Ge­nius Tips

Howard Oak­ley solves your Mac and iOS is­sues

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - by Steve Cas­tle

QMy MacBook Air with 8GB of mem­ory has been run­ning out of that re­source lately; Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor shows an item called In­staller keeps pop­ping up to con­sume large amounts of it. I don't have any­thing in­stalled that would be­have like that. What’s go­ing on?

AAlthough macOS makes best use of phys­i­cal mem­ory, it shouldn't be go­ing into the red like this, and you are rightly sus­pi­cious of any pe­ri­odic process con­sum­ing lots of mem­ory.

A good way to iden­tify what’s re­spon­si­ble and check if it's above board is to inspect it us­ing TaskEx­plorer (free, ob­jec­tive-see.com). This links into the VirusTo­tal data­base to de­ter­mine whether a task might be mal­ware, which seems highly likely in your case.

Any­thing run­ning pe­ri­od­i­cally is prob­a­bly do­ing so by means of an in­stalled LaunchA­gent or LaunchDae­mon, pos­si­bly lo­cated in LaunchA­gents or LaunchDae­mons in the Li­brary folder at the top of your startup disk or in your Home folder, or hid­den some­where else. If the task isn’t mal­ware, iden­tify the cul­prit and unin­stall it if you can, and seek ad­vice from its pub­lisher.

If the mis­be­hav­ing task turns out to be ad­ware or mal­ware, re­move it us­ing a tool such as Mal­ware­Bytes (free, mal­ware­bytes. com). From the be­hav­iour you de­scribe, the cul­prit may well be one of sev­eral vari­ants of the In­stal­lMac mal­ware. That can be re­moved man­u­ally, but the process is quite fid­dly and prone to er­ror. Once re­moved, check again us­ing TaskEx­plorer. TaskEx­plorer, which is free for per­sonal use, can iden­tify whether a task on your Mac is known mal­ware.

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