Antivirus software can be tricky to uninstall. To help you, here are the steps to uninstall any antivirus software in Windows 10.
Antivirus software is essential to protect Windows from nasty stuff like ransomware, virus, trojan, malware, adware, etc. Though Windows has a good built-in antivirus software called Windows Defender, for some, it is basic and not as effective as other dedicated software. Of course, if you know what you are doing and follow the best practices, Windows Defender is enough. Recently, Windows Defender even got an upgrade with its sandbox mode.
Most, if not all, use some third-party antivirus software like Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Malwarebytes, etc. Generally, you should never use more than one anti-virus software. That is the reason Windows automatically disables Defender when it detects another antivirus.
Antivirus is a complicated piece of software. The software links deeply with the operating system to protect it from threats. As such, it is not always an easy task to remove antivirus in Windows.
Why is it difficult to uninstall antivirus programs in Windows?
As I said, antivirus software is complicated software. Typically, Antivirus software developers try to make it as difficult as possible to remove the software from your computer. This is done to make it harder for viruses and other threats to disable or uninstall antivirus without you knowing it. Though hindering threats sounds good, it also makes for a terrible user experience. Sometimes, it can make your system unusable. For instance, while uninstalling antivirus, you might face any number of problems like getting stuck, system crash, BSOD, leftover files, reboot loops, improper uninstallation, etc.
To deal with it, antivirus software developers supply a removal tool to uninstall antivirus software. Using that specific removal tool, you can easily uninstall antivirus programs with just a few clicks. Each antivirus software has its own removal tool.
Uninstall Antivirus in Windows
I tried to gather removal tools for all the popular antivirus software. Click on the jump links below to find detailed uninstallation instructions for your antivirus software.
Before that, try to remove antivirus normally. i.e., go to “Control Panel -> Programs and Features.” Windows 10 users can go to “Settings -> Apps -> Apps and Features.” Select your antivirus application and hit the “Uninstall” button. Now, follow the wizard to uninstall antivirus. If it goes properly, you don’t need to use the below removal tools. If it doesn’t, or if you think there are leftover files, then find the relevant removal tool to uninstall antivirus in Windows completely.
Antivirus Program Uninstallation instructions for:
- Avast Antivirus
- Avira Antivirus
- Norton Antivirus
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- McAfee Antivirus
- ESET Antivirus
- Panda Antivirus
1. Uninstall Bitdefender
Depending on whether you are using the trial or paid version, Bitdefender provides different uninstaller tools. Go to the official Bitdefender uninstall page, select the version, select the product type. i.e., antivirus, internet security, total security, etc., and download the uninstaller tool. Once downloaded, open the Bitdefender uninstaller tool and click on the “Uninstall” button.
It will uninstall all the Bitdefender products installed on your PC.
2. Uninstall AVG
Unlike Bitdefender, AVG gives you a straightforward tool to uninstall all AVG software. So, download the AVG Remover tool and run it. Click on the “Continue” button under the “AVG Remover” section and follow the wizard to uninstall AVG antivirus and other AVG software.
3. Uninstall Avast Antivirus
Please navigate to the folder where you saved the uninstaller tool and open it. Select which Avast product you want to uninstall from the drop-down menu and click “Uninstall” to uninstall Avast antivirus.
4. Uninstall Avira Antivirus
Avira Antivirus has no proper uninstaller software. Instead, Avira provides a Registry Cleaner. To uninstall Avira software, you have to manually remove all the related folders and then use the Avira Registry Cleaner to remove Avira registry keys. Thankfully, Avira has detailed instructions on using the removal tool and deleting its related folders. Follow those instructions, and you should be good.
5. Uninstall Norton Antivirus
Nortan provides Remover and Reinstall tool to uninstall all kinds of Norton software. Head over to the official support page and download Norton Remover and Reinstall tool.
Once downloaded, open the Norton Remover and Reinstall tool. Here, click on the “Advanced Options” link appearing at the bottom. Now, click on the “Remove Only” button and follow the wizard to uninstall Norton software. Once uninstalled, restart your system to complete the procedure.
6. Uninstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
To uninstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, download Malwarebytes Cleanup Utility and run it. There is no complicated wizard whatsoever; it is a one-click uninstaller. It automatically detects and removes the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Once removed, reboot your system. After rebooting and logging into the computer, Malwarebytes Cleanup Utility will prompt whether to download and reinstall Malwarebytes again. Click “No” if you don’t want to install Malwarebytes.
7. Uninstall Kaspersky
Kaspersky requires the Kavremover tool to uninstall Kaspersky antivirus or any of its other software. Download Kavremover from the official site.
Alternate link: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Uninstallers/Kaspersky-Anti-Virus-Remover.shtml
Note: if you can’t find the download link, it is because Kaspersky wants to make the task as difficult as possible by hiding the download link. Scroll down and expand the “How to use the tool” section to find the download link.
After downloading, run the application. Enter the captcha code, select the Kaspersky product from the drop-down menu and click the “Remove” button. That is it.
8. Uninstall McAfee Antivirus
McAfee lets you uninstall its software using the McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool or MCPR tool for short. Go to the official support page and download the MCPR tool to uninstall McAfee antivirus. After downloading, run the application. Agree to the terms and enter the captcha. The removal tool will automatically detect and uninstall McAfee software.
It can take a few minutes to remove McAfee. Please sit back and wait while the removal tool is doing its thing. Once done, restart your system to complete the procedure—a full detailed guide on how to uninstall McAfee on Windows 10.
9. Uninstall ESET Antivirus
When prompted, type Y and press Enter to continue to detect ESET antivirus software. After that, press the Enter button again to uninstall ESET software.
For power users, ESET supplies advanced user commands. Use
esetuninstaller.exe /help to see all the available commands.
10. Uninstall Panda Antivirus
Uninstalling Panda Antivirus is very easy. Download the Panda Generic Uninstaller tool and run it. Click “Yes” to confirm system restart. The tool will automatically detect and uninstall Panda Antivirus. Once uninstalled, restart the computer again.
Whenever you try to uninstall antivirus software, you should consider using proper uninstaller software specially designed to uninstall that specific antivirus software for clean removal. Generally, most antivirus developers provide a dedicated uninstaller to uninstall antivirus software in Windows. So, even if the above list didn’t cover the antivirus software you are using, a simple Bing or Google search will point you towards the proper uninstaller or removal tool. Alternatively, you can also contact your antivirus software support for detailed steps to remove it.
I hope that helps.
If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.
Image credits: Richard Patterson – Antivirus