Earlier this month, I posted about my inability to successfully load McAfee Virus Scan onto my computer becauses of weird little McAfee files that were stuffed into unlocatable places in my PC. So, I packaged up the disk and sent it back for a refund, along with a letter that included the following:

Please credit my card with a refund for the enclosed purchase because I was not able to install the upgrade BECAUSE when I tried–
 First, it told me to uninstall current copies of McAfee Virus Scan, so I used my PC’s uninstall feature to try to do that.
 Then when I again tried to install the upgrade, it told me that there were Virus Scan files left on my computer that had to be removed/uninstalled as well before I could install the new version.
 Since I couldn


  1. I have been wanting for days to uninstall the resident McAfee that came with my computer, so that I could install the new Norton that I purchased. I don’t want them fighting each other. When I had the yearly subscription, I too, got the 6 pages of instructions on how to uninstall and I managed it…. and I am ten years your senior! BUT I had to do a restore and that put the original McAfee back on the computer… all 33 files and I went to their web site and couldn’t find a place for resident programs and so I thought I would email them….well, they want everything except my social security number and I didn’t know where to find the info they wanted about my computer….so I gave up…. DOWN WITH MCAFEE!! What a pain in the butt!!! Oh yes, I have a HP and tried to get help through them and they said my AOL wasn’t installed properly!!
    Maybe we expect too much from a computer???
    Did you ever get it uninstalled, if so how?

  2. Interesting reviews,
    I have a client who has McA and wants rid of it. Those I associate with (computer nerds for sure) have oft stated that the Control Panel will not totally remove McA.
    Today I’ve been all over their web site looking for an uninstall tool (Norton has one for their software) but all I could find was a manual uninstall procedure much shorter than the 6-pager you have discussed and which I found on another site.
    Makes one wonder how McA stays in business!
    Regards, Sorrells

  3. McAfee sucks! The software is highly intrusive and you get automatically billed for renewal without being asked first. Their customer service is abysmal and I have been trying unsuccessfully to get a refund for over a week.
    No one emails back. I would never use them again.
    Go for Norton instead!

  4. MCAFEE sucks. I had a subscription to Virus Scann for several years. It was fine.
    In Aug, I purchased MCAFEE Firewall plus and Virus Scan, hoping to add Firewall and renew subsciption on Virus Scan. I was never able to download, This was Aug 6 2003. I have been trying ever since to get help or a refund. It is now Sept 16 and no help yet. Just a run around both when I call them or go to their site. I wish I had an address so I could sent copies of my emails and credit card statement, but have not been able to find that on their site. The are LOSERS, who are stealing from us!!!

  5. I have the exact same problem as Pat Hammons. My Personal Firewall Plus NEVER upgraded. I have a brand new Dell Inspiron 1100 Laptop that unfortunately came preloaded with McAfee. I have spent many very looooooong sessions with what passes for their Tech Support to no avail. The last time I was on with Tech Support, they went through the motion of getting my email and phone number because they were escalating my case to upper level support. Have never heard back. I have had McAfee for 3 years and never needed Tech Support till now. It is times like this that the true quality of a company shows through and unfortunately McAfee has failed dismally. They make it as hard as possible to deal with them if you have a problem. Notice that their sales department have 800 numbers (they sure want you to spend money on them) but, the Tech Support number is pay as you go. Unfortunately, McAfee is not unusual. I am an MCSE who has worked for companies like SONY and I’m here to tell you that Human Support throughout the Computer and associated Services Industry really sucks. These people have no social skills and their attitude is get your money and provide as little support as possible when the product fails.

  6. I have tried since April 2003 to extract my credit card from the clutches of McAfee’s automatic renewal. I’ve actually spoken to a live person, who assured me that this had been done. I’ve called long distance, found a toll-free number and left a message for George Samenuk, CEO of NAI, the parent company of McAfee, sent my complaints through the online forms for comment on the webpage and rating the effectiveness of the FAQ database “answers”. My McAfee accounts remain on auto-renewal.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that McAfee is so independent, so contemptuous of their customers, that they simply don’t give a damn. My experience echoes that of other dissatisfied McAfee customers who’ve responded to the webpage I set up to outline my problem with the miserable wretches. Well, McAfee has tangled with the wrong woman, one who once was a happy McAfee customer.
    See my webpage, where I have posted the details, including my e-mail messages to and from McAfee:

  7. You can add me to the list of people who’ve entered hell by doing business with McAfee. In my case my mistake was adding SpamKiller to my subscription.
    For some reason on my system SpamKiller sequesters emails which are virus-contaminated, but VirusScan then pops up a warning message FOR EACH EMAIL – 88 times on a recent start-up, and that’s not uncommon. Which means that I have to click on “Continue” 88 times, and on “No” (i.e. don’t start a complete system scan) 88 times as well.
    I spent over 30 hours online with their tech “support”, and I just can’t express how totally clueless they are. I first contacted them in late September; it’s now early November and I am STILL waiting for them to get back to me. The last thing I heard was from a guy on the escalation team, an email telling me that he was trying to find someone at McAfee who could help with a SpamKiller problem. TWO WEEKS and McAfee STILL CAN’T FIND AN EXPERT ON THEIR OWN &#^$ing SOFTWARE.
    It would be funny if it didn’t suck…at one point email from McAfee’s own escalation team didn’t reach me because (get this) SpamKiller blocked it. Because it “looked like spam”.
    I’ve been writing about this on my journal at for a while. Warning, a lot of other stuff is mixed in.
    Anyway, I’m uninstalling SpamKiller and installing POPfile instead. When my VirusScan expires I’ll move to Norton. Yeesh.

  8. Whether or not this works for everyone, I came across a site, which seems to work. I had the problem of trying to uninstall Security Center. What I would get from my efforts was a message that I would have to uninstall Security Services. The post on the site mentioned to delete mpf.adf file that is in: Start > mycomputer> C:/programfiles/
    Delete the file then go back do an uninstall.
    Then delete folders MCA560.tmp and
    Good luck

  9. I have just received the dreaded you signed an auto payment agreement with Mcafee I tried uninstalling virus scan weeks after it was installed because of problems I attributed to Mcafee I have since discovered I was right I installed Norton anti virus and thought that was the matter finished .Now the sting Mcafee will not refund my money if I DO NOT UNINSTALL THEIR SOFTWARE ,DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANYONE. Will I ever get a refund ,probably not but if I can add weight to any ones campaign to fight these arrogant b,stards I will

  10. I have had so many recent problems with spyware/trojans downloaded to my system because I was to lazy to read those little licensing agreements that give them permission to spy. I have adopted a new policy of reading those annoying things before clicking “I AGREE”.
    Now to the point, McAffee firewall sucks ass in the free version. I have this version installed and it keeps telling me I have 10-15 unauthorized attempts to logon to my system every day. So, I say BLOCK THOSE BASTARDS!!!, CAN’T…
    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THEM, you guess it… UH-UH
    If you want to do anything about it, other than get paranoid and randomly start deleting misc. system files (which I did because I was pissed and STUPID) you MUST INSTALL THE $35 upgrade…
    After several months of unsuccessfully trying to block these people from attempting to get on the system, I finally gave up and went to their website to pony up the cash.
    Luckily, I read the agreement… which states that Mcaffee will do its best (but no guarantees) to keep those other people from gaining access to your computer; in exchange for your permission to TRACK YOU THEMSELVES. They admit to providing this information to third party companies for the purpose of selling you stuff you like and are interested in, but that is exactly what the SPYWARE says. I say spyware is spyware and those sanctimonious bastards may be the worst of the bunch. PISS ON YOU Mcaffee and your underhanded methods.
    At this point, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be purchasing the upgrade.
    But there was more…
    further down the agreement I was amazed to learn that this wonderful company, in an effort to provide their customers the highest level of security, will keep your credit card information conveniently on their electronic server. THIS IS CONVENIENT FOR WHO? I don’t do that at home, nor does it say anywhere this is a good idea.
    If their programs are as inept as the other things I have found associated with Mcaffee, this policy will be biting their customers in the ass real soon.
    I only hope Mcaffee is running Norton on their systems.
    My next adventure will be figuring out how to actually get rid of McAffee and wash my hands of their bullshit. Wish me luck. After reading the other postings, I think I’m gonna need it.


  12. I am running NAV2004 on my system and it works just fine…plus if you don’t like it for any reason u can remove all traces of it from ur system using control panel feature and never hear from them again.Some of my unlucky friends who used to run mcafee have switched to Norton.

  13. Mcafee,an intrusion ,no ,more a thorough obnoxious pain.Tried to uninstall,all products and am now left with a firewall and start up messages to re install there product.Outlook express would not work as the fire wall was in conflict with Zone alarms and windows firewall.Best of all despite using a technician the fire wall only came to light on uninstalling Mcaffees other products.Dell are as much use as a choclate fireguard in solving this prob.I will find a solution and let you know the outcome.Nigel Ward (Australia )

  14. Mcafee is more like a virus than a virusblocker. Everytime I start my computer, it asks me to verify my subscription, and when I click no, 3/5 times my computer freezes and I have to pull the plug.
    I installed a game recently, Mcafee called it a PUP, and deleted it. 😐 Mcafee sucks.

  15. Well praise God above,now I know I am not totally insane!Mcafee was made to torture members of the human race!I never asked for this virus protection in the first place but it CAME along with the AOL up-grade to version 9.0 in my area.There it was,FREE,with the up-grade to AOL,package deal! I attained,through Mcafee,6 Trojan viruses which they could not get rid of!!I had just enough integrity left in my computer to install the Norton Internet Security package (which includes the virus protection and destroyer power)on sale at Wal-mart.Norton knocked the heck out of all infections! Mcafee should just go on out of business and stop making people miserable!

  16. timothy mcveigh should have tried uninstalling a mcafee product or sought tech support.
    i think he would have bombed a different building.
    mcafee is no more than common program trash.i have emailed all addresses i can find to complain and have yet to get a response. do you think they have any pride? by the way where are they located?
    desiel fuel and amonium nitrate might just get there ass in

  17. I have never been so dissatisfied with something in my life as I have with mcafee . When I bought a new Dell computer and the idiots had Mcafee as the internet protection , what a joke ,they gave me a 90 day free trial which only lasted 80 days then the virus protection shut itself down and I couldn’t get it to come back on , whats the deal am I the only one that can count, can no one at Mcafee count , I always thought 90 was 90 and not 80 well thats ok i did the old recovery and deleted Mcafee and anyone with any sense will do the same thing cause Mcafee is the most worthless thing I’ve ever seen on the internet you should know it sucks when AOL gives it to you for free , that goes to show you that it sucks when you have to give it away,well I have given my pc a nice present and added Norton to it and I haven’t had a problem since ,so my advice is black ball Mcafee and praise Norton because if you have a problem with Norton atleast they do give you a phone number not just an e-mail site

  18. I have used McAfee systems about one year. With McAfee my computer slowed down and the spamkiller never started working. Just troubles with that product.
    A week ago I uninstalled McAfee and intalled BitDefender 9 instead. I just should have done it earlier.

  19. McAfee sucks…they automatically renewed a $32 service without any warning. I had already almost closed that credit card account and thought that would take care of it — but McAfee still managed to bill a credit card that was already expired. Now I’m stuck with having to talk to the lame McAfee customer service people (I swear they are not even in the US) and they will not refund the $20 NSF fee for my bank so Im stuck with that for good. It’s funny how I could never use an expired credit card to buy anything if my life depended on it…but they still manage to get the charge through with an “automatic” billing. They have definitely lost a customer for life. I never want to deal with these people again…

  20. You people are a bunch of complete morons.
    If you can’t figure out how to uninstall something, just format your damn machine and move on instead of complaining like a herd of sheep.

  21. No, dear givemeabreak, we’re just ordinary people, not techie geeks, who would like software installation to be user-friendly. My first post about the problem was here:
    And you probably mean “reformat” not “format.” I wouldn’t know how to do that if my life depended on it.
    The problem with uninstalling is that programs such as McAfee leave little pieces of themselves in weird hidden places. So a simple staightforward uninstall not only doesn’t work but messes up a reinstall.
    Really, give me a break! I have better things to do than wrestle with my computer software that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. Maybe you need to get a life.

  22. I understand all of your frustrations because i haer it everyday of my life. Believe me i know what im talking about. Ive been cursed… called dipshit, scumbag, idiot, embicile name it… butits okay.. its my job. I work with mcafee. I know my company is not perfect ( all business are not, they have their own ways to get a profit) but there just things that people dont understand that’s why they have problems with their pc’s they have charges and all. try to post a question and ill answer the best that i can. Thanks.

  23. Hi there!
    I hear ya! I just had a truckload of problems with McAfee tech support after I noticed that someone else’s email and password were displayed to me on the registration confirmation page!
    Can you believe they actually displayed both the email and password??? That’s all you need to log into their account and steal their info!
    All the gory details can be found on my site if you’re interested in reading it (

  24. I sent this complaint to, tech writter for Wall Street Journal attempting to get some attention for the deceptive renewal practices, refusal to give refunds and Virus Scan turiing itself after some auto downloads and staying off, giving you NO protection until you notice it is off and manually turn it back on. You might email Joe with SPECIFIC, FACTUAL issues. If enough write, he might mention it in an article soon.
    Your September 16, 2004 “How to Protect Yourself From Vandals, Viruses If You Use Windows” was great but I have discovered a new virus “scam,” McAfee software’s user agreement.
    Who would suspect a company of McAfee’s stature would burry in its user agree you must accept, the condition you accept automatic renewals and credit card charges YOU MUST NOTIFY MCAFEE 30 DAYS BEFORE THE RENEWAL to stop or they won’t. and then you have to call McAfee customer service (good luck getting through without getting hung up on repeatedly because “call volume is too heavy now, goodbye”).
    You can not change this through your online account. I went through online chat and after an 8 minute wait, was told I had to notify them 30 days before the renewal to stop it, there is nothing I can do, it is in the agreement.
    PLUS, McAfee software has the nasty habit of TURNING ITSELF OFF when it automatically downloads updates AND STAYS THAT WAY, OFF, NOT WORKING, until you notice it and turn it back on.
    This software should stand on its merits in the marketplace without a company of McAfee’s stature resorting to such low end deception and then refusing to retract the charge when someone complains.
    Half our computers have already switched to Norton because it does not turn itself off and stay off like McAfee does. After this base behavior today from McAfee, we’re checking to be sure there are no more automatic renewals and all computers will now run Norton- or whatever you recommend in your next column on virus software- just so it is not and never again McAfee.

  25. I just wanted to say that I use McAffees, as do ALL of the banks in our city.
    I haven’t had any of the problems people are talking about, but I’m very good with computers too.
    I’ve been paid, many times, to repair computers that were wiped out by Norton. It doesn’t always block a virus. Sometimes it will let it get on your computer, and then attempt to correct the problem. How many of you Norton users have had files quarantined, only to find out later they were essential files for the operation of your computer? How many of you got rid of a virus, only to find out later other programs no longer work? This has never been the case using McAffees! It stops a virus, worm ,trojan, etc, dead in it’s tracks as soon as it attempts to download. You’ll never have problems with lost files, or programs that suddenly stopped working using McAffees. Why would banks use it over Norton if it weren’t better? They’ve got Millions, sometimes Billions of dollars to protect! It’s because they use what works the best!
    I work with computers for a living. I build a lot of custom computers for others. In my experience with software, AOL and Norton kill more computers than all of the other programs combined. If you insist on using them keep me in mind. I’ll be more than happy to bring your computers back to life after these programs wipe them out…It’ll cost ya though!

  26. I will state this in non technical terms. Securiety software places files and information on you system that are required to be placed “very deeply” into your system. This is basically how they are able to provide the protection they do. Like anything else things can go wrong. Usually caused by other software that has been installed on your system. If you have many problems and are not technically savy it would be far less stressfull and better for your PC to pay someone to maintain your system or atleast fix the issues such as what you where haveing with Mcafee. Computers need love too. Your car wont run long without an oil change. You will likelly have the same troubles with Norton. I myslef work on systems for the non technical and see far more troubles with Norton that McAfee in the long run. I am in no way saying one is better than the other. They are both great programs and like everything require to be maintained. The update will function properlly if installed correctlly. Refunds are far and few between because the problem is not with the software. The problem is on the PC. Anyway what I am triing to say is that instead of stressing out over this refund it would have been just as easy to pay someone the 80 bucks (give or take) you spent on Norton to get your PC ready to install the new McAfee software you installed.

  27. P.S. As a matter of fact I just got off the phone with a client who is haveing pretty muct the same issue. She was going to uninstall McAfee in order to install a free antivirus. (by the way that is a BAD idea) She has installed the free antivirus and now the system is not functioning properlly. We have uninstalled the free AV and there are files and registry keys left behind from both antiviruses. Now I will have to remove all of these files manually and reinstall McAfee clean and fresh for this to work properlly. I only posted this as an example that its not just McAfee. This issues are cause by conflicts of softare installed on your PC.

  28. User agreement is God in these aspects. It is there to be viewed and must be accepted before install will complete. If you accept them with out reading then that is your choice. Not thiers.

  29. i need help. can somebody help me solve my mcafee problems? i don’t know what the problem is. I couldn’t figured it out. i already contacted mcafee using their free chat service but their instructions are not that accurate. i can’t even find my mcafee files on my computer nor uninstall them using add/remove programs which is really sucks.

  30. I paid for mcafee product and it crashed my computer. I live in canada the toll free number does not work here. I finally got through on the 37th day after buying this and I was told -no refund -tech support at a price -as it was beyond 30 days. I fixed the computer myself and have been trying to get a refund without success.

  31. I found the way to uninstall McAfee. It came on my new laptop with a free trial.
    First you have to go into the control panel,
    then, Administrative Tools,
    then, Computer Management,
    then, Services and applications,
    Look to the right and find the McAfee services (maybe about 3 of them if I can remember right,) and disable them.
    then, go to the Control Panel/ Add remove programs and uninstall the two McAffee programs there.
    I found this solution after tearing out my hair for hours trying to get rid of it so I could replace it with another anti-virus program.
    Good Luck! 🙂

  32. Just went through McAfee Customer Service (It’s apparently a department name, not actually a function) after getting an auto renewal for a product that slowed my PC to a crawl, and that I uninstalled.

    You would think I wanted the CEO to remove his left…well, you get the idea.

    The URL takes you to my myspace account and the blog “McAfee Customer Service” contains the transcript of my pain. I’ll never use one of their products again.

  33. There is a Mcafee removal tool takes about 4 mins to run and u restart your computer and its gone I am very proficent with a computer I work for the Geek Squad. I have the tool and will happliy send it to anyone who wants it I offer it free i want nothing back from u just trying to lend a hand although you will be taking a risk since i have to email it too u so if u want it send me a email i will reply with tool u can see me on myspace to at and if i may suggest something to u all try out Trend Micro AV its better then Norton works very good and is all we put into new machines

  34. Heres my mcafee story, i just got a dell that had to come with mcafee, and one day i was minding my own business when BOOM! blue screen of death, so i called dell tech support and they showed me how to boot from last known good boot, so when i got back on, mcaffe poped up and said it found a virus… after it did its damage! just goes to show how much more useless and $h1tty mcafee is.

    Get avg its much better.

  35. McAfee sucks the hard one…

    I e-mailed them because was rated green when really, it should have being rated red. Now I’ve lost ALL my reputation points, they won’t rate the website red. I point the middle finger at McAfee and say “YOU SUCK!!”.

    Use AVG.

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