How to Remove McAfee Security

Updated February 21, 2017

Trial versions of McAfee security programs are often preinstalled on computers, meaning that many consumers have the product on their systems even if they did not install it themselves. McAfee security programs have been known to be vulnerable to some viruses, and when a computer is infected with such potent malware, it can disable McAfee to escape detection. In this situation, McAfee will be present in the computer, but it will not protect you from harmful viruses and other threats. If you want to disable McAfee security because you cannot install a new antivirus program unless you remove McAfee products, or if you want a fresh installation for McAfee, you may safely uninstall the program.

Click "Start" and then "Control Panel." Locate the icon marked "Add or Remove Programs" and double-click to generate a list of software installed on the computer. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, click "Uninstall a program" under the group named "Programs" in the "Control Panel" home interface.

Scroll down the list and highlight the product under "Network Associates" or "McAfee." Click "Change/Remove" to load the McAfee uninstaller window. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, double-click on the product in the list.

Click on each McAfee component you want to remove. In the uninstaller window, click to put a check mark on the box adjacent to each McAfee product name, such as "VirusScan" "SecurityCenter" and "Personal Firewall." Click "Remove" on the bottom of the screen.

Confirm action and proceed. Clicking the "Remove" button will display a warning message explaining the implications of uninstalling the software, such as reduced protection against security threats. Click "Remove" again. This confirmation will start removing the selected McAfee products from your system.

Reboot the computer when prompted. The uninstaller window will display a progress bar showing each product being removed. When all products are removed, click on the pop-up message to restart your computer.

Download the McAfee product removal tool using the link in the Resources section. The McAfee removal tool is an automatic removal program to uninstall products when normal removal methods do not work. Click on the link, and then click "Save" on the pop-up message. Save the file on desktop.

Shut down all McAfee processes. Right-click on the antivirus icon in the System Tray and close the program. Double-click on the downloaded file to initiate the tool. Vista and Windows 7 users should right-click on the file icon and select "Run as administrator."

Follow simple on-screen prompts to remove McAfee security products. Select which components you want to uninstall, such as "VirusScan" or "SecurityCenter," and click "Next." The removal tool will automatically remove all selected components from your computer. Restart when prompted.

Delete McAfee folders. Wait for the computer to restart and the operating system to load, and then go to "My Computer." Double-click on the "C" drive and navigate to "Program Files." Locate the McAfee folder, highlight the folder icon and hit "Delete."


Always keep your computer protected from security threats. Install a new antivirus program after you remove McAfee from your computer.


Do not delete McAfee folders before you uninstall the program.

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About the Author

Shoaib Khan began writing in 2006, while working as an advertising professional. His work has appeared in marketing and business communication materials, including print advertisements, billboards and product brochures. Khan completed his Master of Accounting degree at the University of New Mexico.