I want McAfee to go away. That’s all I want…


So I got a new computer a couple of weeks ago, and things are going along pretty nicely with it.

Dude, I got a Dell.

And I got the Dell at Best Buy, and I went hook, line and sinker for the full Geek Squad coverage, which has already come in handy a couple of times as I worked to get this or that piece of software up and running. I call them, they take over my computer remotely, and they fix it.

And it comes with Webroot. So I don’t need McAfee. But McAfee keeps popping up on my screen trying to get me to subscribe.

So I decide to uninstall it. Turns out there are three separate McAfee applications. And whenever I go to uninstall one, I get a dialogue box that says it’s still scanning stuff and protecting me, and I think, hey, if get a backstop safeguard for free, why delete it? Then I decide to delete anyway, and I get another dialogue box saying I already have an active subscription.

Say what? I’m pretty sure my last three laptops have been protected by Webroot. So… what is McAfee protecting — that 12-year-old desktop that I used to keep plugged in in a spare bedroom but which my wife has put away, turning that table into a sewing machine station?

So… should I pull the trigger and get rid of it? And if I’m paying for it, how do I get that to stop? Or is the “active subscription” just the free coverage they give you at first with a new computer, as the red dialogue box above indicates?

I don’t know. I just want them to leave me alone…


6 thoughts on “I want McAfee to go away. That’s all I want…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Actually, that headline isn’t quite the whole truth: “I want McAfee to go away. That’s all I want…”

    That’s NOT all.

    I also want Trump to go away.

    And, if it’s not too much trouble, Bernie Sanders, too. I would add Elizabeth Warren, but I think she might go away on her own…

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Basically, what we have here is a company whose business model is based on you not really knowing what’s going on with your computer, and being afraid to say no to something that says it’s protecting you even if it isn’t…

  3. Harry Harris

    McAfee is intrusive, slows your machine (as does any antivirus), and is not easy to get rid of. It’s part of the crapware installed on most new computers. Annoyingly, it will get reinstalled if you are not careful with updating some free software like Adobe Acrobat. If you go through the time-consuming process of eliminating the crapware programs, you will free-up some space and resources. If you stop any unneeded ones from loading on startup, you will get speed benefits as well.
    Stealth marketing has become a norm in the tech world with money passing back and forth in schemes to dupe consumers. Your Geek Squad buddies should be able and willing to help you weed out the chaff that you don’t want or need.

  4. Realist

    What Harry said. I have the Geek Squad support and have used them. Let them take care of the problem, after all, you are paying the annual fee, use it. Of course I cannot advise anyone because I sometimes don’t take advantage of what I am paying for either.

  5. Brad Warthen Post author

    “It’s part of the crapware installed on most new computers.”

    Oh, yes.

    But you know what? Here’s one of the few ways that the world has gotten better in recent years: There’s a lot less of that “crapware” on new computers now than there was, say, 20 years ago.

    I remember that back then, half the desktop was cluttered with icons for pre-loaded software that someone was trying to sell you.

    That’s not as bad now. Or at least, not as obvious.

    There are still problems. For instance, I keep getting emails urging me to install Office 365. I installed Office the day I got the computer. I don’t know what this is about. Is there some other version sitting on my computer waiting to be activated?

    Stuff like this is irritating…

    1. Harry Harris

      Microsoft and many others will stay after you to use their web and “cloud” services as well. They love selling you a program that you have to pay for every year, and keeps you dependent on them. Almost everything you use or buy has an “upsell” built in. Even my anti-virus free edition which i really like keeps offering me deals on their more comprehensive version and requires care on program updates to avoid getting tricked into the paid version. The free versions often sell your browsing data (without identity) unless you have your setting right. I general, never set or consent to share anything to “improve” the product or whatever other excuse they give. Even the soft-voiced Alexa will snoop if you let her.

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