What is Maccleaner.pkg
Maccleaner.pkg is a rogue installer that can be used to install potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) onto your Mac computer. The file is associated with fake system optimizer programs like Advanced Mac Cleaner, MacBooster, and Mac Adware Cleaner. They install onto the computer without permission and try to convince you to buy the full version of the program by showing fake scan results. Those fake system optimizers are not malicious in the sense that they do not directly harm the computer, but are more like scams that want your money.
If you were to initiate Maccleaner.pkg rogue installer, it would install one of those fake system optimizers. If you’re wondering how the installer ended up on your computer, you were likely tricked into downloading it. It’s possible you encountered a pop-up or an ad claiming you need to download an update for one of your programs, but the supposed update ended up being Maccleaner.pkg. If you were not attentive and did not read what the file is called, you’d initiate the installer and end up with a PUP on your computer.
We strongly recommend you delete Maccleaner.pkg from your Mac. Unless you want to install unwanted programs, it’s useless to you. If you have already initiated it, you will also need to get rid of the PUP it installed.
How did Maccleaner.pkg appear in your downloads
Users often fall for the old “you need to update” trick. What happens is users are shown an ad that claims they need to update one of their programs and provide a link to the supposed update. Less tech-savvy users often click on the link thinking it’s an update only to end up downloading something unwanted or even malicious. Most of the time, those fake updates are supposedly for Flash Player. Users may be redirected to a website claiming that in order to show the content of the site, they need to install an update.
It should be mentioned that legitimate updates are never pushed this way. You will never get a real update notification via an ad in your browser. And in most cases, if one your programs needs an update, the program/extension will notify you itself or update automatically without you needing to do anything.
What does Maccleaner.pkg do?
Like we mentioned above, Maccleaner.pkg is a rogue installer that will, if initiated, install a PUP on your computer. The PUP will be some kind of system optimizer that will try to convince you that your Mac has a lot of issues in order to sell you the full program. While the program may be convincing at first, if you took a closer look at the scan results, you’d realize that most of them are either very minor or don’t exist at all. It’s not uncommon for PUPs to exaggerate results or make them up all together in order to trick users. In reality, most of the detected issues can be solved manually.
If you are wondering whether your Mac would benefit from a system optimizer, know that there are legitimate ones that you can use. However, most Mac users will tell you that such programs are unnecessary and your Mac can manage without them perfectly fine.
If you have the Maccleaner.pkg file in your downloads but have not initiated it, you can just drag it to the trash and empty it. This should remove Maccleaner.pkg from your Mac. However, if you have run the installer, you will also need to remove the PUP that installed.
If you have anti-spyware software installed, it should detect and uninstall Maccleaner.pkg for you.