Uninstall Antivirus Programs – General Steps to Remove

Computer viruses are one of the biggest threats faced by computer users today. These malicious software programs can cause billions of dollars in losses every year. This is one of the reasons why, it is recommended that no computer user should operate his or her system without adequate protection from reliable anti-virus software. It is also essential that this software is updated on a regular basis so that you are protected from the latest threats.

Although essential, at times you may need to uninstall anti-virus programs. This can happen due to many reasons, some of which are listed below:

  1. You do not find the anti-virus that you installed is performing as you had expected.
  2. Your anti-virus program is causing problems on your computer.
  3. You had installed a trial-version of the anti-virus and it has expired.
  4. You want to upgrade the anti-virus from trial version to full version and it requires you to uninstall the earlier version.
  5. You have installed two anti-viruses simultaneously on your computer—which is never advisable—and you need to uninstall one of them.

How to Uninstall Anti-virus software programs?

The standard procedure for uninstalling any software including your anti-virus in Windows is by using the Add or Remove Programs tool. You can easily access this tool through the Windows Control Panel option. When you open the Add or Remove Programs tool, you will find a list of all programs that are installed on your system including your anti-virus. Simply select the antivirus software you want to uninstall and click Remove to uninstall the software.

Some anti-virus programs, especially the freeware may not make it to the list of Add or Remove Programs tool. This does not mean that you cannot remove them. Try accessing the Start menu again and see if there is an uninstall option available under the name of the anti-virus in the menu. If it is there, you can uninstall the anti virus by simply clicking on this uninstall option. If you do not find the option there, you may have to manually try and locate the uninstall file associated with the anti-virus. You need to search for the anti virus folder in your Windows explorer. Once you locate it, you need to open it and find the uninstall file which may be there in an uninstall folder or in the main folder. You need to double click to start uninstall process.

However, none of the above options guarantees a complete uninstall of your anti-virus program. It is quite likely that some remains of any program that you uninstall using the above mentioned processes still get left behind in your computer. This is especially true of large software like Norton and McAfee security software that are a complete package of anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall. This is a concern as these redundant files and registry keys tend to interfere with the normal functioning of your system and generate errors. It is therefore always recommended that you ensure complete uninstallation of these programs to ensure that your computer is completely rid of all the files and traces of uninstalled program. This can be easily achieved by using the services of an automatic program uninstaller such as Perfect Uninstaller. This is not only the safest way, but also the most efficient method of uninstalling your anti-virus program.

It is also a good practice to follow up any program removal task with a registry scan and cleanup. This helps in getting rid of orphaned antivirus registry entries, and ensure complete program removal.