Uninstall Sophos Antivirus for Mac 9

Need to uninstall SAV for Mac 9?  Or need to cleanly remove it before reinstalling it?  With the release of version 9 there is a totally new way of removing the program – in fact there are two ways to uninstall.

For Sophos Antivirus 8 the process of uninstalling is different.  I’ll put a section about uninstalling 8 at the bottom of this post but be aware you don’t need to uninstall 8 before installing 9.

Method One: Run the uninstaller

Very easy: Open a Finder window, open your Applications folder, and double-click the Remove Sophos Anti-Virus application.


Let the uninstaller run and you’re done!

Method Two: Run the removal script

Unlike version 8 Sophos have decided to include a script called remove_v9.sh to uninstall version 9.  Removing SAV for Mac 9 is extremely quick and easy however you have to use Terminal to do it – you can’t run the script from Finder.

Tip: Make sure you’re not running a scan or using the program as this could prevent the script from running properly.

Open Terminal from Spotlight


Then change directory to the /Library/Sophos Anti-virus folder by typing:

cd /Library/Sophos\ Anti-Virus/

Finally run the uninstall script (.sh extension) prefixing it with the sudo command (as it needs administrative rights):

sudo ./remove_v9.sh

Type in your password that you use to log on with (that’s assuming under ‘System Preferences > ‘Users & Groups’, under your account the option ‘Allow user to administer this computer’ is checked).

When the script runs it removes all of the main parts of the program.  I say ‘main parts’ because the script may not remove every tiny bit of the installation but rest easy that the program has gone and furthermore you are now unprotected – so watch what files you click on or websites you browse.  The script outputs all of the actions as it does them and the last line should be done.

That’s it!

Errors in the uninstall

At the time of writing there are two errors that appear below the word ‘done’ when I run the script (these may be fixed in future versions)…

error: leftover path /Library/Caches/com.sophos.installer/ needs to be removed
error: leftover path /Library/Caches/com.sophos.sxld/ needs to be removed

Looking inside the removal script the ‘com.sophos.installer’ folder isn’t mentioned – maybe an oversight by Sophos.  The ‘com.sophos.sxld’ isn’t mentioned either, but ‘com.sophos.sxl’ is – maybe a typo where .sxl should be .sxld.

These folders are empty and harmless but if you want to remove them (and while you have Terminal open), type the following one line at a time:

sudo rm -r /Library/Caches/com.sophos.installer
sudo rm -r /Library/Caches/com.sophos.sxld

…you’ll need to enter your password after each line.

Removing Sophos Antivirus 8

Removing Sophos Antivirus for Mac 8 involves running the Remove Sophos Anti-Virus.pkg file.  Do NOT drag the Sophos Anti-Virus.app (from the Applications folder) to Trash – this will not work.

Don’t hack away at the program to remove it.  If you have attempted to delete files and find yourself stuck then see ‘Hacked Off?’ at the bottom of this post for recovery advice.

The funny thing about the uninstaller is that the program actually makes you think that you are installing, because the button says ‘Install’…


…but press ahead and you’ll be fine.

Tip: You need to be able to see the root of your hard drive in Finder to use the steps below.  If you don’t see your computer’s hard drive under DEVICES in the sidebar of a Finder window you should: Open a Finder window and have it active.  Then from the menu bar select ‘Finder’ > ‘Preferences’.  From the ‘Sidebar’ tab locate your hard drive under ‘DEVICES’ and check the option.  In the Finder window you will now see an icon under DEVICES that allows you to access the root (top level) of your hard drive.

Now you can locate the uninstaller and run it:

  1. In Finder select your hard drive icon (see tip above if required) and browse to the folder Library > Sophos Anti-Virus.
  2. In the Sophos Anti-Virus folder double-click the ‘Remove Sophos Anti-Virus.pkg’ file.
  3. Follow the installer through (yes it does say ‘Install’ to remove) and when it completes SAV for Mac 8 will be removed.

Hacked off?

If you have previously attempted to manually hack SAV 8 off your computer by deleting files manually the uninstall will fail – and if you deleted the uninstaller file you obviously can’t run that.  Some Mac applications can be simply dragged to the Trash but not SAV for Mac – it’s not a self-contained application.

The quickest and easiest way to successfully uninstall is to download SAV 8 again, run through the install (to replace all missing files) and then follow steps one to three above to remove it properly.

This entry was posted in Antivirus for Mac, Fighting malware and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Uninstall Sophos Antivirus for Mac 9

  1. Pingback: Remove Sophos Antivirus system files | dizaffected

  2. Pingback: Remove Sophos Antivirus system files | dizaffected

  3. j bennett says:

    THANK YOU! I’ve been trying to get rid of sophos for so weeks – having accidentally deleted the uninstaller. You’re a lifesaver!

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