For protecting our computers from security and malware threats we sometimes experiment with different security suites to see which one is better than the other. In this process, we install and uninstall these security suites as it is always advisable to use only one antivirus or a full featured security suite at a time in our system. More than one antivirus or a full featured security suite that includes everything from a firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, and more can cause lots of performance and stability issues.
Although we can easily uninstall the existing security program using Windows built-in “Add/Remove Programs” (or Programs and Features in Windows Vista and 7) applet but it’s not a perfect solution. Sometimes the uninstaller of the program doesn’t remove all the components and registry keys installed by the security program completely, this can hamper with the newly installed security program and may even cause system instability and BSOD’s.
What should we do then? How can we uninstall the existing antivirus or security suite completely? Well, almost all the security suite vendors provides a special uninstaller tool which can remove the security suite completely from your system. We are here providing a list (not in any particular order) of these special uninstaller of all popular security suite or antivirus programs to save you time and energy in finding them yourself.
For most of these uninstaller, you just need to run the executable file and follow the onscreen instructions. Then after completion, restart your system to have a clean system again.
Kaspersky Removal Tool
This removal tool can uninstall all versions of Kaspersky Antivirus and Internet Security, we have even posted a tutorial here before (How To Completely Remove Kaspersky Anti-Virus/Internet Security).
Norton Removal Tool
McAfee Removal Tool
Note: Please read the tutorial before using the tool.
Also, read how to fix improper or unsuccessful McAfee Product Installation with Free McAfee Virtual Technician if you want to just fix McAfee Products.
Avira AntiVir Removal Tool
Avira RegistryCleaner removes all entries that were created by AntiVir. In this way, it prepares your system for the installation of a new AntiVir version. Use it after uninstalling Avira AntiVir using the uninstaller that came with it.
Please read the instructions on the first link before using ESET Uninstaller.
Avast Uninstall Utility
Download Avast Uninstall Utility (See updated links below for more details)
Bitdefender Uninstall Tool
Some more of the uninstallers to completely get rid of the antivirus installation:
Avira Manual uninstall and Avira registry cleaner
AVG Uninstaller 32-bits
AVG Uninstaller 64-bits
Computer Associates Removal Tool
Dr. Web Removal Tool (Available to registered Dr. Web users only)
F-Secure Removal Tool
IObit Removal Tool
Kaspersky Removal Tool (old version, see above for new version)
Microsoft OneCare Uninstaller
Microsoft Security Essentials Uninstaller
NOD32 Removal Tool
Panda (non-PCA) Removal Tool
QuickHeal Removal Tool
Sunbelt CounterSpy & Viper
Trend Micro Uninstaller
Webroot Spysweeper Removal Tool
ZoneAlarm Removal Tool
Panda Cloud Uninstaller
[If these uninstall and removal utilities fail, there’s a last resort tool which can also help get rid of all traces of previous installations of AV programs. It’s called AppRemover and developed by Opswat. Download and run this tool if you are still having problems after trying the above tools:
If we missed any program, just tell us through the comments? If you know of any method to completely remove antivirus, share it too!
After uninstalling, if you are Windows 7 user, you may be interested to know which security suites are compatible with Windows 7. And also read How To Get 1 Year Free Professional Protection by Using Norton, CA, McAfee Security Suites Available Free for 90 Days.