Uninstalling Norton AntiVirus

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Reader Randolph Walker provides me with the opportunity to address a question I get, like clockwork, every two years. He writes:

I was running Norton AntiVirus 10.0 on my iMac. I decided to uninstall it. Now when I restart, I get several small dialog boxes telling me auto protect cannot be activated. It is obvious I did not uninstall this properly. How do I get these little boxes to go away forever.

I’ve yet to encounter a product with the Norton name that can be uninstalled by simply dragging a file or folder to the Trash. These utilities work their magic deep down and scatter files hither as well as yon. If you don’t follow the correct procedure for removing them, you experience this kind of thing.

And the proper procedure is to locate the Symantec Solutions folder inside the Applications folder at the root level of your hard drive, launch the Symantec Uninstaller application, select the Symantec AntiVirus Corporate, Norton AntiVirus, and Norton AntiVirus Auto-Protect entries, and click the Uninstall button. Confirm your decision when prompted and then enter your administrator password in the space provided. You’ll be asked to restart your Mac. Do so and Norton should be gone for good.

What, you say you tossed out the Symantec Solutions folder when you attempted to uninstall Norton AntiVirus by hand?You can download the uninstaller directly from Symantec’s site (direct download link).

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Good OS X integration
    • Easy to use
    • Excellent virus information
    • Reasonably fast


    • Installs components all over your system
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