Unwanted Antivirus Programs

Dear Computer Lady,

Thank you for your newsletter – I stumbled on you about a year ago and I really appreciate your approach to helping people like me who like to dabble on their own equipment and software.

My question: I use AVG as my protection software, I even purchased the advanced plan and my computer seems to be running great. However, during some recent software upgrades , McFee and Norton both installed what appears to be a program that runs on my system and tells me that I have a problem and that I should by their software. The thing is, I don’t want to have multiple anti-virus software running, nor do I want to do business with a company who “injects” their software into my system and then wants me to buy it. I’m sure I accepted the “free download” when I was upgrading something so I’m sure that it’s my fault.

However, I’ve tried to removed this additional software from my computer and I don’t seem to be able to – plus, when it runs it’s “scan” it is difficult to close. It doesn’t seem to be infecting my system, but it’s annoying.

Can you offer any suggestions for removing this? I use Windows 7.


Matt, Colorado


Dear Matt,

I always find it frustrating when a company tries to slip in another program when I am installing something, and I have seen these antivir programs when trying to install something simple like Adobe Acrobat Reader, or even an internet toolbar.

how to uninstall a program imageThe good news is that most of the time, these programs can be easily removed using the Control Panel.

Click on “start” and then “Control Panel”.

In the, Programs section of the control panel, click on “Uninstall a program”

Find the offending programs in the list, and click on one of them to select it.

Click on “Uninstall” in the command bar at the top of the window, and wait while the program is removed.

If you don’t find the program listed in the list of programs, it might not be from either McAfee or Norton, but a spyware program trying to trick you into believing it is a legitimate program. In this case, you will need to scan for Malware and remove the programs that way.

You Never want to purchase a program that you did not intentionally install since it could be a hoax, and you would be giving crooks your credit card information.

I hope this helps, Elizabeth

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    • Larry Sementini
    • June 27, 2012

    Adobe updates is notorious for slipping in an unwanted software, usually the antivirus programs that Matt in Colorado mentioned. Got burned once, and taught me a lesson to be alert for other such “underhanded” tricks. Always look for the checked-off little option box before updating what you intended to update and clear the box!

    Larry in Maine

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