Best Mac Antivirus in 2023 – Top 7 Compared

Mac antivirus tools are an essential part of keeping your computer secure. There’s a popular perception that Apple devices don’t get hacked, but this is far from true. As more people turn away from Windows and towards MacOS, it’s inevitable that malware developers will turn their attention towards OSX as well.

To this end, we’ve reviewed and compared the best Mac antivirus programs to bring you our list of the top 7 device protection tools for Mac OSX. We’ve based this on effective protection, compatibility, ease of use, and overall value for money. Stay with us as we go through our list of the top Mac tools like TotalAV, McAfee, and Norton that you can use to keep your computer safe.

The 7 Best Mac Antiviruses

Each of our top Mac antivirus providers has been verified as highly effective. Check them out below for their unique protection features:

  1. TotalAV — The best antivirus for Macs in 2023, it’s fast, effective, and offers a free trial to get you started.
  2. Nord Threat Protection — Built into NordVPN as standard, your Mac is protected from viruses and attacks along with secure and private browsing.
  3. Norton Antivirus — A 100% detection promise for your Mac device gives you confidence across unlimited devices.
  4. Surfshark Antivirus — A lightweight tool to protect your computer from all types of hacks, this comes as part of your VPN package.
  5. Avast — Protecting Macs from viruses, ransomware and malware all the way back to MacOS 10.11.
  6. Intego — Specialist Mac antivirus software, you can run ad-hoc and scheduled scans to protect your OSX device.
  7. McAfee — Offering a broad range of online security, McAfee will protect your Mac, your online identity, and your credit score.

Top-Rated Mac Antivirus Programs Compared

Here’s a quick head-to-head comparison of the best Mac antiviruses to help you narrow down your options and find the one best suited to your needs and budget:

Provider Name Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
TotalAV Best Mac antivirus overall $29 1. Real-Time Protection

2. Mac malware scanner

3. Advanced Cloud Scanning

30-Days 6 Yes / Yes No / Yes
Nord Secure and private browsing $3.49/month — 2-year plan 1. Multihop VPN

2. Meshnet

3. Dark web monitor

No 6 Yes / Yes No / Yes
Norton Antivirus 100% detection $19.99 1. Online Threat Protection

2. Cloud Backup

3. Smart Firewall

7-Days Unlimited Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Surfshark Lightweight tool with VPN $65.76 1. Real-time Protection

2. VPN

3. Device Scanning

7-Days 5 Yes / Yes No / Yes
Avast Long support $50.28 1. Network Security Scan and Alerts

2. Pay Guard

3. Ransomware Protection

7-Days 10 Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Intego Specialist Mac antivirus software $29.99 1. Internet Security

2. Content Barrier

3. Washing Machine

30-Days 10 Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
McAfee Range of security tools $29.99 1. Real-time Threat Protection

2. Protection Score

3. File Shredder

30-Days 10 Yes / Yes Yes / Yes

Do I Need Antivirus Protection? Can Macs Get Viruses?

There has long been a misleading idea that Mac devices don’t get viruses. This isn’t true. There are thousands of examples of potent malware tools developed exclusively for Mac devices. However, there’s a grain of truth to this falsehood.

In the past, fewer hackers focused on developing malware for Mac devices because they weren’t trendy in industrial or enterprise settings. This has changed in recent years.

The increasing share of domestic users switching to MacBooks over regular laptops has encouraged hackers to build ransomware and spy programs for standard Mac computers. So, Mac is undoubtedly susceptible to attack in the modern day.

Best Antivirus for Mac – Top 7 Reviewed

We’ve reviewed each of the best Mac antiviruses below to help you find the one best suited to your needs and budget. Apple products need an antivirus today and these are your best options:

1. TotalAV — 2023’s Top Mac Antivirus Software

TotalAV tops our list as the best tool for Mac computers. It’s not just a powerful antivirus program for Mac – it’s also a complete privacy protection solution. In fact, it’s renowned for being the best Android antivirus and tops the charts for Windows, iOS, and even server protection.

TotalAV’s core antivirus functions are speedy and thorough, and it’s a package that’s easy to download and install. Once fully installed, it can perform a full scan within minutes – and its real-time scans get very high marks for positively identifying malware under testing, with few false positives.

TotalAV | Best Mac antivirus

Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
Best Mac antivirus overall $29 1. Real-Time Protection

2. Malware Cleaner

3. Advanced Cloud Scanning

30-Days 6 Yes / Yes No / Yes

TotalAV also provides real-time malware protection in addition to the Smart Scan feature. Malware files downloaded by your device are compared against known threats from 25+ million devices in TotalAV’s cloud database and are then automatically removed before they can execute.

Beyond malware protection, you’ll also get access to a secure VPN and cloud file scanning to ensure no nasty files are lurking on your cloud host. The fact that the antivirus app is compatible with iOS and Android devices means you can take full advantage of the multi-device coverage available on even the cheapest plan and run an iPhone virus scan to ensure your device is clean.

The WebShield extension, meanwhile, is available for browsers including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge, to ensure you’re always protected, and the SafeSearch tool can help make sure your device isn’t exposed to harmful websites.

Overall, TotalAV tops lists like these time and time again as it provides complete peace of mind in a single package for both beginners and advanced users – it’s a great product for Mac security.

Lab Tests

AV-Test: TotalAV is AV-Test Certified and was awarded 6 out of 6 for usability, protection, and performance. It scored 100% for the detection of widespread and prevalent malware and above industry average results for limiting impact on the speed of launching applications and copying files.

AV-Comparatives: TotalAV blocked 97.7% of malware in its latest test and earned 3 of 3 stars for performance and malware protection, blocking malicious software and very rarely throwing up false positives.

Performance Impact

In its latest testing, AV-Test found TotalAV had 0% impact on common app download speeds, a 1% impact on standard app launch speeds, 2% slowing of copying files, and a 15% slowdown on the installation of common apps, with the first three values at industry average or better. AV-Comparatives gave it 3 out of 3 in its latest performance test, though this wasn’t specifically for Mac.


TotalAV has a few different plans depending on which features you need. The premium packages are tailored towards VPN users, so if you only need Antivirus protection, you can stick to the basic “Pro” package:

Totalav pricing

The core package, which has a fantastic introductory price of $29/year, makes TotalAV one of the most affordable providers on our list, and even after this introductory offer expires, it’s only $10/month, charged yearly for the best virus protection for Mac.

We recommend buying the Total Security package if you’re looking for extra device coverage – in our book, it’s better than Norton Antivirus. The total AdBlock feature makes this subscription worth it, and to sweeten things further, it lets you cover up to six devices with both the anti-virus and VPN services.


  • Ideal for users on a budget
  • Comes with a free trial version
  • Protects both desktop and mobile devices
  • Best antivirus for MacOS


  • Other providers have better phishing protection

2. Nord Threat Protection — Antivirus That Comes With a Top-Tier VPN

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, it also comes with a threat protection function that keeps you safe from malware, advertisements, and other malicious programs and software. Combined, Nord Threat Protection offers robust online security at an incredibly affordable price point, so you can use the internet with confidence.

Nord Threat Protection is built into the NordVPN app. It scans files you download to ensure they’re not secretly malicious malware droppers, and can warn you against harmful sites. What’s nice is that it works even when you’re not connected through NordVPN, ensuring you’re protected 24/7 when using Threat Protection.

nord threat protection dashboard

Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
Secure and private browsing $3.49/month — 2-year plan 1. Doube VPN

2. Meshnet

3. Dark web monitor

No 6 Yes / Yes No / Yes

Its popularity is primarily because you get all these premium security features as part of NordVPN, an internationally recognized VPN solution that’s passed several external audits to verify its security. That said, there’s no doubt that it does a supreme job of protecting your internet traffic while the antivirus ensures no malware lurks on your Mac device. There’s even a password manager bundled in.

Besides keeping you safe from malware and malicious ads, Nord opens a world of opportunities for unblocking geo-restricted content on sites and services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and numerous others for complete online security and freedom. You can access remote LAN connections, and advanced features are available, such as split-tunneling, prioritizing your traffic, and MeshNet, to create an encrypted private network.

Performance Impact

Under testing, Nord Threat Protection is generally seen to have an impact of less than 1% on CPU usage, though some users have reportedly noted CPU spikes.


NordVPN has a few options for subscription plans, but Threat Protection becomes available by default in every plan alongside the core VPN app:


NordVPN’s extra plans, Plus and Complete, give you a data breach scanner for identity theft protection and one of the best password managers. Additionally, Complete also comes with 1TB of cloud storage.

This cloud storage is scanned using the same technology used to recognize malware on your computer through NordVPN, so you can be confident anything you’re uploading or downloading in the cloud is safe.


  • Offers excellent split tunnelling
  • 24/7 customer support
  • An effective Kill Switch
  • Covers 6 devices


  • It can’t be purchased without VPN

3. Norton — 100% Protection Promise and Unlimited Devices

Norton Antivirus is a world-renowned provider known for its powerful and comprehensive security services – one of several reasons it’s landed on our list of the top best Mac antiviruses. It gives you comprehensive protection against malware attacks, ransomware, and direct hacking attempts. Indeed, running it on our test harness gave a 100% protection rate against the malware samples we used on our OSX machine.

Unsurprising as it may be, Norton has a 100% virus detection promise, which ensures that you’ll be fully protected from a malware attack. This means that, after conducting a full scan, should there still be malware on your device, you’ll be referred to a Norton Expert for free one-to-one advice on removing the malware.

Norton antivirus for Mac

Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
100% detection $19.99 1. Online Threat Protection

2. Cloud Backup

3. Smart Firewall

7-Days Unlimited Yes / Yes Yes / Yes

You’re entitled to a full refund on your subscription if the Norton Expert can’t remove the malware for you. That said, one of the key complaints against Norton in the past was a difficult uninstall process. We tried it out for ourselves and found that while you need to download a separate tool to uninstall Norton, this process was relatively painless.

Norton provides both a firewall, cloud backups, and a password manager, as well as first-class identity protection tools. There’s also a notable SafeCam feature, which protects your device’s camera from being accessed by hackers – perhaps one of the most alarming forms of cyberattack.

In fact, Norton provides this tool on their site, along with clear instructions on how to operate it. Overall, it’s a solid solution for ultimate device protection, and it even comes with handy add-ons, such as one of the best parental control solutions on the market, a solid VPN, and one of the best password managers, all bundled in. Many users rate Norton as delivering a great package of features, going beyond what’s offered by other providers like McAfee.

Lab Tests

AV-Test: Norton Antivirus is AV-Test Certified, and it was awarded a full 6 out of 6 for protection, performance, and usability. It scored 100% for the detection of widespread malware and better than industry average results for its impact on the speed of installing applications, launching applications, and copying files. That means it should have a minimal impact on slowing down your MacBook.

AV-Comparatives: Norton Antivirus blocked 99.6% of malware when last tested, earning a two-star advanced real-world protection award. Under its latest testing, it was also awarded 3 out of 3 stars for malware protection and performance.

Performance Impact

Norton got full marks for performance from AV-Test with above-average results across the board and a 0% or 1% impact on app downloads, launching apps, and copying files, and only a slight slow-down on installing apps.


Norton has many price plans depending on the features you need. The Antivirus Plus is actually the cheapest plan, which comes with all the standard malware protection you’d expect, along with 2GB of cloud storage, a smart firewall, and a password manager.


Standard adds a webcam manager, basic identity theft monitoring, and bumps the cloud storage up to 10GB. That said, the Deluxe is ideal for concerned parents as it lets you manage multi-device households and increases the device limit to five and adds parental control and privacy monitoring functions.

Finally, the Lifelock package adds 100GB of cloud storage, protects you against identity theft losses of up to $25,000, and gives you access to up to $1 million in legal aid should your identity be stolen. Should you install Norton on my Mac? It might just be the best decision you’ll make today.


  • Comprehensive Virus Database
  • Designed for Multiple Devices
  • Extra VPN option


  • Other Providers Are Cheaper

4. Surfshark — Identity Theft Protection, Antivirus, and a Great VPN On Top

Surfshark is another service that’s among the best VPN app providers, which also boasts the added benefit of antivirus functionality. In fact, it was one of the first to bundle an antivirus with its VPN service, which means it’s spent a lot of time being honed and updated into the great product it is today.

Surfshark One is a bundle that offers unlimited VPN connections for your devices and allows you to have five devices covered by their Surfshark Antivirus suite. This is a more than generous offer, and it gives users complete online freedom and security across all their devices.

Surfshark Mac antivirus

Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
Lightweight tool with VPN $65.76 1. Real-time Protection

2. VPN

3. Device Scanning

7-Days 5 Yes / Yes No / Yes

The service allows you to run scheduled and manual scans, and it will also test new files to ensure they’re safe. Surfshark One is generally found to be pretty speedy under testing when scanning Macs, and it is among the best for blocking advertisements and known malware distributors. This is no doubt due to Surfshark’s expertise as a top-tier VPN provider.

To sweeten things further, there’s also a dark web monitoring tool to ensure your details aren’t floating around online, waiting for someone to steal your identity. This is a relatively unusual feature, so it’s a great addition. With a new identity theft victim every 22 seconds, it’s an issue everyone needs protection against, making it a welcome addition to Surfshark’s overall security package.

Performance Impact

AV-Test gave Surfshark’s Windows product a 4.5 out of 6 for performance, with numbers generally better than the industry average but some impact on slowing down the installation of common apps.


Surfshark has one subscription package if you want the bundled Antivirus features, but there are several subscription lengths to sign up for:

Surfshark pricing

With a long-term plan costing less than $2.50, Surfshark is one of the cheapest Antivirus products on our list. This would already be fantastic value for an antivirus product, but when you add unlimited VPN connections on top of using its vast set of encrypted servers located worldwide, it’s clear Surfshark is an absolute winner, enabling you to use the internet securely and privately.


  • Data breach monitoring
  • Excellent VPN
  • Realtime protection


  • No Firewall

5. Avast — Beats Malware, Viruses, and Ransomware With Ease

Avast is trusted by hundreds of millions of users globally. It’s not quite as prolific as Norton or McAfee, but you can be assured that Avast will provide reliable device protection. Plus, it’s been built to take the smallest toll on your Mac possible.

When we tested the Smart Scan feature, we found almost no noticeable impact on CPU or RAM usage. That said, Avast will work on your Mac all the way back to machines running 10.11 (El Capitan), but no further back than that.

Avast Mac antivirus software

Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
Long support $50.28 1. Network Security Scan and Alerts

2. Pay Guard

3. Ransomware Protection

7-Days 10 Yes / Yes Yes / Yes

Avast has also been built to offer maximum protection on your Mac. Tests have indicated a 100% detection rate for both Mac and Windows-based malware, which means you can be confident it’ll protect your devices on a network that covers both Windows and Mac computers.

The product includes quick scans and boot scans, while smart scans can help to surface otherwise overlooked viruses and vulnerabilities. The Behavior Shield, meanwhile, looks out for unusual activity on your system – allowing the service to detect previously unknown viruses.

Besides this, Avast goes beyond just antivirus protection and ensures that you’ve got malware blocking and anti-phishing protection to keep the most common attacks at bay. This is vital in today’s world, where approximately 1.2% of all emails are malicious. This might sound small but totals a whopping 3.4 billion phishing emails sent every single day. To add to that, there’s a secure browser included, as well as an ad blocker.

And beyond this, there’s even a network analyzer that shows you all the relevant details for the devices connected to your network. It’s not quite as detailed as the Windows version, but it’s nice to see there’s almost total parity in the feature set for Windows. So, on top of being a top solution for Mac, Avast is undoubtedly among the best Windows antiviruses as well.

Lab Tests

AV-Test: Avast is AV-Test Certified and earned 6 out of 6 for protection, usability, and performance in its latest tests. It scored 100% for the detection of prevalent malware and better than industry average results for impact on the speed of application installation and file copying.

AV-Comparatives: Avast for Mac blocked 99.8% of malware in its latest tests and was awarded three stars and an Advanced+ certificate for real-world protection. It also earned 3 of 3 stars for malware protection and performance testing.

Performance Impact

AV-Test gave Avast 6 out of 6 for minimal performance impact, with at or better-than-industry-average results for its impact on downloading, installing, and launching apps and copying files, which generally saw a 0% to 2% speed reduction.


Avast has a pretty straightforward pricing scheme. While you can download Avast One Essential for free, there’s also a basic and enhanced package:

Avast pricing

Avast One covers five devices by default, which is great if you want to protect the whole household on a budget. This makes it one of the cheapest dedicated antivirus programs on our list.

The Premium Security subscription enhances Avast by adding ransomware protection and network monitoring, which tells you whenever a new device connects to your local network. The plan you choose is up to you, but try it free now to see if it’s your cup of tea.


  • Free Trial Version
  • Ransomware Protection
  • Network Monitoring


  • Ransomware Protection Requires Extra Subscription

6. Intego — Highly Specialized Mac-Only Antivirus and Malware Remover

Intego has a proven track record of providing quality software products for Mac OSX first and foremost, which is why they’re heading up the tail end of our list of antivirus products for Mac. With decades of experience working with Apple products, you can rest assured that Mac experts are behind this powerful Mac antivirus.

This is evident in everything from the quick runtime to the consistently clean and simple user interface. That said, Internet Security X9 is Intego’s premier malware defence service, which uses a firewall to prevent hackers from accessing your computer.

Intego antivirus for Mac

Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
Specialist Mac antivirus software $29.99 1. Internet Security

2. Content Barrier

3. Washing Machine

30-Days 10 Yes / Yes Yes / Yes

Intego also integrates real-time malware scanning, scheduled scans, and constant blacklist updates for their antivirus with a content filter that keeps other nasty content from appearing on your computer. This makes it ideal for concerned parents looking for a parental control solution to block not just malware but pornography, gambling, and other content from their children’s devices.

Beyond this, there’s a VPN service, a Washing Machine feature – keeping your system clean and optimized – and identity theft protection. You can link Intego to your credit score and be updated whenever there’s a significant change. This is one of the first major warning signs you’ve been a victim of identity theft, so you’ll want to know as soon as this changes.

Lab Tests

AV-Test: Intego is AV-Test Certified and was awarded 6 out of 6 for protection, performance, and usability in its most recent tests. It detected 100% of widespread malware and better than average results for its impact on installing applications, but it slowed down file copying.

AV-Comparatives: Intego earned an approved certificate from AV-Comparatives, scoring 99.4% for Mac malware protection and 97% for tackling Potentially Unwanted Applications.

Performance Impact

In its most recent testing, AV-Test found Intego had 0% impact on slowing app download speeds, and just a 4% impact on slowing app installation, compared to an industry average of 13%. Intego performed relatively poorly for slowing down the copying of files, though, with a 24% impact.


There are few choices when you buy Intego, as the core antivirus product doesn’t come bundled with other products:

You’ll have to choose the number of devices you want to protect, as Intego only protects one device by default. They’re a little more expensive than some other providers on our list, but if you need software that’s been built for Mac first, there’s no better choice than Intego.


  • Firewall protection
  • Anti-predator chat monitoring
  • Mac optimization


  • Complicated UI

7. McAfee — Powerful Real-Time Online Protection

McAfee antivirus is a world-renowned antivirus brand that goes back decades. Today, it’s trusted all around the world by enterprise and personal users.

For complete peace of mind, it uses real-time threat protection and scheduled antivirus scans in conjunction with a personalized scanning profile you can set for each family member.

McAfee | Renowned Mac antivirus software

Best For Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Auto Updates / Auto Scan Firewall / Malicious URL Blocking
Range of security tools $29.99 1. Real-time Threat Protection

2. Protection Score

3. File Shredder

30-Days 10 Yes / Yes Yes / Yes

McAfee has been accused of not giving the user enough control over how and when the antivirus program works. Still, after spending some time with the modern McAfee antivirus, this company has massively cleaned up its act, and running a Mac virus scan is fast and simple.

In fact, McAfee antivirus is only one part of a suite of privacy protection tools, all designed to make your internet browsing safer. You can run real-time system scans, and the Vulnerability Scan will identify any gaps in your defenses, while QuickClean will keep your system optimized.

Then there’s credit monitoring, identity theft prevention, a home network analyzer, online data cleanup, a firewall, and a “kill switch” for your vital online accounts in case you suspect fraud. You’ll be able to shut down access to your bank account, bill services, and credit cards instantly through McAfee’s security freeze service.

McAfee even has ransomware protection. Attempts to encrypt your files will put the system on alert and will automatically result in the creation of a protected backup – thwarting would-be attackers. Naturally, there’s also a free VPN.

Lab Tests

AV-Comparatives: McAfee Total Protection stopped 99.4% of malware in its most recent tests and earned a three-star real-world protection Advanced+ award. It also earned 3 of 3 stars for performance tests and malware protection.

Performance Impact

AV-Comparatives gave McAfee 3 out of 3 for performance, with no impact on file copying, downloading files, or browsing sites, and minimal impact on installing and launching applications – though these tests weren’t run on Mac.


Is it worth having McAfee on Mac? Yes, absolutely – McAfee is more than your average antivirus program, and there are many different plans depending on your needs. The “Basic” package will cover a single device:

McAfee pricing

McAfee is competitively priced, and by default, dark web leaks are covered, even on the basic plan. That said, the powerful identity theft prevention features are locked behind McAfee’s advanced package.

Overall, you’ll find that McAfee comes with one of the best basic packages for the sheer number of features included, but the highest-end packages are quite expensive. The only real difference between Premium and Plus is the number of devices you can cover under the anti-virus plan.


  • User Friendly
  • 24/7 Support Available
  • Identity Protection
  • One of the best Reddit antivirus recommendations


  • Best Features Locked Behind Expensive Plans

What Threats Are Prevalent?

No matter which operating system you use, you’ll encounter some ever-present online threats when you’re using the internet. Although Mac OSX has strong security features by default, all it takes is one accidental click on a malicious website or an unwise download – let alone an unknown zero-day attack – and your computer could be wrecked and your data lost forever.

In the past Apple users believed they generally didn’t need to worry about viruses – but malware for Macs is widely prevalent today.

There are several main types of malware Apple users can face, ranging from adware and unwanted tracking all the way to ransomware. Ransomware programs lock your computer so it’s unusable until you pay a Bitcoin ransom – with the threat that they’ll delete the data if you don’t pay up. This can be particularly damaging when targeting businesses and organizations like schools and hospitals but is equally devastating for private users.

Other attacks seek to steal your personal information, such as credit card details and passwords, Once your details have been stolen, you’re constantly at risk of identity theft. In some cases, hackers have been known to spend several years using the same social security number to impersonate unwitting victims.

All of this means that it’s critical to get internet security software in place and scan for viruses on Mac.

Best Free Mac Antivirus vs. Paid Solutions – Which is Best?

Even the best Mac antivirus freeware can be more of a headache than it’s worth. Firstly, you need to ensure the antivirus you’re downloading is from a reputable vendor.

There are plenty of providers who will masquerade as a legitimate antivirus platform and then sell your information or access to your computer – so it’s best to stick with our recommended options.

The providers we’ve highlighted in our list are all trusted antivirus providers who sometimes offer free trial versions alongside their main product. For example, TotalAV gives you access to the core antivirus functions for free on unlimited devices.

Free options generally come with limited features and functionality, though, and can’t provide the same level of comprehensive cover you really need to put your mind at ease – even if you get the best free antivirus for Mac.

And unfortunately, digital threats in the modern world extend far beyond someone installing malware on your computer. Identity theft is often the most damaging digital theft the average person can experience.

No antivirus solution has a totally free, foolproof program to help you tackle identity theft, so you’ll have to buy a subscription if you want features such as being able to monitor deep-web hacker sites for your details.

One alternative is to use free trials to test out a product before you pay up. TotalAV offers a 30-day free trial, which is one of the best free antivirus offers you’ll get, and the product we rate as the best free antivirus for Mac.

How We Test the Best Mac Antivirus Tools

When choosing an antivirus tool for Mac OSX, you should keep a few details in mind. When researching the best antivirus Mac users need today, we kept performance and usability front of mind.

Speed is also essential, but you should bear in mind this is often limited by hard-drive speed. The best Mac antivirus tools will take advantage of the faster SSDs in newer Mac computers, drastically reducing the time spent scanning your computer.

Generally, if you find your computer significantly slowing down when using an antivirus tool, you should shop around to see if you can find a faster one. Plus, many Antivirus tools come with free trials, so you can test them before subscribing.

How Do I Scan My Mac for Viruses?

Installing and setting up an antivirus tool on a Mac is straightforward. Let’s use TotalAV as an example:

Step #1: Download and Install TotalAV

Head to TotalAV’s website and browse their Mac antivirus section. You don’t need to sign up for a subscription to download and try it. Once you’ve downloaded the TotalAV.pkg, it’s just a matter of double-clicking to install it.

totalav setup step 1

Step #2: Click Continue to Install

Once you’ve opened the install wizard, it’s easy to get through the installation process. You’ll need to select where you want to install TotalAV and which type of installation you’d prefer.

totalav setup step 2

Step #3: Enter Your Password to Complete the Installation

TotalAV uses system-level tools, which require permission from the administrator to install. In most cases, this is as simple as putting in your username and password.

totalav setup step 3

Now you’re up and running with TotalAV, and you can scan your Mac for viruses. There’s an automatic update service, so you’ll always be updated with the latest malware definitions.

More Resources and Antivirus Guides

Check out our other guides for antivirus services for a range of different use cases:

Conclusion – What is the Best Antivirus for Mac? TotalAV

TotalAV is our pick for the top antivirus for Mac in 2023. It’s relatively inexpensive, and it performs quickly and extremely well under testing. Some of our other providers offer a more specialised service, but TotalAV leads the pack for overall value.

Try the best antivirus software for Mac now, risk-free with the 30-day free trial.

Mac Antivirus FAQs

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Which is the best antivirus for Mac?

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Is Mac built-in antivirus good?

Is Norton Antivirus good for Mac?

How do I check my Mac for viruses?

Does Apple have better antivirus?


Sam Dawson

Sam is a cybersecurity researcher working in the field of hardware security and AI-driven penetration testing. He has spent the last few years contemplating some of the ways in which computers have been built wrong, and how we can possibly detect those flaws. When not stressing out over arcane details of computer hardware, Sam can be found advocating for data privacy in his spare time.