General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Contention between Norton and McAfee?

Asked by Jeruba (52837points) February 19th, 2021

I think there’s a turf war going on between two scanning services on my computer. It’s causing things to slow way down and even stop. Just now it took me more than 20 minutes to compose and send a one-line email message. Disk usage was at 100% and memory at 98%.

How do I resolve it?

If I should remove one of them, which one?

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18 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The fight is real and remove McAffee.

Jeruba's avatar

Thank you, @Tropical_Willie. I read something elsewhere about the two of them trying to defeat each other, essentially nullifying their effectiveness, but I wasn’t sure whether to believe it.

Can I just uninstall McAfee, or do I have to cancel it somehow? Of course I want to stop paying for it.

Sorry if it’s a dumb question, but I am out of my comfort zone with this stuff.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I don’t use either, I have a Mac.

Try this it is from McAfee How to cancel your McAfee product subscription.

Caravanfan's avatar

I hate them both. They’re both invasive.

Jeruba's avatar

What do you use, @Caravanfan?

Caravanfan's avatar

@Jeruba I use the Windows security. McAfee always tries to take over a web browser and Norton just digs its claws deep into your system and is difficult to remove.

Jeruba's avatar

Argh. I have just spent the most maddening hour-plus trying to get rid of McAfee.

The article linked by @Tropical_Willie (thank you!) told me that I could not cancel the subscription myself but must go through Customer Service. A series of links led me in a circle right back to there. I thought of Alice following useless and confusing signs in Wonderland.

Finally I got hold of a phone number, which seemed in itself to be well-defended information, not idly imparted for the asking. After a long wait and then a quest through another menu tree (no relevant options, so I tried more than one in several iterations), I finally got hold of a person, probably someone in Bangalore, who told me…I could cancel it from my account page.


After a long, frustrating process with her, I got transferred to Technical Support. The rep told me to shut down the computer, a process that itself took more than 15 minutes because all my functionality has been hijacked by these competing forces, and finally, finally, finally…

I got cut off.

Called back. Listened to a ringing signal for nearly five minutes and then got cut off again.

That’s enough of that for tonight.

Caravanfan's avatar

And NOOOW you know why I hate McAfee.
You’ll need to cancel the account, but to get rid of it on your computer you need to go to Add and Remove programs on the control panel (I assume you have a PC) and remove everything with the words “McAfee”.

Jeruba's avatar

Don’t I just.

(And yes, I have a PC.)

Back when I worked for a major Silicon Valley high-tech corporation, McAfee was the house standard for employees’ device security, so I thought I could trust it.

I’m going on the assumption that I have to get rid of the subscription first, or it’s just going to resurrect itself. Then do the uninstall thing, right?

I’m grateful for the hand-holding here. My late husband was also my tech support, and I’m struggling to get through a lot of things that he used to take care of or help me with.

Caravanfan's avatar

Well, if you uninstall the program it won’t resurrect itself on your computer, but you may still be charged by the company. If you have Windows 10, just keep the Windows Security updated. You should be fine. They update it all the time to keep it up to date and it’s relatively nonintrusive. It doesn’t take over web browsers and crap like that.

Caravanfan's avatar

Oh, another way to cancel your subscription is to tell your credit card to stop paying them.

Jeruba's avatar

Yeah. That’s another thing. I’m trying to get a grip on all the things my husband had on automatic billing to his bank account (joint, but I never used his and he never used mine). Cryptic charges keep popping up, and I have very little clue as to what they are and where to go to stop them. Once I get on the right track, I have to persuade somebody who isn’t a chat bot that I have a right to terminate the charges. No idea how many hours I’ve spent with those challenges over the past six weeks.

So far the hardest damn one to get at has been, which seems not to employ any actual people.

Jeruba's avatar

Summoned my courage, with your help (both of you) and that of, and launched uninstall.

How long should this take? It’s been going for half an hour now. I’m on my tablet at present.

Jeruba's avatar

Okay, done finally. Done. I found three applications and uninstalled them all. So far, so good. We’ll see if that helps.

McAfee was very sad to see me go.

Again, thanks, guys.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Jeruba I’m sure they were. Now just make sure your Windows Security is active and updating. You don’t want to be unprotected.

Jeruba's avatar

Well…there’s still Norton. I haven’t ditched it yet. I would have thought I’d be better off trusting them than Microsoft, because my husband did, but I’m feeling less sure of my judgment now.

After a couple of months of increasingly lagging performance, including sometimes hours at a stretch when I couldn’t do anything at all, right now I’m just happy to have things working in what seems like a normal way. This strongly suggests that the culprit has been found and banished.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Jeruba Norton is fine. So is McAfee for that matter. I just find their programs to be intrusive.

Jeruba's avatar

Looks like I’m not quite free of it yet. There’s a follow-up question here:

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