How to uninstall - remove Norton Antivirus and computer Security Products

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 pre-installed when the customer purchased the computer, or maybe you want to uninstall Norton Antivirus and install another antivirus software product.

I've even 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 computer.

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.

Follow 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.

If 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

Norton 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.

  1. Click on the following link to download the Norton removal tool
  2. Click Save and save the file to your desktop 
  3. Close 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" 
  4. After the removal tool finishes, you should be prompted to restart your computer.  
  5. Once the computer restarts, your Norton product should be uninstalled.

Extra Optional Steps

  1. Open My Computer, double-click on Drive C
  2. Double-click on Program Files 
  3. Look 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.
  4. Close My Computer and other folders
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