You probably got here while searching something like
how to remove webroot. Perhaps you noticed it popping up in security dialogs.
When Webroot is running on a Mac, it calls itself WSDaemon.
What is Webroot?
Webroot is anti-virus software. It is quite popular with large companies since it installs onto multiple platforms and provides tools to help manage a collection of machines from a central location.
Webroot is slowing down my computer
There’s something wrong with Webroot on MacOS, and that’s probably why you’re here.
Webroot is addicted to CPU like John McAfee is purportedly addicted to drugs.
You might find that Webroot is slowing down your computer. You’re delayed in work. You look like an idiot. All you want to do is get your work done, so you try to remove Webroot. Try as you may, you can’t find the uninstall button.
Webroot High CPU usage
In my experience, Webroot hogs CPU constantly and runs down the battery. I’m not sure what it’s doing, but it sure uses a lot of CPU.
There are plenty of threads relating to this issue elsewhere on the internet, lots of people have this problem.
There have been speculations on these threads that the issue may be related in some mysterious way to Webroot’s web protection running along side Google Chrome.
If you open Activity Monitor and you find that a process called WSDaemon (Webroot) is constantly using a large percentage of your CPU, you might want to get rid of it, like I did.
Webroot has no uninstall option.
So now, you find that you can’t uninstall Webroot. You click the little icon – go to the control panel – no uninstall option.
You shake your fist at the sky.
Perhaps the Webroot on your machine was installed by your company’s wise IT team. You may not have the privileges to uninstall. You might not have access to the holy keyboard. You might even have to write an email to ask the glorious IT team to get rid of Webroot for you. They might not want to remove it. What then?
If you can’t get your work done, you might dare to plow ahead and remove it anyway.
Before hand, you might be wondering – is it even legal to remove an anti-virus on a computer you don’t own? Only God knows.
You might try to uninstall Webroot by booting into safe mode and dragging the application into the trash. That’s what the offcial support articles seem to recommend.
However I found that Webroot had some magic ability to resurrect itself and get back to its old habits.
It sure is frustrating to work on a laggy machine. How do you remove webroot when it doesn’t seem to want to go quietly?
How to uninstall Webroot on a Mac
Good news : I found the command line uninstallation commands.
These are like a big hammer that you can use to bash webroot hard enough that it finally goes away.
If you’re ready to complete your quest and completely remove Webroot SecureAnywhere from your Mac, paste the following commands into Terminal, which is a command line interface built into MacOS.
These came from an email that Webroot themselves sent to a user who was facing the same issue.
You can copy and paste them into terminal all at once, you don’t need to run them line by line.
launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.webroot.security.mac.plist kextunload /Library/Extensions/SecureAnywhere.kext kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/SecureAnywhere.kext rm /usr/local/bin/WSDaemon rm /usr/local/bin/WFDaemon killall -9 WSDaemon killall -9 WFDaemon killall -9 "Webroot SecureAnywhere" rm -rf /Library/Extensions/SecureAnywhere.kext rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/SecureAnywhere.kext rm -rf "/Applications/Webroot SecureAnywhere.app" rm /Library/LaunchAgents/com.webroot.WRMacApp.plist rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.webroot.security.mac.plist rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.webroot.WSA.plist rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.webroot.Webroot-SecureAnywhere.plist rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Webroot rm -rf /Library/Application\ Support/Webroot
If you see some permission denied errors, you might need to use
sudo su before you try those commands.
Slaying the daemon
Once those commands have run, hopefully you have permanently killed the Webroot daemon and gotten your Mac back on track. Expect to see improvements to responsiveness, battery life and enjoy a quieter fan.
Do you need an anti-virus for MacOS?
I have no idea.
It depends on what you are doing, and who you work with – but for most users, the default MacOS security should keep you safe most of the time – I guess.
Does malware mess stuff up?
It is understandable that many organisations are happy to allocate a budget to “anti-virus” software. Malware can bring a well-oiled system to its knees in minutes.
In 2018, a virus called WannaCry infected some of the computer systems of the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK. It inflicted £92 million in damages. It cancelled thousands of appointments and operations.
Windows XP had let the NHS down. Everything was running fine until one day, all the data had been destroyed.
Back up the data you can’t lose. Encrypt your secrets. Don’t keep all of your savings in Bitcoin and lose your keys.
25 responses to “How to remove Webroot (WSDaemon) from your Mac”
THANK YOU! Such an annoying pop-up post OS upgrade and your post is the only one that actually made sense (even to a complete idiot).
You’re welcome Rene, glad it helped.
I did the copy and paste in the terminal but it still shows the pop up for WS Daemon. Is there something I did wrong? Please help me understand the process. I don’t computer savvy..
Didn’t Wannacry cause 92 MILLION pounds in damage, not 92 pounds as I read above?
Haha I don’t know how I missed that. Fixed now, thanks.
Great, it worked perfectly well.
Glad it helped.
I need an easy was to trash/remove the WSDaemon.
You are a LIFESAVER! Can’t thank you enough. I have spent many hours removing this shit. And brilliantly written too 🙂 Take a bow! Respect! <3
Happy to help
Thanks Lahiru, happy to help!
You’re the best! I’ve been trying to deal with eliminating webroot for ages and you’re the one who got it done! Now I know that if Trump and Covid continue to plague us here in the States I can put my IE passport to use and know where to find good tech help.
Thanks Bill! Happy to help.
You are a lifesaver! I’ve spent hours trying to reinstall my own copy of web root after I left the company I worked for and I couldn’t get it installed until I ran your commands! Thanks again
You are very welcome, I’m glad it helped.
Another thanks for posting this… beats “contact webroot support for a list of commands”.
I am 75 years old and furious after reading this. I’m responding on my HP because my Mac is at Best Buy with the Geek Squad. I have had that WSDaemon pop up for several months now and been unable to get rid of it. After being unable to open the download of TurboTax I decided to call Geek Squad (with whom we carry a service plan). The tech was unable to establish a remote session because after I downloaded the link, I was unable to open the download. I apologize if I’m all over the place on this saga, but I’m just beginning to put it all together. We’ve carried a Geek Squad service policy for years. Anti-virus was always included in the plan. On last year’s renewal the anti-virus was a separate charge……for Webroot. Our HP has had no problems, but the Mac has had big ones. Because the tech could not establish a remote session she told us we had to bring the Mac to Best Buy. Wouldn’t you think that by now their techs would be familiar with this problem? Nope, he told us it was probably some sort of Malware that was slowing down the computer. They are keeping it for five days and wanted to charge us $100 to back up the computer, unless we purchased their new, super duper service plan for $200, plus the cost of a flash drive to back up the computer. This sounds like a serious consumer complaint to me.
This is very useful information. Webroot is annoying.
Thank you so much for the tip, I had removed the applications a long time ago but wsdamon came over onto my M1 Mac during migration. It’s been annoying af.
Happy to help!
You’re very welcome!
Hello! This guide saved my butt, however I also spotted a typo which caused Webroot to not fully remove from my system the first try: rm /Library/LaunchAgents/com.webroot.WRMacApp.plistSudo this command should not say sudo at the end of the line
Thank you again!
Found these additional lines were needed: