Why am I getting virus notifications on my Mac?

Mac virus notifications
False alarm: Mac owners are being hit by scam notifications

Are you seeing a flood of virus notifications on your Mac? Worried your computer has caught something nasty? It’s probably nothing to worry about, but here’s what to do if you’re seeing a ton of malware warnings on your Mac.

Are these Mac virus notifications real?

Probably not. The most likely reason you’re seeing a string of virus notifications like the ones pictured above are because you’ve (inadvertently) clicked to allow a dodgy website to send you notifications.

Now the right-hand side of your screen is filling up with bogus warnings that your “system is infected”, or there’s a “critical virus alert” or that “” is detected. This last one is particularly hilarious, considering a win.32 trojan relates to Windows PCs, not Macs.

You’ll most likely find that if you click on one of those notifications – and I don’t suggest that you do – it will lead to a website offering a miracle virus cure for your Mac. Do not be sucked in, do not enter any credit-card details. These are scam notifications and you’ll likely have your payment details stolen if you do.

Obviously, however, if you have security software installed on your Mac and that’s warning of infection, you should take heed.

How do I get rid of the virus notifications on my Mac?

The easiest thing to do is to turn off all web notifications. The vast, vast majority of web notifications are a pain in the backside, most simply trying to get you to buy something you don’t need or read something you don’t care about. To get rid of these notifications:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac
  2. Click Safari then Settings in the Menu Bar at the top of the screen
  3. Click Websites at the top of the window that appears
  4. Select Notifications from the pane on the left, then select and click Remove for any websites listed here, particularly any that you don’t recognise
Safari notification settings

How can I be sure my Mac isn’t infected with a virus?

If you want to double-check your Mac hasn’t been infected, you can download security software to scan your system. Avast offers free Mac security software, although beware that it will regularly prompt you to pay for the full version. Malwarebytes is another alternative.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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