Should I Uninstall McAfee? – How to Really Do It

Deciding on the best antivirus for your computer can be challenging, as several options exist. Aside from the many available options, there is also the risk of having your private information leaked or sold – the fear of this is what pushes the majority to have multiple antivirus software on one computer, which does more harm than good.

The fear of being spied on is also why many people doubt their once trusted antivirus software and ask questions like ‘Should I uninstall McAfee’.

However, the truth remains – if you feel like you should, you probably should. Trust your gut, they say – and if you don’t want to, keep reading for a better, research-based answer to this question.

Should I Uninstall McAfee?

Yes, you should uninstall McAfee if it is hogging computer resources or causing other problems on your computer. Unfortunately, several antivirus software on the market today are falling below users’ expectations or selling sensitive data, which is why most people would rather opt for the good ol’ Windows Defender.

That being said, some users sing McAfee’s praises for its protective features, and others say Norton is a better option. Whether or not you should uninstall McAfee depends on your experience with the software and what you need in terms of your online security. If you don’t need much, Windows Defender is sufficient to protect your computer.

Many say paid antivirus software is far better than free versions or the built-in Windows Defender. Still, the fact remains that McAfee and a few other antivirus programs offer the same level of protection as Windows Defender – some people even think it’s better.

Should I Uninstall McAfee Before Installing Norton?

Yes, you should completely clear all McAfee files from your computer before installing Norton or any other antivirus software. Unfortunately, most antivirus software is difficult to completely get rid of, mainly because they want to discourage you from even trying – no one wants to lose customers.

However, it is essential to remove them from your computer entirely, or they might cause issues like system conflicts, false positives, or file corruptions with any other antivirus you plan to install. Having two antivirus software installed on your computer might also result in reduced performance and a slow-running computer.

Should I Delete McAfee Livesafe?

Yes, you can delete McAfee LiveSafe if it causes any problems on your computer or if you plan to replace it with another antivirus software. However, as aforementioned, you need to ensure that all McAfee files are removed from your computer before installing another one.

Is McAfee Webadvisor Free?

Yes, McAfee WebAdvisor is a free product designed to protect its users from risky downloads or websites. The add-on gathers information on the searches you make and websites you visit to improve its performance.

McAfee WebAdvisor FKA SiteAdvisor is a good option for online security – much like the name suggests, the add-on simply advises you for your protection. But unfortunately, it has a reputation for bombarding users with ads and displaying bright red warnings even on safe and reputable sites.

How To Uninstall McAfee On Windows 10 And 11

To uninstall McAfee on Windows 10/11, you can use the standard Windows removal method or the McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool.

Method 1 – Standard Windows Removal

  1. Close all open and running apps on your computer
  2. Tap the search icon in your taskbar and search for Control Panel
  3. Launch the control panel and click Programs and Features
  4. Locate the McAfee software on the list, right-click on it and tap Uninstall/Change
  5. Check both boxes under McAfee Programs and tap Remove
  6. Finally, tap Restart Now to complete the uninstall

Method 2 – McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool (MCPR)

Note: This method should only be used when Method 1 fails

  1. Download the MCPR tool from McAfee’s website
  2. Double-tap the MCPR.exe file to run it
  3. Tap Yes, Continue or Run on any security warning dialogue box that might come up
  4. Then tap Next, check Agree and tap Next again
  5. You will now see a Security Validation screen pop up. Type out the characters exactly as seen in the picture displayed (cases and numbers included)
  6. Tap Next to complete the removal
  7. If the removal was successful, you should see a Removal Complete page prompting you to restart your computer
  8. Tap Restart to do so
  9. If you see a Cleanup Unsuccessful page instead, it means the removal was not successful. You can restart your computer, download the MCPR tool again, and run it.

NOTE: IF THE MCAFEE PRODUCT ON YOUR COMPUTER WAS PREINSTALLED, THEN YOU NEED TO ACTIVATE YOUR MCAFEE SUBSCRIPTION BEFORE TRYING TO REMOVE IT

Method 3 – Activating And Removing Preinstalled McAfee Product

  1. Launch the McAfee software
  2. Tap Account from the left menu, then select My Subscription > Go to My Account – this will take you to the McAfee website
  3. On the website, type in your email and tap Next to continue
  4. Then, log in or sign up and follow the prompts to complete the activation
  5. Find the McAfee icon in the notification area of your Windows desktop and right-click it
  6. Tap Verify Subscription and wait for it to complete
  7. Once completed, you can now attempt to uninstall it using method 1 above first and method 2 only if 1 doesn’t work.

Method 4: Control Panel

  1. Tap the search icon on your Windows taskbar and type Control Panel
  2. Launch the app
  3. Click the dropdown next to View by: on the right side of the display and select Category
  4. Next, tap Uninstall a program under Programs
  5. Find the McAfee program on the list displayed and click on it
  6. Then, tap Uninstall at the top of the list or right-click on the McAfee program and tap Uninstall
  7. Follow the prompts to complete the process

Method 5: Command Prompt

  1. Tap the search icon on your Windows taskbar and type CMD
  2. You should see the option Command Prompt come up, right-click it and tap Run as administrator or simply tap Run as administrator on the right side of the display
  3. Tap Yes or Continue to allow
  4. Then type the command wmic and tap the enter button
  5. Next, type product get name and tap the enter button to see a list of the apps and programs installed on your computer
  6. Note down the names of all McAfee apps, features, or programs
  7. Type product where name=” xxx” call uninstall replacing xxx with one of the names you noted down, then tap the enter button
  8. You will be asked to confirm the uninstall, type Y and enter to confirm
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for as many programs as you want to uninstall
  10. Once it’s done, type product get name, and enter to see the list of installed programs again and check if the ones you uninstalled are gone

Method 6: Windows Powershell

  1. Tap the Windows and X buttons simultaneously and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the options displayed
  2. Type or copy-paste the command Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name and tap the enter button to see a list of the apps and programs installed on your computer
  3. Note down the names of all McAfee apps, features, or programs
  4. Type $app = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product -Filter “Name = ‘xxx'” replacing xxx with one of the names you noted down, then tap the enter button              
  5. Repeat the step above for as many programs as you want to uninstall
  6. Once it’s done, type Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name and enter to see the list of installed programs again and check if the ones you uninstalled are gone

AFTER INSTALLING, YOU CAN CHECK AND REMOVE ANY LEFTOVER FILES, SERVICES, AND TASKS ON YOUR SYSTEM:

Method 7: Removing Leftover Services

  1. Tap the search icon on your Windows taskbar and type Services
  2. Check for McAfee services on the list displayed and double-click on it if found
  3. A properties page for the service will pop up; note down the name shown next to Service name:
  4. Next, select the dropdown next to Startup type: and select Disabled
  5. Tap Stop under  Service status:
  6. Tap OK to save your changes
  7. Tap the search icon again and type CMD
  8. You should see the option Command Prompt come up, right-click it and tap Run as administrator or simply tap Run as administrator on the right side of the display
  9. Tap Yes or Continue to allow
  10. Type the command sc delete XXX and tap the enter button, replacing XXX with the service name you noted down earlier
  11. Repeat these steps for any other McAfee services you find

Method 8: Removing Leftover Task

  1. Tap the search icon on your Windows taskbar and type Task Scheduler
  2. Open the app and select Task Scheduler Library in the left panel
  3. Look through the tasks displayed in the middle panel under Name
  4. If you find a McAfee task, right-click on it and tap Delete or click it, then tap the delete button on your keyboard
  5. Next, double-click Task Scheduler Library in the left panel and look through the folders under it for any McAfee folders
  6. If you find any, click on it and tap Delete Folder in the right panel to delete it

NOTE: IT IS IMPORTANT TO CLOSE ALL RUNNING PROGRAMS OR OPEN FILES BEFORE STARTING THE UNINSTALLATION PROCESS – ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT MIGHT BE USING MCAFEE FEATURES. YOU SHOULD ALSO RESTART YOUR COMPUTER AFTER COMPLETING THE UNINSTALL PROCESS TO EFFECT THE CHANGES.

How To Uninstall McAfee On A Mac

To uninstall McAfee on a Mac:

  1. First, ensure you’re signed in as an administrator and close all open browsers to ensure all related plug-ins are removed
  2. Open Applications >> Utilities >> Terminal
  3. For McAfee version 4.8 and earlier, type in the command sudo/Library/McAfee/sma/scripts/uninstall.sh. and tap the enter button
  4. For McAfee version 5.0 and newer, type in the command sudo/Library/McAfee/cma/scripts/uninstall.sh. and tap the enter button
  5. After your computer uninstalls the program, restart your computer

Method 2: Uninstall Using The McAfee Uninstaller

  1. Click Go from your Apple menu and tap Applications
  2. Find the McAfee Internet Security Uninstaller and open it
  3. Then follow the prompts to begin the uninstall process
  4. Type in your admin username and password to allow
  5. Restart your computer once it finishes

How to Uninstall McAfee Family Protection Removal Tool

To uninstall McAfee family protection;

  1. Tap the search icon on your Windows taskbar and type Control Panel
  2. Launch the app
  3. Click the dropdown next to View by: on the right side of the display and select Category
  4. Next, tap Uninstall a program under Programs
  5. Find the McAfee program on the list displayed and click on it
  6. Then, tap Uninstall at the top of the list or right-click on the McAfee program and tap Uninstall
  7. Follow the prompts to complete the process
  8. Restart your system

Method 2: Uninstall With Uninstaller.Exe

  1. Navigate to the McAfee family protection installation folder from your file explorer
  2. Locate the uninstall.exe or unins000.exe file
  3. Double-click on it to run it and follow the prompts to complete the uninstallation

Method 3: Reinstall To Uninstall

If you cannot uninstall McAfee, it might be due to a corrupted or missing file, and reinstalling it might fix or replace the file. To reinstall, you can choose to run the installer from the downloaded file or on the original disk.

After completing the reinstall, you can try any of the uninstall methods mentioned above. You should also ensure to remove all the leftover files to remove the app from your device completely.

How To Disable McAfee Web Advisor

To disable or uninstall McAfee WebAdvisor as a standalone app or as a built-in feature of the McAfee Security product on Windows;

  1. Tap the search icon on your Windows taskbar and type Control Panel
  2. Launch the app
  3. Click the dropdown next to View by: on the right side of the display and select Category
  4. Next, tap Uninstall a program under Programs
  5. Find McAfee WebAdvisor or McAfee SiteAdvisor on the list displayed and click on it
  6. Then, tap Uninstall at the top of the list or right-click on the McAfee program and tap Uninstall
  7. Follow the prompts to complete the process
  8. Restart the computer

Alternatively, you can uninstall McAfee WebAdvisor as a standalone app using its uninstall.exe file;

  1. Navigate to the McAfee WebAdvisor installation folder from your file explorer
  2. Locate the uninstall.exe or unins000.exe file
  3. Double-click on it to run it and follow the prompts to complete the uninstallation

On a MacBook, McAfee WebAdvisor can only be a built-in feature of McAfee LiveSafe for Macs rather than a standalone app. Hence, it can only be uninstalled when you uninstall McAfee LiveSafe. If you don’t want to do that, you can simply turn off the WebAdvisor from within the LiveSafe app with these steps;

  1. Launch McAfee LiveSafe on the MacBook
  2. Tap Identity and then McAfee WebAdvisor from the left panel
  3. Tap the Lock and make your changes
  4. Next, type in your password and toggle off WebAdvisor from the corner
  5. Tap the Lock again and save the changes made

To uninstall McAfee WebAdvisor as a built-in feature of the McAfee Security product on a Mac or an android, you would have to uninstall the Internet Security app for the mac and McAfee Security app for the android.

What Does McAfee Security Scan Do?

McAfee security scan is a diagnostic tool that automatically checks and reports the protection status of your PC. It lets you know when the system is at risk and what can be done to protect it. You can either let the program automatically check your PC weekly or manually run the security scan yourself whenever you want.

The first section of the security scan report displays your PC’s overall security status, which signifies if it has antivirus and firewall protection. The three security status types are;

  1. Your computer is at risk
  2. No issues found
  3. Your computer is protected

Each status type holds more information about any issues found and what to do about them – to view this information, simply open the drawers by tapping the down arrow on the far left side of the bar. The second section displays the states of your firewall and antivirus protection – it tells you if they are on, off, not found, out of date, or unknown.

It is important to note that the McAfee security scan will not remove or delete the dangers it finds on your PC after scanning. It will simply let you know what they are and give recommendations on how to remove them. More often than not, these recommendations lead to buying more McAfee products. The McAfee security scan is basically an advertisement tactic.

How To Uninstall McAfee Security Scan

To uninstall McAfee Security Scan;

  1. Go to Start >> Settings >> Apps >> Apps & features
  2. On the list displayed, find the McAfee security scan app
  3. Click on it and tap Uninstall
  4. Follow the prompts to finish

Method 2: Windows Control Panel

  1. Tap the search icon on your Windows toolbar, search for and launch Control Panel
  2. Click Uninstall a program under Programs
  3. Find McAfee Security Scan on the list
  4. Click it, and then click Uninstall
  5. Follow the prompts to finish

Method 3: MCPR Tool

  1. Download the MCPR tool from McAfee’s official website
  2. Double-tap the MCPR.exe file to run it
  3. Tap Yes, Continue or Run on any security warning dialogue box that might come up
  4. Then tap Next, check Agree and tap Next again
  5. You will now see a Security Validation screen pop up. Type out the characters exactly as seen in the picture displayed (cases and numbers included)
  6. Tap Next to complete the uninstallation
  7. If the uninstallation was successful, you should see a Removal Complete page prompting you to restart your computer
  8. Tap Restart to do so
  9. If you see a Cleanup Unsuccessful page instead, it means the removal was not successful. You can restart your computer, download the MCPR tool again and run it.

Method 4: Uninstall.Exe

  1. Navigate to the McAfee Security Scan installation folder from your file explorer
  2. Locate the uninstall.exe or unins000.exe file
  3. Double-click on it to run it and follow the prompts to complete the uninstallation

How to Clean Residual Files After McAfee Uninstallation

To clean residual files after McAfee uninstallation;

  1. Open File Explorer or tap the Windows and E keys simultaneously to open it
  2. Then navigate to the following locations or copy-paste them into your address bar to search for and shift-delete any leftover McAfee files:
    1. C:\Program Files
    1. C:\Program Files\Common Files
    1. C:\Program Files (x86)
    1. C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files
    1. C:\ProgramData
    1. C:\Users\USERNAME (replace USERNAME with your username on your computer)
    1. C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local
    1. C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming

How to Remove McAfee From Android and iPhone

To remove McAfee from an Android:

  1. First, go to Settings > Location & Security > Device Administration
  2. Find McAfee Mobile Security under Device Administration and deselect it
  3. Then, go back to the first display of your settings app and click Applications (or Apps) > Manage Applications (or Installed Applications) > McAfee Mobile Security > Options > Uninstall (or Remove)
  4. Alternatively, you can launch the McAfee Mobile Security app and tap Menu. If you see the Uninstall option, click on it to uninstall the app
  5. If you don’t see that option, you can tap on More to reveal the option

To remove McAfee from an iOS:

  1. Press and hold the McAfee Mobile Security app until a list of options pop out
  2. Tap Delete App from the list and tap Delete again to confirm
  3. Alternatively, you can go to Settings > General  > iPhone Storage
  4. Locate the app on the list, click on it and tap Delete App

NOTE: IF THE MCAFEE MOBILE SECURITY APP WAS PREINSTALLED ON YOUR DEVICE, YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO UNINSTALL IT.

McAfee Security Scan Plus Won’t Uninstall On Windows 10?

If McAfee Security Scan Plus won’t uninstall on your Windows 10, here are a few things to check and fixes to try:

Malware

If you have tried several methods to uninstall McAfee security scan plus to no avail, it is worth considering that the app is malware. Often, malware can appear on a computer as regular computer apps. To confirm this, you would need a malware detection tool to check. In addition, you would need a malware removal tool to remove it if it turns out to be malware.

Account Privileges

If your computer is company-issued or managed by your school or organization, then you might not have the necessary permission to delete McAfee programs and files from the computer. You would need to contact your admin to grant you administrator privileges to uninstall the program.

If all else fails, we recommend reaching out to McAfee support to help you out with uninstalling the program.

3 Best Safer McAfee Alternatives

The best safer McAfee alternatives are;

Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe provides similar features to McAfee and then some. It offers unlimited free VPN, real-time threat protection, excellent malware/antivirus/anti-phishing protection, firewall for PC and Mac, password manager, parental control, free 50 GB cloud backup, and dark web monitoring. It is $10 more expensive than McAfee but is value-packed and well-worth the price.

Bitdefender

Bitdefender offers real-time ransomware/malware/virus/anti-phishing protection, a high detection rate based on AI, VPN, safe online banking/web browsing, password manager, webcam/microphone protection, etc. It is also more affordable with a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, it has a limited VPN of 200MB and a limited Mac version.

Intego Mac Internet Security

This is the best antivirus software for MacBooks and a great alternative to McAfee. It is easy to use, affordable and offers 100% Mac network/antivirus protection. It can be used on Windows as well, but this version is not as effective in providing security.

It also does not have extra features like VPN, password manager, or microphone/webcam protection. If you require these services, you would need to pay separately for them.

Conclusion

The ultimate answer to ‘Should I uninstall McAfee’ depends on the user. However, if you decide to, you would find different ways to completely uninstall the app from your devices in this article – and if you can’t seem to uninstall it, then it’s worth considering if it’s malware or if malware has somehow crept into it.