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How to uninstall McAfee antivirus software

McAfee is an antivirus program that often comes preloaded onto Windows PCs and Laptops, backed by a 30-day free trial thanks to established deals with several manufacturers. The hope is that you will choose to pay for the service in order to protect the PC. However, you don’t have to use McAfee if you don't want to.

For consumers who prefer a different antivirus, it is a good idea to remove that pre-existing software from the system. This will ensure that there are no conflicts when you install your preferred antivirus. In this guide, we will explain how to remove McAfee completely, so you can start with a clean slate.

How to uninstall McAfee

To uninstall McAfee from your PC simply follow the steps below.

  1. Type settings in your search bar and click on the Settings App.

    Windows settings

  2. Click Apps.

    Windows - click on apps

  3. Locate McAfee in the list of installed programs and click Uninstall.

  4. When prompted, click Uninstall again to confirm that you want to remove the software.

  5. Once the software has uninstalled, restart your computer to ensure that it has been removed completely.

How to Remove McAfee with the McAfee MCPR Removal Tool?

If you prefer to use the McAfee removal tool - or are having problems removing McAfee for some reason - you are free to uninstall it using the method below. The MCPR tool is McAfee’s official uninstaller.

  1. Download the MCPR Tool from the McAfee website.

  2. Double-click MCPR.exeto launch the application.

    MCPR download

  3. Select Yes, Continue.

  4. If a security warning appears, click Run. The MCPR Removal Tool will now launch.

  5. Click Nexton the McAfee Software Removal screen.

    McAfee software removal

  6. Click Agreeon the End User License Agreement (EULA) page.

  7. Type in the characters shown on the Security Validation captcha and click Next.

    McAfee validation code

  8. Wait for the tool to uninstall McAfee. This might take a few minutes.

  9. When you receive the Removal Complete message, click Restart.

Do you need McAfee?

McAfee is an antivirus and anti-malware program that is designed to protect you from exploits on the internet. The internet is full of hackers and cybercriminals who may attempt to launch a cyberattack at you. If you are victimized with malware, ransomware, a trojan, a worm, or any other kind of exploit, your data could be stolen by hackers.

Under the worst circumstances, the hacker could take over your entire machine and turn on the cameras or microphone to snoop on you. They could also steal all your data to perform identity theft or break into your bank account.

mcafee logo

These threats are very serious, and it is absolutely imperative that you protect yourself against them, either with McAfee or some other antivirus program. Which antivirus you decide to install and use is completely up to you. However, we strongly recommend that you get an up-to-date service that provides real time, active malware protection.

Using the internet without an antivirus is a very risky endeavor, and it is much better to use McAfee than no antivirus at all. Overall, McAfee is considered an excellent antivirus program. Admittedly, some people may consider McAfee a little pricey - and it is possible to get similar protection for less. Thus, the choice is yours.

Below are some key advantages of McAfee antivirus, which if purchased using the Total Protection package comes with a lot of extra features:

What is a good alternative to McAfee?

If you have decided to uninstall McAfee from your computer, it is essential that you choose one of the best antivirus programs.

Using the internet exposes you to a multitude of threats and exploits, and it is extremely dangerous to proceed without an up-to-date antivirus that regularly scans for exploits and does real-time monitoring to prevent you from visiting malicious websites and downloading harmful files. 

So what should you replace McAfee with?

In our opinion, VIPRE Antivirus is a superb antivirus program that has everything you need to keep your devices safe. The program is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, and it is excellent at detecting and removing malware, ransomware, trojans, spyware, and viruses.

We love VIPRE Antivirus because it provides real-time scanning, a smart firewall, and it is low on system resources. This means that you can use the program to prevent infections without fear that it will make your computer come to a grinding halt. 

VIPRE is a superb alternative to McAfee in our opinion because it is effective and provides excellent value for money. So, if you want an antivirus that will give you complete peace of mind, click the link below to find out more.

Visit VIPRE Antivirus

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 


Liam Brennan
on November 2, 2022
McAfee is the most annoying anti-virus software I have ever come across and it's preloaded in Windows so doesn't appear in the APPS search It's apparently bundled with Microsoft Edge and loads automatically, which make it all the more difficult to get rid of this rubbish programme
on July 23, 2022
mcafee. is the most annoying thing i have ever come across since using computers
on May 3, 2022
I have McAfee Safe Connect on my windows 10 machine. I have tried to uninstall using Windows programs and features with no luck. I have tried to use the McAfee removal tool with no luck. I even tried Windows Install Cleanup with no luck. Any other suggestions?
Kathi Torio
on May 3, 2022
I have an old laptop (Dell XPS) and I cannot delete McAffee. The mcpr.exe removal tool is not in the files. I've tried the Uninstall and nothing happens. I tried deleting the file in Program Files and I get a message that I do not have access and only an Administrator can make changes but, I am the Administrator. So frustrating! Any recommendations?

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