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Webroot Secure Anywhere (WSA) and Catalina - Not a good combination

trs96

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Just a brief warning to Mac/Hack owners that use WSA security software. I'm pretty sure this all applies to Big Sur too but have seen no need to even test that. A friend's 2012 iMac with HDD had been upgraded to Catalina, now it was extremely slow and barely even usable. Spinning beachballs were almost constant :beachball:.

Webroot was unable to meet Apple's software requirements for Catalina and even they recommend you don't use it.

"If you haven’t updated to macOS 10.15 Catalina: Our current software version is not compatible with Catalina and if you update to macOS Catalina (released October 7, 2019), it will prevent Webroot SecureAnywhere from functioning properly. It also will generate alerts on your computer that will be repeated even after dismissal."
it will prevent Webroot SecureAnywhere from functioning properly.
They could have also said, "We didn't bother to update our security software for Catalina, seems like a lot of work to do that for the few Mac users that actually pay for it."

Here is the message that kept popping up and blocking most of the screen:
Screen Shot 32.jpg

For some reason, when this iMac was upgraded to Catalina, WSA made it through the upgrade process, Catalina doesn't disable it. You have to uninstall it manually first before the upgrade. I was not there when the iMac was upgraded so I'm not sure if macOS Catalina does warn you or not.

The result of this ill-advised upgrade was long 10 minute boot times, constant popups (that won't go away) the OS constantly tells you Webroot can not be verified as it's not from an identified developer. I was unable to even force quit Webroot to stop it from running and crippling the performance of the 2012 iMac.

Before you can do anything else, you'll need to stop WSA from starting at boot up. What I did is create a new Admin acct. and then installed the CCleaner app for Mac. Under the Tools > Startup tab, you'll see an option to disable any program from starting up. When you see WSA there, disable it from starting and then reboot into the new Admin acct.
Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 4.30.26 AM.png



Now that you've stopped WSA from starting you have to completely uninstall it. I used the AppCleaner app from Freemacsoft to do this. http://freemacsoft.net/appcleaner/ It doesn't remove everything though so you should also search the Mac or Hack to find any other remnants and trash them. Make sure to empty trash as well.

Here's an older video to show you how to manually remove WSA before you upgrade to Catalina or newer. This method still leaves stuff behind after the uninstall. I'd suggest you use AppCleaner instead of just trashing the WSA application as shown.


I highly recommend that you don't upgrade any older Mac with an HDD to Mojave or newer. APFS on mechanical hard drives really slows down your Mac even if it doesn't have other issues like incompatible programs, malware etc. The case mentioned above had all of these problems and it took an eternity to get it working normally again.

If you do need a malware protection app to run on Catalina, then give Malwarebytes for Mac a try. You can easily uninstall it after trying it out.

 
Last edited:

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
20,559
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
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Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
If you're convinced that Malware for Macs is not a problem (a growing one) have a look at this article.

 

pastrychef

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If you're convinced that Malware for Macs is not a problem (a growing one) have a look at this article.


I'm not worried about trojans. I only worry about viruses.
 
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