Why is McAfee Always Re-installing Itself?

It seems like McAfee is at the center of a lot of my service calls lately. When it’s not shutting down systems by falsely targeting them as viruses, or letting things blow right by, it seems to be putting itself back on computers where it has been removed. For those of you who have never installed McAfee, or who have heeded my advice to uninstall it in favor of better options (like AVG Free), but have seen McAfee appear out of the blue, here’s what’s going on:

Back in 2009, Adobe and Mcafee decided to ‘deliver an integrated Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Enterprise Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution’ by packaging Mcafee within Adobe products like Reader. Now we are seeing the full roll-out from that decision. When the little red Adobe icon shows up in the bottom-right of your screen asking you to update it, if you plan on doing the update but do not want Mcafee installed, make sure to pay attention to the update screen and choose not to install the McAfee portion of the update (may be tucked away behind a Custom option on one of the screens).

PDF viewing is pre-built into all the modern browsers, so there’s generally no need to have Adobe on your computer anyway, and if you aren’t a business that uses Adobe to format pdf files or make OCR text recognizable pdf files, you can simply uninstall Adobe and leave it at that.

Either way, always be vigilant about what programs are running on your system, and if you see icons in the bottom-right of the screen that aren’t the typical programs you use, it’s usually a good idea to uninstall them to protect system stability. Even when the culprit is a redundant antivirus program like McAfee, having more than one at a time can sometimes create holes in your security or slow down your system.