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 preinstalled 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. However, each successive version seems to incorporate more functionality but it gets slower and slower. 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 - 2007.2
Norton Ghost 2003, 9.0, and 10.0
Norton GoBack 3.1 - 4.2
Norton Internet Security 2003 - 2007.2
Norton Password Manager
Norton Personal Firewall 2003 - 2006
Norton SystemWorks 2003 - 2007
Norton Confidential Online 2007
Norton Internet Security 2007 Add-on Pack
Norton Save and Restore 1.0 - 2.0
Follow these directions to download the Norton Removal Tool and run it to remove the above programs.
Click on the following link to download the Norton removal tool ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/removal_tools/Norton_Removal_Tool.exe
Click Save and save the file to your desktop
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"
After the removal tool finishes, you should be prompted to restart your computer.
Once the computer restarts, your Norton product should be uninstalled.
Extra Optional Steps
Open My Computer, double-click on Drive C
Double-click on Program Files
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
Close My Computer and other folders