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MacKeeper is a rogue utility software suite for Mac OS X designed to 'optimize and clean a computer system'. It has gained notoriety through deceptive marketing tactics, sometimes being called malware.
The first beta-version of MacKeeper 0.8 was released on May 13, 2010, the second release on October 26, 2010. The MacKeeper 2012 version was released on January 30, 2012 at Macworld – iWorld in San Francisco, California. MacKeeper 2.0. included updates in security, data control, cleaning and optimization features.
The Real-Time Internet Security feature blocks malicious websites automatically while surfing the Internet by using several databases of known URLs and create their own block lists, along with an antivirus feature that scans the computer for malware. MacKeeper also contains an anti-theft feature that can help find a lost or stolen computer by making an iSight photo snapshot of the user, generating a detailed report of the location information through the use of triangulation and contacting the owner the moment the computer is detected.
The Data Encryptor can encrypt files or folders on the hard drive. Using a password the data cannot be retrieved through Finder or Terminal. The Files Recovery utility scans the hard drive or external drive where the deleted files were stored. Any files that are found can be previewed and recovered. Backup creates reserve copies of the files and folders. The backup destination can be a USB flash drive, External HDD or FTP server. The Shredder feature is a data erasure tool that destroys so that even specialized software can not restore them.
The Fast Cleanup feature is a disk cleaner that finds and removes junk files on the hard drive in order to free up space. The Duplicates Finder App will search the entire hard drive and locate multiple instances of the same file and allow the user to manually review the files to decide what files they would like to keep and what files they would like to delete. Files Finder is a filter that can scan the hard drive for all files and allow the user to view only the selected file type. The Disk Usage feature scans the folders and marks them with different colors depending on the size of the content the folder contains. This feature includes files and duplicate finder to help detect large files that may be misplaced. Smart Uninstaller removes widgets, applications, preference panes and plugins. It removes the preferences, web caches and log files which still remain on the Mac's hard drive even after the item has been removed to the trash.
The Update Tracker checks each application installed on the Mac user's machine for the newest versions. All apps are marked by color as Up to Date and Out of Date. Any out-of-date application can be updated manually. Login Items allows the user to manage start-up applications that launch automatically. Default Apps shows the associations between all file extensions and applications that open them. It helps to define which application will open each file type and allows the user to choose the methods.
Many users found MacKeeper to be considered a malicious antivirus, a few also can find this an additional rogue.
Zeobit has been accused of employing misleading advertising with regards to its promotion of MacKeeper, including aggressive affiliates, pop-under ads and planting sock-puppet reviews as well as websites set up to discredit their competitors. ZeoBit claims that negative attacks were also launched against MacKeeper by an unnamed competitor, and that many users and press are confusing MacKeeper with another app.
In May of 2014 a lawsuit was filed against Kromtech in Pennsylvania, alleging that MacKeeper fakes virus infection to scare users into paying for unneeded fixes.
Macworld gave MacKeeper 3.5 out of 5 stars in August 2010, based on the 0.9.6 build of the program, and found it a reasonably priced set of tools but experienced lagging while switching between tools. MacLife rated it at 2.5 out of 5 and said it to be useful mainly for freeing up drive space, but found other features offered inconsistent results and believed most users won’t need its antivirus feature. Appstorm (which is sponsored by MacKeeper) described the software as "incredibly powerful maintenance utility for OS X". The Mac Feed found that MacKeeper contained a large number of space-reduction features but found some features contained software bugs. The Safe Mac recommended users avoid MacKeeper, questioning not only Zeobit's general ethical conduct but finding the software unnecessary, overpriced and problematic to uninstall.
Even though it is debated whether or not it is actually malware, many people want to remove it.
To start, to remove the MacKeeper icon, launch MacKeeper in applications, then go to General and uncheck "Show MacKeeper icon in menu bar". Next, go to the MacKeeper application menu and choose Quit. Finally, drag MacKeeper into the trash, the user will be asked for the administrator password, type it in and then a pop-up will occur and ask to uninstall the remaining components, and click uninstall. There may be some remaining files, so the user should manually search for them or use a cleaning tool.