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 McAfee is purportedly addicted to drugs.

You might find that Webroot is eating CPU and slowing down your computer. You’re slower 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/
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"
rm /Library/LaunchAgents/com.webroot.WRMacApp.plistSudo
rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/
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.