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McAfee Antivirus: Removal Tool Tips

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 8/31/2010

Do you plan to replace McAfee AntiVirus using another security program or do you need to reinstall McAfee AntiVirus? If so, this McAfee Antivirus removal guide should help you to ready the system and remove McAfee software.

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    McAfee AntiVirus Plus

    Using Custom Install for McAfee AntiVirus Plus 

    McAfee AntiVirus Plus provides virus and spyware protection for Windows. The installer of McAfee AnitVirus lets you choose to install other McAfee protections such as an antivirus, a firewall, and SiteAdvisor. Another component you can install and use is the Quick Clean. If you need to replace McAfee with another antivirus program or you have to reinstall McAfee, here are quick and easy steps for McAfee AntiVirus removal.

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    Before You Begin Removing McAfee AntiVirus

    Always ready your computer prior to removing any antivirus program or software in general. Before running a McAfee AntiVirus removal, take some time to ready the following:

    • If you are planning to reinstalling McAfee AntiVirus software, ensure that you've activated your subscription by creating a McAfee account so you can download it again.
    • Download the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool, a program to clean-up the system from remnants of McAfee, especially if you are unable to remove the program using Add or Remove Programs in Windows. Please skip this step if you've installed SiteAdvisor and you plan on keeping the said browser add-on.
    • Close any running application, especially Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers so the removal of McAfee add-ons for the said browsers will remove completely.
    • Verify that System Restore in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 are running and create a restore point. To verify, open System Restore by clicking on Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools. Please see this article on how to enable system restore and create a restore point in Windows.
    • An optional step: Download AppRemover and Revo Uninstaller. You will only use these tools if you cannot remove McAfee AntiVirus using Add or Remove Programs or MCPR.exe.
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    McAfee AntiVirus Removal: Keeping Other McAfee Software Installed

    Before you begin removing McAfee AntiVirus, you need to know that you should not use the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR.exe) if you want to keep other McAfee software such as McAfee SiteAdvisor and McAfee Anti-Theft.

    If you decide removing only the McAfee AntiVirus but keep SiteAdvisor, simply remove the program using Add or Remove Programs in Windows. Choose to remove only the McAfee AntiVirus Plus and do not put a checkmark the box before "SiteAdvisor."Removing McAfee AV Plus Only 

    Proceed by clicking "Next" then reboot the computer when prompted. When Windows has finished restarting, the SiteAdvisor program should be installed but not McAfee AntiVirus will be removed. However, if the McAfee AntiVirus Plus is not removed using the Add or Remove Programs utility, proceed in using AppRemover or Revo Uninstaller programs to remove McAfee AntiVirus. I highly suggest to first use AppRemover since it supports removal of Version 10.xx of McAfee software.

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    Removing McAfee AntiVirus Plus and SiteAdvisor

    If you have trouble using McAfee AntiVirus and SiteAdvisor or you plan to replace McAfee AntiVirus with another security solution, you need to use similar steps as above with an additional task:

    • Open Add or Remove Programs in Windows and locate and select McAfee AntiVirus PlusAdd or Remove McAfee AV 
    • Check all the boxes to remove any McAfee software in Windows.Removing all Mcafee software 
    • Wait for the program to complete the McAfee AntiVirus removal and then restart the computer when prompted.Removal Process of McAfee AV and SiteAdvisor  Successful removal of Mcafee programs 
    • The McAfee AntiVirus Plus and SiteAdvisor should be removed already but to complete the removal process, clean-up the computer using McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR.exe). Double-click MCPR.exe on your desktop and allow it to clean the computer for any traces by McAfee programs. Reboot the computer again.Cleaning Windows for McAfee software 
    • If you want to view the log soon, you can opt not to reboot, then click the “View Log” button which should have similar information as what is shown below:Log Report Using MCPR.exe 
    • For Vista or Windows 7 users, you will see the "Program Compatibility Assistant" window after using MCPR.exe. Simply click on "This program installed correctly" to close it. Please do not select the "reinstall using recommended settings."

    Please note that you can also use the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool to remove McAfee products without having to use the Add or Remove Programs utility in Windows but it is recommended to use MCPR.exe if you are not keeping other McAfee software e.g. SiteAdvisor and McAfee Anti-Theft.

    Screenshots taken by the author courtesy of McAfee (http://www.mcafee.com/us/)