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How to Fix: Can't Uninstall McAfee Security Scan Plus - (Won't Remove)
Infopackets Reader Shirley B. writes:
" Dear Dennis,
Thanks for your article on how to remove AVG Web TuneUp! I have a similar question. Recently I downloaded Adobe Flash Player and it came bundled with McAfee Security Scan Plus. I already have antivirus software installed on my machine so I don't need it. I tried to remove Mcafee Security Scan Plus using the Control Panel -> Programs and Features, but it won't uninstall. Can you help? "
I had a hunch that the removal procedure for McAfee Security Scan Plus was going to be similar to the article I had already written on how to remove AVG Web Tuneup. I asked Shirley if she would like me to connect to her machine by remote to take a closer look, and she agreed.
Sure enough, McAfee Security Scan Plus would not remove from the Control Panel. I then tried to download the McAfee MCPR (McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool) to remove McAfee Security Scan Plus and rebooted the machine, but that did not remove the program, either.
At this point I knew I had to do a manual uninstall of McAfee Security Scan Plus, so I did a bit of research online to find which Windows Registry keys were related to the program, then proceeded to remove them from the Windows Registry. After that, I rebooted the machine and then manually removed the McAfee Security Scan Plus directory. Once that was done, I attempted to "uninstall" the product through Control Panel -> Programs and Features, in which case Windows complained that the program was no longer there, and asked if it should be removed from the Control Panel - I clicked "Yes." After that, there were no more traces of the program.
I'll explain how I removed McAfee Security Scan Plus step-by-step below.
How to Fix: Can't Uninstall McAfee Security Scan Plus - (Won't Remove)
Here's what I did using step-by-step instructions to successfully and completely remove McAfee Security Scan Plus, and to prevent it from installing in the future:
- First, download the McAfee Consumer Product Removal (MCPR) tool. Most of the time this tool will work properly to remove any McAfee product from the system, but sometimes it does not and may be forced to remove the program manually. To
- Once the download is complete, run the MCPR utility. It will ask you to reboot the machine when it is complete;
bookmark this page now so that you can come back after the reboot in order to continue reading the rest of the instructions.
- After MCPR has run and the machine has rebooted, check to see if McAfee Security Scan Plus is still listed in your Control Panel -> Programs and Features (or Add / Remove Programs). If it is not listed, then you can stop here and pat yourself on the back - job well done. If it is still listed, then you will have to manually remove McAfee Security Scan Plus from the system - please continue on with the instructions below.
- The next thing you will need to do is manually remove any potential references to McAfee Security Scan Plus in the Windows Registry. To do so:
(a) Click Start, then type in "regedit" (no quotes); wait for regedit to appear in the list and click it.
(b) The Windows Registry Editor window will appear. Navigate to each folder below:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> McAfee Security Scan Plus. Right-click the folder, then select "Delete" to delete it.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> McAfee Security Scan Plus. Right-click the folder, then select "Delete" to delete it.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Run -> McAfee Security Scan Plus. Right-click the folder, then select "Delete" to delete it.
- Reboot the machine once more, then come back to this page. Now it's time to remove the contents of the McAfee Security Scan Plus installation folder, then set the permissions on the folder so that it cannot be written to again. This will prevent McAfee Security Scan Plus from being reinstalled again (in theory) - I came across this 'trick' while researching the issue.
To do so:
(a) Click Start -> "My Computer" or "This PC", then type in "CMD" (no quotes). Wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
(b) Now, use your mouse to highlight the text below:
rem you can safely ignore any error messages that may occur
IF EXIST "%ProgramFiles%\McAfee Security Scan" (
rmdir /q /s "%ProgramFiles%\McAfee Security Scan"
mkdir "%ProgramFiles%\McAfee Security Scan"
icacls "%ProgramFiles%\McAfee Security Scan" /deny "*S-1-1-0:(OI)(CI)W"
IF EXIST "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\McAfee Security Scan" (
rmdir /q /s "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\McAfee Security Scan"
mkdir "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\McAfee Security Scan"
icacls "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\McAfee Security Scan" /deny "*S-1-1-0:(OI)(CI)W"
- Right click over top of the above text to highlight it, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. Now, go back to the Command Prompt you opened up in Step #5a, then right click in the middle of the window and select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied in Step #5b should now be output to the command line.
- Go back to Control Panel -> Programs and Features (or Add / Remove Programs). If McAfee Security Scan Plus is still listed, right click it and select "Uninstall". Windows will report that "An error occurred while trying to Uninstall McAfee Security Scan Plus ... would you like to remove McAfee Security Scan Plus from the Programs and Features list?" click Yes.
At this point, McAfee Security Scan Plus should be completely removed from the system.
Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis
If all of this is over your head and if you need help removing McAfee Security Scan Plus - or any other hard to remove program from your system, for that matter - I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me briefly describing your problem, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!
I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.
About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.
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