How to Uninstall McAfee Security Center – Steps to Remove

McAfee Security Center is an integrated security software suite that comes with antivirus scanner, personal firewall, privacy service and spyware scanner features. Although it is a robust tool that provides all round protection for your PC, there can be many reasons for you to want to uninstall it:

  • You had a trial version of McAfee, which is now expired. You don’t want to purchase the full version.
  • The current subscription of the software has expired and you do not want to renew it.
  • The McAfee Security Center files on your computer have become corrupt and you want to completely uninstall and reinstall the software.
  • You are not happy with McAfee Security Center and simply want to change to another security software.

Methods to Uninstall McAfee Security Center

Now that you have decided to uninstall McAfee Security Center from your computer, let us have a look at various methods that you can use.

Method 1: Using Add or Remove Program Utility

  1. Launch Add or Remove Programs utility from Control Panel or by running the appwiz.cpl command.
  2. In the Currently installed programs list select McAfee Security Center and then click Change/Remove to uninstall them.
  3. On the Remove McAfee Programs page of the McAfee Security center, select the following checkboxes and click Remove to start the removal process.
    • McAfee VirusScan
    • McAfee Personal Firewall
    • McAfee Privacy Service
    • McAfee SpamKiller
  4. Click Remove again to confirm your decision and then wait for the uninstallation to complete.
  5. Restart your PC.

Method 2: Getting Rid of .adf files

Although Add or Remove Programs is the normal method to uninstall a software in Windows, it usually fails to ensure complete removal, especially for large software suites, such as McAfee Security Center. So you usually need to do a little more to ensure complete McAfee Security Center removal.

  1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the McAfee Programs folders, which by default is C:\Program Files\McAfee.
  2. Open the \Agent\App folder.
  3. Delete all files with .adf extension.
  4. Open Add or Remove Programs.
  5. Select McAfee Security Center and then select Change/Remove to start uninstalling it.

Method 3 Using McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool

If the above steps fail to ensure complete removal of McAfee Security Center, you may use the McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool (MCPR.exe) to uninstall the software suite.

Note: MCPR.exe tool works only on Window XP Home, Windows XP Professional, and Windows Vista operating systems.

  1. Download the MCPR removal tool from McAfee Web site and save it on your computer.
  2. Exit all currently running McAfee programs.
  3. Double-click MCPR.exe.
    Note: On Windows Vista, right-click MCPR.exe and then select Run as Administrator.
  4. When the Clean Successful message is displayed restart your system.
    McAfee Security Center removal will complete after your system restarts.
  5. Finally, restart your PC when the removal tool finishes the uninstallation process and asks you to do so.

At times, MCPR may fail to remove one or more McAfee software and show the status of the uninstall process as Incomplete Cleanup. In this case, perform the following steps to ensure complete removal.

Warning: Make a backup of the registry before proceeding with these steps. This way if you make a mistake, you can easily restore the registry from the backup taken earlier. You can make registry backups either by using Registry Editor or a reliable registry tool, such as RegGenie.

  1. Click View Log.
  2. Note all the registry entries with the “WINERR RegOpenKeyEx() failed. Error: 5” description.
  3. Run the regedit command to open Registry Editor.
  4. Delete the registry entries you noted down in Step 2.
  5. Restart the system.

Note: If you are not allowed to delete a particular entry, right-click this key and select Permissions. Click Add, type Everybody, and then click OK.

You may follow this step with a complete registry scan and clean up using a registry tool, such as RegGenie to get rid of any orphaned McAfee Security Center registry entries. This will help you ensure complete removal of the software from your computer.

If you find the McAfee Security Center uninstallation using the methods given above a tedious process, it is recommended that you use a reliable program uninstaller tool, such as Perfect Uninstaller to perform the task in just a few mouse clicks. Also, as it is essential to have robust security tools on your computer, you may opt to use immensely popular and efficient security tools, such as Antivirus Plus and XoftSpySE to protect your system.