Everything You Need to Know About the SymDaemon Virus on Mac

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One of the common symptoms that indicate a malware infection is an overheating computer. This is true, not just for Windows computers but Macs as well. If your device is quick to heat up when you’re not doing anything much on your computer or when you’re doing your normal workload, it means that there is something going on behind the scenes.

Looking at the processes running in the background should give you an idea of what is causing your system to overheat. One of the common culprits behind this is the SymDaemon virus. When you check Activity Monitor, you’ll probably see the SymDaemon process running in the background and eating up a lot of your computer’s resources. In most cases, Mac users reported that the process consumes up to 50% of the device’s computing power.

Aside from overheating, the SymDaemon also causes other performance issues, including sluggishness, apps crashing, and startup failure. This has caused a lot of inconvenience to Mac users who are affected by this virus.

If this process is running on your Mac, you should know what it is all about, what its characteristics are, and the possible problems you might face. This process, by itself, is not malicious so it should not harm your computer. However, it is still something most experts and Mac users regard as unwanted software. Hence, it is important to get it off your system and remove all changes that it has introduced. Otherwise, it might potentially lead to a number of more unpleasant issues, some of which could even compromise your Mac’s security.

What is the SymDaemon Virus?

SymDaemon is a component of the antivirus software Symantec, released by Norton. This process causes issues on Macs because it is always turned on and running in the background. The file should be located in this folder on your Mac:

/Library/Application Support/Symantec/Daemon/SymDaemon.bundle/Contents/MacOS/SymDaemon 

This process is in charge of running the Idle Scan feature of the Symantec Antivirus wherein the program checks the entire system for threats when the computer is not in use. This causes the high CPU and memory usage of the app.

A lot of users have been complaining about the problem online, and it seems to be an old issue that is still going on even today. Most of the reports describe the SymDaemon’s abnormally high usage of CPU and memory, which, in turn, affects the speed and temperature of the Mac running this process.

There are usually no other symptoms of this suspicious process, but when you check Activity Monitor, you should see this file taking over 90% of the CPU. Some users even see it taking over up to 100% of the device’s computing power. Apple and the developer of this software, Norton (otherwise known as NortonLifeLock Inc.), have issued security updates to resolve the issue, but it seems the issue has surfaced again.

The SymDaemon virus is actually not the correct term for this background process, but some common files related to popular software running in the background can get misused for malicious purposes. This SymDaemon could compromise your Mac and hijack system processes. It is also possible for your system to be infected with additional malware, so you need to get rid of this process for your security.

When malware disguises itself as a SymDaemon process, things can get more ugly. The Sysdaemon.bundle is one of the forms that malware disguises as, which brings more risks to the user. This SysDaemon virus is an adware that delivers intrusive ads by hijacking the browser. When your Mac is infected with the SysDaemon virus, you’ll be facing more than high CPU and memory usage.

What Can the SymDaemon Virus Do?

If the SysDaemon you have on your Mac is part of the Symantec Antivirus software, you only have to deal with high temperatures on your Mac. This is due to the high usage of the CPU and memory of the device. Since the program is running continuously in the background, the computer’s hardware gets overworked. And once the system gets overheated, the processes slow down or the computer might even crash.

But if your computer is infected with the SymDaemon virus, you will have to deal with more than just a simple overheat. Since the SymDaemon virus is part of the adware family, it mainly affects the computer’s browsers, including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. You might notice a suspicious add-on or extension that has been installed mysteriously. You will also experience unwanted and intrusive ads appearing on your browser.

If the SymDaemon PUP gets on your Mac, it can change the settings of your browser and set a different default search engine, homepage settings, and new tab. Your browser will also be redirected to sponsored or affiliated pages. Annoying content will fill your browser and screen, so you might find it hard to access commonly visited pages or view the content that you want to see. These pop-ups and redirects will pose more risk to your device.

If your Mac has been infected with the SymDaemon, you need to remove it immediately using our SymDaemon virus removal on Mac. You also need to go for some serious cleaning using reliable anti-malware tool.

How to Remove the SymDaemon Virus on Mac

If you’re getting the error message mentioned above or your computer is overheating, the first thing you need to do is check the Activity Monitor to see what is causing the problem. To access the Activity Monitor, go to Finder > Go > Applications > Utilities. When you click Activity Monitor, you should see the various processes that are currently running. Click on the CPU tab to see which process is hogging all your Mac’s resources. Under %CPU, you should see the CPU usage of each process.

If you see the SymDaemon file consuming 90% or more of your computer’s CPU, you should quit the process by double-clicking the process and clicking the Quit button. This should kill the process but you don’t have to worry because it will restart after a few seconds. Some users reported that quitting and restarting the SymDaemon process resolves the overheating of their computers.

Disabling the Compressed file scanning and Idle Scan features of the Symantec Antivirus should also help resolve this issue. To access these features, open your Norton Security app and navigate to Advanced > Protect my Mac. Turn off Idle Scan by sliding it to Off. Go to Auto-Protect Settings and uncheck Scan compressed files (e.g zip files) under Compressed Files Scan.

But if you’re infected with the SymDaemon virus, you need to do more than restarting the process. You should actually kill the process completely to prevent it from doing more damage to your computer. If you’re having trouble quitting this process, you can boot into Safe Mode and follow our guide for SymDaemon virus removal on Mac. You will also need to clean up your system using a Mac cleaning tool to ensure that no infected files get left behind.

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