¢...

     

    Clinton

  • 5. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    jayv. Level 4 Level 4 (1,230 points)

    Thanks Clinton,

     

    I have checked the uninstaller (the one that pops up when you try to trash the application), it does appear to remove all files now. Double checked this by using Clean My Mac and the list of attached files it generates as well as philastokes' list. That probably explains why i do not have this issue.

     

    I agree that MacKeeper offers features that can be done by other apps better and mostly free, their advertising tactics is obnoxious and the use of scare tactics and false positives, as alwaysforever mentioned, is just wrong. As you said in your first post

    It doesn't cripple a Mac - it's just malware that doesn't really do anything that free or shareware apps can do: and it's not very good at what it can do.

    i can not find or verify it does actual harm to the system (my main focus of the review). Maybe the complaints online are a mix of hear-say and/or old MacKeeper versions that díd mess things up ? (i tested MacKeeper 2012, version 2.3.1, downloaded today).

     

    I will of course mention their unethical ways but i want to stay away from writing hear-say myself, that's why i am looking for those details i can test and verify. Now as i find it hard to believe a company like this has seen the light, changed it's ways and now makes stellar software all feedback about MacKeeper is appreciated to make sure that i don't end up leaving something important out of my review.

     

    Not you though Clinton, this is getting expensive

     

    Jay

  • 6. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    b j t Level 4 Level 4 (3,670 points)

    If you are using this info in a review, you should be putting in YOUR experiences with the product, NOT other peoples!

  • 7. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,655 points)

    I was likely using an older version, as I stopped using it around April of this year - shortly after I got my new computer.

     

    Many bandy about the term 'malware' for MacKeeper and, in the strictest sense, that's what I found it to be. Wikipedia - "'Malware' is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software." (my emphasis added) It's not hostile, it can be intrusive, but mainly I found it annoying.

     

    But they must be selling it to a number of customers who are pleased with it - how else could they afford all of those ads that seem to pop up everywhere? They get 4 star reviews on MacUpdate, have a huge following of faithful fans on Facebook, etc. They must be doing something right - so many users seem pleased with their purchases and when I contacted the BABBB, they had only 7 complaints all which were resolved (mine was, as I said, and quickly).

     

    I feel as if I'm unbiased because I purchased and used the product - I just didn't like it (and the anti-theft 'feature', I felt, was an overstatement).

     

    But review the product honestly - while keeping in mind that some (and I include myself) consider it malware.

     

    Best,

     

    Clinton

  • 8. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    jayv. Level 4 Level 4 (1,230 points)

    BT, that is exactly what i am trying to do.

     

    As i mentioned in my original post:

    RAM and Processor usage is good, applications work, no browser windows opening on it's own or anything like that.

    I know they scare their users into paying for the application by presenting issues that are not actually issues but so far i do not see any performance issues on my Mac.

     

    And mentioned in my previous post:

    i want to stay away from writing hear-say myself, that's why i am looking for those details i can test and verify.

     

    I do not intend on writing down other people's experiences.

  • 9. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    b j t Level 4 Level 4 (3,670 points)

    Sorry that I mis-understood your intentions ;)

  • 10. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,905 points)

    OS X versions 10.6.7 and later have built-in detection of known Mac malware in downloaded files. The recognition database is automatically updated once a day; however, you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead of the defenders. In most cases, there’s no benefit from any other automated protection against malware.

     

    The most effective defense against malware is your own intelligence. All known malware on the Internet that affects a fully-updated installation of OS X 10.6 or later takes the form of trojans, which can only work if the victim is duped into running them. If you're smarter than the malware attacker thinks you are, you won't be duped. That means, primarily, that you never install software from an untrustworthy source. How do you know a source is untrustworthy?

     

    1. Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown site, merely in order to use the site, is untrustworthy.
    2. A web operator who tells you that you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, or that you have won a prize in a contest you never entered, is trying to commit a crime with you as the victim.
    3. “Cracked” copies of commercial software downloaded from a bittorrent are likely to be infected.
    4. Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. No intermediary is acceptable.

     

    Disable Java (not JavaScript) in your web browser(s). Few websites have Java content nowadays, so you won’t be missing much. This setting is mandatory in OS X 10.5.8 or earlier, because Java in those versions has bugs that make it unsafe to use on the Internet. Those bugs will probably never be fixed, because those older operating systems are no longer being maintained by Apple. Upgrade to a newer version of OS X as soon as you can.

     

    Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be as safe from malware as you can reasonably be.

     

    Never install any commercial "anti-virus" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good. If you need to be able to detect Windows malware in your files, use the free software ClamXav — nothing else.

  • 11. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    jayv. Level 4 Level 4 (1,230 points)

    Thanks for the feedback Linc.

    Never install any commercial "anti-virus" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good.

    Could you please explain what you mean by this, how do they do harm?
    I have tested over a lot of antivirus solutions for the Mac so far, with only two that actually caused a crash or any system wide issues. A few others have resource usage that's quite high affecting responsiveness of the Mac but i wouldn't call this 'harm'. ClamXav is decent, it's detection scope is really good but as it does not have a real-time or on-access file scanner you won't know you are infected until you decide to run a scan. If you set up Sentry to keep a real-time eye on your entire drive performance is impacted a great deal.

     

    Do you have any experience with MacKeeper?

     

    Jay

  • 12. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,905 points)

    They do harm by wasting CPU and I/O bandwidth, and by destabilizing the system, sometimes disastrously, with no offsetting benefit. The idea that you have to be constantly scanning all your files for imaginary "viruses" is ridiculous. Even if the "viruses" actually existed, which they don't, they wouldn't just materialize out of nowhere. You would have to download them in some form. As I wrote above, there is built-in recognition of known downloaded malware, and I've seen no evidence that third-party products that purport to duplicate that functionality do it any better.

     

    My only experience with MacKeeper is that I installed the demo on a test system for the sole purpose of determining whether the developer's instructions for removing it were accurate, so that I could advise others accordingly. The version I tested did uninstall itself as the developer claimed, apart from a hidden data file that was apparently intended to prevent reinstallation without registering. As soon as I had determined that, I erased the volume on which I had installed it.

     

    Of course, I never actually used MacKeeper. Unlike the members of Zeobit's target market, I'm at least a little bit computer literate, and I wouldn't fall for such an obvious scam.

  • 13. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,710 points)

    Pr0digy V. wrote:

     

    I know they scare their users into paying for the application by presenting issues that are not actually issues but...

    This, right here, is the only reason you need not to install it.

  • 14. Re: MacKeeper, in detail please
    jayv. Level 4 Level 4 (1,230 points)

    apart from a hidden data file that was apparently intended to prevent reinstallation without registering.

    Do you have more information on this file? Perhaps it's name or location.

     

    I appreciate the feedback and agree with everything said, i have, and will, advise people to stay away from MacKeeper but objectively so far in the current version i ran i can not find confirmation of most horror stories out there (including my own experiences maybe 5-6 months ago when i tested it). Wish i would have documented in detail back then what was happening on my system so i could have saved me this fishing expedition

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