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How to Remove macOS:Spigot-AY in 3 Steps (Updated 2023)

Sam Boyd Sam Boyd

Short on time? Here’s how to remove macOS:Spigot-AY in 2023:

  1. Remove Extensions. Remove any Spigot-related browser extensions.
  2. Scan Your Mac. Using a premium antivirus (Intego is my favorite for Mac), run a full disk scan.
  3. Remove macOS:Spigot-AY. Once your antivirus has finished scanning your system, let it safely remove all instances of macOS:Spigot-AY from your device.
  4. Keep Your Mac Protected. To avoid further infections, get yourself a reliable internet security package. For Mac, Intego is the best choice — it has perfect Mac malware detection rates, plus excellent real-time protection, system cleanup tools, and parental controls. You can try Intego risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

macOS:Spigot-AY is a generic threat name given by Avast and AVG when they detect a specific family of browser hijacking adware on your machine. Adware can put unwanted results into your search engine, redirect your browser, and use your browsing details to profit from your data. Spigot’s fake apps often use trustworthy names like Amazon Shopping Assistant to trick users.

If you’re seeing the macOS:Spigot-AY notification, your Mac is most likely infected with adware. You should run a full system scan with a good Mac-based antivirus to remove the adware and other threats.

Although Avast and AVG are decent antiviruses, there are better and more reliable options out there. Intego is our top pick for trustworthy antivirus protection on macOS.

Regardless of which antivirus you’re using, you can follow my instructions to scan your Mac for adware and other threats. This includes those causing the macOS:Spigot-AY warning to appear.

You must follow these steps even if you suspect you know which application is causing your antivirus to flag macOS:Spigot-AY. There’s no way of knowing how many adware applications may be installed on your Mac — especially if you’ve been downloading freeware or pirated content.

Quick Tip: Intego is the best tool for removing macOS:Spigot-AY. You can get an affordable Intego plan for just $1.67 / month, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all purchases.

30 Days Risk-Free — Try Intego Now 

Preliminary Step — Remove Spigot-Related Browser Extensions

If an app associated with Spigot adware has appeared as a browser extension, you should follow these steps:

  1. Open your browser.
  2. In the browser menu, click Preferences and find the extensions tab.
  3. Locate the extension you suspect is associated with the Spigot warning and remove it.
  4. Restart your browser.

Even after you’ve removed the extension, you should run a full system scan using an antivirus such as Intego. This will ensure any other threats on your Mac are safely removed and keep you protected from further adware.

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Step 1. Identify macOS:Spigot-AY Malware With Your Antivirus (And Don’t Make the Problem Worse!)

You have two options for detecting macOS:Spigot-AY and any other malware on your system:

  1. You can either uninstall Avast or AVG and install a better antivirus option.
  2. Keep Avast or AVG running on your system.

Ensure that you only pick one of the two options, because if you have two antivirus programs running simultaneously, they can cause each other to malfunction.

Once you’ve settled on an antivirus solution, you can run a full system scan on your Mac. Remember to disconnect any other devices from your computer first — malware can easily spread from one device to another and you don’t want to take that risk.

A full scan can take up to 4 hours to complete (depending on your computer’s speed and hard drive size). While it’s running, your computer may be slower than usual, so wait until you’re not using your computer and run a scheduled scan. Alternatively, run the scan when you aren’t using any other CPU-intensive programs.

If your antivirus starts quarantining malware files while scanning — including those classified under macOS:Spigot-AY — it’s vital that you don’t end the scan early. Malware files often replicate themselves throughout your disk, and if you have one malware file on your system, you probably have more.

When the virus scan is finished, your antivirus will show you a list of all quarantined files. At this stage, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

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Step 2. Remove the macOS:Spigot-AY Infection and Delete Any Other Infected Files

Now it’s time to inspect your quarantined files and remove the malware files that your antivirus has flagged. While it would be nice to just hit Delete all, you should look out for false positives too. Every antivirus program is capable of mislabeling harmless files as malware. If you’re unsure about a file, send your antivirus provider a scan log, or Google the file name to figure out if it’s really malware.

Once you’ve removed all of the flagged malware files, restart your Mac. Then run a second full disk scan using your antivirus to ensure no other threats or adware are installed on your machine. If you’re using Intego, the second disk scan should be much quicker. Intego uses file caching to remember the safe files on your disk, which makes scans a lot faster after your first full disk scan.

If your second scan detects any more malware, you need to repeat steps 1 and 2 until you’re no longer detecting malware on your device.

When you reach this stage, your Mac is malware-free. However, if you’re not careful, you can easily get infected again. You should take the following precautions to ensure you keep your device protected from future malware.

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Step 3. Keep Your Device Protected From Other Unwanted Programs

It’s a common myth that you can’t get malware on Mac, and you’ve now experienced first hand how easy it is to get infected. While macOS is less vulnerable than Windows, there are thousands of new Mac-based malware infections every day. So what’s the best way to keep your Mac protected in 2023?

Keep Your macOS, Software, and Drivers Up-To-Date

Firstly, you should make sure your software, macOS, and drivers are all up-to-date. Software updates are extremely important because they protect your Mac from exploit attacks and other malware files that depend on exploiting out-of-date software.

TotalAV’s antivirus for Mac includes system optimization tools that can flag all out-of-date software for you. However, you can also head into your Apple menu, click System Preferences, and select Software Update to check for any available macOS updates manually.

Note: Usually, macOS updates contain all important driver updates too.

Also, from the same System Preferences menu, you can enable Mac to automatically update any installed software from the official App Store.

Don’t Download Suspicious Files

You probably received the macOS:Spigot-AY warning after downloading suspicious files. If you’re downloading freeware, or using pirate sites or torrent sites, you are running a pretty high risk of contracting malware on your device. Intego, or any other Mac-based antivirus with real-time protection, can detect the vast majority of malware downloads before they infect your system. However, it’s better to just avoid risky situations whenever possible.

Similarly, you shouldn’t open email attachments or click on links from senders you don’t recognize. Even if the sender is someone you trust or a business you’ve had dealings with, contact them and confirm whether they sent you an attachment. Malware infections frequently spread through email.

Using a decent antivirus is important too. This builds on Mac’s security protections, and includes real-time protection which will scan, flag, and block malware files before they can get started.

Secure Your Wireless Network and IoT Devices

Another good protection is to ensure your wireless network and IoT (Internet of Things) devices are secure behind a decent password.

To begin, click the Wi-Fi sign on your Mac’s taskbar to see your wireless networks. If your home network doesn’t have a padlock icon next to it, then it isn’t secure. In this case, you need to log into your router and set a password for your home network. To do this, look up your router’s model number on Google, as the steps vary depending on the product. I recommend you create the password using a password manager like Dashlane, which can generate secure passwords that hackers can’t crack easily.

Similarly, if you aren’t using a password to log into your IoT devices, then cybercriminals will be able to access them easily. IoT devices include:

  • Light switches.
  • Doorbell cams.
  • Smoke alarms.
  • Remote controls.

You should look in your IoT device’s manual or look online to find instructions on securing it. I highly recommend that you use a secure password manager to create a password that hackers won’t be able to easily guess.

If you’re in a situation where you have no choice but to connect your Mac to a public Wi-Fi network, you should use a VPN like ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN can protect your Mac from cybercriminals when on public networks by spoofing your location and making it difficult for them to track you.

Download a Secure Antivirus Program

The last step to secure your Mac is having a secure antivirus program running. If you have Avast or AVG installed, you have a decent set of protections, but there are better options out there. For example, Intego for Mac has:

  • 100% malware detection rate. Advanced scanner detects malware in real-time.
  • Secure firewall. Monitors your network traffic and prevents suspicious connections.
  • Web protection. Blocks you from visiting dangerous websites.
  • System clean-up. Clears junk files and optimizes your Mac so that it runs faster.
  • Parental controls. Includes various features, such as a content filter to keep your kids safe online.
  • Personal backup. Allows you to back up important files and folders in the cloud to prevent data loss due to ransomware or other threats.

All of the antivirus programs on our top 10 list come with free trials or money-back guarantees, so there’s no risk involved in trying them. If you’re curious about disabling Avast so you can test one of these programs, check out our guide to disabling Avast.

30 Days Risk-Free — Try Intego Now 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Spigot on my Mac?

Spigot is adware that usually disguises itself as a trustworthy app. Adware can insert unwanted results into your search engine, redirect your browser, and monitor your browsing details to profit from your data. Spigot’s fake apps frequently use recognizable names like Amazon Shopping Assistant to deceive users.

If your antivirus detects macOS:Spigot-AY, or you notice Amazon Shopping Assistant (or another unusual browser extension) suddenly appear, download a secure antivirus program and scan your PC. Intego detected 100% of the adware and spyware in our rigorous antivirus stress testing, scoring our highest rating for 2023 among all Mac antivirus programs.

Is Spigot malware?

Spigot is a form of malware known as adware. While it’s unlikely to damage your Mac, Spigot can still cause slowdown, steal your data, and redirect your browsing traffic to unsafe websites. If your antivirus detects a threat classified as macOS:Spigot-AY, you should follow our steps to run a full system scan and remove it.

If you’re using Avast or AVG, we recommend switching to Intego, which is a more reliable antivirus for Mac.

How do I get rid of Spigot?

Use an antivirus like Intego to remove malware from your system. Removing malware manually can have disastrous consequences for your system files, and you probably won’t be able to remove all the malware anyway.

If an app associated with macOS:Spigot-AY is on your Mac, then you likely have other adware threats installed too. To get rid of Spigot the safe way, you should follow our steps to run a full system scan using a secure antivirus program.

About the Author
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
QA Editor

About the Author

Sam Boyd is a QA Editor at SafetyDetectives. He has years of experience writing, reviewing, editing, and optimizing blog articles, and he has researched and tested hundreds of cybersecurity products since joining the SafetyDetectives team. When he isn’t exploring the latest cybersecurity products, he enjoys chilling out with video games, watching sports, and exploring new parts of the world with his family.