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How to uninstall Antivirus for Mac if the standard uninstaller doesn't work

This is a workaround for the situations when Bitdefender Uninstaller fails or doesn’t exist at /Library/Bitdefender/Central/Agent/BitdefenderUninstaller.

IMPORTANT: If you have a backup disk, we recommend you to make a fresh backup before proceeding further. See more details in this article:

1. Restart your Mac and press Command ()-R during the restart until you see the Apple logo

In some cases you will be prompted to choose the language. Choose your desired language and click on the arrow at the bottom to continue.

2. The Utilities window will be displayed (this example is for Sierra OS, but it looks very similar on the previous OS versions).

3. Select Disk Utility and then click on Continue

4. Select your startup disk (in the example Macintosh HD):

  1. If it’s already mounted, you will see the Unmount option. In this case proceed with step 5.
  2. If it’s not mounted, click on Mount. If it’s locked by FileVault, you will be prompted for your administrator password to unlock it. Enter the same password you use at Mac login.


5. Quit Disk Utility to return to the Utilities window: click on Disk Utility in the menu bar (next to the Apple logo) and select Quit Disk Utility or simply close the window.

6. In the menu bar click on Utilities and select Terminal.


7. In the Terminal window type the following set of commands. At the end of each line, press Return/Enter on your keyboard.

a. First, we want to use the “ls” command (lower letters LS from LIST) to make sure the startup disk (Macintosh HD) is mounted. So, we type (there is a space after the “ls” command):

ls /Volumes/

and press Return. This will display all the mounted volumes like in the picture below. If you see your startup disk (Macintosh HD) you may continue with step b). Otherwise, it is possible that you haven’t mounted the startup disk. In this case, quit the Terminal window, go back to Disk Utility and mount the disk. You may also run a First Aid to fix any potential disk errors.

Quick Tip! Type the first characters of the argument (in this case, /Volumes/) and then press the TAB key on your keyboard. This will auto-complete the name of the argument. For the example above type ls /Vol and then press TAB.

b. Now let’s see if we have the SelfProtect.kext extension in the Extensions folder. We will use the same “ls”  command.

ls /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Extensions/

NOTE: You can notice that after Macintosh we put a back slash “\” and a space followed by HD. This is because the startup disk name has two words. If the startup disk name had one word, we would use the forward slash “/” and no spaces. For example, if the name was MacintoshHD, the command would be: ls /Volumes/MacintoshHD/Library/Extensions/

NOTE: Remember to use the auto-complete function (TAB key) for each directory name in the command string. It will help you avoid typos.

c. We have the SelfProtect.kext. The next step is to delete it. To do that we will use the “rm -rf” command (from REMOVE). We will retype the same string as above, but replace “ls” with “rm -rf” and add the item we want to remove (SelfProtect.kext) at the end.

rm –rf /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Extensions/SelfProtect.kext

Let’s check if the file was deleted. Use the command from step b)

ls /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Extensions/

Quick Tip! Use the Up arrow to use the previous command (navigate through the history of commands) and the Down arrow if you wish to go back to the blank line.

d. The SelfProtect extension was removed and we can move to the next step: check if you have the Bitdefender folder and remove it. Let’s try all the commands at once (you still have to press Return/Enter after each one).

ls /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/

rm –rf /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Bitdefender/

ls /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/

e. The Bitdefender folder has been removed. You can now restart in normal mode. To do that, click on the Apple logo in the menu bar and select Restart.

8. Finally, you can install a fresh copy of Antivirus for Mac from the Bitdefender Central account. See more details in this article:

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