McAfee has an excellent portfolio of cybersecurity products for consumers and business users, but its antivirus and internet security suite are often installed on new PCs without the user’s consent. The programs frequently generate popups, especially if you’re not paying for the premium version. Whether McAfee was included as bloatware on a new device or you unknowingly installed it, McAfee pop-ups can get in the way.
Ready to find out how to remove McAfee popups? Let’s dive in.
How to remove McAfee popups: The TL: DR
If you’re getting popups in your Windows notification area prompting you to upgrade your license, performance tips, or anything else from McAfee, stopping them is straightforward.
Here’s how to remove McAfee popups from Windows 10 or 11:
- Press the Windows Key+ I
- Click Notifications
- Scroll down to the list of installed applications
- Locate McAfee and switch the toggle to Off
- Close your settings
You should now stop seeing popups from McAfee, but if they still appear, keep reading for more solutions.
What are McAfee popups, and why do they appear?
McAfee popups are notifications on your screen, usually stemming from your installed McAfee antivirus software. These popups serve multiple purposes, but they’re primarily designed to keep you informed and, in some cases, prompt you to take action.
The first type of popup you’ll see from McAfee is informational – they don’t typically require you to take any action. These usually alert you when a scan has finished and no threats are found, or let you know your system is running smoothly.
Like other software providers, McAfee uses alerts to nudge you toward taking a promotional action. Part of their marketing tactics entices you to get limited-time offers to upgrade your antivirus to a paid plan or add a VPN service.
Lastly, there are the critical alerts. These popups are your software’s way of waving a red flag, signaling something’s wrong. Maybe it’s detected malware or noticed that your firewall settings have been tampered with. These popups require immediate attention and often include a call-to-action like “Resolve Now” or “Scan System.”
So, why do these popups appear? In a nutshell, they’re McAfee’s way of communicating with you. Whether to inform, upsell, or alert, each popup aims to enhance your system’s security or the company’s bottom line.
Other ways to remove McAfee popups
If you’ve turned off McAfee notifications in your settings and still see annoying popups, you may need to take a more drastic approach.
Option 1: Uninstall McAfee
- Click Start and then select Settings.
- Click Apps (Windows 11) or Programs, then Programs and Features (Windows 10).
- Scroll through the list of installed programs until you find McAfee. It might appear as McAfee Total Protection, Security Scan Plus, or similar.
- Select the application name and click Uninstall.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.
Option 2: Use the McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool (MCPR)
In some instances, McAfee leaves traces of its software on your device, and although unlikely, you may still see popups from McAfee stating components are missing to try and get you to install it again. Download and run the MCPR tool. This will remove any leftover files related to McAfee from your device and remove any McAfee popups.
See also: How to uninstall McAfee.
How to tell fraudulent McAfee pop-ups from legit ones
Occasionally, McAfee popups aren’t what they seem. They might not be from McAfee at all and are instead attempting to scam unsuspecting users. Red flags to look for in fraudulent popups are:
- Bad spelling and grammar or typos.
- Images genuinely from McAfee will look clean and crisp, while scam popup images may appear pixelated.
- Fraudulent popups may try to direct you to a webpage, while legitimate McAfee offers keep you in the app.
If you suspect a McAfee popup is fraudulent, don’t click on it. Report is to McAfee support, and if possible, take a screenshot.
FAQs about McAfee popups
Will McAfee's VPN cause popups?
McAfee Secure VPN may cause popups on your device, though these are usually informational to advise when the VPN connects/disconnects. However, there may be alerts trying to push you to upgrade if you only use its VPN and not other McAfee products. Read our guide if you’re looking for an antivirus with a VPN.