Announcement: Upgrade to macOS Mojave

With features like Dark Mode, Stacks, and four new built-in apps, macOS Mojave helps you get more out of every click. 
Find out how to upgrade to macOS Mojave > https://support.apple.com/macos/mojave

Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

Question:

Question: Is Etrecheck a safe app?

My computer is running very slowly. In my investigation, I have run across a product named ETRECHECK and wonder if it is okay to download and run to get an idea of where the deficiency is located. Is it safe/smart to do that? I'm running El Capitan.

iMac, OS X Mavericks (10.9.4)

Posted on

Reply
Question marked as Helpful

Feb 26, 2016 6:40 AM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

When you see a beachball cursor or the slowness is especially bad, note the exact time: hour, minute, second.

These instructions must be carried out as an administrator. If you have only one user account, you are the administrator.

Launch the Console application in any one of the following ways:

☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

☞ Open LaunchPad and start typing the name.

The title of the Console window should be All Messages. If it isn't, select

SYSTEM LOG QUERIES All Messages

from the log list on the left. If you don't see that list, select

View Show Log List

from the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Each message in the log begins with the date and time when it was entered. Scroll back to the time you noted above.

Select the messages entered from then until the end of the episode, or until they start to repeat, whichever comes first.

Copy the messages to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C. Paste into a reply to this message by pressing command-V.

The log contains a vast amount of information, almost all of it useless for solving any particular problem. When posting a log extract, be selective. A few dozen lines are almost always more than enough.

Please don't indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

Please don't post screenshots of log messages—post the text.

Some private information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Anonymize before posting.

When you post the log extract, you might see an error message on the web page: "You have included content in your post that is not permitted," or "The message contains invalid characters." That's a bug in the forum software. Please post the text on Pastebin, then post a link here to the page you created.

If you have an account on Pastebin, please don't select Private from the Paste Exposure menu on the page, because then no one but you will be able to see it.


<Edited by Host>

Question marked as Helpful

Jun 22, 2017 5:25 AM in response to QuietMacFan In response to QuietMacFan

QuietMacFan wrote:


I would ask: if it's safe why isn't it in the App Store ?

Because many of the operations it performs do not work properly when run from the Mac App Store sandbox. Plus, it is funded solely through user donations when are not allowed in the Mac App Store. I have plans for a couple of related apps that can run in the Mac App Store, but writing apps takes time.


you likely have 0 license using apps not found in app store, therefore if the app suddenly decides to download your personal data: you have 0 legal recourse


unless you know software well you should stick to Apple's defaults (which is to download apps from the appstore)

Apple's default settings are to download apps from the "Mac App Store and identified developers". Etresoft, Inc. is such an identified developer and EtreCheck is signed with my developer ID. If it were performing any malicious activity, Apple could revoke the certificate at any time.


I've made an iPhone app with xcode following a tutorial. It's easy - and the process to register the app with appstore is built in to xcode. (it's not as if getting into the app store is an unusual step that takes allot of effort)

Developing a useable app with decent functionality is far from easy. Getting into the App Store is harder still. Typically this takes months or years of work. A Mac app is an order of magnitude harder than an iPhone app.


i've seen etrecheck pushed very hard in the community channels and i would back away a little, unless you've read the source code or understand apple very well, from anything not on the Apple servers which someone is pushing you to use


also: my iMac always works from day one without any tinkering. whatever is wrong is maybe because you've been installing non-appstore apps

People here on Apple Support Communities recommend EtreCheck because it helps them solve people's problems over a web site. One of the primary things EtreCheck does is identify other 3rd party apps that cause problems. One the problem is resolved, EtreCheck is designed to be easy to remove.


my final word on your etrecheck is: maybe maybe not. but i do not have time to read that source code (one of 100,000 codes online) to tell you. such projects are usually meant to do good. i can say %100 for sure that microsoft products meant to "clean and repair systtems" released by indie (individuals) have a record of damaging the OS more than helping it.

...

actaully i took a closer look. on the outside nothing bad is apparent HOWEVER.


no xcode project file comes with it


the author does not offer the source code to look at

Your claim that EtreCheck "does not offer the source code to look at" is false. Here is its Github project: GitHub - etresoft/EtreCheck: Source code for EtreCheck. The source includes an Xcode project file that can be used to compile EtreCheck on any recent Mac with Xcode.


If you are going to make a claim that EtreCheck is malicious and not "meant to do good", then you will need to back that up with some facts.


the website appears like it was made in 2 minutes

I'm sorry that you do not find the EtreCheck web site appealing. It is designed to be useful, informative, and work on web browsers of any Mac made in the past decade. It is also designed to load quickly on a Mac that is having problems. For that reason, it is rather simple and not very flashy. It works on both desktop and mobile browsers. It is localized in French and English, automatically detecting the user's language preference. I would challenge anyone to do all of that in 2 minutes. I would be happy to hear any substantive and constructive suggestions for improvement.


i have to say no: it's not safe. heed apple's advice until you have warrantees / guarantees or compiled it yourself

Again, if you have any evidence that EtreCheck is not safe, then provide it or retract your statement. If you want to compile it yourself, you are free to do so. Apple has made no advice whatsoever suggesting that EtreCheck is not safe. EtreCheck is frequently used and recommend here on Apple Support Communities and elsewhere. If it had any "nasty viruses" I'm sure someone would have said something by now.


Disclaimer: Although EtreCheck is free, there are other links on my site that could give me some form of compensation, financial or otherwise.

Question marked as Helpful

Feb 26, 2016 12:36 PM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

Coachdl wrote:


My computer is running very slowly. In my investigation, I have run across a product named ETRECHECK and wonder if it is okay to download and run to get an idea of where the deficiency is located. Is it safe/smart to do that? I'm running El Capitan.

Hello Coachdl,

To directly answer your question, yes. EtreCheck is perfectly safe. Just make sure to download it directly from http://www.etrecheck.com/ as other sites often distribute "installers" that are nothing but adware injectors.


EtreCheck is designed to print out basic information about your machine in order to help the people who are trying to help you figure out why it is running slowly. It will report your machine model, amount of RAM, hard disk type and size, and any 3rd party software that runs in the background. It actually does much more than that, but those are the key features. EtreCheck will also alert you to significant problems that you might not have realized, like a failing hard drive, lack of RAM, lack of Time Machine backup, or an adware infection. The most recent version of EtreCheck will even help you remove the adware. EtreCheck doesn't automatically delete anything, but it will delete adware if you ask it to. It will also show you more details about things that could potentially be adware or malware.


But for some reason, adware has turned into a "sensitive topic" here on Apple Support Communities and that is the source of the confusion and resulting "clean up" in this thread. Any time you see "Branched to a new discussion" at the top of a thread here in Apple Support Communities, it means the Apple moderators have had to come in and clean up a mess.


The safety of any particular software is not always a clear. While EtreCheck is perfectly safe for you and your data, it might not be considered safe for adware. 🙂 EtreCheck might even be safe for me either. Internet scammers appear to be attempting to discredit me (see scam? ). Maybe not everyone is happy with EtreCheck.


But really, any software, due to bugs or bad luck, might not be safe. I once installed a very useful image processing library whose installer scrambled my Adobe installation. Adobe itself recently corrected a bug that scrambled software from a different company. Even Apple has been known to release software that broke functionality or destroyed data. Writing software is just really hard and a bit risky. But that doesn't mean you need to live in fear of it.


There is virtually no malware in existence for the Mac right now. There is a lot of adware, but it really isn't the same thing. Adware is definitely unwanted and that alone merits its removal. It may cause problems due to bugs and the fact that it cannot be easily uninstalled, but it isn't malicious like true malware is. People here on Apple Support Communities generally don't recommend any anti-malware software because it generally causes more problems on a per-capita basis than malware does. I often see EtreCheck reports that list adware installed right alongside more traditional anti-virus software. Adware can be easily removed with something like EtreCheck or MalwareBytes for Mac (https://www.malwarebytes.org/antimalware/mac/).


Just take reasonable precautions. Accepts the defaults that Apple gives you. That is never going to guarantee 100% perfect safety, but nothing is perfect. The Mac App Store is generally safe, but not 100%. Of course you should do your own research, but people who are run scams for a living are pretty good at fooling other people. The truth is, there just aren't any "strangers" running around on reputable internet tech support forums trying to get people to download malware. If something like that happened here on Apple Support Communities, the Apple moderators would delete it right away and ban the perpetrators.


Disclaimer: Although EtreCheck is free, there are other links on my site that could give me some form of compensation, financial or otherwise.

There’s more to the conversation

Read all replies

Feb 25, 2016 2:50 PM in response to seventy one In response to seventy one

seventy one wrote:


There are some who say otherwise

I suspect questioning more because of what the report shows rather than what the software does (which is nothing but read system data)? I have seen numerous Etrecheck reports posted here and not seen anything unsecure in them.

Feb 25, 2016 2:50 PM

Reply Helpful (2)
Question marked as Helpful

Feb 26, 2016 6:40 AM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

When you see a beachball cursor or the slowness is especially bad, note the exact time: hour, minute, second.

These instructions must be carried out as an administrator. If you have only one user account, you are the administrator.

Launch the Console application in any one of the following ways:

☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

☞ Open LaunchPad and start typing the name.

The title of the Console window should be All Messages. If it isn't, select

SYSTEM LOG QUERIES All Messages

from the log list on the left. If you don't see that list, select

View Show Log List

from the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Each message in the log begins with the date and time when it was entered. Scroll back to the time you noted above.

Select the messages entered from then until the end of the episode, or until they start to repeat, whichever comes first.

Copy the messages to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C. Paste into a reply to this message by pressing command-V.

The log contains a vast amount of information, almost all of it useless for solving any particular problem. When posting a log extract, be selective. A few dozen lines are almost always more than enough.

Please don't indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

Please don't post screenshots of log messages—post the text.

Some private information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Anonymize before posting.

When you post the log extract, you might see an error message on the web page: "You have included content in your post that is not permitted," or "The message contains invalid characters." That's a bug in the forum software. Please post the text on Pastebin, then post a link here to the page you created.

If you have an account on Pastebin, please don't select Private from the Paste Exposure menu on the page, because then no one but you will be able to see it.


<Edited by Host>

Feb 26, 2016 6:40 AM

Reply Helpful (4)

Feb 25, 2016 5:29 PM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

Etrecheck is very safe. All it does is give a quick summary of what is running and what is installed, so we know if there is something that shouldn't be running that is installed on your system. Many people install unneeded software on their Macs. The only additional software you need is a backup software, if you find Apple's own does not suffice for your purposes*:


http://www.macmaps.com/backup.html


* Links to my pages may give me compensation.

Feb 25, 2016 5:29 PM

Reply Helpful
Question marked as Helpful

Feb 26, 2016 12:36 PM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

Coachdl wrote:


My computer is running very slowly. In my investigation, I have run across a product named ETRECHECK and wonder if it is okay to download and run to get an idea of where the deficiency is located. Is it safe/smart to do that? I'm running El Capitan.

Hello Coachdl,

To directly answer your question, yes. EtreCheck is perfectly safe. Just make sure to download it directly from http://www.etrecheck.com/ as other sites often distribute "installers" that are nothing but adware injectors.


EtreCheck is designed to print out basic information about your machine in order to help the people who are trying to help you figure out why it is running slowly. It will report your machine model, amount of RAM, hard disk type and size, and any 3rd party software that runs in the background. It actually does much more than that, but those are the key features. EtreCheck will also alert you to significant problems that you might not have realized, like a failing hard drive, lack of RAM, lack of Time Machine backup, or an adware infection. The most recent version of EtreCheck will even help you remove the adware. EtreCheck doesn't automatically delete anything, but it will delete adware if you ask it to. It will also show you more details about things that could potentially be adware or malware.


But for some reason, adware has turned into a "sensitive topic" here on Apple Support Communities and that is the source of the confusion and resulting "clean up" in this thread. Any time you see "Branched to a new discussion" at the top of a thread here in Apple Support Communities, it means the Apple moderators have had to come in and clean up a mess.


The safety of any particular software is not always a clear. While EtreCheck is perfectly safe for you and your data, it might not be considered safe for adware. 🙂 EtreCheck might even be safe for me either. Internet scammers appear to be attempting to discredit me (see scam? ). Maybe not everyone is happy with EtreCheck.


But really, any software, due to bugs or bad luck, might not be safe. I once installed a very useful image processing library whose installer scrambled my Adobe installation. Adobe itself recently corrected a bug that scrambled software from a different company. Even Apple has been known to release software that broke functionality or destroyed data. Writing software is just really hard and a bit risky. But that doesn't mean you need to live in fear of it.


There is virtually no malware in existence for the Mac right now. There is a lot of adware, but it really isn't the same thing. Adware is definitely unwanted and that alone merits its removal. It may cause problems due to bugs and the fact that it cannot be easily uninstalled, but it isn't malicious like true malware is. People here on Apple Support Communities generally don't recommend any anti-malware software because it generally causes more problems on a per-capita basis than malware does. I often see EtreCheck reports that list adware installed right alongside more traditional anti-virus software. Adware can be easily removed with something like EtreCheck or MalwareBytes for Mac (https://www.malwarebytes.org/antimalware/mac/).


Just take reasonable precautions. Accepts the defaults that Apple gives you. That is never going to guarantee 100% perfect safety, but nothing is perfect. The Mac App Store is generally safe, but not 100%. Of course you should do your own research, but people who are run scams for a living are pretty good at fooling other people. The truth is, there just aren't any "strangers" running around on reputable internet tech support forums trying to get people to download malware. If something like that happened here on Apple Support Communities, the Apple moderators would delete it right away and ban the perpetrators.


Disclaimer: Although EtreCheck is free, there are other links on my site that could give me some form of compensation, financial or otherwise.

Feb 26, 2016 12:36 PM

Reply Helpful (10)

Feb 26, 2016 2:03 PM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

One additional comment I would like to add, and this applies to any software,

only download the app from either the MacApp Store or DIRECTLY from the

vendor site. Although that does not guarantee that the app itself is any good,

it will limit the possibility of "piggy backed" crapware, or worse.

Feb 26, 2016 2:03 PM

Reply Helpful (2)

Feb 26, 2016 3:04 PM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

Coachdl wrote:


My computer is running very slowly. In my investigation, I have run across a product named ETRECHECK and wonder if it is okay to download and run to get an idea of where the deficiency is located. Is it safe/smart to do that? I'm running El Capitan.


Yes, it is safe to download. Many times, an EtreCheck report can help us diagnose problems with that individual's system. Sometimes we need to use EtreCheck and log extracts, and sometimes the EtreCheck report doesn't shed any light on the problem. It depends on what your particular problem is. We won't know until we see it. Sometimes it ends up solving some other problem altogether, something you didn't even know was amiss.


In short, EtreCheck is a perfectly safe, perfectly valid program that you can download and install without worrying about compromising your system. No one here would ask anyone to utilize a program that would damage or corrupt your computer.

Feb 26, 2016 3:04 PM

Reply Helpful

Feb 26, 2016 3:33 PM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

Hi Coachdl,


I'm sorry you're having issues. I downloaded Etrecheck and it is not slowing down my computer at all. I say go for it. If your mac is slowing down, you might have too many applications installed on it because when I installed Etrecheck my computer is perfectly fine. I'm on the same version mac as you are. Go for it.

Feb 26, 2016 3:33 PM

Reply Helpful

Jun 21, 2017 8:03 PM in response to Coachdl In response to Coachdl

Did you try resetting SMC and or PRAM/NVRAM yet ?


http://osxdaily.com/2010/03/24/when-and-how-to-reset-your-mac-system-management- controller-smc/


If you did that already, do you have your data backed up or need it backed up before attempting anything further ? Do you think it is the OS, or perhaps a problem peripheral attached you could leave un-attatched ?


see macOS Sierra: Erase and reinstall macOS


did you try all those things yet?


if you need a backup before a clean install maybe you should let someone who's done it before (ie, an Apple store) do it, and learn how it's done after your "in the clear"


--------------------------------------------------


I would ask: if it's safe why isn't it in the App Store ?


you likely have 0 license using apps not found in app store, therefore if the app suddenly decides to download your personal data: you have 0 legal recourse


unless you know software well you should stick to Apple's defaults (which is to download apps from the appstore)


I've made an iPhone app with xcode following a tutorial. It's easy - and the process to register the app with appstore is built in to xcode. (it's not as if getting into the app store is an unusual step that takes allot of effort)


if you take something like MacPorts - it's not in app store for a good REASON. i don't want to "slam" that software but will say that software automatically updates and can BEGIN to do things it hadn't done when you got it, and contains software of dubious sources (all are optional though) but all with 0 license: if it's poisoned or becomes so from a remote hacker who's somehow got an update pushed in: it's on you not them.


i've seen etrecheck pushed very hard in the community channels and i would back away a little, unless you've read the source code or understand apple very well, from anything not on the Apple servers which someone is pushing you to use


also: my iMac always works from day one without any tinkering. whatever is wrong is maybe because you've been installing non-appstore apps


----------------------------


my final word on your etrecheck is: maybe maybe not. but i do not have time to read that source code (one of 100,000 codes online) to tell you. such projects are usually meant to do good. i can say %100 for sure that microsoft products meant to "clean and repair systtems" released by indie (individuals) have a record of damaging the OS more than helping it.


take you own path i won't say up or down on Etrecheck just giving advice

Jun 21, 2017 8:03 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Jun 21, 2017 8:12 PM in response to QuietMacFan In response to QuietMacFan

actaully i took a closer look. on the outside nothing bad is apparent HOWEVER.


no xcode project file comes with it


the author does not offer the source code to look at


the website appears like it was made in 2 minutes


(software that does much of any good that iMac doesn't already do with it's great system log program: would take like a year to develop and get a nifty website as a result, i imagine)


for all you know it could contain nasty viruses: you have %100 no idea what is in a binary


even if you read the src - you'd still want to compile it yourself because one way viruses are distrubuted is by servers that distributed infected files (not the original download from the original site)


i have to say no: it's not safe. heed apple's advice until you have warrantees / guarantees or compiled it yourself

Jun 21, 2017 8:12 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
User profile for user: Coachdl

Question: Is Etrecheck a safe app?