Kurt Wismer certainly got it right in anti-virus rants: av product removal tools when he said:
"on the subject of doing your job horribly wrong, i think we can all agree that both symantec and mcafee are doing their job of providing quality anti-malware software horribly wrong when you consider they make removal tools to get rid of their own products..."Providing help on the forums, I frequently see logs with left-overs from incomplete uninstalls of Symantec. However, in researching the most widely used subscription antivirus softare, Norton and McAfee are apparently not the only vendors who have found it necessary to provide removal tools in order to completely remove their software products.
Below are links to the removal tools and instructions available. If not listed, the software should be completely removable through Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs, as shown in the instructions. Follow the removal with a shutdown/restart of the computer.
To uninstall from Windows XP:
- Click Start, then click Control Panel.
- Under Pick a category, click Add or Remove Programs.
- Under Pick a task, click Remove a Program.
- In the Currently installed programs list, click the software being uninstalled and then click Remove.
To uninstall from Windows Vista or Windows 7:
- Click the Vista Orb, then click Control Panel.
- Click Programs and Features.
- In the Uninstall or change a program list, click the software being unisntalled and proceed with the uninstall.
Another option is the Microsoft Fix it solution available here.
- avast!: http://www.avast.com/eng/avast-uninstall-utility.html
- AVG: http://www.avg.com/us-en/utilities
- Avira AntiVir: Uninstall via control panel, restart and then use the Avira RegistryCleaner
- BitDefender: http://kb.bitdefender.com/KB333-en--How-to-uninstall-BitDefender.html
- CA Associates: See Total Defense
- Comodo Internet Security: https://support.comodo.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=298
- Cyber Defender Early Detection Center: http://cyberdefender.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/207
- Dr. Web http://www.comss.ru/page.php?id=309, Registered users only: https://support.drweb.com/support_wizard/?lng=en
- eScan: Direct download link: http://www.microworldsystems.com/download/tools/esremove.exe
- ESET: http://kb.eset.com/esetkb/index?page=content&id=SOLN2788
- FRISK F-PROT: http://www.f-prot.com/support/windows/fpwin_faq/25.html
- F-Secure: Direct download link: ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/support/tools/uitool/UninstallationTool.zip
- G Data: https://www.gdatasoftware.co.uk/?eID=PushFile&dl=f4b2f2fd23%3AAFEIBgU%3D
- Kaspersky Lab's Removal Tool: http://support.kaspersky.com/faq/?qid=208279463
- K7 Total Security: Direct download link: http://www.k7computing.com/en/tools/K7RT.exe
- Lavasoft: http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?showtopic=28
- McAfee Removal: Direct download link: http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe
- Microsoft Security Essentials: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2435760
- Norman Antivirus: Direct download link: http://download.norman.no/public/Delnvc5.exe
- Norton Removal: https://www-secure.symantec.com/norton-support/jsp/help-solutions.jsp?lg=english&ct=united+states&docid=20080710133834EN&product=home&version=1&pvid=f-home
- Panda Antivirus (All Versions): Direct download link: http://www.pandasecurity.com/resources/sop/UNINSTALLER_08.exe
- Sophos: http://www.sophos.com/support/knowledgebase/article/11019.html
- Total Defense: http://totaldefense.iyogi.com/?p=368
- Trend Micro: http://esupport.trendmicro.com/1/How-do-I-remove-old-or-new-versions-of-Trend-Micro-products-in-my-comp.aspx
- Vipre (Sunbelt Software) http://kb.gfi.com/articles/Skynet_Article/Error-1612-Installation-source-for-this-product-is-not-available-when-attempting-to-uninstall-VIPRE
- Webroot: http://support.webroot.com/cgi-bin/webroot.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1761
- Windows Live OneCare: Direct download link: http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/c/b/4cb845e7-1076-437b-852a-7842a8ab13c8/OneCareCleanUp.exe
- Zone Alarm: Direct download link: http://download.zonealarm.com/bin/free/support/download/clean.exe
If the Microsoft Fix it does not solve the problem, an alternate option is to use AppRemover. See AppRemover.
- Edit Note: Thank you, Clark76! AVG Added.
- Edit 02Oct08: avast! removal tool added. Thanks, Ripley. This Song's for you!
- Edit 10Oct08: Bit Defender and F-Secure added. Thanks to GravityGripp, the developer of one of my favorite Firefox Add-ons, Malware Search.
- Edit 15Nov08: McAfee and BitDefender links updated.
- Edit 14Dec08: Added Norman Antivirus. Info provided by Cel.
- Edit 24Jan09: Added ESET NOD32.
- Edit 14Jul10: Added reference to Ultimate List of Uninstallers.
- Edit 06Jun12: Updated AVG (Thanks R-C!) and other broken links, Added many additional products as well as Singular Labs lists and added AppRemover.
- Edit 08Aug13: Updated broken links.