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Installation failures on macOS

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The issue described here is fixed. As long as you are installing the latest version of the software, downloaded from our website, you will no longer encounter this issue.



There has been a rash of installation failures with Malwarebytes for Mac lately, due to changes to a system file that is being damaged by adware. There are other causes as well, so this can always happen without an infection, but the adware is responsible for the recent increase.

The issues in question are failures in the installer itself. If the installer completes successfully, but you're having some other problem getting the software set up, this post does not apply to your problem. In that case, I'd recommend checking out the Mac support articles on our support site.

Malwarebytes for Mac should be able to remove the malware, once installed, but the trick is getting it installed. The file in question is not easy to fix, but there are a few options:

  1. Reinstall your system, right on top of the current system, without erasing the hard drive. This will repair any damaged files, and should not disturb any of your data or installed applications. However, you should make sure you have good backups, just in case something goes wrong (and because you should really have backups anyway, because something can always go wrong, any time). It's possible this may not fix all causes of the problem, though, so if it doesn't fix the problem, try option #2 below.
  2. Contact support. They can give you a script that can replace the file in question with a good copy. If it's a weekend or support has a lot of tickets to deal with, though, you will have to wait, and option #1 would probably be faster.
  3. Reboot in recovery mode, open the Terminal, and repair the sudoers file. No instructions for this one... if you don't already know what I'm talking about and have a general idea of how to accomplish it, this is probably too dangerous for you to attempt.

Technical background

The sudoers file determines whether or not you can get root permissions - the most powerful level of permissions - in the shell. If this file is damaged, or has had its permissions changed, you will not be able to get root permissions. Fixing the sudoers file requires root permissions... leading to an unpleasant catch-22 situation, and making it hard to fix.

When the sudoers file is damaged, many things will fail, but they're probably not things you do every day unless you're spending a lot of time in the Terminal. Installing Malwarebytes for Mac is one of those things.

Recent adware has been making changes to the sudoers file, resulting in damage that causes these problems. Although this is not the only way the sudoers file can get damaged, this has resulted in a dramatic increase in these cases.

Edited by treed
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