As one of the more common pieces of “free” software installed on prebuilt PCs, McAfee security products are something that many people have encountered, but not everyone wants. Although you could turn to the company founder for advice, your best bet in learning how to uninstall McAfee is to follow the steps below.
Although you’re probably here to uninstall the antivirus that oh so wants you to renew, whether you’re running McAfee Antivirus, McAfee LiveSafe, McAfee Security Scan Plus, or anything else the company has put out, here’s how to uninstall them.
Note: As much as we understand your need to get rid of McAfee, it is essential to have antivirus protection on your PC. Windows Defender is good, but using one of the best free antivirus applications is an excellent second step in protecting your system.
How to remove McAfee using Settings
Windows 10 overhauled much of the traditional application management systems of the Windows ecosystem, but if anything, it just makes the process easier. Here’s how to get rid of McAfee products with Windows’ built-in tools.
Step 1: Open the Settings menu by either clicking the Start button in the bottom left-hand corner and then the cog icon, or searching for Settings using the Windows search box and clicking on the relevant result.
Step 2: Open the Apps menu.
Step 3: Use the search box to search for McAfee to find everything related to McAfee on your system.
Step 4: Select the McAfee product or app you want to uninstall and click the Uninstall button. When asked, confirm your choice by clicking Uninstall again.
Step 5: Windows will ask you for permission to continue, as uninstalling an application is an administrative function. Once you confirm, you’ll go through the McAfee uninstaller. Each version is a little different, but follow through with the removal instructions, and it will automatically uninstall the McAfee product from your PC.
This same process can be used to uninstall just about any Windows app.
McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool
If the Windows App menu doesn’t do the job for you and there are still some elements of a piece of McAfee software kicking around your system, you can use the MCPR.
Note: This tool may request a reboot at the end of its operation, so ensure all work is saved before getting started.
Step 1: Download the latest version of MCPR from McAfee’s website.
Step 2: Run the tool. It does not require an install.
Step 3: Accept the license agreement and input the CAPTCHA code as requested, clicking Next as necessary.
Step 4: Wait for the uninstall process to work. When completed, if you would like further information about the process, click View Logs.
Step 5: If asked to reboot your system, make sure to save everything you need and then restart as you usually would.
How to uninstall McAfee on a Mac
For most MacOS software, uninstalling is as simple as finding the app in your Applications folder and dragging it to the trash icon on your home screen. But McAfee software is a little more complicated and tends to be harder to remove than that. Fortunately, there is a more effective method that you can try.
Step 1: Make sure you are signed in on an administrator account if necessary. Open your Applications folder and choose the Utilities folder. In Utilities, open up the Terminal.
Step 2: Once in the Terminal, you can create a command to uninstall the software. This command must be precise, so enter sudo/Library/McAfee/sma/scripts/uninstall.sh. This goes for McAfee version 4.8 or earlier.
For McAfee 5.0 or newer, enter sudo/Library/McAfee/cma/scripts/uninstall.sh.
When you’ve done this, hit the Enter key.
Step 3: After hitting Enter, your Mac should have deleted McAfee and its files. When this process is done, reboot your Mac and live your McAfee-free life.
Sometimes even a Terminal command isn’t quite enough to fully remove McAfee, and people may still get pop-ups or other remnants after they try to get rid of the software. In this case, the best option is to get a good uninstaller app and use it to extract any remaining McAfee files forcibly. AppCleaner is a free and fast option, or you can pick the uninstaller of your choice!