We earn commissions from links on this site.

MacKeeper Antivirus Review (2023 Update): The Pros & Cons

By Tibor Moes / Updated: August 2023 / Rating: 3 of 5

MacKeeper Antivirus Review

MacKeeper review: summary

MacKeeper is ranked #16 out of 28 antivirus software.

MacKeeper presents a good blend of security, privacy, and optimization features for Mac, and an intuitive interface. The antivirus engine detected 97% of malware samples in our tests, falling behind the top-tier antivirus software for Mac: Intego and Norton.

MacKeeper’s offerings include adware protection, ID theft protection, unlimited-data VPN, ad and tracker blocking, cleanup tools, and performance optimization. However, it lacks anti-phishing protection, firewall, and parental controls.

Sadly, MacKeeper does not participate in the independent tests by AV-Test, which is not a good sign. Without these tests, we have no verifiable benchmark to compare it against. We would stick to one of the proven winners, such as Norton or Bitdefender.

If you want the best protection, we recommend Norton.

Click the links to compare the prices of the best antivirus software:

🥇 Norton Antivirus – The best of 2023
🥈 Bitdefender Antivirus
🥉 McAfee Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus of 2023.

Ranking  #16 of 28
Password Manager
Unlimited VPN
Operating systems macOS

Test score comparison

We’ve compared the 10 most recent test scores for Mac of the antivirus brands that frequently partake in these trials. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:

  • Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
  • Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
  • Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.

We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:

Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.

Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. MacKeeper does not participate in the test, which isn’t a good sign.

Final Score
Test Participation
10 / 10
10 / 10
7 / 10
4 / 10
9 / 10
2 / 10
10 / 10
10 / 10
9 / 10
4 / 10

Click the links to compare the prices of the best antivirus software:

🥇 Norton Antivirus – The best of 2023
🥈 Bitdefender Antivirus
🥉 McAfee Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus of 2023.

MacKeeper antivirus review

MacKeeper, a Mac-exclusive security suite, offers real-time protection against malware, a range of extra features like ID theft protection, and user-friendly interface. While its price is higher than most competitors, the flexible pricing plans and money-back guarantees help to justify the cost.


MacKeeper’s integrated antivirus scanner, found on the app dashboard, enables full system and custom scans to detect malicious files. Although there’s no quick scan, the full scan speed is commendable compared to other competitors like McAfee. The scanner unfortunately doesn’t indicate how many files it has scanned, nor does it utilize file caching to speed up subsequent scans, unlike Intego.

In testing, MacKeeper successfully detected 97% of downloaded malware samples. It promptly flagged these threats, offering the option to delete or quarantine the files. Despite lacking file caching, MacKeeper’s scans were still faster than many antivirus software, without affecting device performance.

The real-time protection feature, although not default, can easily be enabled. The real-time scanner continuously checks for malware, instantly catching and quarantining any infected files. Despite some minor drawbacks like not showing the number of scanned files or using file caching, MacKeeper excels in malware detection, prioritizing security above all.

Adware Cleaner

MacKeeper’s separate Adware Cleaner, unlike those integrated in most antivirus products, efficiently detects and eliminates adware from your Mac and provides real-time monitoring. The scan, which took less than 6 minutes, detected numerous adware threats. While real-time adware monitoring isn’t enabled by default, it’s easily activated. Overall, this tool proves quick and effective at combating malicious adware.

ID Theft Guard

The ID Theft Guard feature of MacKeeper is a strong defense against identity theft, offering 24/7 monitoring for data breaches associated with your email addresses. Although not as comprehensive as Norton’s dark web monitoring, it surpasses many competitors’ offerings.

On activation, it detects all device-linked email addresses and checks them for breaches. Interestingly, an initial check showed no breaches, only for a pop-up to alert me to five breaches 5 minutes later.

After verifying my identity, ID Theft Guard gave detailed breach data, including the breached company’s name and the used password. MacKeeper provides direct links to the breached sites to change passwords, or the option to resolve it manually.

One breach was labeled ‘Sensitive’ due to legal reasons but still allowed me to change the password. Despite not being as thorough as Norton’s monitoring, ID Theft Guard is superior to many alternatives and offered reassurance about the security of my personal information.


MacKeeper’s integrated VPN, Private Connect, offers impressive features, such as unlimited data, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a wide server network. Unlike some antivirus-bundled VPNs, it provides significant internet speed and access to various streaming sites.

Although speeds drop on faraway connections, it is still usable for streaming. Concerns arise over its data management policy, but for basic online activities, it’s a suitable choice.


The StopAd feature, while not unique, is a beneficial addition to MacKeeper’s suite. It operates as a browser extension for Google Chrome or Safari, blocking ads and trackers in real-time.

Testing on YouTube revealed it blocked several ads and trackers during a single video, proving its effectiveness. Despite concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding data management, MacKeeper’s VPN and StopAd are reliable, user-friendly, and perform their tasks efficiently.

Safe Cleanup

MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup is a swift tool that scans for junk files, including unusual items like mail attachments, taking up space on your Mac. The tool found a significant 8.83 GB of unneeded files during testing. However, there is no prompt to review these files before deletion, which could result in unintentional loss of important files or attachments.

Duplicates Finder

The Duplicates Finder identifies duplicate files, similar photos, and screenshots. During testing, the tool identified 681 files which could be deleted, freeing up 623 MB. Unlike Safe Cleanup, this feature prompts for review before deletion, offering a user-friendly, thorough approach to decluttering.

Smart Uninstaller

The Smart Uninstaller scans for redundant applications, widgets, plugins, and browser extensions, and fully uninstalls them, a feature not always available with performance optimizers bundled with antivirus products. During testing, it identified 32 GB of unused applications and plugins.

However, the tool lacks clear warnings on what not to delete, suggesting the need for more user-friendly instructions. Overall, MacKeeper’s tools provide useful, efficient ways to free up storage on your Mac, but could benefit from more comprehensive user guidance.

Memory Cleaner

MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner presents real-time RAM usage and allows clearing memory to enhance device performance. However, even though nearly 4GB of memory was freed during testing, the available memory swiftly returned to previous levels, showing no tangible performance improvement. Furthermore, the feature allows closure of seemingly important apps without clear explanation, creating confusion.

Additional Features

Additional features such as Update Tracker, Login Items, and Find & Fix also have their merits and demerits. Update Tracker, which checks for app updates, missed detecting an out-of-date Spotify app and a macOS security upgrade. Login Items, while useful in speeding up start-up times, ironically indicated several MacKeeper processes launching on device start-up.

The Find & Fix feature, providing an overview of Mac security and performance issues, is quite useful but initiates changes without allowing review of actions.

Overall, MacKeeper’s additional tools offer some utility, although improvements in clarity and comprehensiveness would enhance user experience. Tools like Login Items and Update Tracker may need improvement, but the Find & Fix tool remains handy for a quick overview of device health.

Pricing and Setup

MacKeeper offers two plans: a limited free plan and an all-inclusive paid plan, priced from €9.95/month. Paid plans include a range of features such as cleanup tools, unlimited-data VPN, StopAd, and ID Theft Guard, regardless of subscription duration. MacKeeper also has a Premium Services support plan as an optional upgrade, providing 24/7 access to tech support.

Despite its range of features, MacKeeper is rather pricey. Comparable products at lower prices exist in the market. They offer a 14-day money-back guarantee on monthly plans and a standard 30-day policy on annual plans. The free version of MacKeeper, although very limited, is available too.

As for its setup and ease of use, MacKeeper takes less than 2 minutes to install. The user interface is intuitive with an appealing design, and all features are ready to use upon activation. Despite this, some features lack adequate explanations, prompting a suggestion for more informational cues, especially for actions that can potentially cause harm or irreversible changes. Overall, MacKeeper is user-friendly and facilitates easy management of Mac’s security and optimization.


In 2023, MacKeeper proves surprisingly effective, offering robust security and performance-enhancing features. Its quick antivirus scans rival those of leading Mac-based antivirus solutions like Intego, although it could benefit from additions like a password manager and smart firewall. While some features need improvement, device cleanup tools, VPN, ID Theft Guard, and StopAd add value and ensure safe web browsing.

MacKeeper’s pricing is higher than most competitors but offers flexibility. The same set of features come with all plans; only the subscription length varies. Standard 30-day refund policy applies to annual plans, promising a smooth refund process.

MacKeeper is recommended for those seeking an intuitive Mac-focused antivirus with a reliable unlimited-data VPN and optimization tools. However, for a basic antivirus product or a comprehensive internet security suite, more affordable alternatives are available.

Click the links to compare the prices of the best antivirus software:

🥇 Norton Antivirus – The best of 2023
🥈 Bitdefender Antivirus
🥉 McAfee Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus of 2023.

How do we test antivirus software?

The best antivirus software offer virus protection, identity theft protection, and privacy protection for Windows, macOS, and Android. Some also offer security features for iOS and Linus.

To evaluate which providers are worth your money, we run 11 tests:

> Test 1: Anti-malware protection test

We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.

We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.

Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.

> Test 2: False positives test

False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.

> Test 3: System performance test

We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.

> Test 4: Firewall test

We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.

> Test 5: Password manager test

We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.

> Test 6: Virtual Private Network (VPN) test

We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.

> Test 7: Parental control test

We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.

> Test 8: Anti-phishing protection test

We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.

> Test 9: Ransomware protection test

We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.

> Test 10: Bonus features test

We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:

  • Ad Blocker
  • Anti-theft
  • Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
  • Email protection
  • File encryption
  • File shredder
  • Gaming mode
  • Microphone protection
  • PC maintenance features
  • Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
  • Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
  • Spam filter
  • Startup optimizer
  • Tune up tools
  • Virtual keyboard
  • Webcam protection

> Test 11: Operating system and multiple devices test

Operating system and multiple devices: We test antivirus software on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices and award bonus points for unlimited device protection.

> Test 12: Ownership and reputation test

We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.

Sources and tools

Below are the sources and tools we’ve used to test the antivirus software:


Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

Mackeeper Antivirus Review

MacKeeper Review

Ranked #16 of 28

Save on the best antivirus of 2023:

🥇 Norton Antivirus (60% off) 🔥
🥈 Bitdefender Antivirus
🥉 McAfee Antivirus