One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how to uninstall
Norton or McAfee antivirus and security products. Maybe its because
trial versions of these products were preinstalled when the customer
purchased the computer, or maybe you want to uninstall Norton Antivirus
and install another antivirus software product.
received mail from computer users trying to install an antivirus
product and they are told to uninstall Norton before they can proceed
even though it appears Symantec products are not running on the system.
I'm also amazed at how many viruses attack Norton and Symantec
products especially and disable them so they can wreck havoc on the
My personal experience with Norton Antivirus has been mostly positive.
It seemed that each successive version seems to incorporate more
functionality because it got slower and slower to use. Lately, Norton
has improved its speed, but I still receive computers that have
problems with Norton and I must uninstall it to make the computer
work. Although I wrote an article on how to speed up the windows boot process
one of the best ways always is to uninstall Norton and install a free
antivirus product. I've also experienced situations where internet
access is completely shut down and many times uninstalling all of the
Norton Antivirus or firewall products on the computer fixes this issue.
the instructions below to safely remove Norton and Symantec security
products including their antivirus and firewall from your computer
Removal through the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel
In many cases, you can simply remove Norton products through the Add/Remove Control Panel.
1) Click on Start, Click on Control Panel
2) Double-click on Add or Remove Programs
3) Find the Symantec or Norton product listed and click on it. It should look similar to the following
4) Click on Remove
5) You'll see a screen similar to the one below. Click the Remove All button to start the removal process.
6) Once the removal process completes, you'll be asked to restart the computer. Go ahead and reboot at that time.
7) After rebooting Norton should be removed from your system.
for some reason, the normal uninstall does not remove it, I recommend
following the automatic uninstall instructions below to remove any
leftover Symantec or Norton security products.
Removing Norton Automatically
has created an automatic removal program to remove the following
software products when the normal removal methods fail. Warning:
if you use ACT! or WinFAX, back up those databases and uninstall those
products as well. The removal tool will remove the following software
products from your computer.
- Norton AntiSpam 2004 - 2005
- Norton Antivirus 2003 - 2011
- Norton Ghost 2003, 9.0, and 10.0
- Norton GoBack 3.1 - 4.2
- Norton Internet Security 2003 - 2011
- Norton Password Manager
- Norton Personal Firewall 2003 - 2011
- Norton SystemWorks 2003 - 2011
- Norton Confidential Online 2007
- Norton Internet Security 2007 Add-on Pack
- Norton Save and Restore 1.0 - 2.0
- Norton 360
Follow these directions to download the Norton Removal Tool and run it to remove the above programs.
- Click on the following link to download the Norton removal tool
- Click Save and save the file to your desktop
all Norton Application windows you may have open, and
double-click on Norton_Removal_Tool.exe to start the removal tool.
Windows Vista users will have to right-click on the file and select
"Run as Administrator"
- After the removal tool finishes, you should be prompted to restart your computer.
- Once the computer restarts, your Norton product should be uninstalled.
Extra Optional Steps
- Open My Computer, double-click on Drive C
- Double-click on Program Files
for any Norton or Symatec product folders that remain. Right-click on
them and choose Delete. Also look in the Program Files\Common Files for
the Symantec Shared folder and delete it.
- Close My Computer and other folders
Other Removal Instructions for Antivirus Programs
Buy Anti-Virus Software
If you don't already have antivirus software loaded on your computer. You should download and install an antivirus product immediately. The popular commercial antivirus products like McAfee and Norton are ok, but there are also excellent free antivirus solutions available. Listed below are some of the popular free and commercial antivirus software products.