Repair Tool of the Week: McAfee Product Removal Tool

There are two software security suites I really dislike – one of them is Norton Internet Security and the other is McAfee Internet Security. Why? Because they are bloated applictions that make most computers run poorly once installed. Often they have been the cause of the problems I had to fix onsite.

A big problem I frequently come across with Norton and McAfee is that both of these products sink their hooks so deeply into a system and once the appliction becomes corrupted it can cause serious stability problems – often to the point where you cannot boot into Windows. To make matters worse, neither product can be uninstalled from Safe Mode easily which is obviously a problem.

Enter the McAfee Removal Tool. This tool will remove the following McAfree Products:

  • Total Protection
  • Internet Security Suite
  • PC Protection Plus
  • VirusScan Plus
  • Wireless Protection
  • AntiSpyware
  • Data Backup
  • Personal Firewall
  • Privacy Service
  • QuickClean
  • SecurityCenter
  • SiteAdvisor
  • Anti-Spam
  • SpamKiller
  • VirusScan
  • Wireless Protection

Before using this tool, always try and remove the McAfee product using the “Add/Remove Programs” option under Control Panel first. This tool can also be used to cleanup remaining files after a McAfee product was successfully uninstalled via “Add/Remove Programs”.


McAfee Removal


Download from Major Geeks – 568kb

Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
More articles by me...
Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (24)

  • Bryce, this may be a little off topic, but at the same time it isn’t. Norton and McAfee are just two of the most problematic programs I have run across. Another one would be “Port Magic” by Network Magic. I see it usually bundled with AOL (another offender). 9 times out of 10, if a client is having trouble with their wireless network, I find that uninstalling that program fixes the problem. How about we all collect a list of the different programs that we as a community have found to be obvious problems? It could be an article that you put together, or maybe a sticky in the forums now that I think about it. That way we don’t all have to learn just by trial and error.

  • iladelf says:

    Thanks for the info, Paul. Never knew that about “Port Magic”; just what exactly is it supposed to do? AOL, yet another bloatware POS.

  • iladelf says:

    Oh, and Bryce, too! Have been looking for a McAfee removal tool for some time. For time-saving purposes on-site, I just use the “nuke” removal tools, and not Add/Remove first.

  • tf76 says:

    Nice place here. I also am a computer techie that works in South Australia. It definitely sounds like you know what you’re talking about. Bookmarked instantly

    My site is

    Keep up the good work :)

  • gregg says:

    I usually wont work on a machine that has norton or mcafee on it until I have removed them. I have gone so far as to tell a customer that I could either remove norton and finish the job or leave norton, not fix anything, and go home right now. They just wouldnt believe that norton was causing the problem. Once I said that they agreed to let me remove it and guess what? All better. I have been using the mcafee removal tool for about a year now, I was SO happy when they released one too.

  • John Edwards says:

    I use McAfee on all the workstations in my network, havent seen any problems. Anything specific you guys are talking about?

  • Bryce W says:

    The stand alone virus scanner isnt too bad. Its the security suites which are terrible. If you look at your processes there are like 15 differnt McAfee processes running at any given time that are munching up lots of memory.

    I once had a client just buy McAfee and install it. The next day they gave me a call saying that their computer is running so slow its unusable. Turns out McAfee (which was operating normally) was just lagging it out.

    Also, when the product goes bad, it goes really bad. McAfee sinks its hooks in all sorts of critical system areas and once McAfee stuffs up it takes it all out with it.

  • Hank says:

    Edwards is this a corporate version of McAfee you or using or the standard off the shelf type. I know with Norton those are two different beast, thought the latest does seem more like your retail Norton.

  • This is the reason we always recommend either Kaspersky or Nod32 to our clients !

    I’ve personally never had any sorts of slow downs or lags from using Kaspersky

  • iladelf says:

    I personally have found that Kaspersky and NOD32, while decent programs, seem to be a little too aggressive, depending upon their settings. That’s why I’m an AVG man, although their updates seem to be getting a little “bloaty”, behavior-wise nowadays. If I truly felt Kaspersky and NOD32 were that much better than AVG, I’d resell ‘em and make money. But since AVG is available free, customers seem to like that idea. Basically, you’re saving them money, and making their computer run better at the same time. Hard to beat.

  • Suhag says:

    This is great advice, too bad I did not know this sooner. Just last week I spent an hour trying to remove Mcafee, and just by chance i stumbled upon this removal tool on another site…and suprisingly it worked.

  • gunslinger says:

    I Have been using the McAfee removal tool for a while now, and I have to say its a must have right up there with the Norton removal tool. I also agree with gregg about not working on a machine that has Norton or McAfee on it until I have removed them. Too many times have I inserted one of my flash drives into a system just to have Norton or McAfee start deleting files off of it without asking. I then have to go back to the shop and re-build my tool kit.

  • TOM says:

    Been reading your comments regarding McAfee I agree with you. I’m having problem with removing McAfee security, I went to Control Add & Remove Programs, thinking that would do the remove,it did remove it but left a message not all of it was removed. Well I had another Internet security software (iolo System Mechanic 7 Pro) have you heard of it, it is very good as I have it installed on another PC. So I installed this, but half way through installing I received a message “you must remove McAfee before you can install this on you computer” I had a look in my PC to see if I could see any trace of McAfee I found two with the name McAfee in C: Drive under Programs Files so I deleted these and I tried to install the software again I got the same message “you must remove McAfee” I do not know what to do now as I cant see or know where to look for this McAfee. Please Please can any one help me. I have tried Automatic remove McAfee MCPR downloaded from a web site but without success.

  • Eric says:

    I’m mostly finished with a complete system recovery on a friend’s Gateway (blech) laptop. I was at the point of installing AVG when it told me there was another AV program installed. Sure enough, a 90 trial to McAfee. Everytime I tried to use “Add/Remove” I got the error message saying it could not do it while antivirus was running. I right clicked the systray icon and clicked exit. Guess what, it doesn’t kill the AV process. I had to use Task Manager. Long story shortened, Add/Remove didn’t take it all out, so I used the McAfee removal tool. The problem is, in XP Home security center, the AV section still thinks Mcafee is installed, but I see no obvious instances of it running in Task Manager. Now what do I do since AVG also thinks there is still another AV program installed also?

  • Dean says:

    WOW I am impressed. I removed this virus scanner from my system when I first got it. Ran this it found reminents of McCrapy still resideing on my system. Good riddens with them now.

  • Fred says:

    Will this removal tool from Mcafee still work if some removal handlings have been done ?
    E.g. already removed all regustry entries which contain the word Mcafee, searched and deleted all directories found on the harddisk, also the ones with Network Accosiates or something like that. Also killed all services related to mcafee.

    This story is about 1 pc in a network that has huge problems with mcfee; it won’t update and scan on request could not be enabled. So it won’t work. Probable reason is that a virus killed it. It’s a paid enterprise version of mcafee.
    I certainly will try the removal tool of course, but maybe some1 here knows what to do when it does not work. Cause installing another AV will not work as long as some elements of mcafee are still there.
    Thanks !

  • amanda says:

    it wont work :(
    is there something im doing wrong?

  • Jenna says:

    I was wondering if anyone has tried or heard of kaspersky internet security? how did it work? better than the others?

  • Jenna says:

    and webroot too?

  • Cleo Patra says:

    Thank you very much! You have no idea the hell you have pulled me from. It worked like a charm :-). Thanks.

  • Mark says:

    Give Microsoft a break! They’re awesome and make great products.

  • George says:

    I wanted to take advantage of Dell’s spring sale. Their website indicated that the two desktops of interest to me had McAfee pre-installed. I asked if I could buy one without that AV suite. After consulting with a higher-up, he replied that contractual agreements with McAfee made it impossible to get what I wanted without the McAfee program being pre- installed. A few years back, my Dell laptop came with McAfee, and it was a major problem trying to get it off my machine. Maybe, with this McAfee special tool, I will re-think buying the desktop I want.

  • StonedCrab says:

    I was figeting thru the registry for an hour and a half deleting everything that had the word McAfee in it. I only got about halfway thru the registry when I decided to google “McAfee Removal Tool.” I found this site, and it worked like a charm!

  • SDsc_rch says:

    just want to say… i keep an assortment of a/v removal tools in my stick drive – and this is one of them!