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.

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.

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:

How to uninstall McAfee with Windows tools

Uninstalling McAfee is easy whether it came pre-installed or you installed it yourself. You can remove it from Windows by using your computer’s built-in system tools. Alternatively, you can uninstall McAfee using the McAfee uninstaller/removal tool (more on this 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.exe to 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 Next on the McAfee Software Removal screen.

    McAfee software removal

  6. Click Agree on 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.

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. 

1 Comment

Sollie Rheeder
on July 17, 2020
This site is excellent. Thank you very much for your help.
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