Antivirus Removal Tools
Yes, I did say ANTIVIRUS removal tools. Why would you want to remove your antivirus? Why do you need an antivirus removal tool? Well, here are a couple of examples. Let’s say you have Symantec’s Norton antivirus installed and are having a problem with the installation. In order to reinstall it, it’s usually best to do a complete removal with Norton’s Removal tool. (Computers can be such a pain.)
Here’s another example. let’s say you have McAfee antivirus installed and want to replace it with another antivirus product, but the uninstaller is broken. You go the control panel and add/remove programs, select mcafee and choose uninstall. Nothing happens. So, do you change your plans and stick with McAfee? You find the McAfee product removal tool and use that to remove McAfee from the system.
Unfortunately the way all software is packaged on windows it is not uncommon for the uninstaller to fail to completely remove the software. Fortunately, both Norton and McAfee offer removal tools for their software and during the course of my computer service work I have had to use these tools MULTIPLE times to either move to another antivirus vendor or to perform a clean reinstall of the antivirus product. This is where the antivirus removal tool becomes necessary.
Antivirus Removal Tools
To clean out Symantec’s Norton antivirus products you’re looking for the Norton Removal Tool.
If you’re needing to clean out one of McAfee’s antivirus products you will need the McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool.
Avast has a removal tool as well and it’s address ishere.
The links above connect to the support pages at each respective site and do not link directly to the named tools.
For other products, if there is not a removal tool available it may be possible to reinstall the software (to repair the uninstall information), then to uninstall it.
One of the best Tech Tips I can give you is to keep a usb stick or cd with the latest version of these removal tools as they are tremendously useful.
Since this page has become so popular I thought it would make sense to link to the virus removal tool archives of the various antivirus providers as well. The links below are to the free tools that the antivirus vendors provide for the removal of specific viruses. You may also find my virus and malware removal toolkit useful. On that page I’ve documented many of the handy utilities that help to rid your system of malware of many stripes. (virus removal tool list I guess.)
McAfee’s removal tools are located at the previous link.
AVG has a collection of free virus removal tools here
Kaspersky lists theirs here.
Bitdefender has some free tools here.
Norton/Symantec has their list here of removal tools.
And Microsoft of course, has their Malicious software removal tool.
Rogue Antivirus Removal
Due to the popularity of this page I have expanded again the idea here by providing links to articles that detail the removal of rogue antivirus applications. So, these could be considered rogue antivirus removal tools.
There are many software applications that fall into the category of rogue antivirus which claim to protect the system but actually bring their own headaches. Below we may list several of those packages and removal tips and tools for those: