How to Disable McAfee

Two Parts:Temporarily Disabling McAfeeUninstalling McAfee

McAfee keeps your computer safe from virus infections, but sometimes you may need to disable it in order to install a program, or perform some other advanced task on the computer. You can quickly disable McAfee from its System Tray menu, but what if you need to uninstall it completely? This is where things get a little tricky. See Step 1 below to learn how to disable or uninstall any McAfee product.

Part 1
Temporarily Disabling McAfee

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    Consider leaving it enabled. Although programs will often tell you to disable your antivirus during installation, this is virtually never required. The installation should proceed without any problem. Disabling the antivirus during installation leaves you very susceptible to malware contained within the installer.[1]
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    Double-click the McAfee icon in the System Tray. This is located in the lower-right corner of the desktop. The icon looks like an "M" in a red shield. If you don't see the icon, click the arrow button at the edge of the System Tray to expand the Tray and display all the icons.
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    Click "Real-Time Scanning". This button is located at the top of the window, underneath the green banner. By default, it will say "On".
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    Disable Real-Time Scanning. When you click the button, you will be given the option to disable the real-time scanning, and allow you to set how long you want it disabled. You should never go too long without active protection, so make sure that it is scheduled to turn back on as soon as you are done with your task.
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    Turn off the Firewall. If you need to disable McAfee's Firewall, you can do so in a similar way. Click the "Firewall" button on the McAfee control panel, located beneath the "Real-Time Scanning" button. You can schedule how long the Firewall is disabled for. Just like real-time scanning, this should not be disabled any longer than it has to.
    • If you have a program that needs to bypass the Firewall, consider opening ports instead of disabling the entire firewall.

Part 2
Uninstalling McAfee

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    Uninstall the McAfee software. McAfee can be difficult to remove, and requires the use of some extra software. Before you get that, though, you first need to uninstall the main program files. This can be done from the Programs and Features menu in the Control Panel.
    • Click Start and select "Control Panel", or Windows 8 users can press Win+X and select "Control Panel".
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    Click Programs and Features, or "Uninstall a program" if you are in Category View. Windows XP users should click "Add/Remove Programs"
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    Find McAfee in the list. You may have to wait a few moments for the entire list to load. There may also be several McAfee products listed. Each one will need to be removed.
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    Remove the program(s). With the McAfee program select, click the Uninstall button. Follow any prompts during the uninstallation process. Repeat for any other McAfee products on the list of programs.
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    Download the McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool. This is a free program provided by McAfee that allows you to completely remove McAfee products. You can download it directly from the McAfee site; search for "MCPR" in Google and the McAfee site should be the first result.[2]
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    Run the tool. After the program has been downloaded, run the program to being removing remaining software. You will need to accept the license agreement and complete a Captcha to proceed. After the program is finished, you will see the "CleanUp Successful" message. Restart your computer to complete the process.
    • If the message "CleanUp Unsuccessful" appears, click the "View Logs" button and save the Notepad file that appears. Contact McAfee Technical Support and provide the log file when asked.[3]


  • Your computer is at risk from various online threats when anti-virus software is turned off. Stay off the Internet, if possible, while you have your security programs disabled and restart the program as soon as possible.

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Categories: Install & Uninstall Software