Is it OK to combine antivirus, antimalware, and maintenance apps on Mac?

I currently run Sophos Antivirus (Home) and Malwarebytes Anti-malware programs on my MacBook Pro (both paid versions) and have been happy with both. I am considering adding Clean My Mac X. Has anyone had a problem running CMMX with these apps, or with similar apps? Is there some redundancy in having all 3 of these apps? Could I consider just having 2 of the 3? I’m interested in hearing about your experiences with these apps or in hearing what other combination you might recommend.

Personally I run zero Anti-Malware Apps on my Macs on a regular base.
If you are careful which Websites you are visiting, and which Mails you are opening, it is more or less worthless.
Running even two of them, results in a good chance, that it decrease the Speed of your system.
And, depending on the source of the Anti-Malware App, you even have some chances to get a potential “Backdoor” for Malware with this app onto your system.

I personally also could found no reason in using one of those “optimizations” Apps. They do pretty much nothing, you couldn’t do without them, and in a lot of cases I know about, using one of those apps results in conflicts on a system.


I agree with Ulli. AFAIK, you don’t need them.

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I agree with those who say you probably don’t need to run 3rd party antivirus software on your Mac. Apple has built in security so at most I would only install one program and run it manually if you suspect a problem.


As noted, macOS has good built in tools, but they can be supplemented. And of course be smart about where you surf and what you click.

You can read more about the built in macOS security tools here: The Eclectic Light Company

And some useful tools can be found here: Objective-See

Running multiple antivirus tools is something of a “belt and suspenders” thing to do. But it probably won’t hurt, other than a possible performance hit. Some tools are known to get in each others way. But if you are not having an issue with Sophos and Malwarebytes running concurrently then it is your call if you should continue to do so.

I do not run a third party antivirus tool. I do use several Objective-See tools.

I also have a lifetime license for CleanMyMacX. I would not today get a subscription for it. I find it useful on occasion, but it is by no means necessary.

Why are you considering CleanMyMacX? There may be other (maybe even free!) tools that would meet you needs.

this is an evolving issues. I do not think anyone can say we do not need AV forever on Mac OS. I have a post here a couple of weeks ago that some malware crept into Apple Store apps

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This is not what I claimed.

What I, and others, are saying is that macOS has built in antivirus/malware tools.

I think we are saying two different things and not mutually exclusive. I agree what you are saying that macOS has built in antivirus / malware tools. What I am saying as it is such as evolving development , sometimes even big companies like Apple slipped up


Antivirus and anti-malware are more or less synonymous terms these days. A virus is a specific type of malware, and not very common anymore but the term has evolved to include most forms of malware.

I don’t use it, but if I were to, I’d stick with a single product.

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Personally I run Malwarebytes (free version) occasionally and that’s it. I understand, from other (now-departed) members, that Sophos is a good product though. Probably one or the other of these is good enough.

As to CMMX, I never liked it and I don’t use it.

Nobody knows the development over the, lets say, next 20 years.
But at the moment, you are pretty save using an Apple Device, and following some basic rules.
The Articles you linked are interesting, but do not change that.
Of course there is fraud out there, but for example, the Fraud from that article already could be avoided, if you simply not load any software coming from some suspicious sources, or are produced within certain countries. Have a look onto the reviews, and run the developer thru a search engine.
I haven´t installed anything during the past 5 years, were I could not get an valid address of the dev or his/her company, and where this address was located in a location, I do not want to do business with (at least not without someone in between!).

Just want to say that I woke up two hours early (it’s 5:20 am) and I read the word antimalware in the post title as “animalware.” I’ve been using computers since 1977 and couldn’t figure out what that was. :upside_down_face:


Well, if there are Viruses, there might be also Bacteria, so… :wink: :joy:

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I run malwarebytes on a monthly schedule, and that’s it basically. Had Sophos running for a while, but that never reported anything and kept hogging resources.

My work just had a security analysis done by an external agency and the general conclusion (at present time) is that the “tech” efforts should be focused on the Windows PCs, not the Macs. (I’ve put “tech” in quotes here to separate the “equipment” security issues from the much bigger issue in modern life of app/software vulnerabilities.) If there’s going to be a problem, it’s not going to come from a Mac.

(As an aside, one interesting recommendation I’d not heard is that if there is an app of a website you use, it’s safer to use the app than to visit the site in a browser. I don’t know if that advice is true for all computers or just Windows.)

I have Clean my Mac.

My God man, why!?

Commercial antivirus is a racket. Like I’ve said before, I have a hard time trusting anyone trying to sell me something by scaring me. I’ve never run antivirus or antimalware for 20 years on my Macs and I’ve been fine.

Continuing the discussion from Is it OK to combine antivirus, antimalware, and maintenance apps on Mac?:

Thank you so much all of the suggestions and information. It has clarified things for me. For one, I’m appreciating the tools I already have built-in to my Mac. Also, it’s good to be reminded about the importance of being careful with where to surf and where to click, etc.

I have decided to choose a single product as far as AV/Antimalware. In my case, choosing Sophos over Malwarebytes (but you could argue this either way). And now I know there’s a good argument for not having any of them.

I’m going to wait on CleanMyMacX till I see a clear need for it. My Mac is running well. No need to start cleaning and delete an important file at this point! I could consider other tools but as I have SetApp it wouldn’t cost me anything to have CleanMyMacX.