Installing an antivirus is a must for a safe and secure PC operation, especially when browsing the web. Rightly so, many users choose full paid versions to have the whole arsenal of tools at hand. Yet, for certain reasons it may be necessary to remove the antivirus and, considering a number of points, it is not easy.
That is why in this article we offer a detailed instruction to remove Norton, a program by Symantec. Also, you can find more information about it in Norton Antivirus review. First, let’s look at reasons to uninstall Norton. Users may need to remove it for the following reasons: installing another antivirus software, reinstalling Norton due to its incorrect work, transferring antivirus files to another hard drive.
Unfortunately, it is not enough to just go to the Control Panel, select a program and delete it. Firstly, almost all antiviruses have a built-in system that blocks uninstallation (in case any virus tries to uninstall the program). Here you need to manually confirm each step of the operation. Secondly, in addition to the files of the software itself, Windows stores various plug-ins, libraries, and registry entries. If you just delete the antivirus, they will still remain.
Delete Norton with third-party software
The best and the fastest solution to uninstall any Symantec program (not just antivirus) is to use Norton Remove and Reinstall Tool. The developers of this company have thought in advance about quality cleaning of programs’ traces on the users PCs, and also have provided them an opportunity to reinstall Symantec products without any problems. More information about the tool here: Norton Remove and Reinstall.
Step 1. Run the uninstaller. To begin with, agree to the usage agreement, without which you will not be able to continue the process. Click the Agree button at the bottom of the window.
Step 2. By default, the program is configured to uninstall and then reinstall the selected Norton program. If you need to reinstall the application later, click Remove & Reinstall. If you need to simply delete it – click Advanced Options, where there is only one button – Remove Only. Click it and wait for the end of the process.
Step 3. Wait for the uninstallation to finish, then click Restart Now. There is no need to press or clean anything else.
Step 1. Open IObit Uninstaller in Programs. To remove an antivirus (or any other program), you first need to find it in the list of programs installed on your PC by sorting or searching. Highlight the antivirus in the special window opposite, then click the Uninstall button at the top of the menu.
Step 2. In the new window you need to confirm the choice and also to select additional features:
- Automatically remove residual files automates the process of deleting residual files and folders, but in this case you won’t be able to leave some of them if you need to.
- Create a restore point before uninstall will prevent data loss and errors that may occur after uninstallation. In other words, you can return everything as it was before.
Step 3. Click Uninstall and wait for the program to uninstall. The deletion report will also be available. Note: The removal procedure can be considered complete only after restarting the PC. This applies to all the programs you have to uninstall.
Uninstall Norton Antivirus with Windows tools
Special software handles removal and cleaning very well, quickly and comfortably. However, for some casual users it is easier to use the Windows OS default features. If you don’t wish to get extra tools, follow these instructions on how to uninstall Norton Antivirus in Windows directly. Note: we’ll do it on Windows 10 system, yet it is similar in Windows 8.1/8/7/XP as well.
Step 1. All active processes related to the antivirus must be completed before deletion. To do this, open Task Manager in any convenient way:
- Press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Del > Task Manager;
- Call up the taskbar context menu (right-click on the bottom panel, which shows open applications, and then click on Task Manager.
Next, in the Processes menu, search for all processes related to Norton Antivirus, highlight them and click End Task. Note: We have noticed that in some systems Norton processes are not running – in such case, skip this step.
Step 2. Right-click Start > Programs and Features. In the open window, search for Norton AntiVirus, highlight it and click Uninstall/Change.
This button will open the integrated application uninstaller. You will have two uninstall options: saving the settings for reinstallation, or uninstalling completely. Choose the one you need. In addition, the uninstaller will prompt you to install third-party software, if you wish. Follow the uninstall process and wait for it to finish.
Step 3. Most of the program has been uninstalled, but usually unwanted file folders remain on the PC, especially after long usage of the program. Their feature is that they are hidden for the average user, so many do not even suspect their existence. So let’s make it visible: open File Explorer > Folder Options and select the Show hidden files and folders check box.
Then check the following paths for the residual files (and delete if any):
Step 4. The last step to completely uninstall Norton Antivirus is to clean the registry entries that remain after you uninstall any program. These instructions may seem difficult and not entirely safe for inexperienced users. We recommend using a special registry cleaner software (free CCleaner, paid Uninstall Tool, etc.).
Open the registry. Click WIN+R, type regedit in the window, and then click OK. Back up the registry just in case. Click File > Export. Specify the file name and location to save it (this file will be a backup of the registry). Click Save. It is important to make a habit of backing up your registry every time before you make changes to it.
This will protect you from unforeseen consequences and wrong actions. You need to delete the folders and/or files of the residual registry entries. Use CTRL+F to call Search and type Norton. Right-click on the found folders or files, and press Delete. Then press F3 to move to the next folder and repeat the process until a notification that the search is completed will be displayed.
Remember that the Norton Antivirus removal process can only be considered completed after your PC is restarted. However, for ease of process and greater security, we recommend that you use the special software created for these tasks. If you find it difficult to choose such a program, more information can be found in our article 7 best uninstallers.