Took Norton off my PC

I know Leo has said for a while to only use the built in Antivirus software in Windows 10… However, in the past, I wasn’t too impressed with Windows Defender… But it has admittedly gotten better since it first came out.

Well, my Norton subscription ends in about 3 months. But, I had some time yesterday and I removed it from my Windows laptop a little bit early… I also used that Norton removal tool, as Leo recommends… And, I now have Windows Defender on it. And, I set up all the various protections that Defender allows…

I have 3 Chrome OS computers now, and I rarely even use my Windows PC. Because of that, I wasn’t going to keep paying for a yearly subscription… I pretty much only use that Windows laptop for Turbotax and Itunes. No need to pay for A/V for just that.

Hopefully all works out for me… Despite the claim that Windows Defender is sufficient - since having a computer since 1988… And, having anti virus software on computers since I got on the internet around 1994… It is very hard to break that habit of wanting to buy after market antivirus…


This is a lot like buying super premium gas for your car. It makes you feel like you’re making a better choice, when in fact all you’re really choosing to do is spend extra money to feel that way :wink:

I have NEVER purchased an antivirus, ever. And I have never had a virus, ever. Safe computing is all I ever needed… but I don’t run iffy (aka pirated) software and I don’t go to iffy sites.

I had a friend who I used to maintain his PC that he only ever used for porn, and he would click yes on any box that got his free “fix”… I forced him to operate as a non-privileged user, he didn’t even know his admin password, and in most cases that meant the machine didn’t get too much junk. Just blow the account away that had accumulated the junk and create a new clean account. I think running as a non-admin will save you from almost anything, except crypto ransomware… because it only wants to affect the stuff that is important to you, and that is usually stuff you have access to without special privileges.


You really don’t need anything like Norton or McAfee and your computer will perform better for removing it. It’s a false security as no anti-virus will pick up brand new exploits. All are equally good at detecting existing malware.

My work computer has McAfee on it, and despite it being a high end Core i7, there is a noticeable slow down when McAfee is running a scan. So much so that work has changed the weekly scan time to an evening instead of a Wednesday lunchtime. The also notice when real-time scans are operating on large files.

Third party anti-virus are just resource drains.


Well, I have seen computyers slow down with AV software installed. And, when you remove it, it gets faster again. And, I’m not talking about doing the actual manual scans… Just having it installed.

But, one of the things that got me interested in Chromebooks was the fact that I didn’t need any antivirus software.

I am careful. I do not open email attachments. I don’t go to weird website, etc. But - 1 to 2x a year, I usually find something… Whether or not it is the antivirus software finding it, or its 1 of the handful of other malware/spyware/rootkit programs I would also manually run 2-3x per month… Nothing found for months… Then 1 day… Surprise…

No, I usually google the filenames… And, sometimes some of these programs give you false positives. But, not always… And, it is concerning to come across this sometimes, and you cannot figure out how it got on your system. Quite often, I suspect that legitimate websites have been hacked, and the stuff comes in that way. But, who knows.

So yes, after years of fiding something 1-2x a year on average, this is a concern of mine.

But as I will barely be using this Windows PC anymopre. And, I’m not manually browsing the web with it, Defender is easily good enough. And yes, I have heard Leo’s speech on the matter dozens of times over the years, so I am aware of his view as well…


Wow… this sounds almost like maybe the vendor of the tool is making shit up for you to believe you’re getting your money’s worth and more :wink:


I would agree, but it is not usually the same one of those programs finding something. It seems to rotate betwene the 5 or 6 I run… One finds something - then another finds something. Sometimes, it was NORTON. But other times, it was one of the others…

Anyway, hopefully all waters stay calm with this switch. And, for the limited use I will be using the PC for, it should be fine…

If you are running several AV or anti malware applications then one us likely to identify one of the other apps as a threat :grinning:


Not sure whats worse, anti-virus/malware programs or the actual virus/malware itself…

I kid, I kid…


No, just one antivirus program (Norton Security). I know not to run two installed AV programs…

And, I had Malware Bytes Anti malware. But, I would manually run MBar, AdwCleaner, Super Antispyware (this only ever finds cookies) about 1x a month. And, once every 1-2 months, I would run the browser based Housecall Antivirus. This was in addition to manually running the full disk Norton scan.

They were not detecting each other. I did look into what it would find usually. Normally, it found stuff brought in thru Chrome via websites


The only reason Norton and Mcafee are so popular is because;

  1. Pre-installed trial
  2. scanner installed with Java or Flash

No one ever chose them because they are good.
Both products are owned by companies that did not have a background in security or AV.
Both are owned by companies that thought the brand name and a market that needs product was all it would take.

Defender in Windows 10 will do much better than most AV now, but bare in mind that is not because of how “good” it is at detecting malware, only that it is exceptionally paranoid and results in a level of false-positives only matched by 1 other in the AV Comparatives tests.

Personally I find this as useful as a white-list program as in the end it is behaving like it.
Any new software with no certificate will cause it to have a fit until the bods at MS have passed it.
Any truly new malware with a valid cert will waltz on by, but due to the feature set of EMET now being in windows 10 as the App protection and exploit mitigation protection, it is harder for malware to do anything.

Defender/MSE on Win 7 is a totally different beast and cannot detect files that my Win 10 PC says are malware (also verified the MS engine in VirusTotal).
Apparently both use the same virus definitions, but it seems that the old version of defender just doesn’t care.

On older Windows it is wisest to opt for an AV that;

  1. is in the top 5 of the AV comparison sites most of the time
  2. is not in the news for repeated goofs and bad practice.

Once you remove controversy, privacy issues and the crud, the only real contenders are Avira and Bitdefender.
Both come in free flavours so you are not pressured to keep it because you already paid.
Both have pros and cons however, though some issues I see people have are with optional things, so I suggest you choose what you add or enable wisely.
The classic is complaints over bugged browser extensions, which though valid while the bug exists, are PEBKAC because it is an optional extra not an integral feature, so does not reflect the ability of the AV to do its job.

Any one else remember many years ago when Norton AV got an update where it then thought its own files were a virus and then ate itself alive ?

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I think anti malware is pretty much distributed now, with browsers and various other services such as app stores scanning for malware. Less emphasis is needed on AV software on the endpoint machine. AV is more a last resort these days


I haven’t used Norton since the end of the 90e,when it went downhill. I used a few others, but switched to Linux for most of the first decade of this century and just has ClamAV running on the Fileserver - I wasn’t worried about me catching a virus, but it was common courtesy to ensure I didn’t try and infect other people.

I just used Windows Defender since I started using Windows again.

At work we use Kaspersky, mainly for the management tools.


I have been using microsoft’s basic AV since they first started including it in windows. I remember in the early days hearing lots of people question whether it was effective, but I’ve never had a problem, and I also don’t recall any big news story about it failing to do it’s job.

I consider Norton a virus. There are a few others too. I use defender and free malwarebits plus zone alarm.


Zone Alarm used to be good. Now, it really sucks. Hell, most of the malware programs fine zonealarm to be malware. I tried it again a couple years back because I had fond memories of it - back in teh ZDTV days. I don’t think it is owned by the same company. And, I’ve read reviews of it - it’s horrible.

Seems like we all hate certain products. McAffee is terrible. I’ve had pretty good luck with Norton. Reviews of it go up and down, depending on the product year. Some years it is better than others in testing. I’ve tried Webroot and a few others in the past as well.

I’ve been going into the setting to lower the scan setting for files to under a certain MB depending on the average file size that a client tends to use.
Also limited write access to folders, moving local storage to a networked folder with an AV running on the server. Most of their document editing is done online anyway and they only pull down shared documents for final editing and turning into a PDF or slideshows files as they’d need.
I tried taking Norton off a machine recently and it was being a… where can i get the tool for its removal?

@ihatevista try this page:


I just googled Norton Security Removal Tool - 1st page was the page to download it.

It tells you to do the uninstall like normal, then use the removal tool. But, you have to go into the removal settings and select REMOVE ONLY. The default is to remove and reinstall.


Good point. I’d forgotten about that.

I always partition my hard drive and have windows keep my docs there and I keep Portable Apps there too. I keep a progs I rarely use there, like bit torrent etc, and 2 or three AV apps too.

This way they’re not running all the time in the background, but there to open and run when I need to or want to check for a bug.

This won’t keep you safe if you get ransomware, but it saved a ton of time when reinstalling the OS, especially from an image.