These days, more and more sophisticated malware is being made to target Macs, meaning they are no longer safe from the type of viruses that target PCs. So, while there is built-in security to protect the macOS, it is wise to extend this protection.
Read on to find some of the best free antiviruses for Mac in 2022 and how to start using it.
Best Free Antivirus for Mac
Avast Security is one of the most prominent names in the antivirus industry. Its popularity is due to delivering excellent overall protection against online threats. It offers multiple features, including device scanning, online network inspection, webcam protection, and a VPN service for safe browsing.
Avast Antivirus Features
It offers many features and tools for comprehensive online protection. However, the options available to you depend on your plan.
Here are the main features offered in their free plan:
Avast malware protection package includes the following:
- Complete malware detection to prevent the sharing of infected files.
- In-depth scans for hidden malware on your Mac or iOS device.
- Scheduled scans to check for malware while you’re away.
- Automatic updates of real-time security updates and new features.
The real-time protection feature runs in the background to stop threats discreetly as they appear.
The firewall will protect your network from unauthorized intrusions. From the Avast interface, you can block internet access to specific apps.
- The free version comes with useful features.
- It’s easy to download and navigate.
- It’s compatible with macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android devices.
- The free version blocks web trackers and includes app monitoring.
- The free version doesn’t include ransomware shield support.
- Avast has been known to leak user data in the past.
How to Install Avast Antivirus
Follow these steps to install Avast on your Mac.
- Visit Avast’s official website.
- Click the “Free Download” button. A setup .exe file will download and save to your “Downloads” folder.
- Double-click the .exe file, then the “Install Avast Security” icon.
- Once you have read the “End User License Agreement,” click “Continue,” then “Agree” if you accept the terms.
- Choose “Install” to continue with the default installation or “Change Installation Location…” to make a change to the default.
- If asked, use Touch ID, or click “Use Password…” to enter your password to permit the installation, then click “Install Software.”
- Click “OK” if prompted to allow access to your “Downloads” or “Desktop” folder.
- If prompted, use Touch ID, or enter your password to allow Avast Security to make changes to the “System Certificate Trust Settings,” then click “Update Settings.”
- Click “OK” to the “System Extension Blocked” notification, then “Close” to complete the installation.
Malwarebytes antivirus offers advanced malware protection for macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android devices. Malwarebytes is one to consider if you’re looking for a lightweight, super-fast, and free antivirus program for your Mac.
Its primary focus is to detect and remove ransomware, malware, and other viruses. It blocks viruses in real time, prevents ransomware from infecting your Mac, and prevents you from visiting malicious websites. It also removes existing malware from your device.
Malwarebytes does offer many useful features; however, it isn’t as feature rich as other top antivirus software. For example, it doesn’t provide a firewall, parental controls, or a password manager.
The free version of Malwarebytes promises to scan a standard Mac in less than 30 seconds. It will list potential threats or anything that seems suspicious. You can then decide whether Malwarebytes ignores it or moves the files into quarantine for deletion.
Although Malwarebytes’ free version offers immediate malware threat detection, its bare-bones detection and deletion feature doesn’t provide sufficient protection on its own. The good news is, they offer a 14-day trial of their premium package, so you can decide whether you want to upgrade or whether the free version will do.
- It has reasonable virus detection rates.
- It requires minimal CPU usage.
- It has an intuitive interface.
- The free version only scans.
- There is no live chat support.
How to Install Malwarebytes
Here are the steps to download and install the latest version of Malwarebytes for Mac.
- Go to Malwarebytes’ official website.
- Click the “Free Download” button. A Malwarebytes-Mac-4.x.y.zzz.pkg (4.x.y.zzz signifies the version number) file will download to your Mac and, in most cases, save to the “Downloads” folder.
- Double-click the file to launch the setup wizard.
- In the Install Malwarebytes for Mac window, click “Continue.”
- If you wish, read through the improvements and issues fixed before clicking “Continue.”
- Click “Agree” once you’ve read the “Software License Agreement.”
- Click “Continue” on the install location and file size screen, then click “Install.”
- Enter your Mac username and password, then click “Install Software.”
- Close and exit the setup wizard, then click “Get Started” on the Malwarebytes welcome screen.
Bitdefender Virus Scanner
Bitdefender Virus Scanner is another 2022 top-rated antivirus provider, surpassing popular antivirus providers like TotalAV and Norton. Its standout features include real-time protection, various virus scan options, banking protection, a password manager, and a built-in VPN.
The free version doesn’t come with as many bells and whistles, yet it’s still a worthwhile free antivirus program for your Mac. It is especially ideal for scanning specific apps or files and lets you ignore files to speed up scanning. If it detects a threat, it will quarantine and then remove it.
It doesn’t run silently in the background, so you’ll need to request one when ready to scan. You’ll continuously have the latest protection as the virus signatures are automatically updated every hour.
Its free version offers real-time protection for one device with the following:
As a free user, you’ll get the same efficient and reliable scan feature as the paid version. It uses the malware directory and machine learning to detect known and unknown malware threats effectively. Since this takes place in the cloud, the performance impact on your Mac is minimal. It has four types of scans:
- Quick scan: It quickly scans the location where viruses typically appear.
- System scan: It scans the entire system.
- Custom scan: This allows you to scan a specific area.
- Vulnerability scan: For five minutes at a time, it checks for vulnerabilities.
Web Attack Protection
Their web attack prevention will check the websites you access for threats and block all known infected links to protect your personal information and your Mac from cyber criminals.
- It relies on a Global Protection Network.
- It offers best-in-class malware detection.
- It provides a 30-day trial for all premium plans.
- It adapts to your hardware specifications.
- Paid options are slightly expensive.
How to Install Bitdefender
Follow these steps to get started using the free version of Bitdefender.
- Navigate to the Bitdefender login page to create an account.
- Click on the “Activate your subscription” button, then go to your email account and follow the link to Bitdefender Central, where you can log into your account.
- Download the Bitdefender app and install it.
- You can “Run an Optimal Device Assessment” after all files have been downloaded to allow Bitdefender to find any weaknesses on your Mac.
- Choose the “Start Using Bitdefender” button.
AVG Antivirus is another adequate antivirus solution. Its free protection is effective enough to protect your Mac from malware and online protection. It also stops you from getting and passing on PC and Android viruses. You’ll receive adequate security coverage as AVG keeps its virus database updated automatically. It will run silently in the background to deflect threats like malicious emails, downloads, and websites.
The free edition of AVG Antivirus offers malware protection. The malware must breach several layers of security before accessing your system. It blocks suspicious programs and performs a detailed scan if one slips through. AVG Antivirus also provides advanced firewalls to protect your Mac against ransomware.
- It is third-party tested for security.
- It has an intuitive interface.
- Phone and chat support is available.
- Its premium support is expensive.
- The knowledge base could be better.
How to Install AVG Antivirus
Here are the steps to download and use the free AVG Antivirus edition.
- Visit the AVG Antivirus official website.
- Click the “Free download” button, and a .exe setup file will download and save to your “Downloads” folder.
- Double-click on the setup file, then double-click the AVG Antivirus icon.
- Click “Allow” to determine if AVG can be installed, then click “Continue.”
- After looking through the “End User License Agreement,” click “Continue,” then “Agree” to accept the terms.
- Choose “Install” to continue with the default installation or choose “Change Install Location…” or “Customize” to change the default setup.
- Use your Touch ID or “Use Password” to enter your password to authorize the installation, then click “Install Software.”
- To authorize changes to the “System Certificate Trust Settings,” use your Touch ID or enter your password, then click “Update Settings.”
- Click “OK” when the “System Extension Blocked” popup appears.
- “Close” the successful installation confirmation window, and you’re ready to start using AVG Antivirus.
Sophos Home antivirus assures crucial protection against ransomware, worms, bots, trojans, and phishing websites. Sophos consistently monitors your Mac’s status and effectively handles malware, malicious intruders, and hackers.
Sophos is considered safe; however, it can be inconsistent. It has been found to detect unmalicious programs and files, which causes problems with safe listing them.
The free version of Sophos is good enough to secure up to three of your devices. It includes parental controls to allow you to stop your children from accessing inappropriate websites. And you don’t need to set up an account or hand over your bank details to use the free version.
- It performs fast virus scans.
- No account setup is required for the free version of Sophos.
- The app management lacks intuition.
- Sophos can be inconsistent.
How to Install Sophos Home
Follow these steps to start using the free version of Sophos Home.
- Visit Sophos Homes’ official website.
- Click on the “Free Trial” button, then “Download Now,” and wait for the Installer to finish downloading.
- Go to your “Downloads” folder and double-click on the “Sophosinstaller” folder, then the “Sophos Installer” or only the “Sophos Installer” file might display.
- Double-click the “Sophos Installer.app” to start the installation.
- Choose “Open” when the security prompt appears.
- Click “Continue” in the installation window.
- Enter your Mac password, then click “Install Helper.”
- Wait a few minutes while the installer completes.
- If this is your first time installing Sophos, you may be prompted to allow the Sophos extension.
- Click “Close” to exit the “Installation was successful” window.
Comodo Antivirus is established antivirus software that offers a solid free version that’s easy to use. Checking an app or file for viruses simply requires dragging and dropping it into Comodo. Its quick scan completes in minutes, while a full system scan could take up to two hours to complete. You can choose a convenient time to perform the scans using the “Scheduled Scans” feature.
Comodo will keep up to date with the latest virus signatures to defend your Mac from different malware types. However, Comodo will not automatically protect your device while online, and blocking any dangerous website requires the free Comodo Online Security browser extension.
- It offers a feature-rich free edition.
- It’s easy to use and includes good documentation.
- Some features don’t work very well.
- Apps look and feel slightly outdated.
How to Install Comodo Antivirus
Here are the steps to start using the free version of Comodo.
- Visit the official Comodo website.
- Click the “Free Antivirus” button to download the setup file.
- Double-click “Comodo Antivirus Installer” to start the installation wizard.
- Choose the language to install Comodo, then click “OK.”
- To continue, read the “End User License Agreement,” then click “I accept” or “Cancel.”
- If you want to sign up for Comodo news and product information, enter your email address, then click “Next.”
- In the “Ready to install…” window, choose “Install.” A progress bar will display.
- Choose “Finish” in the confirmation window once the installation is complete. You will be prompted to restart your computer to complete the process.
The Best Free Antivirus Software for Macs
Security and virus issues can affect Macs if even you’re careful. Installing third-party antivirus software will strengthen your defense. If you’re looking for the best free antivirus for your Mac, consider Bitdefender. The free version is comprehensive with features comparable with paid premium versions of other top antivirus software.
Have you decided on a free antivirus program to try? How did you make your decision? Tell us about it in the comments section below.