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.
The webroot daemon is sucking your CPU and slowing down your computer. You’re slower in work. You look like an idiot. All you want to do is remove Webroot, but for some reason that’s difficult.
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 elsewhere on the internet, lots of people have this problem.
There have been speculations on forum threads that the issue may be related 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.
Oh no, Webroot won’t uninstall.
Figuring out how to actually remove Webroot is not that easy. You click the little icon – go to the control panel – no uninstall option.
Perhaps the Webroot on your machine was installed by your company’s IT team. It may not give you the option to uninstall. You might have to write an email to your IT team to get it done. They might not want you to remove it in case it makes them look bad.
If you can’t get you’re work done, you might want to plow ahead and remove it anyway.
Is it even legal to remove the anti-virus, if this isn’t your computer? Only God knows.
Looking for a workaround, you might try to uninstall Webroot by booting into safe mode and dragging the application into the trash. That’s what the support articles recommend.
On this Mac however, WSDaemon resurrected itself afterwards and got back to its old habits of burning up CPU cycles and refusing to die.
It’s frustrating to work on a laggy machine, and there are plenty of Google suggestions like
webroot won't uninstall mac in the search results.
How to uninstall Webroot on a Mac
Good news : I found the command line uninstallation commands.
If you’re ready to 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.plistSudo 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.
Unsolicited advice section
Ok, now for the unsolicited advice section. I’m not a security expert, just a developer, and I don’t work on security.
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.
When Malware causes a disaster
It is understandable that many organisations are happy to allocate a budget to “anti-virus” software.
In 2018, a virus called WannaCry hit the computer system of the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK. It inflicted £92 million in damages.
In this case, however the NHS was running Windows XP.
There has been no similar disaster affecting MacOS.
In my opinion, if all you do is browse Facebook all day, you probably don’t need to pay for anti virus software. Just keep your OS and all of your software up to date.
If you are working in a very sensitive environment, you need to be very careful, no matter what anti-virus package you have installed.