Switching your Antivirus

Changing your antivirus to a new product.

If you're not protected and someone uses your computer to get passwords, or accesses your bank account or other financial products, you may find it harder to get a refund. The burden of proof's on the bank to show you didn't act with care, but it's best to be safe. It’s fairly simple to ensure your account is not vulnerable to any particular attack.

Question 1. Do I need to uninstall my old antivirus before installing a new one?

Question 2. When I bought this computer, Norton Internet Security came preinstalled on it. It is about to expire and I don’t plan to renew it as I want to change to another product. Can I install new antivirus first, then uninstall old antivirus (Norton)?

Answer: Almost all antivirus products, from the basic antivirus to the full internet security suites provide a year of updates once installed and activated. Those that come preinstalled on PC’s and laptops will usually come with from 30 days to 3 month Free Trial, after that you get the option to buy extended update plans.

Once the subscription to your antivirus has stopped receiving updates your system is open to attack from any new malware, ransomware and other threats. While renewing your antivirus subscription is a good idea, sometimes it is better to move to a new product, either by the same or different vendor. This could be because you do not like the antivirus that came preinstalled on your system, or the one you purchased does not work how you would like it too. To get the best performance, with no conflicts, you should fully uninstall and remove your old antivirus before installing any new product.

Use a VPN. For the best security, you should avoid doing online banking when connected to a network you don't control. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your traffic so no one can read it.

Avoiding conflict

Remember that having more than one anti-virus program installed can, in fact, cause conflict with any other antivirus software. Antivirus products—due to their nature—don't co-exist well. Even if a product is out of date, if it is configured for On-Access scanning, it is "watching" your file and Internet access. Many also use an e-mail proxy, which redirects in and out going mail through a scanner, all of which can either conflict with new antivirus products, or at best, hurt performance, slowing things down to a crawl.

Never use the same password for your bank that you use on other websites. Make it unique

In answer to question 2. The right approach is to uninstall the old, restart your system, and then install the new one. However, this statement assumes that you are handling this in the safest possible way.

To correctly uninstall your old antivirus program and install a new one, you will want to:

  • Download or purchase a boxed version of the new antivirus or internet security program
  • Run one last scan with your old antivirus program before uninstalling
  • Go offline. You can do this by unplugging your modem, or turning off Wi-Fi
  • Uninstall the old program by going to the Control Panel and choosing to uninstall it from the list of installed programs using the Add/Remove Program option in Windows XP or the Programs and Features option in Windows Vista, 7 and 10. (Click on Start and choose Control Panel. Then make sure that the Control Panel is in Classic Mode in Windows XP or Vista and in the "icon" mode in Windows 7).
  • Restart system, some files can’t be removed until a restart has been done
  • Install the new antivirus program.
  • Go back online.
  • Run Update for new antivirus software
  • Now run a Full System Scan (sometimes a different antivirus program will find missed threats)

Uninstalling a desktop program in Windows 10

Short for malicious software, is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs.

Uninstalling a desktop program in windows 8, 8.1 and some Windows 10 programs.

To delete other apps from Windows 10 read uninstall information above.

  1. When in the "Start" screen, start typing "Control Panel".
  2. Click on the "Control Panel" from the Apps search results. In the opened window select "Programs and Features".
  3. In the Programs and Features window select the program you want to uninstall and click on the "Uninstall" button.

Uninstalling a desktop program in Windows 7

To uninstall or change a program:

  1. Navigate to the Windows start menu by clicking on the Windows logo (Start) button.
  2. When the Start Menu opens select "Control Panel".
  3. Depending on your view options either click on "uninstall a program" or "program and features".
  4. Confirm that you want to uninstall a program by clicking on the "Yes" button.

Uninstalling a desktop program in Windows XP

  1. Navigate to the Windows start menu by clicking on the "Start" button.
  2. When the Start Menu opens select "Settings", then click on "Control Panel".
  3. In the Control Panel window click on the "Add or Remove Programs".
  4. In the "Add or Remove Programs" window select the program you want to uninstall and click in the "Change/Remove" button.

If you can't uninstall a program:

Computer users who are having problems that prevent existing programs from being completely uninstalled could try using third party programs that might help in such situations. Third party programs can search your computer for any leftover files and registry entries that applications leave behind when uninstalling them.

How to uninstall a program in Mac OS

Uninstall applications that are downloaded from the Mac App Store:

Click the “Launchpad” icon that is in your Dock. Click and hold down your mouse button over an app’s icon until all the icons begin to jiggle. Then click the “X” button near the app you want to uninstall.

Uninstall apps downloaded from the Internet (using their own uninstallers):

Click the “Finder” icon located in your Dock and select “Applications” (from the side menu). Then look for the application you want to uninstall. Either drag and drop the application's icon to the trash can or go through the folders and search for the application's uninstaller. If present double click the uninstaller and follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the app.

Having a problem unistalling your antivirus software? Try the antivirus uninstall tools from various antivirus suppliers here


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