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Uninstalling an existing antivirus or firewall program

Important note

Before you set up Windows Live OneCare, please make sure you completely uninstall any existing antivirus or firewall program that may be on your computer.

This step is very important no matter what protection software you use, because installing one antivirus or firewall program over another on the same computer could potentially lock up the computer.

To avoid putting your computer at risk, do not remove pre-existing antivirus or firewall software until you are ready to install Windows Live OneCare.

Find out whether you already have an antivirus or firewall program installed

There are several easy ways to verify whether you have antivirus, firewall, or other security software already installed on your computer:

Method 1. Check the Windows Security Center

Windows Security Center is part of the Windows XP operating system. The Security Center regularly monitors your computer for three security essentials: firewall, virus protection, and automatic updates. If Windows detects that your computer is unprotected in one or more of these areas, the Security Center will alert you. The Security Center can show you what security software, if any, is currently installed on your machine. To access the Security Center:

  1. Click Start on your Windows taskbar, then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Security Center.
  3. Expand the Firewall and Virus Protection sections of the Security Center and make a note of any programs that are listed.

If no programs are listed, or if only Windows Firewall is listed, then you probably do not need to uninstall any programs. If you do find that other antivirus or firewall software is present on your machine, you will need to uninstall it before installing Windows Live OneCare.

Note: You do not need to uninstall Windows Firewall, which is a component of the Windows operating system and cannot be removed. It does not conflict with Windows Live OneCare; in fact, Windows Firewall provides basic firewall protection while you are removing the old software and installing Windows Live OneCare.

How do I uninstall a program?

Method 2. Check the list of all installed programs

You can also check the installed programs list in Windows to see if any security products are on your computer. To do so, click the green Windows Start button, then point to All Programs. In the menu that appears, look for any antivirus or firewall programs (such as those listed under Method 3 below).

How do I uninstall a program?

Method 3. Check your Windows taskbar icons

We've listed some of the most common antivirus/firewall programs currently available. Take a look at the icons in the lower right corner of your Windows taskbar. If you see any of the icons below, you likely have that antivirus package running on your computer. (Even if you have a different version of one of these programs, the look of the icon should be similar.)

McAfee Internet Security tray icon

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005
Windows Live OneCare checks for this application during setup.
McAfee Personal Firewall tray icon

McAfee Personal Firewall Plus 2004 5.0
How do I uninstall McAfee Firewall?
Symantec Norton Internet Security tray icon

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2005
Windows Live OneCare checks for this application during setup.
Trend Micro PC-cillin tray icon

Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2005
Windows Live OneCare checks for this application during setup.
Computer Associates eTrust Antivirus tray icon

Computer Associates eTrust Antivirus 7.0
How do I uninstall eTrust?

I don't have any of these programs. How do I uninstall any other antivirus or firewall program?

Before you install Windows Live OneCare, make sure you have reviewed the installation requirements and release notes.

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