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Brandon Sky Level 1 (35 points)

I am concerned about this app named "MacKeeper". It's very weird, and I'm not 100% sure it's legitimate. Is it real or a scam? Here's a screenshot:


Screen shot 2012-09-08 at 5.45.52 AM.png

Is this app real or a scam? People here on Apple Support Communities think MacKeeper is a scam and they tell you that you must uninstall it now. MacKeeper displays a lot of distracting popups and notifications, and for doing almost anything requires you pay for the registered version.


Message was edited by: Brandon Sky

iPod and iTunes, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,770 points)

    Many users will see references to an application called MacKeeper on various web sites and via pop-ups on their browser. Not only is it expensive for what it purports to do (freeware applications that do the same or more are readily available), it can sometimes install itself without the user realising it, and it can be very tricky to get rid of.


    Most positive reviews of it have been found to have been paid for by Zeobit (developers of MacKeeper) in the form of ‘free upgrades’ etc. For example (posted by fellow contributor Softwater), on their Facebook page and on their webpage they have this apparent endorsement from UNC Charlotte:


    Softwater contacted the Director of IT at the College of Arts and Architecture UNC Charlotte, about whether they endorse MacKeeper and his response, quoted here, was:

    No, please do not download and install MacKeeper. We have seen problems with this software in the past.

    MacKeeper has been described by various sources as highly invasive malware* that can de-stablize your operating system, adding that it is unethically marketed, with a history of making false advertising claims, by a company called Zeobit and a rip-off.


    For more details about Zeobit’s alledgedly fraudulent advertising and paid-for ‘reviews’, and their dubious marketing practises, read this:



    Further opinion on it and how to uninstall MacKeeper malware can be read here:



    MacKeeper have recently said that the uninstaller from here:



    now works.


    This is also worth reading:



    Equally phoney was iAntivirus:



    until it was purchased recently (May 2012) by Symantic (makers of Norton anti-virus which does not work well with Apple OS X). Even after having tinkered with it, iAntivirus still fails to do the job properly and cannot be recommended.


    There are no viruses that can affect Apple OS X and there is therefore no reason to run anti-virus software on a Mac, but a Mac, like all computers, can transmit viruses and malware to other users particularly those running Windows. Note, however, that Trojans are another matter and can represent a genuine threat, an example of which was the recent 'Flashback Trojan' which you can read more about here:



    For further information you may find this User Tip on Viruses, Trojan Detection and Removal, as well as general Internet Security and Privacy, useful:



    The User Tip (which you are welcome to print out and retain for future reference) seeks to offer some guidance on the main security threats and how to avoid them.


    * The expression ‘malware’ is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software.

  • roam Level 6 (13,565 points)

    It is a legitimate program available in the Mac App store. It gets a bad press fro a number of reasons;

    -it got confused with MacDefender, a trojan malware,

    -because fanboys are reistant to anything that suggest Macs are susceptible to malware.

    -herd mentality, ie repeat something often enough and people will think there is something to it, like 'repair permissions' used to be an often recommended cure for everything, though you don't hear that so much anymore.

    -unsophisticated marketing by the developers made it smell suspicious.


    The following link offers some balanced information about it.

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,770 points)

    Balanced? LOL!

  • Brandon Sky Level 1 (35 points)

    Time to get MacKeeper (and it's developers) this. Any step-by-step guide to uninstalling this program?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,742 points)

    -herd mentality


    There's nothing to herd mentality about why you should avoid MacKeeper. (Sounds like you've been listening to etresoft too much!)


    Although I have not actually tested MacKeeper myself (yet!), I have spoken to someone who has run extensive tests on it and who found that its "cleaning" tool completely trashed his test system. That is in addition to the numerous user reports that Phil Stokes has collected to the same effect. It's dangerous, and should not be used!


    -unsophisticated marketing by the developers made it smell suspicious.


    Again, it's more than "unsophisticated" marketing. On the contrary, it's highly sophisticated, but completely unethical, marketing! Let me give some examples. First, the developers bought the domain, which is similar to a competing product's site ( On that site, they put a "review" of ClamXav with a download button that redirected to the MacKeeper site. They eventually changed it after getting really bad press, and obfuscated their ownership of the domain. They have done similar things with other domains.


    Second, they have been known to offer financial rewards to people who were willing to go post good reviews online. This is not hearsay, I've seen the actual e-mail that they sent to their customers. After they made this offer, both MacUpdate and C|Net were flooded, within a 48 hour period, with glowing reviews for MacKeeper, taking it from one or two stars on both sites to near 5 stars within that 2 day interval. (The owner of MacUpdate, who also receives a lot of advertising money from MacKeeper ads, would not listen to multiple people's concerns that these reviews were fraudulent, despite the obviously fishy clustering of hundreds of 5-star reviews in such a short time period.)


    Third, they pay reviewers for positive reviews. After I posted an article on my own site explaining much of this and warning people away from MacKeeper, they approached me and offered me a job as a consultant, telling me to name my fee, and also asked me to write a new review.


    All these behaviors, and more, go together to paint a picture of completely unscrupulous developers who probably should not be trusted with your credit card number.

  • roam Level 6 (13,565 points)

    I have no vested interest in the product, nor do I ride a hobby horse.

  • Brandon Sky Level 1 (35 points)

    According to roam's answer, MacKeeper is a legitimate program. You just think that MacKeeper is a scam. What you are really talking about as malware is a scam called "MacKeeper 911", a rip-off of MacKeeper.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,742 points)

    MacKeeper 911 is the App Store version of MacKeeper. It is not a rip-off of MacKeeper, it's a version that has been limited to allow its inclusion in the App Store. Both are made by the same unethical developer, and both have the potential to do damage (though the App Store version actually has less potential, due to the sandboxing imposed on all apps in the App Store).


    You may have chosen to believe that roam's story is the truth, but that does not make it so.

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,875 points)

    Regardless, why would you pay for something that has the potential to cause damage? Sure, there are some reports from "neutral" users claiming that it hasn't harmed their system -- and, I've seen reports from some who initially had no problems, but which did later develop. It's a real crapshoot.


    And even if does no harm, which is highy questionable, almost all its functions can be found in free programs, which are known to be fully compatible with Macs and at least, if not more (mostly more), as effective.


    Even if it is completely harmless, I wouldn't want to legitimize or support its unusually aggressive and unethical marketing by purchasing it.


    See T. Reed's list of those programs.


  • Lukian Level 1 (0 points)

    I installed MacKeeper and it did not do what it was supposed to do (restoring deleted files). What it did to was bringing my Mac to a halt. Fortunately, there is good information on the net on how to get rid of it.


    And no, you cannot buy it in the AppStore - go and try to find it. (Not in my country version, anyway)

  • helenfmb Level 1 (0 points)

    I've had MacKeeper on my iMac and my MacBook Air (and before that my white MacBook) for over 3 years and I've found it to be brilliant. I have never understood the negative comments about it. It has never caused anything amiss to happen to my computers, in fact all the features have helped me to maintain them in a user-friendly way. YES - the light version IS sold in the App Store as 911 for Mac, though I have the full version with anti-virus included. I can only guess that people who have had trouble after installing it would have had issues anyway, and I know for a fact that many people don't know how to uninstall applications properly.

    I can honestly recommend it, and if I had a way of getting up on a soap-box and banging a drum for macKeeper I would!

    It's SO useful.

    I do agree that some people slag it off for no other reason than it seems to be the "in" thing to do.

  • helenfmb Level 1 (0 points)

    You really ought to test it yourself before making sweeping statements.

    I've used the full version of macKeeper on my beloved macs (iMac, MacBook Air, and before that white mac) and have found it to be a really useful and well designed piece of software.

    It has done everything that it claimed to. I think it's sad that it has gained so many negative comments from those who haven't used it, but just quote others.

    Oh - and I don't work for Zeobit, and they haven't offered me a job to write this.

    I'm English.

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,770 points)

    Well Helen, at least you stand out from the crowd!

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,742 points)

    I'm sure we're all glad that you haven't had any problems with MacKeeper. However, you should not criticize those who seek to prevent others from having some of the well-documented problems with MacKeeper. (I personally have had a number of people tell me how using MacKeeper to "clean" their Macs ended up causing them to have to reinstall the system. And the same reports are all over.)

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